to the Editor

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Thursday, October 18, 2001

Koa Ridge project will cause many problems

An eloquent, poignant article in the October-December issue of the Sierra Club newsletter explains why the Castle & Cooke development project, Koa Ridge, should not be allowed. It is written by Sierra Club's Randy Ching who asks us to think about how this development could effect the state and everyone who lives here.

Ching presents concerns about "traffic, jeopardizing groundwater sources, disappearing open space, loss of prime agricultural lands and just poor planning."

About Oahu's four-year drought and depleting aquifers, he states, "does it make sense to withdraw ever more water from our groundwater aquifers?" On disappearing open space. he writes, "How soon will it be before a drive to Oahu's North Shore resembles a drive through Orange County, California?"

Most detrimental is the loss of prime agricultural lands, both as aquifer recharge. "Are we simply going to cultivate rows and rows of housing where productive agriculture once was?" he asks. Ultimately, it is poor planning, or, as Ching states, an "antithesis" to good planning.

The present economic crisis with its heavy dependence on tourism and the very real changing of the world's climate demands that we be wiser.

Lisa Mitchell

Is Islam against the United States?

The Oct. 6 edition of the Star-Bulletin showed a picture of the interior of a mosque in Gaza City where was a banner was displayed reading, "Suicide bombers are the only hope in the eyes of the Arab nation."

Does this banners and other such inflammatory symbols indicate the opposite of what we are being told about the Arab Muslim attitude toward Western nations? What is being preached in the mosques if such banners are so prominently displayed? What is the status in the Muslim sects such as the Nation of Islam that preach bigotry and hate and whose leaders and members are welcomed and supported by Muslim countries?

President Bush and other government officials repeatedly state "we are not against Islam." It is true that Americans, living as we do in freedom, are probably the most tolerant people in the world. Therefore, the critical question: Is Islam against the United States and those countries predominantly non-Islamic?

Is this what Israeli Prime Minister Sharon meant when he warned Bush about appeasing the Arabs now and paying for it dearly in the future? We didn't listen well in the past when we were warned that terrorism would come to our shores.

Robert W. Levy


"It was like the flu, but 50 times worse."

J. Kalani English

State senator from Maui, describing how he felt in the throes of dengue fever. He is now proposing that the state appropriate funds to hire a corps of temporary workers to eradicate mosquito-breeding grounds around the islands.

"The safety net of agencies that helps people in times of crisis is definitely being challenged."

Gary Slovin

Chairman of the Aloha United Way's fund-raising campaign, on the drop in charitable giving to local agencies since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

Our civil liberties must be protected

After the Sept. 11 attack, the Bush administration sought extensive changes in the laws about wire tapping, surveillance cameras, searches, immigration and detentions. What is disturbing is the way the administration hoped to enact these laws quickly with little regard for civil liberties.

A bipartisan Congress was almost unanimous in supporting the president's immediate response to this act of terrorism. However, this effort could have a profound impact on much of our civil and human rights if we allow such reactionary, piece-meal legislation to be enacted without the necessary due process or forethought.

The American dream of many immigrants to our country may be shattered if indefinite detention of based solely on their color, looks or origins. Here in Hawaii, many of us remember full well when World War II began and martial law was imposed. Also, many of our outstanding citizens of Japanese ancestry were shipped to detention centers on the mainland while others suffered tremendous economic losses. The civil liberties that many of our citizens were accustomed to were denied.

The Democratic Party of Hawaii is in accord with the Bush administration and with the bipartisan efforts of Congress to enact legislation to insure that terrorism in America will not be tolerated and that the public's safety is perpetuated through careful and deliberate processes. In this effort, Hawaii's Democrats are scheduling a human rights caucus meeting at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 20 at the campaign headquarters of Rep. Neil Abercrombie, 1517 Kapiolani Blvd.

Walter Tonai

Let Hawaii military park free at Hale Koa

Parking for members of the military at Hale Koa facilities should be free if a valid base pass is displayed. Visiting military who rent a car should be allowed to pay a reduced rate by showing a valid I.D. card.

Instead, rates should be raised for non-authorized users to levels comparable to nearby parking facilities.

God bless America and the military.

Ed Dunbar

Accident lawsuits are always about money

Congratulations, Star-Bulletin. I stand applauding your editorial (Oct. 15) about how people assume risks when they take to the outdoors.

Your point applies to many things that happen around the islands and America. It is sad for the families of the victims of the Sacred Falls accident. They have suffered. However, why must these matters always end up in court and, more importantly, why does it always involve money?

No one ever sues to correct a problem or offers a solution. It is always about money and "the other person's fault."

Jimmy Gomes
Las Vegas, Nev.
(Former Hawaii resident)

People prefer safety, space in a vehicle

Regarding the Star-Bulletin's Oct. 9 editorial concerning automobile gasoline mileage: If people want 90 mpg econo-box coffins that they can be buried in if in an accident, then the car makers will gladly keep up with the demand.

People prefer safety and room over good gasoline mileage. My full-size Chevy truck gets 24 mpg in the city, which is more than my Toyota Corolla got and is much safer. This is not Fantasy Island.

Douglas Fessler

Letter guidelines

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.

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