Guess where else that coffee comes from?
While I agree with the intent of the recent legislative effort put forth by Sen. Jill Tokuda ("Legislature revisits controversy over labeling of Kona coffee
," Star-Bulletin, Feb. 5) to protect the regional brand integrity of Kona coffee, I must take issue with her assertion that Hawaii is the only coffee-growing region in North America.
I'm sure our esteemed senator is aware that the borders of North America don't end at the Rio Grande, so she must simply be unaware of the wonderful coffees that come out of Costa Rica or Chiapas, Mexico. That's perfectly fine; though I would like to invite Tokuda to sample some of North America's other coffee offerings, if only to recognize what our elegant Kona coffees are competing against.
Pearl City Shops Starbucks
Delegates shouldn't choose before caucus
Never before have I so closely followed the primaries. And perhaps never before has Hawaii had such a chance to affect the Democratic nomination. Therefore, I am quite upset that many of our "super delegates" not only get to vote like the rest of us, but they get "super votes" as well (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 6
). At least three of our super delegates have already publicly lined up their votes -- before our state caucus has even occurred. Shouldn't they wait to see what the outcome is?
I implore all our senators, Congress members and Democratic National Committee chairpersons to pledge they will cast their votes according to the general population's decision. Many people will be quite disillusioned if the Democratic presidential nominee fails to win the popular vote. It will be like Al Gore losing with the most votes all over again.
So please don't play politics as usual and give your vote that counts more than mine to the person who raised the most money for you or granted you favors. Rather, make us feel like we really live in a democracy. Make us feel like our votes actually count toward something.
Trash-to-energy isn't as good as recycling
Talking trash isn't glamorous but it's still important. Mayor Mufi Hannemann's idea of burning trash for energy sounds good, but it needs a second look. There are lots of things to consider. For one, burning cardboard and plastics together creates a carcinogen, dioxin. Also, the facilities have a tendency to occasionally blow up. San Diego spent millions on a trash-to-energy plant that was eventually abandoned at great expense to the taxpayers.
Hawaii needs to implement strict laws for its island preservation. Things like mandatory recycling and programs starting in preschool that teach our children to keep plastic and trash off the beaches and out of the ocean. Laws should be enacted with real teeth penalizing military and marine vessels caught dumping trash in the ocean. Researchers working on remote uninhabited islands more than a thousand miles from Oahu are finding hundreds of pounds of plastic on the beaches, and inside birds and fish.
We should be a model for keeping our islands clean and protected. With the exciting prospects currently being considered to utilize our abundant sun, wind and kinetic wave action for energy, the world is watching. But what's even better, we live here! Let's keep it clean and green.
People and businesses should ban plastic bags
In response to the article "City comes out against proposal to ban plastic bags
" by Laurie Au (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 6).
Litter is a problem in the Hawaiian islands. Banning plastic bags is a great idea. Businesses that earn more than $1 million annually should set an example and choose not to buy or use plastic bags. Burning plastic bags to produce energy is not the best solution. Hazardous toxins would be emitted into the air. Our landfills are full. Anything burned at HPOWER produces ash that must be put somewhere.
There is a correlation between the fact that we have a poor recycling program and our landfills overflowing. Our government has chosen not to do anything to help make recycling easier for us. It is up to the citizens to make a decision when they buy something. Can they remember to bring their own bag? Do they really need one?
Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Trucks call for caution from smaller vehicles
I am trying to get something done and not getting very far. I am a truck driver who is concerned about safety. I've been driving for about 21/2 years and I notice that the public does not understand the seriousness of trucks on the highway, especially if they have a load. I get cut off all day long and when I leave a cushion between my vehicle and the one in front, someone's always trying to squeeze in. Sometimes someone will stay right in the blind spot for awhile and not realize that the truck driver can't see them. You have uneducated drivers who put their blinker on, thinking that you can see them, and they just turn into you.
I see commercials on TV about safety at construction sites (tie up) and on highways (buckle up, don't drink and drive, pedestrian crossing).
I want to know what steps can I take to make a commercial about educating the public about the seriousness of trying to beat a truck just to be in front, then make a sudden stop, or not letting a truck in their lane because they just don't want to follow it, and other situations truck drivers encounter.
Does the government give grants for things like this? It would be very satisfying to see a commercial addressing this problem. I really do hate to see some serious or even fatal accident due to uneducated drivers. And how about adding some of the safety cautions to our driving tests?
UH coach shouldn't make so much money
I cannot find an adjective to describe how I felt when I read that the new University of Hawaii football coach was going to be the highest-paid state employee at $1.1 million. Sadly, this is the ever-growing trend where the football coaches are the highest-paid employees and it is only to play a game. This is especially sad in states where the average income is so low and affordable housing does not exist.
The coach will leave and they will pay the next one even more. Perhaps the coach should be the governor?
For some residents, the din never ends
In his Jan. 29 letter to the editor, Dennis Fitzgerald writes about the sounds of back up signaling devices from construction trucks at the corner of Kalakaua Avenue and Ala Wai Boulevard "welcoming us to another full day of total insanity."
Mr. Fitzgerald, count your blessings! Someday the construction will be finished and you will have your peace. We live behind a major Waikiki hotel on Koa Avenue and have to endure the beeping sounds from luggage transfer trucks, laundry pick-up and other deliveries at all hours of the night, be it 2, 3 or 5 a.m. We have complained to our legislator, the health department and the police and attended meetings of our neighborhood board. Nothing has brought any results.
To my complete surprise, not even the hotel's general manager shows any concern, although the total insanity must have an effect on his own hotel guests and on the overall well being of Hawaii's economy.