Letters for Sunday, May 27, 2012

• A sad duck indeed • Mahalo for living within our means • Marathon needs its own money • No need for pigeonholes

A sad duck indeed

I feel impelled to write you as a former resident of Kaua‘i and frequent visitor to the island. My husband is a flight attendant and stays at the Kaua‘i Marriot Kalapaki Beach. He sent me a picture of a white face whistling duck that aimlessly stands in front of a mirror as its mate is deceased and it is in mourning. My husband asked an employee if they have any plans on getting this poor duck a mate, and he said no, as they come from Africa. I realize how hard it is to get animals through Hawai‘i customs, but here is my question.Why are hotels in Hawai‘i importing animals that will be left permanently distressed and depressed if their only mate dies? Did they not consider this before they got this animal? I do not think it should be legal to import foreign animals to Hawai‘i if there are no intentions of replacing lost mates. Ducks mate for life and without a replacement mate, this duck is left in a permanent state of depression. Does anyone remember the movie “Cast Away,” where Tom Hanks  was stranded on an island and went so crazy being  alone he  named a washed ashore  soccer ball Wison and talked to it so he wouldn’t go totally crazy? What makes people think animals that live in groups or pairs are any different? I feel the Marriot should have some compassion and get another duck or transfer this one to a zoo that has another whistling duck. This duck is too sad to whistle.

Senchal Hatton, Thousand Oaks, Calif., formerly of Kaua‘i

Mahalo for living within our means

Thank you, Mel Rapozo and KipuKai Kuali‘i, for voting against the new budget which “will increase government size and spending, raise property taxes, dip into the County’s reserve fund, and appropriate funds from a projected surplus.”  What a concept … living within a budget like the public has to do.  Thank you for having the common sense to refuse to be a part of the constant expansion of government.  We appreciate you.  Let us all remember, in November, which Council members have the common sense and desire to put an end to this out-of-control spending.  

 

Kris Van Dahm, Kapa‘a

Marathon needs its own money

Thanks to TGI for reporting on the real facts of the September Kaua‘i Marathon Race. (“Marathon officials get leg up fro county”, May 17). And thanks to Councilman Kipukai Kuali‘i for his many hours of research and analysis of what this race actually does for our island as opposed to what the race promoters say it will do.

In 2009 and 2010 Jeff Sacchini, the founder and principal funder of the marathon invested $352,000 in it, hoping that the venture would be profitable. But the race financial statement showed a two-year loss of about $352,000 and the projected five-year loss showed a figure of $326,072.

However, even that number does not tell the real story about this race.

Our county has given and has obligated themselves to give this event $365 ,000 of our tax money, thus making the loss almost double what it has been and projected to be if those dollars were taken away from their bottom line.

No other private, start-up enterprise would ask taxpayers to fund their venture so why should we get the short end of the stick? There is absolutely nothing wrong with marathons and I support them. But if the proponents of this race wish to continue holding it then, let them get their funding from entrance fees ands sponsors and not from our pockets.

Glenn Mickens, Kapa‘a

No need for pigeonholes

I certainly agree with Mr. Souza in the observation that mere mortals aren’t “angels.” We are all subject to error.

One common error is our tendency to define other people, whether we know them or not. We can then make assumptions and sweeping generalizations about their imagined beliefs, to better fit with our own views of how they must surely think and what must surely be their ultimate goals. This enables us to demonize persons whose religious or political beliefs are different from our own. “Conservatives” do not have a monopoly on belief in God.

There are people of faith in every political persuasion, living under every economic system, and aspiring to any number of social “ideals”. There are, no doubt, political and financial conservatives who do not have any religious faith, including any belief in a higher power.

There are Americans who believe in small government but, at the same time, espouse maximum government intrusion into the reproductive health, religious practices, and marriage choices of others. There are also Americans who believe that such areas are important liberty interests and, therefore, a matter of personal decision.

Reasonable people may disagree on any number of issues. It is, however, dangerous to attribute a specific set of “beliefs,” “morals,” “political aims” or goals to large numbers of people, and then to excoriate them for what we ourselves have largely manufactured in our fearful minds. One horrific result of such practice occurred in Nazi Germany. That was fascism, and we should be careful with the term.

Susan Kelsey Brooks, West Des Moines, Iowa

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