Monday, Dec. 4, 2023 |
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• Greedy ‘lychee thief’ spoiled system of aloha
• Seat belts save lives
• Library staff great; longer hours still needed
Greedy ‘lychee thief’ spoiled system of aloha
A letter to the man who stole most of the lychee from the tree in our garden:
I should point out that I am not usually one to be at a loss for words, nor am I one to hold petty grudges. However, I felt it important to point out how your actions on June 7 at our home in Lihu‘e exemplified not only an appalling lack of aloha, but also of common respect for another’s home.
When I was informed that someone was picking lychee from the tree in my yard, I at first assumed that the “lychee-thieves” in question were the two teenagers who had stopped in a few minutes earlier and asked if they could pick some. And they were out there, along with a third person I had not seen before — you.
I assumed that, like most people who take lychee from the tree without asking, you were taking only a few. Perhaps you had brought a bag from Big Save and were using that to hold your harvest. That would have been fine, although I was admittedly irked that you had not had the common courtesy to ask before helping yourself to a tree in someone’s yard.
I was shocked to note that the majority of the fruit within reach had been stripped from the tree, with little regard to the damage caused. In fact, when I pointed out to you that you had taken far more than a fair share and that I would like to have some of the fruit as well, you instructed me to “go get a long pole so I can pick ‘em.” Even when I pointed out to you that this was my tree, and that you had taken far more than anyone should, you smiled and said that they were for your family.
I could see that most of the floor of your trailer was covered in broken branches and fruit, and your complete lack of any response for what was really bald-faced theft left me speechless. I asked for a portion of the lychee to be returned and went back inside, angry and disheartened, as you drove away.
Now, several hours later, I am still incensed, so I am writing. I am not by nature a greedy or petty person, but your galling attitude has, I’m afraid, brought out the worst in me. Every year since we have owned our home, my husband and I have made a practice of never charging and never refusing requests for fruit from our trees, We freely give the fruit to strangers and friends alike — all they need to do is ask. We’ll even provide them with bags. We feel that it’s part of the spirit of aloha which we try to promote in our community and teach our children. Why would we hoard what nature gives us? So long as people ask first, we tell them to feel free to pick fruit if it’s ripe, asking only that they be kind to the trees (so that they will stay healthy and continue to bear fruit) and to take only a fair share, so that there will be enough for others. This sense of righteous sharing — of consideration for others and the resources we share — has always been part of the aloha spirit. But today, what I saw was simple greed, coupled with no apparent awareness of wrongdoing.
Now, because of the greedy actions of one individual, we will not be able to freely share this year’s fruit with passers-by who see the tree, pull over, and ask if they can pick some lychee, something we have always done in the past. There simply isn’t enough left. Instead, we have picked what remained, and are in the process of distributing it to our friends, teachers, neighbors, co-workers, and relatives — our ‘ohana with whom we have promised to share.
How very sad that one greedy person can ruin an aloha system which could have benefited so many more people.
I hope you enjoy your stolen lychee.
Seat belts save lives
I have to say I do not think the “Click It Or Ticket” program is a waste of time or just there for “financial reasons” as stated by James Rosen (Letters, 6/7/07). The financial reason would be a “hit it where it hurts” reminder for those who don’t feel they need to follow the law.
Having worked in the Police Department on the Big Island; I have seen first-hand the tragedy of not buckling up. I’d like to know if James Rosen has ever seen a baby lying on the pavement after he was projected thru the automobile’s windshield after an auto accident, because his dad decided he didn’t need to buckle his son up. Yeah, dad survived with minor bumps and scratches, but that’s because he was buckled up.
“National statistics have shown that the use of seat belts is the single most effective act that drivers can do to protect themselves in a traffic accident. Preliminary statistics show that last year in Hawai‘i, 39 lives could have been saved if vehicle occupants were buckled up when involved in a crash.” as cited by DOT Report, April 2007.
My four-year old son understands what it means to “buckle up” after seeing the “Click It Or Ticket” signs and we have no problem buckling him up in the car. I really hate driving down the highway and seeing kids sitting on their parents lap or standing up while the car is moving.
It’s not rocket science, people….
Francine M. Grace
Library staff great; longer hours still needed
This is in response to Lani T. Kawahara’s letter about my letter about the library hours:
First of all, I want to say that my concern has nothing to do with the existing library staff. I hope my concerns were not taken personally. In fact, I have never received anything but professional, courteous and helpful assistance from any library branch on the island, and I have used locations from Princeville to Koloa. I honor the employees for all that they do and in particular the tireless job that Ms. Kawahara does appear to put in at the Kapa‘a branch.
With that said, let’s get real: One guaranteed branch open per night on the island or potential Saturday hours in the future does not really constitute the creation of a library culture for the island that might be truly beneficial to students or those looking to improve their circumstances. On our island, it is rare for people to drive from Kapa‘a to Lihu‘e for groceries, much less to expect that a student needing library support in the week would be able to get from Kekaha to Princeville or wherever the closest branch open is.
On the mainland, it is not rare to see library branches open all evenings and have hours on both weekend days. This is the time people usually have to devote to study or research, particularly if they are in school full time or working a regular job(s).
I would welcome information from library staff about the best state and county level officials that citizens could contact to push for more financial support of our library system and thus empower their mission in the best way possible for all.
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