Letters for Monday, September 19, 2011

Cost concerns •

Closed minds • Cycling safely • Deciding what’s

vital

Cost concerns

I’m not against the relocation of our nene because, at the rate they are producing in numbers, their population will have to be managed at some future point.

My concern is the cost that has been reported at $18,000 per bird.

I have no idea what the cost is to relocate a Hawai‘i nightingale from the Big Island to California, but doubt that it is anywhere near that reported for our nene. When finished with the nightingales, perhaps we should consult their contractor about our nene relocation.

Bill Null, Kapa‘a

Closed minds

In his Sept. 16 letter, Fred Dente criticizes Kupuna Kaohi for a blessing at PMRF while praising Rev. Kaleo Patterson for leading a protest he attended at PMRF in 1993.

The same Rev. Patterson became a member of the council of Hawaiians advising U.S. Army Garrison Hawai‘i Commander Col. Douglas Mulbury on the issues regarding Makua. Rev. Patterson blessed Fort Shafter’s library in 2010 and the Schofield Barrack’s remodel in 2008.

Although still a proponent of Hawaiian sovereignty, Rev. Patterson, since 2003, has become a voice of reason and reconciliation whose language is always academic; not inflammatory. It appears that Rev. Patterson has gained perspective, balance, and a degree of wisdom over time.

By contrast, Mr. Dente’s letter makes no effort to persuade. It was a declaration of anti-American, anti-military sentiment and language, with an inference that nothing has changed in his mind since 1993; and perhaps before.

In my opinion, it was an effort to make us respect a consistent extremist stance. Perhaps by remaining in a shrinking, insular, provincial, community of malcontented extremists, Mr. Dente has failed to travel the natural pathway leading to enlightened moderation as has those he cited.

Such a lack of growth is not the product of a narrow mind; it is the product of a closed mind. A closed mind earns complete disrespect.

Pete Antonson, Kalaheo

Cycling safely

Mr. Shioi and Mr. Mann make excellent comments on bicycling safety. I cringe when I see a bicyclist cross Kuamo‘o at Kuhio Highway and dart the wrong way straight into traffic. What they are thinking I do not know.

For bicyclists the most important thing is to be where you are visible and expected in traffic. This means riding in the same direction as traffic along the right side of the road as far as is safe a practical for you personally, and obeying traffic signs and signals.

When you are turning left, use the full left turn lane just as a car does and wait your turn. Be where you are expected to be, signal your turns, cooperate with traffic, don’t compete with it. You will find that motorists will generally accommodate you if you follow the above rules. And for your own sake use lights at night!

For motorists the most important thing you can do for bicyclists is to obey the speed limit, all the time, everywhere. The next is to realize that you are sharing the road with bicyclists, and that they also belong on the road (this is state law, not opinion).

Bicyclists are allowed on all public roads on Kaua‘i, and are required to ride on the right side of the lane, not the sidewalk or shoulder unless it is a designated bike lane. So when a bicyclist moves to the shoulder to let you pass in your car, it is a courtesy.

Kurt Rutter, Kapa‘a

Deciding what’s vital

Peter Nilsen’s thoughtful letter (“Defense spending creates jobs,” Sept. 12) presents questions about the military budget and its return on our investment. 

No one can claim to know, as Mr. Nilsen says, what the right expenditure is. We do know opinion polls have shown for years that Americans want to end the two wars and recently that they want to cut military spending rather than defund social security and Medicare to address the national debt. 

As to jobs created, according to University of Massachusetts Economy Research Institute and also National Priorities Project, other sectors produce more jobs per tax dollar spent. Spending on education creates more than twice as many jobs. Investing in health care and clean energy creates more jobs, as well. The same studies found military jobs are among the lowest paid of all sectors analyzed.

The federal government’s budget estimates for fiscal year 2011 are: Education $140.9 billion, Defense (excluding the two wars) $928.5 billion. Which is more vital to national security: a military costing nearly as much as all other countries combined, or an informed citizenry educated for 21st century jobs?

Recent letters to the editor have referenced the october2011.org website.

I have learned that this movement means to promote a reality-based, affordable military along with other majority-supported wants, like an equitable tax system, protecting worker rights and getting money out of politics.

At least two Kaua‘i residents will join thousands of Americans at the Oct. 6 event.

Kip Goodwin, Kapa‘a

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