Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Friday, January 02, 2009

Warm New Year wishes from a cold land

Stastny novy rok 2009! (Happy New Year, Hau'oli Makahiki Hou.)

Hana Kopecka
Praha (Prague)
Czech Republic

Drastic action needed against loud exhausts

Hawaii law concerning modified mufflers says “;exhausts can't be modified, altered or repaired in such a way that the noise emitted by the vehicle is increased above that emitted by the vehicle as originally equipped from the factory.”;

» I would like to see this law enhanced by making it illegal for any business or person to modify mufflers in the manner described by and prohibited by current law. Any such business will be fined and if found in violation a second time will lose its business license and the owner imprisoned. Any such person will be fined and if found to have violated this law a second time, will be fined and imprisoned.

» For those vehicles already so modified, include in the laws on vehicle inspections that mufflers will be inspected and such vehicles will be denied certification until such mufflers comply with Hawaii laws.

» Determine if modifications cause an increase in the emissions of harmful exhaust prohibited by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Bill Russell

Each of us can light America's way

On Christmas Eve, I attended the Unitarian Church with the Rev. Mike Young. He was still excited from the Obama family memorial service held at the church on Dec. 23. He shared how touching and warm the service had been and then we started our traditional Christmas Eve service. This includes passages from the Bible of the Christ Child's birth, interspersed with Christmas carols that we all sing.

At the conclusion, Rev. Young reminded us that sometimes myths and stories are held for generations about special people. As Unitarians we embrace many of these special people from all walks of life and religions. We lit our candles while he demonstrated that if your candle goes out another person can just reach over and relight it to keep the light going. It only takes one person to start lighting a candle and soon all the members have glowing candles.

At just that moment I had “;chicken skin”; thinking about Barack Obama and how he has lit a candle in America. This light has sparked so much hope and love that the deep spirit of aloha has a chance to be felt around this world. I felt this again as I lit some candles during the Great Blackout, secure in the knowledge that many special Hawaiians would fix the problem. Hope replaces fear. Bless the Obama family, keep the lights relit for the next eight years!

Maria Maki

Tourists should be able to smoke on lanais

Earlier in December, you had a series on the downturn in tourism. It is not surprising.

I came to visit the islands in early December and planned to stay two weeks on Oahu and three weeks on Maui. I was to meet up with four couples in Maui for the second part of the holiday. Instead, we all moved on to other areas of the Pacific.

None of us is “;young.”; All of us have been coming for years ... but now, the governor has decided to turn Hawaii into a “;nanny state.”; The preposterous idea that adults cannot smoke even outside on lanais is maddening.

As a nurse, I don't condone smoking. I also do not condone alcohol or a lot of other things. But they are legal. People on vacation do not want such restrictions.

Keep the ban, if you like, for restaurants, shops and markets. But if you really want to discourage the behavior without chasing dollars away, up the tax on cigarettes. (New York did and the response to the “;Quit Smoking”; phone lines has been phenomenal).

Thank you for all the years of wonderful vacations, but aloha, I won't be back. I will spend my dollars where I am treated like the guest I am.

Renae Szukics
Whitehall, Pa.




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