Letters for Wednesday, June 25, 2008

• Drivers beware

• Why won’t we remember Iowa flood?

• The tail is wagging the dog

Drivers beware

Being a resident and a business owner on the North Shore for 20 years, I have noticed an escalating lack of diligence and an extraordinary degree of negligence and disregard for the safety of those who traverse the stretch of Kuhio Highway from Kilauea to Princeville.

It appears that the divisions of highways, be it county, state or federal departments, seem to be blinking their eyes in noticing the appalling state of disrepair the road is in.

My ability to concentrate on the traffic becomes secondary to anticipating the lurking conditions of the highway that has become a maze of obstacles.

We, as taxpaying drivers, are expected to keep our automobiles in compliance of safety rules, assume the responsibility of obtaining annual safety inspections and provide insurance coverage. I find it incomprehensible that more diligence is not equally reflected in the efforts to maintain a safe environment and medium on which we drive.

Traveling on this stretch of highway is a challenge in broad daylight — try traversing this death defying obstacle course at night. One might as well drive blindfolded and hope that you will reach your destination riding on the few remaining reflective dots that are supposed to divide the right and left sides of the highway.

The frosting on the cake was approximately six months ago when this stretch of Kuhio Highway, in someone’s infinite wisdom and wasteful thought, was striped from Kilauea to Princeville, painting over the disfigured asphalt and numerous potholes. These potholes are sporadically unevenly filled, only to be undermined and become worse with every rain. The replacement stripes are less than straight and appear to have been applied with a runaway painter dodging the potholes himself.

High accolades are not due those who decided to repave the perfectly unscathed stretch of highway from Anahola to Kilauea in the last four months.

Traveling this stretch of highway has become quite a challenge. I am compelled to share my concerns in an effort to forewarn all who travel this “gateway to impending disaster.”

Beware of the life-threatening road that lies in front of you.

In closing, I would like to know who will step up to the plate and take responsibility for the imminent accidents and/or deaths that are becoming increasingly more inevitable. Who will contest their responsibility to ensure our island drivers get the cushion of safety we not only deserve, but expect? To all who travel this poorly maintained “Asphalt Jungle” on the way to our otherwise beautiful North Shore, beware.

Terry Caplan


Why won’t we remember Iowa flood?

An Iowa flood victim who lost her home in the recent flooding that has devastated much of the heartland of America asked her local newspaper the following questions:

Where are all of the Hollywood celebrities holding telethons asking for help in restoring Iowa and helping the folks affected by the floods?

Where is all the media asking the tough questions about why the federal government hasn’t solved the problem?

Where are the FEMA trucks (and trailers)?

Why isn’t the federal government relocating Iowa people to free hotels in Chicago?

When will Spike Lee say that the federal government blew up the levees that failed in Des Moines?

Where are Sean Penn and the Dixie Chicks?

Where are all the snipers shooting at those trying desperately to rescue people in danger?

Where are all the looters stealing high-end tennis shoes and big screen television sets?

When will we hear Gov. Chet Culver say that he wants to rebuild a “vanilla” Iowa, because that’s the way God wants it?

Where is the hysterical 24/7 media coverage complete with reports of cannibalism?

Where are the people declaring that George Bush hates white, rural people?

Now that it’s estimated our country will pay nearly $500,000 for every resident of New Orleans in direct costs to rebuild that depraved city, how much will we get?

How come in two weeks you will never hear about the Iowa flooding ever again?

I’ll tell you why and where these losers are. They’re espousing their far left hateful dogma against the United States, cursing the conservative backbone of this nation and drooling over the thought of one of their own, Barack Obama, leading their world.

Gordon Oswald


The tail is wagging the dog

In the Sunday issue of The Garden Island, the writer of the letter “Friend of Israel” asked the readers to vote for candidates who are pro-Israel.

The request is fine, anyone can request whatever he/she wants, but if this country ran the government as our forefathers had intended, this would make no difference.

When I came to this country 35 years ago, I still could hear the echo of the historical phrase “We the people” once in a while, meaning that the members of the government, including the president, should do whatever the majority of the people want.

Unfortunately, the impenetrable maze of today’s politics has buried this phrase alive. Even if the overwhelming majority of Americans want to end the war in Iraq, their president does just the opposite. So, the tail is wagging the dog.

When it comes to Israel, the above appeal appears to me as public lobbying. The question is whether the majority of the people support Israel, and only if they do, should the president publicly support it.

My priorities for supporting peace and supporting Hawai‘i way precede supporting any foreign country. But to be fair to all the people, I would change the appeal to “Don’t forget to vote for candidates who still remember that they are public servants and pledge to support the will of the majority of the people.”

Isn’t it the pillar of democracy, or did I get it wrong in history class?

János Samu



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