Exhaust fumes are just as bad
When is anyone going to ban secondhand exhaust fumes? I was sitting there behind a bus and watching and smelling all the bad odors and fumes being emitted from the back of the bus. I couldn't help thinking that this stuff must be at least as bad as secondhand smoke. Why is there no outcry against exhaust fumes? Maybe the cigarette advocates are too afraid to upset their own SUV supporters?
People don't go places so they can smoke
David Crowley's "Gathering Place
" column Tuesday was way off the mark when it comes to the new smoke-free legislation in Hawaii. Having now lived in a completely smoke-free world here in New Zealand for more than two years, we see the benefits on a daily basis.
There were concerns raised during the development of the legislation here over tourism and the impacts on the Asian market. In reality, post legislation, there has been no impact.
A simple testing question was put to the media, politicians and the public at the time -- do smoking tourists come here to smoke or to enjoy our beautiful country?
Having spent the best part of 11 hours flying time from Japan to New Zealand, a smoker has clearly decided that is for the country, not the cigarettes! Why would going to Hawaii be any different?
Shane Kawenata Bradbrook
Maori Smokefree Coalition
Wellington, New Zealand
Smoking law treats people inhumanely
The smoking ban involves both economic and civil rights issues. I would like to believe that the policy makers who passed the current law that segregates smokers from society were well intended. History is riddled with examples of well-intended segregation laws that were later viewed as being inhumane mistakes. Hawaiians were once banned from enjoying many of their cultural practices because those in power saw them as dangerous. Freed slaves were once forced to sit at the back of the bus because those in power saw them as dangerous. Americans of Japanese ancestry were once interned because those in power saw them as dangerous. And now those in power are treating smokers in the same way.
I hope the policy makers in Hawaii have the integrity to recognize that the current maltreatment of those who enjoy the smell of smoke not only harms the economy but is simply not humane. Humane regulation of tobacco use means both those who do and do not enjoy the smell of smoke must be respected. Aloha will not be restored as a credible description of our island culture until all people are treated with the same respect. The former smoking law provided mutual respect for all concerned: business owners, customers and employees.
Elaine M. Heiby
We don't need special session for ferry
If we are going to have a special session of the Legislature
, I think Gov. Linda Lingle should pay for it out of her campaign funds or petty cash. There is absolutely no reason for it. For three years people who care about the islands and our unique flora and fauna, people who use our rural roads and worry about weekend hordes crowding Hawaii Island's tiny beaches and single-belt road have asked for a study. We are talking about the impact of all these uninspected cars, loaded with vacationers, drugs, coqui frogs, rocks -- who knows what all -- on our peaceful outer islands. This Superferry has the potential of being a super problem. But that is just an uneducated guess.
So who needs a special session of the Legislature? What we need is a proper environmental assessment, and in fact an environmental impact statement.
A much smaller craft that would, like in Tahiti, go up and down the island chain with people and their suitcases and coolers, stopping for an hour at each island. That would be great!
Anti-ferry protests reek of snobbery
I am a daily reader of the Star-Bulletin's online edition and I continue to be amused at the big flap surrounding the operation of the Hawaii Superferry.
The impression that I get from reading the articles about all the protesters and the lawsuits that have been filed is that those "elite" residents of Kauai don't seem to want their precious paradise to be invaded by the "great unwashed masses" from Oahu and the "mainlanders" who have suffered greatly by being forced to sit for many hours in an overcrowded airplane just to be able to spend their money in Hawaii.
It was a very fortunate circumstance for Noah when his ark came to rest on Mount Ararat in Turkey, rather than the pristine shores of Kauai.
To all you snobs of Kauai: "Come visit Orlando ... Walt Disney World will gladly welcome your money."
Bush drives wedges between Americans
Gayle Nakama (Letters, Sept. 11
) wonders why Democrats didn't turn out to welcome President Bush on his recent stopover here. Perhaps it is because Bush has done all in his power to divide and conquer our nation and the world. "Wedge issues" are his hallmark. And his public appearances are always carefully orchestrated to eliminate any real participation by "outsiders" (other Americans).
Nancy Bey Little
Some killer creations have good effects, too
When I read Stig Lindberg's letter on Tuesday
, I had to laugh to myself. Yes, I saw the Thunderbirds. And yes, it "evoked emotions of awe," and I thought that the show was fantastic. Even if the show was meant to be propaganda, I'm sure others (like me) found it to be nothing more than some terrific entertainment. I'm glad that these jets that were meant to "kill and destroy" are instead flying peacefully over my skies.
If I had to guess, I'm certain Lindberg would admit that he would rather have the Thunderbirds doing aerobatic shows, too.
And even if something is intended to do harm, there's no reason why it can't be directed into a more productive channel. Computers and computer science, after all, were developed by the military to facilitate their operations (the goal of said operations to sometimes "kill and destroy"). Yet nobody clamors that computers shouldn't be used because they were intended for the purpose of facilitating death.
So the next time the jets fly out to perform, I hope that Lindberg simply relaxes and enjoys the show.