Letters 10-7-2012


Pool closing

Terrible planning

Who thought it was a good idea to close the Kona Community Aquatic Center for a two-day inspection and furlough Friday during fall break?

All public schools are off this week and Ironman triathletes are here training and our pool is closed. Now, with inspection complications, it is closed all week until Saturday.

This is bad planning and terrible timing.

I am very disappointed in the Department of Parks and Recreation for allowing this to happen.

C. Olivera

Kailua-Kona

Political telemarketers

A sound response

In response to a letter in Friday’s WHT, there is an effective and enjoyable way to stop “political research” telemarketer phone calls.

Keep a saucepan next to your phone. When it becomes apparent you have received a telemarketing call, just bang the receiver several times against the saucepan.

The induced temporary deafness will temporarily put the telemarketer out of business and might induce him to find a less painful line of work.

Michael Ken Sylman

Kailua-Kona

Turtle protection

A Hawaiian response

As a person of Hawaiian ancestry whose grandniece and grandnephews received their early education in a Hawaiian immersion school, I would like to comment on the front page article entitled “Shell Game?”

The news article asserts: “the Native Hawaiian community opposed listing the green sea turtle on the Endangered Species Act in 1978.”

Oh really? What “Native Hawaiian community” are we talking about here? Certainly not mine.

The piece further asserts: “That community would like to resume harvesting honu, which the organization called a ‘traditional food resource and practice.’”

With marine environments now in danger due to climate change and pollution, and with fish stocks plummeting, the term harvesting is a euphemism for mining.

Two hundred years ago eating turtles was perhaps necessary, but is it really necessary today with all the cows, chickens and pigs readily available? And unlike these animals cited, sea turtles are not raised on farms and have to fend for themselves.

The ready answer, of course, is “traditional practice.” But this seems little more than an excuse to ignore environmental harm.

Look at how the “traditional practice” of ivory carving in China, Thailand and the Philippines is catastrophically decimating African elephant herds, where poachers employed by international organized crime are now using land mines on ancient migratory trails.

And look at how the “traditional practice” of Asian medicine has led to the extinction of the African black rhino because rhino horn powder is nonsensically assumed to be a natural alternative to Viagra.

I could go on and on, but the point is: When wildlife and its habitats are endangered by cultural traditions, then it is time to place these practices in the dustbin of history — where they belong.

Some readers may counter that comparing turtles and elephants is like comparing apples and oranges, but as Vicki Wawerchak states in the article: “Hunting of green turtles led to their near-extinction and should not be allowed under any circumstance.”

As for the African elephants, their population has plummeted to about 300,000, and if the poaching continues at its present rate of tens of thousands a year, they will soon be extinct.

Wiley Knight

Waimea