Letters for Friday, February 9, 2007

• Mahalo for returning library book

• Finally, Wal-Mart does something right

• Prevent needless tragedies

• Do Americans really want peace?

• Mahalo for the road changes


Mahalo for returning library book

I would like to thank the “guardian angel” who found a library book that I inadvertently left in the waiting room of my dentist in O‘ahu and returned it to the Kaua‘i library! When I went to the library with my check book to pay for the book the librarian told me that the book had been returned! Thank you, whoever you are! This just reinforces my admiration for the majority of people who live on Kaua‘i! You are so special.

Irma Ekno

Lihu‘e


Finally, Wal-Mart does something right

My aversion to Wal-Mart’s business practices runs deep and wide, from its blithe dependence on exploited third-world labor to produce cheap goods, to its low-wage, pro-sprawl, predatory domestic culture here in the U.S. But I was heartened to see it do something right today.

Wal-Mart has joined an alliance of businesses and labor unions to call for universal, single-payer health care in the United States. Of course, I am convinced that this move has little to do with benevolence toward the working class, and is guided solely by profit motives, but it is a good sign of things to come. It has been my prediction for some time that a move to join the rest of the developed world in providing universal health care to our citizens would eventually come not at the behest of organized working people (unfortunately) but because the huge corporations who now run this country have finally decided that they can no longer shoulder the burden.

As Wal-Mart’s size and power have influenced so much in this country already, including a universal downward pressure on wages and benefits, let us hope that its influence can be as far reaching in an area that actually benefits working people.

Katy Rose

Hanalei


Prevent needless tragedies

Here we go again — another tourist killed because of U-turning on the highway. Every time I hear of this happening, it breaks my heart.

It’s almost as if the tourists’ brain goes on vacation mode as soon as they arrive on island. Do they think that since they’re on vacation, nothing bad can happen? Can this sort of thing be prevented?

I strongly feel that the airlines should show a short video prior to arriving in Hawai‘i, informing the tourists to drive safely and reminding them of the dangers of the ocean. Show the statistics of how many car accidents and drownings (near and actual) there have been.

It’s not okay to U-turn on the highway with cars driving at 50 mph. It’s not okay to stop in the middle of the highway to look at a rainbow; and it’s not okay to swim in high surf if you’re not a strong swimmer. No one wants to hear of another tourist and/or family being killed by something that easily could have been prevented.

Alexandra Thompson

Kalaheo


Do Americans really want peace?

This is a response to the Feb. 3 letter titled “Cruel intentions toward the Great Satan.”

To start with, I wonder if every American does want peace and an end to all wars? After all, this country — and that means many Americans — engage in one of the most lucrative money-making businesses of all times and that’s arms sales.

This country is number 1 in the selling of arms to all types of scoundrels throughout the world — hardly the type of activity that peace-loving and war-ending Americans would embrace. As for Iraq, a bad situation has been made worse. I don’t believe that if we pull out, everything is going to be fine and honestly, I don’t know what the solution is — maybe a three-way division, separate countries for the Kurds, Sunnis and the Shiites.

I do believe that this country has to get out as quickly as possible and that there should be no troop surge. Environmentalists, of which I’m one, are not unwittingly helping terrorists by insisting that we not drill in ANWAR or the Gulf of Mexico. We continue to send money for oil to those who are not our friends because this country is too socio-politically weak. We’ve known for 30 years what needed to be done and the technologies would’ve been developed, but oil has a stranglehold on the powers that be and the American public happily follows the pied piper of huge consumption without any regard for the consequences.

You say that no American wants our way of life to end. I do! I want us to live in a sustainable way where our energy is renewable, the food we eat is natural and organic, our development is based on proper infrastructure, our foreign policy is based on building people’s livelihoods and, yes, peace in our hearts. Presently most of our ways are based on greed and mass consumption.

Let the change begin.

Mark Perry

Koloa


Mahalo for the road changes

Like anyone who uses our congested roads regularly, I’m well aware of the conditions we face every day.

I’ve read and tend to agree with all of the complaints that make it into the newspaper on a regular basic.

However, we who are so quick to criticize and complain should also be able to say “mahalo” when changes are made that help, even little changes.

A few such changes have happened on the Eastside recently. First, there was the permanent green light and through-traffic pattern for north-bound traffic at the Kapule/Kuhio junction near Hanama‘ulu and the airport. It took me a while to figure out what was happening but once I did, I loved it.

Then there was the makeover of the intersection near Waipouli Beach Resort and Kauai Village. I don’t know whose nickel paid for the changes or whose idea it was but thank you ,thank you, thank you. Not only does the area look a lot better, drivers can now stick to the left lane from Wailua bridge all the way through to past that intersection. No more having to scoot over to the right lane to avoid getting caught in the left- turn-only lane at Kauai Village.

Staying in the left lane means you can turn off onto the bypass if you choose or continue through on Kuhio Highway without a problem.

That brings me to the most recent change. The southbound extension to the Kapaa Bypass is wonderful. I hope everyone tries it and likes it. Living on Kawaihau Rd., I used to come down on Laipo, turn I think it’s Kanaele that passes the Kapa‘a transfer station and get on to the bypass via the roundabout. I thought that was great except that the road was pretty curvy and drivers weren’t always careful. Now I go down Laipo to Haua‘ala and turn right on to the extension. Surprisingly, I thought it would be longer but it takes less time and generates a lot less frustration. Mahalo for the relief.

Kathleen Ardyess

Kapa‘a

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