Letters to the Editor

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Second-hand smoke is irritating to others

I do not agree with the Feb. 9 letter to the editor regarding second-hand smoke not being harmful. I am an 80-year-old nonsmoker. Second-hand smoke has plagued me for more than 70 years by irritating my sinuses.

Most of my problems are experienced at a bus stop. I would sit away from anyone smoking, but eventually someone would sit next to me and light up, causing me and my friend to have to get up and move some 20-30 feet away.

What rights do I have, being unfortunately addicted to fresh air? It's unfortunate that smokers do not realize what their addiction is really doing to their bodies, ingesting thousands of harmful chemicals, including mainly nicotine, a poisonous alkaloid.

Hank F. Ciano

Responsible dog owners are educated

As the co-founder of an international dog bite prevention program and someone who evaluates and works with aggressive dogs, I wanted to reiterate a point that was briefly made in "Dog-bite penalties may get sharper" (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 9). We know that 85 percent of all severe dog attacks are caused by dogs that have been tied on a line. The comments by Cathy Goeggel of Animal Rights Hawaii are right on the money.

I would also like to point out that many people are not irresponsible, but uneducated as to the subtleties of dog care and behavior. Educated owners make for responsible owners. Many of my clients are doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, mechanics. They are educated people who either did not know or were given bad advice.

Yvette Van Veen
Awesome Dogs/Meeting Milo
London, Ontario

Former leaders came together unselfishly

What a wonderful country we have that brings together two former U.S. presidents, who once vigorously campaigned against each other, to form a genuine, warm and effective partnership to raise money for recent tsunami victims in other countries.

George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton must be congratulated for their dedicated and nonpartisan efforts on behalf of others, and we Americans should give ourselves a pat on the back, as well, for our stalwart support of a republic like no other in the history of the world, one that so positively encourages our consistently unselfish giving and good will so eloquently expressed and promoted by our two former chief executives.

Larry Weis

E bus route is still operating

Errant reports persist that the city has done away with the E bus route, which runs between Iwilei and Waikiki.

The city is still providing service on the E route, but without the expensive new hybrid buses that kicked off E-route service late last year.

The city spent $8 million to buy those 10 hybrid buses, and they're going to cost another $3.6 million to operate just this year. To make better use of that money, Mayor Mufi Hannemann ordered those buses redeployed to the more heavily used A route, the express run between Waipahu and the University of Hawaii.

Ridership on the E route has been building, but it is still below the levels that would justify using the high-capacity hybrid buses on that line.

Before the E route is discontinued, the city would have to hold a public hearing and give the public an opportunity to comment. Meanwhile, service is continuing on the E route with other buses in the city fleet.

Edward Hirata
Director of Transportation Services

Don't be fooled, it's a tax all right

I moved to Hawaii from Oregon 25 years ago. Oregon's bottle bill (one of the first in the nation) requires that retailers who sell bottled and canned drinks must also redeem them. It's a cost of doing business. People return a few bottles during each trip to the store.

I don't have a car. I'm supposed to save my bottles and cans in my tiny apartment, then haul them in a large garbage bag on the bus to a redemption center, and stand in line for an hour on my only day off to get my couple of dollars back? It won't happen.

In my case, the bottle bill turns out to be a tax, not a redemption program. Legislators need to fix it by requiring retailers to redeem the bottles and cans for which they collect the redemption fee.

Kristine Woodall




Seeking state symbols

Hawaii has a state bird, a state fish and a state flower. What other symbols should the Aloha State have? For example, should we have a state insect? If so, what should it be? Or how about a state bento? Come up with your own categories and share them with Star-Bulletin readers.

E-mail your ideas and solutions -- please include your name and address -- by Wednesday, Feb. 16 to: brainstorm@starbulletin.com

Or fax to:
c/o Nancy Christenson

Or mail them to:
c/o Nancy Christenson
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza
Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). 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 and include a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
E-mail: letters@starbulletin.com
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

E-mail to Editorial Page Editor


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