Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Monday, January 05, 2009

Violators turn Oahu into mini-Gaza Strip

Some fireworks-happy Oahu residents behave as though the island were the “;Gaza Strip West.”; The smoke was so heavy not only did my eyes begin to tear, but a salmon fillet I received for Christmas broke down and cried.

With the poor economy you'd think people would spend their money to help the hungry and homeless. What's even more bizarre is this unhealthy, costly event is government-sanctioned, which allows all of the noise and smoke until 1 a.m. on New Year's Day.

As a child I enjoyed the fireworks until a firecracker went off in my hand, a friend lost his eye and I became aware that homes had burned down. I hope everyone doesn't have to experience similar pain before they realize that use of fireworks that causes harm should be outlawed and those laws must be upheld.

Violators who enjoy the explosions, noise and smoke should enlist and serve in the Mideast and do a tour in Afghanistan! It's time for adults to behave like to grown-ups.

Smoky Guerrero

Israel is aggressor against Palestinians

I read Kevin Malmud's comments (Letters, Jan. 1) about the crimes Israel is persistently committing against Gaza's civilians: women, children and elderly people. Malmud claims that pro-Palestinian activists “;seem to conveniently forget some relevant current and historical facts.”; It is obvious that what Malmud considers facts, whether current or historical, are merely figments of imagination because:

1. Israel is not a democracy as it is, by definition, a “;Jewish State,”; which is an oxymoronic title that instantly deprives its minority Palestinian citizens (20 percent) from enjoying the same rights as its Jewish citizens.

2. The war of 1967 was a preemptive war instigated by the Jewish military (refer to “;The Iron Wall”; by Avi Schleim; and to the “;Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”; by Ilan Pappe).

3. It is always the Jewish soldiers who take Palestinians as human shields (refer to the documentary film “;Jenin Jenin”;).

4. Hamas is a political party elected in clean and open elections (as testified by former President Carter), and not a terrorist group. They are resisting the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and its strangulation of Gaza.

5. Claiming that Israel has turned the desert into a paradise is a myth. Israel itself lives on financial and military aid, which it continues to extort from the Western powers.

6. Israel's insistence on having Hamas (and all Arab countries) recognize its right to exist merely reflects its worries about its illegality as a state that was built on the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

Ramsis G. Lutfy

Islandwide outages are all too common

Like many others here in Hawaii, I continue to be amazed at the Third World quality of our utilities. Most media reports about the islandwide power outage didn't mention the times this happened prior to 2006. They acted like the 2006 earthquake was the only other time this has happened.

I remember in 1986 when the same thing happened for 13 hours. I believe Hawaiian Electric tried to say that one was due to something like a Mylar balloon hitting one of the main power lines and causing it to go out, and that this caused the old chain reaction/domino effect.

In March 1991, there was another islandwide outage during the middle of the day. I forget what HECO said caused that one. It has had a long time to consider how to protect the grid from minor or trivial trauma, but obviously nothing has been done.

My personal feeling is HECO would rather inconvenience the entire island and cause businesses and residents to lose untold amounts of money from these power outages than spend the money to upgrade the infrastructure. Some people's lives depend on electricity for medical equipment. One of my acquaintances, an elderly woman, is in the hospital right now for lacerations and abrasions she suffered when she fell during the blackout. What will it take for HECO to wake up?

Linda Torres

Legislators should refuse pay raises

I commend our legislators for now earning $48,000 a year for part-time work. Their pay raises went into effect Jan. 1. The House and Senate leaders should be proud. At a time when America faces the deepest recession since the 1930s, they have managed to elevate the part-time pay of their colleagues to an amount greater than our public school teachers. They managed to do this by spinelessly hiding behind a “;salary commission”; recommendation to raise their pay.

Does any one of them have the character or integrity to stand up to their colleagues and demand that they either work 50 weeks a year for this full-time pay, or that they give up the raise and try to stimulate the economic growth both they and the rest of us need?

Taking this pay at this time in this way borders on criminal, and since we don't have the ability to recall our officials, I hope that voters remember this and replace all incumbents in 2010.

R. Scott Belford
Ewa Beach