Letters for May 19, 2016

• Rescue costs should be paid by those who act foolishly • Bombs revealed dark side of humanity

Rescue costs should be paid by those who act foolishly

I hadn’t planned on running all the way back from the beach at Hanakapiai Valley last Wednesday. But when I saw what looked like three locals start diving through the waves, right past the Danger sign, I started watching more closely. I was beginning to head back, when one of the swimmers went rushing past me and grabbed the yellow lifeguard float and quickly returned to the beach. Sure enough, there were two bobbing heads a long ways out, being swept around the corner.

I asked a woman in their party if she thought they were in danger, and she replied with panic, “Yes, and my cell phone won’t work.” I told her I’d run back to the ranger station and call 911. Coming from Colorado, it was an easy run. The two swimmers managed to climb onto a rock in the bay, and the jet skis rescued them.

I remembered the first time I backpacked on the trail when I was in my 20s, and also had no conception of my mortality. When a sign listing how many swimmers had died in that bay, and another stating “Danger” aren’t enough to penetrate a young “immortal’s” mind, what would be?

The answer is easy: Why not list the cost of a rescue on that sign, and state the rescuee will be held responsible for paying? Save the money for a positive use, like improving the parking at the trailhead. Dump the “No Parking” signs that everyone ignores, and build head-in parking. Please.

John Kadlecek, Boulder, Colorado

Bombs revealed dark side of humanity

With President Obama poised to visit the Hiroshima Museum, I feel compelled to describe what I witnessed there.

When I married my Japanese wife in Japan 15 years ago, we went on our honeymoon to Hiroshima. I was expecting that the Japanese people would hate me, but I was pleasantly surprised to find them warm and friendly.

What stuck out about the exhibits I saw were: The bomb exploded 500 feet off the ground, they didn’t want to make a big hole, they wanted it to spread.

The temperature went from ambient to 3,000 degrees centigrade in 1 1/2 seconds (30 times boiling). Everything within a six-kilometer circle was disintegrated and death spread in concentric circles. After walking through about half the exhibits, I was overcome with grief and felt sick to my stomach enough that I had to leave. I’ve also been to Nagasaki’s museum with similar results.

If you want to read a good book that will keep you spellbound until the end, look for “The Bells Of Nagasaki.” The author felt that the Japanese people were chosen as the sacrificial lambs to show the rest of the world that you never, ever, ever want to do that again.

Every citizen of planet Earth should be required to go and bear witness to the destruction brought about by these massive killing tools. It is sobering enough to make almost anyone aware of, not only the power of those weapons, but also, the huge toll it takes on mankind’s soul.

Those in office should seek some education in humility.

Jack Custer, Kalaheo


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