Letters 12-19-2012


Helicopters

An annoyance

I am a 60-plus-year-old disabled Vietnam veteran.

For nearly my entire time in Hawaii (coming up on 30 years), one constant interrupts my peace and quiet. Now, do not misunderstand; many things bother my ears. But there is one constant and it also sickens my heart.

For three generations, my family has enlisted to serve this nation in times of conflict. We did not choose to serve in order to allow the creation of a police state.

What is it that has my ire so stirred up? Simply the continual return of the helicopters roaming the islands looking for that insidious plant, marijuana.

Despite the wishes of residents of the islands (at least Hawaii and Maui) expressed at the ballot and at county council meetings; the whoop-whoops continue at a cost of more than $8,000 an hour…and furloughs continue for lack of funds.

Would you rather that the $8,000-plus per hour be spent for the wishes of the people on ending the furloughs or against the wishes of the people and the continued use of said funds on thrill rides for adrenaline junkies?

That $8,000 dollar amount (a low-end amount in my research — some efforts top $10,000 an hour) must be multiplied times however many choppers times however many hours per day and times how many days per year. I full well understand the mental frame of reference of those who choose to fly these missions…I used to get off on the same stuff; adrenaline!

I am asking that West Hawaii Today and others ask loudly, where is the Democratic Governor in this matter; hiding or simply selling out to federal funding?

Elected officials and those running for office with whom I have tried to have this discussion, invariably find a politically correct way of avoiding talking about the matter in detail. That must stop; our elected officials must be made to stand their position openly and publicly; by voice!

I hope that West Hawaii Today and its editorial staff might find some way of publicly asking for such a commitment from our elected officials.

Oh, and this charge is based on hearsay … an end to intimidation by our various island police chiefs would be appreciated; those late night visits to politicians on the taxpayers’ dime might not be legal guys …t his question comes at those public servants from a policescience graduate.

Is the answer obvious? Money; but who, how and how much?

John Orr

Captain Cook

The wrong route

No free mulch?

This is dedicated to all those who have moved a lot of mulch with a pitch fork.

I understand there will be no more mechanical loading at the Kealakehe site. There will be “assisted” (I presume assisted means for a fee) loading at the new West Hawaii Organic Facility site located approximatly 20 miles north. Just the extra 40-mile round trip will at least double the cost to anyone south due to gas, time, etc. I am told that currently the bulk of the mulch goes comes south to farms, etc. At this time, from Kealakehe a 18-cubic-yard truck load delivered to our farm costs $150. Unfortunately, at the new location, twice as far, the hauling, at a minimum, will double to $300 plus. Couple that with assisted loading fees, the “free mulch” becomes unaffordable to most.

If assisted loading could be offered at the existing Kealakehe site with a reasonable loading fee the cost could be held down and certainly pay the expense that Kealakehe incurs. Therefore allowing persons farming, landscaping and needing mulch in general access at a lower cost. In addition, it will keep truckers working more efficiently and not having to use twice the fuel. That 20-mile stretch of highway will be less congested and last longer. Any consideration on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Jack Turner

Honaunau

NRA

The most dangerous man in America

Wayne LaPierre, the president of the National Rifle Association, will tell you, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” He and his organization have been the main roadblock to even moderate gun control in this country for many years. Just like Grover Norquist and his anti-tax pledge, the NRA demands politicians make absolutely no compromises on gun control or else it will target and take them down.

LaPierre is the most dangerous man in America because last year 32,000 Americans died in gun violence.

Homicide rates in the other 22 highest income nations are one-seventh as much.

That means that more than 27,000 additional people die each year in the U.S. than if the NRA did not exist and our gun laws were like all the other civilized nations’.

If guns don’t kill people, Mr. LaPierre, then why do nations with fewer guns have seven times fewer gun deaths per capita? It is so obvious as to be almost laughable that the NRA has been lying to its members and to the nation at large.

But no one is laughing now, Mr. LaPierre. We are crying for 20 dead children and we see you with blood on your hands.

Matt Binder

Kona