Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2009

Officials' caution was right response

Government officials are often in a “;no win”; situation (”;Officials defend costly closures,”; Jan. 17). If they had taken no precautions against the storm last week and Friday had turned into a disaster zone, they would've been held liable. Instead, they acted proactively and there was no storm and the public continues to react harshly. State officials made an assessment based on weather reports and past experiences.

I would rather believe Gen. Robert Lee who has 30-plus years of military and emergency management experience as opposed to your everyday citizen who is overly critical and opinionated. Yes, it caused an inconvenience but at least no one one was injured or killed. You can't put a price tag on a human life.

Ryan Tin Loy

Actions will show depth of lawmakers' caring

The 2009 Legislature opens today. It will be watched very closely to see if our lawmakers really care for the public's safety. There are three important issues that must be heard. First a complete ban on fireworks. Why? The laws on illegal fireworks cannot be enforced. A few years ago an elderly woman was killed by illegal fireworks when her house burned down in Palolo. Babies and adults with respiratory problems suffer every New Year's holiday. The air is like a smoke-filled battlefield. This year explosions in every neighborhood were heard weeks before Christmas even while you were sleeping. It's time!

The next issue is a complete ban on cell phones while driving. Why? People are not paying attention when they talk on cells while driving. There have been many near collisions on the highways because of this and if lawmakers can't see this danger they just don't care. It's time.

The third issue is people riding in the back of pickup trucks. We have a law that you must wear seatbelts while driving yet lawmakers have allowed people to ride in the back of pickup trucks that have no belts. This is insanity on our roadways. What kind of safety is this?

Four women were killed riding in the back of a pickup in Kunia while the Legislature was in session in 2006. Lawmakers never said anything or did anything. How many more deaths will happen if this practice continues? It's time. The Legislature better wake up and start to care for the people's safety and health or get out of office or get voted out.

Eugene Cordero
Pearl City

Power system plans have been stymied

Your Jan. 12 edition included a very important article on how power failures can put patients in peril. The article pointed out that people who depend on life support equipment should have back-up batteries, however, these batteries can only supply power for a few hours.

Senior citizens with disabilities often live in high-rise apartment buildings like those in Waikiki. The December 2008 and 2006 power outages were the first island-wide system failures caused by massive cloud-to-ground lightning strikes or major earthquakes in living memory. There are other more frequent exposures to loss of power where HECO system improvements could reduce the exposure to people who depend on life support equipment.

When HECO tries to build a new transmission line, it frequently meets with all sorts of protests and opposition. For example, when HECO proposed to add a 138 kV circuit to the existing 46 kV transmission line on Waahila Ridge above St. Louis Heights, there was tremendous opposition from numerous organizations.

Despite the fact that this new 138 kV circuit was strongly recommended by a mainland consultant, would have resulted in a major system reliability improvement for all of Waikiki and Kapahulu, eliminated the need for two future 138 kV transmission lines to serve East Oahu and saved oil through efficiency improvements, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources refused to issue the necessary permits and as a result all that electricity consumers in Waikiki have to depend on are two 40-year-old transmission lines.

Alan S. Lloyd

Charlie Chan model was fearsome guy

Let me add a bit of ancient real-life history about this man who served as a model for the fictitious movie character played by Warner Olund (”;The return of Charlie Chan,”; Star-Bulletin, Jan. 11).

As a child, I saw him several times. He was nowhere close to resembling Olund in appearance. He wasn't round at all but a bit on the lanky side, a bit smaller than most men, and a bit spooky as far as we children were concerned. He wore khaki trousers and some sort of leggings. His shirt was olive drab, probably woolen as the soldiers of the day wore even in Hawaii.

He wore a wide-brimmed felt hat, also the kind that soldiers wore in those days. What added to his fearsome mystique was a long whip he carried. This was what caused us children to keep a distance from him.

We knew him also as “;Apana Chang,”; if my memory is correct. Other oldtimers might know whether I am accurate in my memory. After all, it has been more than seven decades.

Bertram J. Wong




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