Letters to the Editor

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Bicyclists on sidewalks can hurt pedestrians

Bicycle riding on sidewalks is hazardous, dangerous and inconsiderate to seniors and other pedestrians. Ill-mannered as they may be, they think they are kings of the sidewalk, ready, able and willing to run you down if you don't clear a path for them.

As seniors, in our many walks in Waikiki and Moiliili, we have been startled and annoyed, causing our blood pressure to rise at the many times they whiz by from behind on either our left or right side.

There is always a fear in my mind, had I made a slight move to my left or right, I would become an accident statistic.

No recourse, no apology, scrapes and pain and possible broken bones are what we will have to endure.

I have often experienced an approaching bicycle whereby the rider doesn't slow down, and if he does, the pedestrian has to become subservient. In other words, "move over and get the heck out of the way."

The bicycle laws give too much latitude to the person on a bike. Any suggestions from anyone? Or is it a lost cause?

Michael P. Augusta

What about terrorists' victims in Iraq?

If you turn on the 24-hour news channels, you will for sure be assaulted with minute-by-minute coverage of the terrorist attacks in London.

What strikes me most about this latest act of violence is the importance that the media is focusing on it. One life is a great loss to lose to a terrorist act, and my heart goes out to the families of the victims in London. What I fail to understand is the indifference that is shown to the families of terrorist acts in Iraq. Almost daily, Iraq is hit with a car bombing of some kind, and the numbers of victims are in the thousands. These terrorist acts barely receive a couple of minutes in the press, but massive coverage is dedicated to London. Why is it that an Iraqi victim of terrorism is less important than an American or English? Aren't we fighting a "global war on terror"? Last time I checked, Iraq was still part of this globe.

Michael Jackson, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie receive a thousand times more attention than we ever pay to the citizens of countries like Iraq, Rwanda or Sudan. People are dying of starvation in this world, and we have a television network dedicated to food and how we can make it. As I said before, one life lost is a great loss. It shouldn't matter what country is listed on their passport. Maybe the "war on terror" needs to be fought not just overseas, but also in the way we look at victims of this senseless violence.

Ted Obringer

Little League analogy left out the details

The Little League analogy in Shawn Lathrop's letter ("Troops can do without liberal's 'support,'" Star-Bulletin, July 9) was very effective in conveying the conservatives' perception of liberals' support for our troops.

Unfortunately for Mr. Lathrop, it was too effective, demonstrating the simple-mindedness behind equating uncritical support for "the coach" with support for our troops. To complete the analogy, we must also consider that the coach has asked the team to play in a dangerous neighborhood in which the children are being killed; the coach has lied about the reasons for and necessity of being in that neighborhood; we are actually playing against the wrong team; and the coach's associates have ties to the baseball business in the neighborhood.

What would you think of a parent who supported the coach under these circumstances? Now you understand the conservative concept of supporting our troops.

Dan Suthers

Maui feral goat hunt should be stopped

The Division of Forestry and Wildlife is scheduled to hunt feral goats and cattle on Maui on July 22, Aug. 5 and 26, and Sept. 2 and 9. The methods typically employed are horribly inhumane. Animals who escape gunfire from helicopters are restrained by their hind legs by hunters and sliced open or beaten to death. Kid goats are chased by dogs and mangled after their mothers have been killed.

Our state should halt this senseless plan and instead consider eradication alternatives such as contraception or live removal. The animals could easily be trapped and sterilized. Dart them, knock them out and sterilize the males. The population would gradually thin, and a message is conveyed that there is sensitivity to the lives of animals.

A lawsuit was recently filed to stop a massive feral pig hunt at Channel Islands National Park off the Ventura County coast of California. Let's hope Hawaii will make the ethical decision to cancel the killing without having to be sued.

Aliaska Brozen
Kihei, Maui

Vacation rentals aren't worst offenders

There is much talk about vacation rentals, but that is such a minor problem compared with all the other illegal residential rentals and illegal commercial businesses being conducted on residential property that the city has not cracked down on. These other illegal rentals and businesses are doing more damage to our residential neighborhoods than vacation rentals.

Look around -- almost every neighborhood suffers from illegal multifamily dwellings or apartments and illegal commercial activity, which have drastically changed its single-family character. There is now more congestion, overcrowding, long-term undesirables moving in, and the overall neighborhood declines, for there is no incentive to fix up and repair.

On the other hand, most vacation rental properties have been upgraded and cater to more upscale tenants, including local residents who prefer staying at vacation rentals on Oahu and on the neighbor islands. Since vacation rental properties are upgraded, adjacent properties join the trend and are fixed up and repaired. The neighborhood improves and so do the outlying areas. Look at Kailua, a once sleepy town that has been transformed into a vibrant community.

The city should redirect its efforts to cracking down on those illegal dwellings and commercial activities that really contribute to the decline of residential neighborhoods, and start supporting activities, like vacation rentals, that improve them.

Clyde Hedlund

Sailor has wrong attitude about Oahu

Recently you published an article from career sailor Ken Durbin in which he was allowed to rant and rave about Hawaii not being a "paradise" and how he dislikes being stationed here ("Gathering Place," June 23). He had been stationed at many different locations around the world, and Hawaii was certainly as bad, if not worse, than he had been warned.

Honolulu (Oahu) has a population of approximately 750,000 people, not counting the many tourists, and our crime statistics in most categories are generally below those of comparatively sized cities elsewhere.

I would wager a guess that at every location Durbin had been stationed, there was a police or sheriff's department, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if there is law enforcement in the area, then guess what -- there must be a need that is generally driven by criminal activity.

Durbin complained about the unsafe bike paths and how he expected one day to be a victim of a vehicle-vs.-bicycle collision. I am astonished that he has not heard of Operational Risk Management, because it appears his lack of sound judgment will result in his becoming a statistic one day, a fact he should be concerned about in order to make the "right" adjustments.

Last comment: Being a Marine of 20 years' service and with service in two different police departments, I was offended by Durbin's comments about our home, and found equally offensive the fact that the Star-Bulletin would print them.

Andrew Deal

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