Letters for Friday, June 1, 2007

• Do it right

• The colonialist bitter pill

• Why degrade and insult?

• Extended warranties


Do it right

Dust is a major health hazard. The complaints against developers by local residents are usually valid. The developers rarely take proactive measures with soil stabilization (wind and water erosion plus dust) unless forced. There is no need to be reactive with all of the new, environmentally friendly technology that is available today. In the long run it is more cost effective, healthier, and more responsible to do it right the first time.

Chris Rider

Amesbury, Mass.


The colonialist bitter pill

Michael Meek’s letter (“On original deeds,” Letters, May 31) regarding Hawaiian sovereignty read like an insulting smear. Those of us of European descent should admit that our “dark age” was not a great beacon of freedom and justice either, yet that does not mean that we don’t strive for justice now. When Hawai‘i was first contacted by the West, Africans were enduring slavery. Women had no rights. “Witches” were being burned at the stake. The Native Americans were being nearly wiped out to clear the way for European settlers all over the Americas. There was also something wonderful occurring at the same time: the perennial human march toward greater freedom, greater justice, greater democracy.

What makes Mr. Meeks think that this arc of history which bends toward justice did not include the Hawaiian people? What logic supports the idea that Hawaiians, given their own self-determination, would not build a just society, just as we “Americans” are attempting to do?

Just because “times have changed” does not mean that Hawaiians do not deserve redress for the crimes committed against them by the West.

Imagine, if you will, that the Hawaiians had occupied England, colonized the land and the people, and forced them to wear Hawaiian clothes, speak Hawaiian, and adopt Hawaiian customs and religious beliefs. An injustice of that magnitude would eventually have to be redressed. Imagine if that redress occurred hundreds of years after the original crime. Do you suppose that the English would want to return to conditions exactly as they were before the occupation, or would they have advanced in their desires as a people?

The main thing, which people like Mr. Meek have trouble understanding, is that the only way to redress the crime of stealing a people’s self-determination is to give it back, which means in part that it really doesn’t matter what Mr. Meeks thinks about how Hawaiians choose to organize their own society. It’s their right to determine that for themselves. A bitter pill to swallow for any colonialist, to be sure.

Katy Rose

Hanalei


Why degrade and insult?

I am insulted and disgusted with what Michael Meek spoke of in his May 31 letter “On original deeds.”

People like Michael Meek would love to continue raping Kaua‘i for their ethnocentric and ignorant benefit. If you degrade and insult Kamehameha, you degrade and insult the Hawaiian people, and that is something we will not stand for. For many years our people and land have been adulterated by the ignorance moving to Hawai‘i from the “Mainland.” They throw down their millions in Princeville just so they can preach to the choir on how the overthrow of our monarchy was rightfully so, and how much of a grievance it is to be called a “haole.”

You know what?

There is no excuse for your ignorance or any excuse for you to impose your debauched critiques on our people. You are a haole. You are a foreigner in my and my peoples’ land. Meek states, “I also hope that everyone appreciates that it was the United States who came to Hawai‘i and not Japan or the Mongols or someone like that.”

How dare you advocate for the United States’ infractions and atrocities. I will never “appreciate” anything of yours. Like I said, “you attack our history, our king, our culture you attack us.”

There is an immigration and invasion assault taking place which we all should take great issue with. The problem is that it’s here in Hawai‘i.

Waipuna Higuera-Trask

Anahola


Extended warranties

Here’s a topic other than the Big Box Bill for your consideration today. It may seem trivial to some, but the following information could save you money and a lot of grief.

I recently went through the process of exercising an extended warranty service through a local retail store.

I usually don’t waste my money on extended warranties, but the stainless steel burners on my last outdoor gas grill didn’t even last two years. I replaced them at least three times before finally surrendering my old friend to the landfill. When I purchased a replacement grill, I bought a one-year extended warranty for an amount I thought would be less than replacing the burners myself in two years time. Boy was I wrong. And here’s why.

It eventually took a total of six weeks, four on-site service/repair calls and five days of waiting around the house to get my three burners replaced. It’s a good thing 1) I’m retired and 2) it wasn’t my refrigerator needing repairs. I’ll save the gory details for the official complaint(s) I intend to file with the appropriate agencies, but can you imagine losing five days’ wages or vacation time hanging around your house over something simple like this?

When it comes to repairing something major on Kaua‘i, “same day” service is the exception and not the rule. In case you had any doubts, Kaua‘i is still a rural place. So don’t make the mistake of pre-paying a bunch of money for a service that falls far below your expectations like I did. A couple of months ago, I needed my out-of-warranty clothes dryer repaired. Responding to a classified ad in The Garden Island, I called Dave Covel of DC Appliance Repair. I gave him the make, model number and a description of what the problem was on the phone. He not only provided me a reasonable and fairly accurate estimate, he fixed it on his first visit a few days later.

Although I continue to have a healthy respect for the quality of the appliances I purchase from this local store, I will always stop short of purchasing an extended warranty when I consider their service/repair level and true value of my time wasted standing by at home for days on end. I’ll take my chances hiring a local repairman if and when I need one. The odds are in my favor that my net costs will be far less than an extended warranty contract.

Vince Cosner

Lihu’e

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