Letters for Monday, July 11, 2011

• Spewing innuendo: Kaua‘i activists’ playbook

Fearless guardians of our safety •

Respect the wishes of fallen veterans

Spewing innuendo: Kaua‘i activists’ playbook

Fred Dente has taken a page right out of the activist handbook in his letter (“KIUC: a co-op on the corporate plantation,” Letters, June 13).

That page instructs you to throw as much junk as you can against the wall and hope something sticks.

If you look up “innuendo” in the dictionary, you’ll see his full text. In it, for example, one person is discredited simply for being “from Kansas City.”

Using his letter as a model, let’s turn some innuendo back onto Fred Dente:

1) Fred Dente is from Kapa‘a; you all know what that means! They’re trying to turn this place into Kansas City! or:

2) Fred Dente was seen driving through the Walmart parking lot. Apparently, he supports Super Large Corporations, their massive CEO bonuses, and questionable labor practices, over local businesses! or:

3) Fred Dente has yet to produce a single kilowatt of electricity. Why should we trust him to tell us about power production?

Pretty ridiculous, I know, but no less ridiculous than the steady diet of innuendo spewing from Kaua‘i’s activists.

Pete Antonson, Kalaheo

Fearless guardians of our safety

I would like to add my mahalo to Greg and the rest of the lifeguard team who rescued my boat on July 4.

My partner and I got a late start for the Anini-to-Ha‘ena race so we paddled the entire course without seeing any other boats or buoys.

Near Tunnels beach conditions were worsening so I decided we should just head ashore even though we didn’t know exactly where the finish was.

Conditions at landing were terrible. Extremely high winds, chaotic waves and very strong current, such that I couldn’t even stand up in the water. All this was over a reef with uncertain depth.

I managed to get ashore with help from a friendly spear fisherman with fixed lines.

My partner who had been watching this struggle decided we had not gone far enough and headed back out to sea toward a surf break in spite of my vain shouts to come in.

Not wanting to abandon her I quickly put my kayak back in the water, jumped in and started paddling hard.

Unfortunately my rudder had become trapped in a hole on the reef and before I had time to fasten my leash a wave and wind gust flipped me over.

The boat was soon 20 feet away but swimming fast as I could it quickly disappeared.

With extreme effort I managed to swim to shore and eventually connected with my partner who had somehow paddled through this mess.

With a heavy heart and thoroughly thrashed by the ocean I reported the incident to the lifeguard at Ke‘e.

He had already spotted my boat heading offshore. I assumed it was gone for good and took the first ride I could get back to dry clothes and my car.

The next day I was astonished to learn that one of the lifeguards had actually chased it down on his paddleboard and towed it behind him into the wind.

To me this was an incredible feat of endurance and strength as well as devotion to his job to put out such heroic effort in poor conditions to save my boat.

I asked why he didn’t take a jet ski; he modestly replied that he “needed a good work out.”

I was also helped out in another difficult situation months earlier by another Kaua‘i lifeguard.

Altogether I owe a large debt of gratitude to these vigilant, fearless and powerful guardians of our safety. I think we are very fortunate to have such competent people looking after us and strongly support any additional resources they might need.

Will Spiegelman, Princeville

Respect the wishes of fallen veterans

In his July 3 letter, Mr. Ed Smetana states that “At military cemeteries, during funeral services the new directive is: God or Jesus cannot be mentioned.”

This seems to be another example of the truth being distorted and twisted to meet an agenda.

Department of Defense Directive 1300.15, “Military Funeral Support,” Oct. 22, 2007, makes no such claim.

In fact, there is absolutely no mention of God, Jesus, Allah, Zeus, Thor, Buddha, or any other religious entity. The directive only covers the services that are to be provided at a military funeral, flag folding, flag presentation, and the playing of “Taps.”

I’m guessing that Mr. Smetana is referring to a story about a Houston-area cemetery director who told volunteers to stop saying “God bless you” at military funerals and to remove the words “God bless” from condolence cards.

Apparently these volunteers, being Christian themselves, assumed that everybody was Christian and so imposed their religion on everybody else. It is only right that these volunteers respect the views of the grieving survivors.

The guidelines allow the veteran’s family to request a member of the clergy to conduct a religious service.

This is as it should be — respect the wishes of the deceased veteran (if any instructions were left behind) or of the surviving family members.

Brian Christensen, Lihu‘e

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