Letters to the editor


POSTED: Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Think before any 'take-aways'

Many thanks for the column “;Government workers don't deserve derision”; (Cynthia Oi's “;Under the Sun,”; Star-Bulletin, May 17). There is more that needs to be said.

1) Think of the buying power of 73,000 civil service workers. Cut benefits and pay. Watch local business take another drop.

2) Job cuts do not bleed. How do you know the true end result? I have been in public library service for over 30 years, and I've seen library service to children and teens helped once and hammered more than twice. Important? You bet.

3) For many years, civil service pay in Hawaii lagged behind comparable city systems on the mainland. Now, thanks to unions, the salary is enough to live on and to manage the rent. It is enough to attract educated, dependable workers. Before any “;take-aways,”; think about Nos. 1 and 2.

Sylvia Mitchell

Liliha Public Library, Honolulu

'Green' isn't always the best way to go

It was recently reported that the hybrid buses have failed to live up to their touted environmental and economical savings. This is just the latest in the series of how some have pushed the “;Go Green”; agenda without looking at both the advantages and the disadvantages.

We're often so enamored with the idea of “;going green”; that we overlook the practical aspects of doing so. Ecology groups pushed to do away with paper bags to save the trees, and we ended up with plastic bags that have become the biggest pollutant and danger to our local environment. Groups are pushing for replacing our incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), but you rarely hear any information about the hazards, to both health and the environment, that CFLs bring.

Now the plan is to mandate higher miles per gallon for our cars and more hybrids. This will lead to less gas bought, fewer taxes paid and thus a lack of funding for infrastructure upkeep and repairs. This leads to just having to pay more taxes to make up the difference, offsetting any preconceived gains.

Let's start doing a hard analysis of “;green”; initiatives before we actually spend money on them.

Gary Stark


Classic languages deserve to be saved

It is unconscionable that the UH-Manoa administration is considering to eliminate the bachelor's degree in classics, the study of ancient Greek and Latin languages and literature.

Latin is the foundation of the Western legal system. England and the U.S. retain their “;common law,”; based on Latin law. Latin language and literature form legal thinking for judges and lawyers. Legal terms have Latin concepts, which we would ignore at our peril in a courtroom, like subpoena, habeas corpus, nolo contendere, affidavit, etc. Latin words are also used in the biological and natural sciences.

Greek is the language of medicine. It is crucial that doctors and nurses grasp in a medical emergency and in an operating room the meaning of asphyxia, ischemia, pneumohemopericardium, cephalhematocele, etc., and know what to do about them.

Classic studies are fundamental to all the humanities and the social and natural sciences. UH-Manoa should continue to offer Greek and Sanskrit to remain a great place of East-West comparative studies.

Luciano Minerbi

Professor, University of Hawaii

Health officials should to do more about H1N1

I agree with Sen. Mike Gabbard's commentary (”;On Guard?”; Star-Bulletin, May 20) in pressing the Department of Health to do more to keep H1N1 from getting out of control.

It doesn't make sense that our health leaders are taking such a nonchalant approach to this illness. While the virus hasn't been extremely lethal up to this point, anything could happen with the disease in the near future. As we know, the 1918 flu pandemic started out mild as well.

Let's hope that our health officials will do more than just tell us to “;wash our hands”; because this thing could very quickly get out of hand.

Ed Summers


Peacocks were already in the Makaha Valley

In all the hue and cry by a few Makaha Valley residents about the noisy peacocks which inhabit their living area, one detail is often conveniently ignored: The peacocks were there first. The peacocks were there when the resort was built, and were already there when current residents purchased their homes.

I would guess that they found the peacocks charming and beautiful, an asset, when considering initial purchase. It seems that once in, some of them are trying to modify the deal to suit personal tastes.

To the complaining area residents I would suggest the birds were there long before you were. Accept them, or move.

Blaine Fergerstrom

Foster Village




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