Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Saturday, September 05, 2009

U.S. troops need better protection

During the last Afghan war, the Soviets clearly demonstrated air superiority only to eventually be defeated by a few good men and the smart weapon of that era, the Stinger missile.

Today, war is fought on a different level. Casualties are from roadside bombs, suicide bombers and firefights, usually in ambush. What troops need are better armored personnel carriers and better personal intuition, which develops with intensive training and experience. Instinctive intelligence is the ultimate smart weapon.

F-22 or no F-22, America will always dominate in the competition for air/space superiority. Economics can be worked out; the lives of family, friends and fellow Americans cannot be replaced.

Donnie Ho



Homeless are breaking the law

I would like to respond to city Parks Director Lester Chang (”;Being homeless a situation, not a crime,”; Star-Bulletin, Letters, Aug. 30), phone calls I've received as well as e-mails and online responses. For reasons I'm not going to get into now, in 2006 I had no home, I had no money, I had no family and I didn't choose to sleep on the concrete in a park. This year and last, I am housing five children who have no one but me to support them. It isn't easy. I've served on my neighborhood boards for four of the last nine years. When I see the homeless, every single time I say to myself, “;There but for the grace of God go I.”;

“;HOGWASH”; to you, Mr. Chang. Statutes are being broken 24/7 by homeless surrounding Crane Park and you well know it. The homeless have built structures in Crane Park and if there was political pressure similar to that of Kapiolani Park put on you, this matter would've been dealt with long ago.

I have tremendous compassion for the homeless as demonstrated in how I voted on the neighborhood board; I have little patience in how you deal with the problem.

Request of these people that, if they cannot find lawful shelter, you will assist them in placing them in one of Oahu's many homeless shelters where they will be fed and safe. If these are full you need to build more.

The $200 million already spent on rail would've covered this simple solution easily. Where is your compassion?

Jim Cone



Hawaii drivers signal intentions

Really, both of the letters about the use of turn signals were uninformed (”;Turn-signal use least of worries,”; Star-Bulletin, Letters, Aug. 28; and “;Turn-signal use lacking,”; Star-Bulletin, Letters, Aug. 24).

We live in Hawaii; we do things our own unique way. Hawaii drivers signal for a turn with a wide swerve in the opposite direction of the turn. If we are going to turn right, for instance, we swerve over to the left before making the turn. The wider the swerve (even quite far into the adjoining lane), the better.

Some drivers, though, who apparently haven't yet mastered the art of the swerve, do use their turn signals, but again in a unique way. They turn the signal on about halfway into the turn. And since, as letter writer Rick Romer reminded us, turn signals increase our electric bills, we must respect these drivers for not being so profligate as to signal in advance of their turns.

Karen Gates

Ewa Villages


Unite to demand health reform

Without health care reform we will be leaving more Americans behind without health care. This is a national tragedy that each year over 1.7 million hard-working Americans lose their health insurance. Costs continue to rise and wages remain stagnant. We need our government to look out for the little guy; without someone to look out for the average citizen the powerful ruling health care companies will continue to suck out money with increased premiums and not deliver when it is time to honor the policies of those who are sick. True leadership is helping those less fortunate and not taking advantage of them, which is what has been happening for too long.

Let's unite and say “;enough”; — but our voices must be heard and we must demand that our elected representatives represent the interests of their constituents and not the special interests.

Josue Cevallos



Big Isle's roads beat Oahu's

We just returned from a four-day trip on the Big Island.

We drove nearly 600 miles on the highways and byways, and even the dirt roads there are smoother than the main roads of Oahu.

It goes to show that some counties can do it right, just not Honolulu.

Robert Malandra



Kaneohe base chief objects to war photo

I opened your Sept. 4 issue and was shocked and disappointed to see such a graphic photo of one of our Marines fallen in combat, the “;19th death of August”; in Afghanistan, displayed so prominently on your pages. This sensationalistic image was published against the wishes of the Marine's family and showed poor judgment.

I had believed our local island newspapers to be more understanding of military families' sensitivities, especially given the terrific support normally shown to the military community here.

I appreciate the role of the media and the need to keep the American public informed about the actions of our military. While I expect media representatives to report the truth, I also expect at least a modicum of respect for the dignity of our falIen Marines and sailors, as well as sensitivity to the anguish felt by their families.

My disappointment in your lack of discretion has overshadowed my gratitude for your previous, balanced coverage of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and the successes and sacrifices of our service members and their families.

Effective immediately, please cancel my personal subscription to your newspaper.

Col. R.D. Rice

Commanding officer, Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe





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