Letters for Sunday, June 3, 2007

• Supporter wants to know

• Warranties and local stores

Supporter wants to know

It seems Michael Meek has hit a nerve in his letters May 31. All of us can sit in our easy chairs and view history any way that benefits us. If the Hawaiian people want to believe their past kings and kingdom were heavenly, that’s okay. If those who have studied the history want to point to the bloodthirsty facts of war, rape, pillaging, a severe cast system, and subjugating women, that’s okay too. Reality doesn’t care what you think. It is what it is. I prefer to support the remaining Hawaiian people with their Aloha spirit and the wonderful contributions their vulture has given the world.

There are, however, two aspects of this question that begs for a logical, open-minded, answer from all of us, and primarily from the descendants of the Tahitian Hawaiians remaining among us. The first question is: using the argument and logic of those who are demanding the return of the Kingdom because of an illegal overthrow, do you feel any remorse and responsibility for the overthrow of Hawai‘i by your Tahitian ancestors who committed genocide against the people of the Marquesas Islands who actually discovered Hawai‘i. They had a population of thousands enjoying Hawai‘i as their home 500 years before your ancestors from Tahiti came here and wiped them out? If your answer is “no,” that’s OK. It’s simply something to ponder.

The second question is: What is the most efficient method of assessing who can fairly and logically call themselves a Hawaiian? If your answer is anyone with even one ancestor going back a thousand years, is that realistic? If you use the scientific and worldwide accepted standard of 50 percent or more pure Hawaiian blood, is that acceptable? I would think if a person is 75 percent Japanese and 25 percent Hawaiian they would be primarily Japanese. To call themselves Hawaiian would be an insult to their wonderful Japanese ancestors who likewise left us a wonderful and culturally rich history. If we accept that even a drop of Hawaiian blood will do, and don’t provide a cutoff percentage, what problems will occur? After all, mankind in its entirety has ancestors in common so we’re all Hawaiian using that standard.

I for one love Hawai‘i and the Hawaiian people. I would suggest Hawaiian and Haole alike put down our verbal bickering, preserve the aloha spirit with one another, and turn our collective spears against the developers and planning commissioners, some of whom call themselves “Hawaiian,” who are raping the Island for profit and turning this Paradise we all love into a monstrosity not worth arguing about.

Gordon Oswald


Warranties and local stores

Don’t get me started. Vince Cosner’s letter on extended warranties TGI 6-1-07, just rattled my cage big time. Does anyone remember the days when you bought a product that was intended to last 10 or 20 years?

Back in 1974 or 1975, Kauai Savings was in the process of changing their name to American Savings. As part of the publicity for the change they had a giveaway that included a stove, a freezer and other things. I needed a freezer and, in those days was lucky if I could afford a 50-cent bag of poi, so I entered the drawing. Lo and behold I won the stove instead of the freezer. When I bought my home in 1976, my gas stove moved with me. A year or so ago the oven door fell off of my stove. It was only 30 years old. Dang, talk about your poor workmanship! But I loved my poor old greasy stove.

Off to the market I went. There are not a lot of places that sell stoves on Kaua‘i anymore, but I checked them all before “settling” on what looked like a nice heavy duty stove with power burners and a self-cleaning oven. (Oops, I just realized I have never even tried the self-cleaning oven and the stove has probably already passed warranty.) This stove did not come cheap. I paid over $850 for it and then was told, “Oh, by the way, we don’t have them in stock; you should have it in six to eight weeks.” I wasn’t happy but I liked the “look of quality” of this stove so I taped my oven door shut and waited. Well, not really, I went to Mom’s house in Connecticut.

Was it delivered free? No. I paid the $50 delivery fee up front. Luckily, in the following week or two, “The Store” had a rebate program for delivery costs. I was originally told I was “too late to get in on the rebate” so I said, “OK, cancel the stove.” Hey, miracles, “The Store” let me get in on the $50 rebate so my stove’s delivery was sort-of-after-the-fact-free.

Two months later it was delivered — I was in Connecticut at the time. I travel frequently to help my 90-year-old mother. I came home, loved my new stove and a month later left for Connecticut again. The second time I came back one of the raised burner grates (what do you call those things?) had been chipped. Whoa! What gives? I called “The Store.” The burner grate was replaced. I was advised by someone outside to get replacements for all four because, “You can expect the others to chip too.” Wonderful!

Off on another trip I came back and the “enamel” on my $850+ stove’s stovetop was chipped. I called “The Store” again. My call was taken “under advisement.” When they called me back I was effectively told, “Too bad, chipped enamel is normal wear and tear.” The stove was far less than a year old and I hadn’t even been at home for two out of every three months that I owned it. My oven-door-fell-off stove had sat in that same spot as my chipped-enamel-and-chipped-raised-burner-grate stove for 30 years and never had a single chip or a crack in it. “The Store” didn’t care. The chipped enamel was “normal wear and tear.”

Fast forward to December 2006. My old television was starting to go and I also wanted a combo VHS-DVD R/W for my living room. Back to “The Store.” (By the way, my son is a member of Costco so we priced their TVs and VCRs, too. “The Store’s” prices were comparable and I knew they have a Service Department so I ended up buying my new Sony TV and Sony VHS-DVD R/W player on Dec. 13, 2006, from “The Store.” Two days later I left the island again, to help my mom through the holidays. I returned to Kaua‘i in late January. My husband loves the new TV but he has no clue how to use a DVD player. I never even tried the VCR-DVD when we brought it home. My son hooked them up, made sure the TV was working, and we both left.

March 15, I’m back on island, I found a VHS tape of some TV programs that I had missed while on travel, and decided to see how Jack Bauer was doing. I stuck the tape in my three-month-old/brand-new Sony VCR/DVD player and it promptly ate my tape. I didn’t remember when I had purchased it so I went back to “The Store” to ask. The person who assisted me told me I was “past the 90 day warranty period” (by two days) and they wouldn’t help me. Easter was coming; I was leaving again for six weeks and didn’t have time to argue. When I did try calling “The Store” when I got home in late April it was basically “too bad.” The department manager would not even return any of my phone calls. I did make more than one call.

Third incident? My husband and I bought a “new” lawn mower on “sle.” The instruction manual was missing and “The Store” said they would order one for us. We brought the mower home. Again, I was on my way to the Mainland. To this day we have never gotten the manual … even though I called several times. AND when my husband went to use the lawn mower for the first time he discovered the blades and the underside of the blade cover were covered with dead grass and dirt. We had been sold a USED lawn mower. We were NOT told we were buying a used lawn mower. I was gone; my husband went ahead and mowed the lawn. No return calls from “The Store” on that problem either.

Three strikes and you’re out, store.

Just a note for the uninformed and the oh-I-forgot-about-that group, my charge card has a one-year extended warranty program. I called them about the VCR/DVD and am in the process of filing a claim with them for replacement. Check the rules on your charge card and see what they cover before you pay for extended warranties.

Bye, I’m off to Connecticut again.

Sandra Makuaole



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