Don't allow purity of taro to be tainted
Cultures in decline historically destroy their sacred icons. Everywhere we are witnessing the demise of our democratic fabric and now one of the essences of Hawaiian life is under siege. If taro is not sacred to Hawaii, then indeed, nothing is. Genetic modification of taro is fraught with pitfalls and serves no useful purpose other than to line the pockets of the GMO industry.
Please do not allow the elemental plant of the Hawaiian culture to become tainted by greed. The purity of Hawaii is under a attack from so many sources. The Legislature has the power to maintain at least this symbolic and useful plant. It is time to stand up and be counted for Hawaii. Keep taro pure. Mahalo.
David H. Dinner
Grave sites should be treated with respect
I had an occasion to visit the Veteran's Memorial Cemetery in Windward Oahu recently and I was a bit disappointed. So many of the grave sites have been modified by family members of the deceased that some areas of the cemetery have an uneven, jumbled, patchwork look. One need only to compare this to Punchbowl Cemetery to immediately see the difference.
In the "80s area" there were more than a half-dozen grave sites that had been trenched around the marker and different grass planted that rose several inches above the surrounding area. Balloons and windmills fluttered in the breeze. I understand the desire to make a grave site special and part of a personal memorial. But the end result is a ratty, jumbled look, which detracts from the quiet dignity all our veterans should be afforded.
Also, several people were using the roads as a jogging track. There must be a better place to get one's exercise.
This is a touchy subject and I realize some people who have family members buried there would not be happy with the rules enforced. But they must be -- for all our heroes who rest there.
We can't afford mayor or his costly ideas
The March 2 guest column by Michael Schneider, partner and co-founder of Intra Consult, a Hawaii-based transportation management firm, was a biased attempt to justify Mayor Mufi Hannemann's elevated steel-on-steel fixed rail system that will eventually exceed $11 billion to complete. Unlike the defense freeway (H-3), where 90 percent of the construction cost of $1.3 billion, plus 100 percent of the ongoing maintenance, repairs and operation cost was paid and continues to be paid for by the federal government, it is likely that the entire fixed rail system will have to be paid by our citizens. We would be lucky even to receive 10 percent from the federal government.
Our elected politicians should first institute several other methods to improve traffic flow and reduce the number of vehicles on our roadways, before starting on a costly fixed rail system.
With our small number of taxpayers, we can't afford this mayor and his special interest supporters. Because of his large campaign war chest for re-election, he should be recalled and removed from office. It will then be less costly for others to run for the office of mayor.
Wilbert W. W. Wong Sr.
Voters already ruled on judges' retirement age
The Senate passed a bill to override the voters' wishes in Hawaii by extending the mandatory retirement age for judges (Star-Bulletin, March 5
). This legislation does not pass the smell test. This is a simple power grab to prevent the current governor from exercising the power to appoint new judges.
Voters rejected that constitutional amendment in 2006. Legislators are saying to the voters, "Your votes do not count." The House should reject this bill.
The people voted, and they did not want the judges' age of retirement extended. The voters will remember this in 2008.
CFL bulbs could cause more light pollution
The use of CFLs is being encouraged, and might even be mandated by barring the sale of incandescent bulbs.
Is any thought given to the fact that fluorescent bulbs are not recommended for intermittent use, such as in motion-detector security lights? In this usage, they use more current and burn out rapidly, and they and their mercury will have to be disposed of. If they are left on continuously, they will last longer. So, security lights will be burning all night, adding to Honolulu's severe light pollution and negating any saving of electricity.
And if we all switch to CFLs, I doubt if the saving of electricity would equal the waste of the Manoa field lights burning for five hours a day, rain or not, players present or not. They cast so much glare we practically don't need CFLs -- there's plenty of light without them!
Do party elders want voters to stay home?
Hawaii's Obama-Clinton caucus drew a record attendance, something like seven times the turnout anyone expected. For a state with notoriously low voter turnout, it was nothing short of astounding. The Democratic Party signed up hundreds if not thousands of new members and many new voters.
I find it interesting that the Democratic power players would deal with the choice made by their constituency in the way they did. It would seem there was no real reason so bother spending several hours to let it be known your choice was whatever it was, because at best it would be negated by the "superdelegates." I guess voter turnout and actual democracy is not a priority for the party as it is run now. Party power and control by senior members is as it always has been.
The obvious reading of this situation is that low voter participation is in the best interest of the Democratic Party. There really is no other way to read this situation. I guess they could be clearer if they just told people not to bother, but the message could not be more apparent.
DEA should just leave the pot smokers alone
As concerns the legal case about the religious use of marijuana in Cumberland County, Pa. (Star-Bulletin, March 5), I hope that Robert George Henry, who says he is a member of the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry, does not go to jail for his so-called offense. I do not know many people in life who cherish the days they are feeling poorly. If some of the people in the government had their way, we would all lead Spartan lives, ready to serve our commander in chief at a moment's notice. The government has so many rules in each law library that 99 percent of the government employees do not even know what all the rules are.
Once again, Drug Enforcement Administration, exactly what does marijuana do to people that it should be a Schedule One drug? I have asked the DEA questions like this before, but none of the answers were credible.