Letters for Friday, November 23, 2007

• Imagination key to toys

• Traffic nuisance?

• Compromise solution

• Power of the picture

• Priorities need work

Imagination key to toys

I noticed that recently in the news there’s been quite a stir created by the many manufactured toys with dangerous or questionable materials that have somehow sneaked past our government safety inspections. While many have been recalled successfully, still others remain lurking on store shelves this shopping season. And many children have already been hurt by toxic toy components.

While all this is undeniably tragic for those effected and unnerving for the rest of us, perhaps it can also be a wake up call for us in our society. We Americans as a whole have an unfortunate tendency to buy loads of manufactured stuff for our children (and for ourselves too). Most of this merchandise is shoddily put together and ends up in the garbage after a short time anyway, effectively wasting resources while also crowding landfills.

The fact is, children don’t need all this junk. Sure, sometimes they think they do, but they’re too young to make such decisions wisely — that’s why we call them children. Children are actually quite adept at making their own toys, as many do throughout the world; a kid can play for hours with a couple of sticks if they are encouraged to use their innate imaginative abilities. That’s what kids everywhere do.

But if you want to gift them with toys, how about making them yourself?

No … seriously. Whatever happened to the sword made with two pieces of wood nailed together? Those were all the rage when I was little. Or what about taking an old blanket, sewing one edge over (anyone can do this) and threading through a string, and viola — a cape. Toys like these will last a lot longer than something from Wal-Mart and are great fun. And even if you’re on a tight schedule, you could make them with the time you’d otherwise spend shopping for something, plus you save money.

Also remember that you and your children quite simply don’t need so much new stuff. Buying new gadgets and gimmicks won’t actually change your life, like the commercials say, except perhaps to make it more complicated, and who wants that? Instead, teach yourself and your children to be happy with what you have, and that with a little imagination, you can make your own fun.

Now, are you going to let some plastic gimmick take that away from your kids?

Sky Roversi-Deal


Traffic nuisance?

After the Maui restriction on exit rate was removed, I did the math. Unrestrained exit, I guess at about a car every 3 seconds. For 288 cars, that’s about 14.5 minutes. It takes about 3 minutes to get from Nawiliwili to the stoplight at Kukui Grove, or 1 minute to get to the stoplights on Rice Street or the road to the airport.

It will be interesting to see how long it will take for traffic to come to a standstill and then how long it will take for it to clear out. And I guess locals would just have to avoid the area to stay clear of the mess because it’s such a nuisance.

The Maui proposal of 30 seconds per car was a tight, but if something like a 10 second interval were imposed, it would ease this problem. But then it would take 48 minutes to offload all the cars. So under that traffic mitigation, bringing your car to Kaua‘i could require getting to the ferry 90 minutes or more before sailing (they say 30, but I don’t think they can accurately inspect a vehicle every 6 seconds), 3 hours transit time (more during whale season), and 45 minutes to offload, so 5 to 6 hours each way to go to Kaua‘i with a vehicle.

Robert Hickling


Compromise solution

Seems the argument most supporters of the Superferry use, in regards to the EIS that was required of this alternative means of transportation before it began service to the Neighbor Islands is: “Why single out the Superferry? The cruise ships weren’t required to perform an EIS before they began interisland service.”

That brings up a very good point.

My suggestion is: Allow the Superferry to transport passengers only, just like the cruise ships do. They want an equal playing field, let’s give them one. But do not, I repeat do not allow the transport of vehicles on the Superferry until at the very least, an Environmental Impact Statement has been completed. Let busses, and cabs, and shuttles, meet the passengers arriving on the Superferry, just like they do with the cruise ships. If the so called majority wants an alternative means of transportation, let’s give them one. We’ll see how many of them take a boat instead of a plane then …

Joe Callen


Power of the picture

I would like to respond to Sophie Josselin’s letter (“Dogs do nasty things,” Letters, Nov. 20).

Sophie describes taking pictures of dogs pooping in the hope of having it printed in The Garden Island newspaper.

I hope that if Sophie sees anyone littering, she would do the same, especially non-biodegradable trash like plastic, refrigerators, car batteries or for that matter, cars.

Because we all know where those items have been dumped on this island.

And where they still sit years later.

“Auwe … what? U no care?”

Dennis Chaquette


Priorities need work

Many lies, from “our” president to some of our local officials.

I saw President Bush on T.V. tonight, talking about what a “failed state” Cuba is, and how “peaceful” it will be once it becomes “democratic.” If it is failed, that is in large part because of the decades long embargo we’ve imposed on that materially poor country.

And who is he to talk of peace? Or to tell U.S. citizens we can’t visit there? Why not? He is a spoiled oil punk, strutting around like a pseudo-heroic Napoleon, and he sure doesn’t speak for me.

And, in the Middle East, he warns Iran “not to meddle in Iraq’s affairs.” They, at least, share a common border and religion with Iraq — who is the “Super-meddler” here?

Locally, some pretty normal, peaceful folks are busted growing pakalolo up in Koke‘e — a mom, her son, an aging surfer, etc. The police exaggerated the value of that crop at least one-hundred-fold; and it isn’t nearly as dangerous as liquor, cigarettes, or the terrible scourge methamphetamine. We must get our priorities straight.

Then, there’s the $350,000 we the taxpayers just paid the elderly couple whose house the police mistakenly and stupidly raided looking for the benign herb, named after Mary Jane.

And now, our illustrious governor — openly cheating our people and judiciary, regarding the super (bad) ferry. It’s like in the famous book “1984,” (about the then future) in which the truth is a lie, and lies pass as the truth.

In a recent The Garden Island (“Missile blessing closes first phase,” A1, Oct. 24) a “spiritual leader” blesses some missiles and gives them cute names. Our ‘aina … auwe. I could go on, but for now, I just say, love and protect the ‘aina, our mother, Earth.

Love one another, and speak the truth; I am trying.

Hawk Hamilton



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