Letters for Thursday, September 15, 2011

• Flightless nene • No nene on Nene Day • Common sense • Thank

God for U.S.

Flightless nene

I am confused by the contents of the news article regarding the “exile” of nene from Kaua‘i. The plan is to fly the birds to cages on Maui and the Big Island, where their wings will be clipped. The article goes on to say that the nene are prey to, among other animals, mongoose — which are not found on Kaua‘i.

So I wonder: Why clip their wings so they can’t fly, then take them within reach of this predator? And, at a cost of $18,000 per bird per transfer, and given their flightless futures, couldn’t they simply be taken to Hanalei or Waimea on mongoose-free Kaua‘i, where they would have to walk home to reach the airport?

Suzan Kelsey Brooks, West Des Moines, Iowa

No nene on Nene Day

What is going on? On Sept. 13 The Garden Island runs a story, “Nene being kicked off Kaua‘i,” of how the nene are going to be shipped off the island, and then the next day a story of celebrating Nene Awareness Day?

So we’ll be celebrating Nene Awareness Day in a place where there are no nene to be aware of?

Sounds like the government is involved on this one, yeah?

I like the quote from Shannon Smith, Refuge Manager for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kaua‘i National Wildlife Refuge Complex. “We are working with a cadre of committed partners to restore habitat and give this species a real chance to make a comeback.”

… but not here.

Robert Reynolds, Lihu‘e

Common sense

Just read Michael Mann’s letter “Bike lanes not safe,” and thought it was interesting.

I actually wrote a letter on this a number of years ago. Yes, I agree that the bike lanes lining Kuhio Highway as well as others are dangerous. Drivers not paying attention to what they are doing, driving way too fast, muliti-tasking (still) or just plain aggressive/arrogent driving.

I have absolutely nothing against cyclists as many of my friends ride, but I do believe cyclists share an equal amount of responsibility while on public roads.

What totally baffles me is when I see someone on a bike wearing dark clothes with iPod blasting, weaving back and forth and running no lights. I see this practically everyday.

So many times I’m chugging along and all of a sudden out of the background shadows there’s a bicyclist in dark clothes right there.

Now I’m not saying you need to wear those super bright, flashing lights, sponsor-laden, Lance Armstrong tights but I tell you what, I see them a whole lot sooner then some yo-yo wearing black.

I also see many cyclists not following the rules of the road either. On the last Aloha Bike Ride I did see one rider almost get t-boned in Kapa‘a because he ran the red light fronting Foodland.

I felt more sorry for the young lady in the car that was scared to death for almost hitting a bicyclist.

What this boils down to is plain old common sense on both sides.

Ride safe, drive safe.

Stephen Shioi, Kapa‘a

Thank God for U.S.

There is always a small percentage of the population that lives in a fantasy bubble of good intentions and whose pollyannic delusions are the result of positive intentions. Unfortunately, the world isn’t as C. Bielle perceives it (letters Sept. 11).

If the author’s pacifist “philosophy” were magnified to the majority we would not now exist as a nation. You would not be free to write your letter. You would be pledging allegiance to a large poster of Hitler, Stalin, or perhaps Mao. Hawai‘i would be a province of a militant Japan, Russia or worse. You might even be home all day, wearing a burka in public, prevented from education or listening to music; and not driving a car, voting, or socializing. Your husband could beat you at will and the law would sanction it. Your relatives could kill you without punishment if you held hands with or dated a non-believer. Such was the reality in a very militant Afghanistan and many areas of Iraq before we, as a nation, decided to get involved.

History is replete with those who beat their swords into plowshares or looked away as others were persecuted and denied basic individual rights, only to be wiped off the face of the earth by those who seek riches, power, and control over you and your resources. We now live in a nuclear age of possible proliferation to small insane militant despots who pose a serious threat to your very life and freedom. We are surrounded by a perilous equation that has never occurred in the history of mankind!

You look away, they kill you and take what’s yours. It happens every time!

Thank God for the United States of America and what its sacrifice has provided for all the world.

Gordon Oswald, Kapa‘a

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