Try a lifestyle change before getting surgery
"A routine checkup earlier this month led doctors to recommend heart surgery" for Kauai Mayor Bryan Baptiste, according to yesterday's Star-Bulletin.
How do so many people without symptoms willingly lie down for heart and other surgeries when perhaps personal habits and a lifestyle change would have served our mayor, his family, his constituents and our island of Kauai much better?
There is a new breed of physicians, both medical and alternative, who would have tackled the mayor's "silent" health problem in a manner actually geared to improving his health instead of a risky quick-fix surgery ... when the mayor had nothing actually broken until after medical intervention.
To perpetuate my own longevity I will do what the mayor didn't. I'll continue more diligently to use the hike/bike path the mayor persevered so much to give us.
God bless the mayor's family and Kauai.
Move elsewhere if you don't want to commute
I signed a "no rail" petition Sunday at Hardware Hawaii in Kailua. At first, I ignored the people who were presenting the petition. As I was leaving, it hit me: We're all going to pay for this with our taxes, but very few on the Windward side and elsewhere are going to use it. That's not right. I should not have to subsidize those who choose to live in Ewa Beach and the Leeward side and work downtown.
I have been mostly unemployed for the past six months; there are plenty of jobs available downtown, Mapunapuna and Campbell, but I am unwilling to move. Therefore, I am seeking the right job on the Windward side to avoid the driving, traffic and parking nightmare and I will sacrifice the lost income to do so.
Either find a job close to home or move closer to your job. Everyone will pay for an extremely costly project that will benefit relatively few.
Maui should not allow burning of cane fields
In Seattle, beach bonfires might be banned because they fuel global warming.
Maui continues to allow the burn of thousands of acres of PVC-laced sugarcane fields. PVC irrigation pipes also burn and contribute to the tremendous toxic smoke when cane is burned. This toxic smoke is making our children sick. It is poisoning all of us in its brutal path. Why is the sugarcane company still allowed to burn cane?
Elsewhere on this planet sugarcane is successfully harvested without burning. Corporate greed finds profits more important than our health, and the health of our planet.
Please, stop the cane burning. It is poisoning us.
And, while we're at it, why are we burning coal with all the wind and solar energy available?
Recently a lifeguard at Kam I showed me the layers of black "Maui snow," the ashes from the burned cane and the burned PVC pipes. This ash also falls in the ocean. Cane burning is poisoning our environment. And our lungs.
We must stop this toxic practice.
Hawaiian enhances students' experience
Ron Kienitz's June 17 letter
attacking high school Hawaiian language teaching was filled with misinformation.
Kienitz claims the women leading the effort to teach Hawaiian were "mainly local haole women." No. Although they established the Hawaiian language movement's openness to participation by all races, Mary K. Pukui, Dorothy Kahananui and Edith Kanakaole were themselves Hawaiian.
Kienitz says Hawaiian is "dead." Leading linguist Leanne Hinton of UC Berkeley cites Hawaiian as America's most outstanding example of indigenous language revitalization.
Kienitz says Hawaiian language study is a disservice to Hawaii's children. The data from Hawaiian immersion show its students academically outperforming their peers.
Expanded high school Hawaiian language teaching would connect other students to immersion's success and strengthening Hawaii's unique identity. While Kienitz might not recognize the importance of that identity to economic success, the Hawaii Tourism Authority's Kukulu Ola Program certainly does.
Finally, Kienitz's position that study of Hawaiian precludes study of other languages is wrong. To learn how immersion schools are teaching additional languages including French, Japanese and Latin see www.ahapunanaleo.org/olelohawaii/news/articles/HuliliVol3_Wilson.pdf
William H. Wilson
Professor, Hawaiian studies
University of Hawaii-Hilo
Available bus maps would boost ridership
I applaud your call to use TheBus ("Our opinion," June 22).
One problem is that those of us from the neighbor islands, let alone tourists, have no maps to show where the buses go.
I was even willing to buy TheBus' book, except this shows only single-route maps, with some attempt to list landmarks. However, if one is at one place and wants to go to another, a true map is needed. On my last trip, I depended on the kindness of bus drivers to tell me if their bus went where I needed to go.
Most other cities find no difficulty in printing city maps with all their routes superimposed on them. These should be given out free at the airport, hotels and on buses. I'll bet ridership would increase significantly.
Mark A. Koppel