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POSTED: Saturday, October 03, 2009

Seal killer got slap on the wrist

All laws and regulations protecting endangered species in the Hawaiian Islands are meaningless if people are allowed to kill with no penalty.

Charles Vidinha of Kauai said he shot four times at the monk seal to scare it away and accidentally hit it twice. Bystanders said one shot was to the seal's head. Vidinha didn't want to compete with the seal for fish. This action is disgusting and inexcusable.

There should be some explanation as to the extremely lenient sentence of 90 days and no fine.

Killing an endangered species is a federal offense that could be punishable by up to a year in jail and a $50,000 fine. Plea-bargaining a guilty plea should not be a slap on the wrist. This sends the wrong message to the next person who wants to injure or kill another monk seal or green sea turtle.

Vicky Walker

Ala Moana

 

               

     

 

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Rename Natatorium the Peace Memorial

Hooray for Ehren Watada, the man who bravely took a stand against war. I know of one national organization that uses the slogan “;War is not the answer,”; but very few individuals have put the idea ahead of personal life pursuits.

Now consider our war memorial. It was meant to honor World War I soldiers who gave their lives. Consider this from the Hawaiian Journal of History, Vol. 32, 1998, “;Hawaii's War Veterans and Battle Deaths by Robert C. Schmitt'': Actual battle deaths of persons in the U.S. armed forces whose pre-service residence was Hawaii numbered six.

What is so special about an arch to nowhere? Is it possible to have it taken off the historic register? If the arch is going to stay, get moved and rebuilt at a cost of $15.1 million dollars, please consider the suggestion of a wise man: Call it a peace memorial.

Sylvia Mitchell

Honolulu

 

Plastic bags are useful and help save trees

Now the Kauai contrarians and so-called environmentalists are pushing for a plastic bag ban on our island.

Plastic bags can be used time and time again. I re-use supermarket plastic bags for garbage bags, storing leftovers, harvesting fruits and vegetables and carrying things on my bicycle, since the bags have handles.

The need is not in banning plastic bags, but educating the public on the many uses for them.

Another irony is a few health food stores have stopped using plastic bags but will bag your groceries with paper bags; remember, you need to cut down trees to make paper bags.

Banning plastic bags will be costly and a headache we cannot afford.

James “;Kimo”; Rosen

Kapaa, Kauai

 

Cut Ted Liu's staff instead of Film Office

Mr. Ted Liu's letters are interesting in regards to the Film Office cuts, but he avoids the elephant in the room.

Why is he cutting employees to save about $300,000 when they bring millions of dollars into the state? Common sense should tell him that the success of the office depends on the expertise and the contacts of the workers. Neither of these things are developed quickly. Perhaps he has no real concept of the work done there.

He said he plans on doling out the duties to other people in his department, in addition to their other duties. Why does he think this will work? These overburdened workers will not have the time or energy to develop the contacts and expertise necessary for success. By the time they become efficient, if ever, the state will have lost millions of dollars.

Perhaps he should give the film workers the extra duties of the employees to whom he plans to give the film office work, and let his four staffers go.

J. Williams

Mililani

 

Bike lanes could cut traffic and save lives

Caught in the mass of Century Ride bicyclists as I drove onto Kamehameha Highway Sunday, I couldn't help but think how vital and dedicated they all looked, and how sad it is that they and most cyclists on Oahu have to ride in constant fear of being hit by motorists.

How ironic it is that Honolulu, a city that boasts the best possible weather for cycling during the entire year, has done so little to create dedicated bike lanes to make such cycling safer.

Relatively small investments in bike lanes could do more than mass transit to reduce traffic and greenhouse gases, and do more to reduce obesity, increase fitness and extend life spans than all of the multibillion-dollar diet and weight-loss programs combined.

Bike lanes also could protect people like John Henderson (”;Bicyclist keeps spirit high after paralyzing accident,”; Star-Bulletin, Sept. 27), paralyzed last May when he was hit by a tour bus, or save lives like that of dear friend Carl Viti, killed while cycling on Kamehameha Highway in 1996.

It seems so obvious, but even the obvious takes hard work from many citizens. Let's get started.

Walter Wright

Kaneohe