Letters to the Editor

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Films help Americans understand cultures

I have enjoyed many fine foreign films at the Doris Duke Theatre. Management is to be commended for providing in this new year movies that feature Islamic, Arabic and Persian themes (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 1).

Of course, the best way to dispel prejudice is to travel to areas of the world where people of these faiths live, get off the tour bus and mingle. It benefits the well-being and harmony of the American people to educate themselves about a religion or ethnic group other than their own. Viewing these films is one way.

Pat Blair

Education act aids military recruiters

What a surprise to learn the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 includes a requirement that public schools provide to military recruiters, upon their request, information on secondary students (grades 6-12). I learned of this when my preteen son received a flier over the winter recess. The Department of Education is required to release names, addresses and telephone numbers of students in public schools to military recruiters as early as sixth grade.

A parent must "opt out" each year if they don't want their child's name listed in the military recruiters' directory.

My father fought against an oppressive regime on June 6, 1944, landing with in the first wave on Utah Beach. He didn't fight for a country that would recruit sixth-graders for the military. The No Child Left Behind Act should appropriately be renamed the No Child Left Behind To Go To War Act.

Peggy McArdle
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Kahoolawe appointee has cultural vision

Sol Kaho'ohalahala is the ideal appointment as the new executive director for the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission. Kudos to Emmett Aluli and the other KIRC directors for appointing him.

During all his public service, Sol has steadfastly and quietly maintained his approach to problem solving through Hawaiian cultural values. That approach, if supported by the Legislature, can make Kahoolawe the exception to the nonsustainable path taken by Oahu and Maui. On Maui, the gap between haves and have-nots grows wider and wider, while our dependence on imports for food and fuel increases every year.

On Kahoolawe, that doesn't have to happen. Sol's vision for a sustainable island society based on Hawaiian values will be of great importance in the next 10 years.

Sally Raisbeck
Wailuku, Maui

Honolulu is too dense for fireworks

Fireworks are a part of some people's tradition and culture in Hawaii, but don't be fooled into thinking it is everyone's tradition. Does it seem rational to pollute the air, dirty the aina, break noise ordinances, cause fires, terrify pets, close down neighborhood streets, and risk injury or death for everyone in the name of a tradition that only some observe?

People have a right to their traditions, but not when they violate others' basic right to breathe and sleep. The tradition of fireworks can be celebrated through public displays, but should not be allowed in Honolulu's dense neighborhoods.

Honolulu is not unique in that some people enjoy fireworks. However, that has not stopped other states and counties from realizing that in the 21st century, launching fireworks from the "back porch" is no longer acceptable.

Ban commercial sale of fireworks so everyone can enjoy New Year's Eve!

Charissa Raynor

Did human actions bring about tsunami?

For decades environmentalists have complained that when oil is removed from the ground, the earth becomes unstable. In one case the ocean floor beneath an oil rig sank and the offshore platform was partially submerged. In numerous other cases earthquakes have occurred. Where there are a good number of oil fields, like the Gulf of Mexico and Southern California's Long Beach, you will see portions of the shoreline sinking, a little more every year.

When oil rigs were placed near two of the earth's moveable crust ( tectonic plates), like in Sumatra, Indonesia, and oil and gas were sucked out of the sea floor, Mother Nature responded with a vengeance. The question is, did the removal of oil and gas from near the epicenter of the earthquake have anything to do with this tragedy?

Smoky Guerrero

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