Something funny must be in the water
What are they putting in the drinking water in Maui? It obviously isn't fluoride. In Saturday's letters to the editor, one writer makes the totally unsubstantiated claim that fluoride is a toxic waste -- despite the rest of the nation having used it successfully and harmlessly for decades -- and another Maui writer states that "Obama is the closest to Plato's ideal of the 'Philosopher King'" he has ever seen. Does this latter writer realize that Plato insisted his "Philosopher King" rule as an absolute monarch? Plato was vehemently opposed to democracy; he did not trust the common man to make political decisions.
If this Maui resident does not trust himself to decide how to live his own life, would he please simply not vote and let the rest of us make the decisions?
Life imitates art for fluoride opponents
Hard to tell which is more hilarious the Star-Bulletin bravely resisting surrender to a "resilient band of chemophobes" ("Our Opinion," Feb. 27
) or an equally outraged Maui contributor (Letters, March 1
) afraid of water contaminated with "toxic waste."
A case of life imitating art? Hmmmmm.
In the early sixties a very dark Cold War comedy out of England -- featuring the brilliant Peter Sellers in all three starring roles -- created simultaneous outbreaks of nervous laughter and chicken skin. A lunatic SAC wing commander at Burpleson Air Force Base (General Jack Ripper, played to malevolent perfection by Sterling Hayden) takes it upon himself to authorize a retaliatory 1,400-megaton B-52 strike on targets deep in the Soviet Union. And why? Seems the ever-vigilant Ripper had detected a Commie plot behind the fluoridation of water that would ruin ice cream ... and his precious bodily fluids.
One cannot help wondering if there's maybe a whole cast of such retro film folk cryogenically preserved in iced coffins, hidden away in deep nooks and crannies on Maui -- 21st-century equivalents of Colonel Bat Guano, General Buck Turgidson, Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers), Premier Kissoff, President Merkin Muffley (Sellers again) and of course the leering, wheelchair-bound NSC adviser Doctor Strangelove himself (also Sellers) -- prime time players all, ready to thaw out, lurch back onto the world stage and terrify the credulous.
What the heck ARE they drinking over there on Maui, anyway? Some kind of global warming cocktail?
Thomas E. Stuart
Aunty Genoa brought more joy to Christmas
As I listened this morning to her timeless recordings of "Alika," "Papalina Lahilahi" and "Mele Kalikimaka," I felt great sadness for the passing last week of Aunty Genoa Keawe. I've never met her, though I did see her perform once at the Kaahumanu Center on Maui. Yet I feel I've known her all my life.
When I was in kindergarten, at Christmas our teacher played her recording of "Mele Kalikimaka" and I went home and bugged my parents to buy me the record. I still have it to this day, with its yellow 49th State Hawaii Record Co. label with the hula dancer, and a caption that reads "Merry Christmas greetings from Hawaii, land of year round sunshine."
Maybe that caption as well is a reflection of who Genoa Keawe was, and what she meant to Hawaii. We had her for so long that we thought she was ours, and yet throughout her life this gracious woman also served as an ambassador to the world, representing all that is good about Hawaii.
A few years ago as Christmas approached, I was in a department store in Seattle when the background music started playing Genoa Keawe's "Mele Kalikimaka." At the time I thought it odd that they would be playing Hawaiian music along with "regular" Christmas songs by Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Karen Carpenter and all the other great names we know so well. I no longer think it's odd at all. Aloha Aunty.
Formerly of Hawaii
Build entire rail line now, limit stations
The idea behind building a mass transit line is to relieve freeway gridlock. However, despite the need, the city is proposing to build only part of the planned line because it wants to include 19 expensive stations (13 more than is needed) along a "first" segment that ends at Ala Moana Center.
To get any measurable relief on the freeway requires that the entire 30 miles of track be built NOW running through Waikiki and up to the University of Hawaii so that 20,000 Waikiki commuting workers and 20,000-plus university people can use it starting day one.
After the cost of the entire track is subtracted, build only the amount of "must have" stations as the remaining budget will allow, perhaps only seven or eight initially. New TheBus lines radiating out from the stations would conveniently service areas between stations using buses already in the city's inventory.
The result of this "entire line" proposal would be real relief on the freeway -- not 25 more years of gridlock as the city's proposed "first segment to nowhere" would produce.
Honolulu leaders embrace the noise
For all you readers complaining about how loud and intrusive the choice of steel wheels on steel rail is for the Honolulu's fixed guideway system, here's a news flash for you. The city doesn't care!
Starting with the Harris administration, it seemed the city began to encourage deafening noises of all types to aggravate and disrupt its citizen's lives. Starting with the open proliferation of intolerable mopeds and Harleys, to the incessant weed whackers and overblown truck backup alarms. And despite a whole ocean to fly over both commercial and military aircraft continually fly over urban Oahu.
Of course we could pursue laws, like many other cities have, against loud mufflers, stereos, roosters and gas-powered lawn equipment but that would be too progressive. We wouldn't think of asking our elected state and city officials to form laws that would actually benefit their constituents.
Steel on steel rail? Just another brick in the wall.