Letters for Thursday • May 4, 2006

• Make the whales smile

• Pulling for public pool

• Ten things “driving with aloha” doesn’t mean

• Help this voter

• Immigrants on the battlefield

Make the whales smile

Thank you for Lester Chang’s article “Battle Lines Drawn Over Use of Sonar.” Many readers may be confused about the type of sonar that is being tested at our local military base. The Navy has used sonar for decades. To whales and dolphins, this sonar is the equivalent of a group of Harleys driving through your neighborhood at three in the morning. Annoying, yes, harmful, no.

The type of sonar Mr. Chang writes about is Low Frequency Active Sonar or LFA Sonar. This is sonar that is designed to travel the entire ocean. To a nearby whale, who uses her ears to navigate, this is like the sound of an atomic bomb. The noise can destroy her ears and make her insane. Our president and congress continues to fund this research even though none of our enemies have submarines and there other less harmful ways to detect submarines.

With a government billions of dollars in debt, this is one silly program that we can cut. If we do, the whales will smile.

  • Gordon LaBedz

Pulling for public pool

I recently received a query from the management of the Puakea Golf Course asking whether I would give money to join their project of building a pool and country club at the Puakea Golf Course.

Believing that one fabulous pool would be a great asset to the Lihu‘e Community, I wonder does the community have the dollars and the will to build and maintain all of the pools that are being proposed in Lihu‘e?

Specifically, a pool at Puakea Club House, the pool proposed for the gym complex at Island School, and the YMCA’s 50 meter pool?

We need to take pressure off the Kauai High School pool so that swim lessons, water polo, swim teams, and other water sports can be offered to the community, for the young and old. We need a pool where the little ones can touch the bottom and with warmer water provided by solar panels and a nighttime cover. I could see the hotel managers buying memberships as incentives for their employees to stop folks from asking why our kids can’t swim over there.

A public pool is essential over anything that is designated “exclusive.” Though the YMCA is not a public agency, it is a community recreation center. The 50 meter pool is proposed for the corner of the Nuhou and Kaumuali‘i Highway fronting Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School. I know the Island School kids could walk across the intersection — which is about to be realigned with the Nuhou corner following the train installation at Kilohana. A pool is a great outlet for kids on the way home to let off a little steam. There could be adult lap hours so that not every moment was dominated by teen adventures. The location on the highway is ideal for adding a bus stop so the Hanama‘ulu and Kalaheo kids could participate.

Let us stop competing for the same dollars and dreams and start pulling in the same direction.

Send a letter, a donation, offer your time to: Thomas Tannery, General Director, YMCA Kauai, Box 1786, Lihu‘e, Hawaii 96766.

  • Linda Sciaroni

Ten things “driving with aloha” doesn’t mean

Showing “more aloha” when driving is a great idea, and makes for a very catchy bumper sticker, but here are 10 things that it does not mean:

1) Insisting on driving in the left-hand lane when someone clearly wants to pass you and the sign 10 feet back said “Slower traffic keep right.”

2) Correctly getting into the right-hand lane when someone wants to pass you, but then speeding up to prevent them from passing you.

3) Returning someone’s consideration for waving you into traffic by then driving 20 mph below the speed limit.

4) Braking excessively.

5) Not looking in your rearview mirror to see the line of 50 vehicles stuck behind you when there is nothing but empty road in front of you, and then acting accordingly.

6) Driving on the shoulder or crossing the center line of the road (whether it is marked or unmarked).

7) Driving while intoxicated.

8) Turning right corners from the center of the lane rather than pulling over to the right so traffic can get around you.

9) Stopping inside a traffic circle to wave someone in.

10) Talking on a cell phone while driving when there is no life-threatening emergency.

These are not cultural issues here. This is a matter of poor driving skills and gross inattention to details. Behind the wheel of a multi-ton vehicle is not the place to be “making it up as you go along” or “winging it.” Pay attention to what is going on around you and follow ALL of the rules of the road, not just the speed limits, and the experience would be safer for everyone.

  • Michael Mann

Help this voter

I watch freedoms die every day in this country. I watch big business demand that I pay my bills immediately, that I hold for hours and then have to answer many questions before I can ask my question, I experience them sending me messages on e-mail that I do not want, and now they would have me believe that they know what is best for me? I don’t recall them asking, makes me think that they might have an agenda that is not in my best interest. Stop them. Please show a little back bone and maybe this time stand up for me!

I live and vote in Hawai‘i.

  • Susan Karstenson

Immigrants on the battlefield

It’s no coincidence that Republicans are allowing the immigrant issue to come to the foreground. I would caution the immigrant community to try to keep the emotion of the issue under control and to turn a watchful eye to the bigger picture.

Many in our armed services are facing the prospect of a third tour in the Middle East, a situation that could undermine morale even further and a fact that military planners are well aware of. The college campuses are quiet, due in large part to the lack of a military draft, a lesson rightwingers learned from the Viet Nam debacle.

Immigrants may well get a chance to earn their citizenship — on the battlefields of Iran. The Bush Administration has nowhere else to turn for human fodder in its ongoing Oil Wars.

  • Martin Rice

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