Leaf blowers bad for the environment
I object to the use of leaf blowers by gardeners who are supposed to be helping the Earth. The more aware approach would be to go back to the old-fashioned broom or rake. A leaf blower is the most unnecessary tool of the modern gardener and the one that is the most irritating to the neighbor wishing for peace and quiet and fresh air.
It seems that the gardeners who use leaf blowers charge the most, as they seem to equate high quality work with this overrated tool that they value as impressive. They use their gas machines to weed whack, mow the lawn and prune trees, which is all fine, but when it comes down to the debris left, why can't they use a rake or broom? The noisiest tools they use are the leaf blowers, and one of the other problems is the air pollution they cause.
Another step gardeners can take is to change the oil in their lawn equipment frequently so neighbors don't have to close their windows and doors when these leaf-blowing gardeners are performing their task. I say use the rake instead!
Time might be ripe to update a trademark
Having been experienced with many of America's most famous trademarks and slogans, I think its time for the Star-Bulletin to have one of its own.
This is my suggestion: "Part of Hawaii" - and under that, Honolulu Star-Bulletin (founding date).
If you like it, I will visit your office with a bottle of Grapes (of Rath) for the christening.
Your publication is part of our history, as true kamaaina will attest.
J. Arthur Rath
Elderly will benefit from a rail system
I have just relocated to Oahu and I am puzzled by those who are against the rail system. I have had the opportunity to take TheBus and on a long, one-hour trip to Hickam AFB from Ala Moana, I gladly gave up my seat two different times for elderly people, while viewing other riders solidly glued to their seats. Shame on them.
Nonsupporters of rail are short-sighted in thinking about the here and now and are forgetting about the older population. This is an added bonus of a rail system and it is much better to provide fast, more readily available transportation for this demographic.
We plan for our vacation, we plan for our retirement, isn't it also good to plan for our ability to travel for the necessary trips to purchase food, doctor's appointments and so on? One day we will all be old, so isn't it a good choice to plan for our future now?
Will rail get noisier as the system ages?
David Mauricio's letter (Star-Bulletin, July 23)
regarding rail vibrations provides a segue to another point. In any system, forces will be transmitted back to the supporting structure; however, the energy of steel on steel (SoS) vibrations will also be dissipated as noise. It is this issue that especially concerns me.
For six years in the 1970s, I lived two blocks from an elevated SoS system in New York City. The noise was very noticeable even at this distance. On the street over which the elevated rails coursed, property was practically condemned. A neighborhood that was originally thriving small businesses at street level with owners and their families residing in the upper stories of the buildings, was reduced to marginal businesses with only those who could afford nothing else living above.
It might be true that modern SoS systems are much improved over that of my experience. However, what happens as the system ages? And maintenance is deferred as it has been with the water and sewer systems, roadways and university buildings? How will the system be anything but noisy? I am ready to be convinced but have seen no rational argument from the city. Magnetic levitation needs to be given a fair examination.
Teen drinking a worse problem than smoking
I would like to thank Corky Trinidad for his great "Corky's Hawaii" cartoon on July 22
, showing what seems to be a government law enforcement person and a policeman relieved to find beer in a little kid's grocery bag, since they were only interested in checking for cigarettes sold to minors. Since I came to the U.S. almost 10 years ago, I have failed to understand why both the government and the media tackle the ban on teenage smoking with so much aggressiveness, which I totally support, but at the same time don't treat alcohol consumption with the same aggressiveness.
Alcohol consumption by adults and minors especially is a more serious problem than smoking. How many people die every day by drunk drivers? How many women and children are victims of domestic violence and abuse that happened under the influence of alcohol? How many people die every year due to health complications caused by alcohol consumption?
I hate to suggest that our government is not giving the same treatment to alcohol because the major market for American alcohol production is domestic while the international market makes the majority of the cigarette market. Prove me wrong and apply more aggressive rules to drinking than smoking, save the kids.