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Letters to the Editor


U.S. fighting a new kind of war

Bob Herbert posed the question about Afghanis-tan, "What are we doing here?" (Star-Advertiser, Nov. 17).

He questioned whether any of our nation-building objectives will ever be achieved, and whether they have "any real connection to the attacks by al-Qaida on Sept. 11, 2001."

And he strongly implied that our soldiers are dying for nothing.

Finding bin Laden and eradicating al-Qaida or bringing them to justice for 9/11, even if possible, would not have a material impact on the growing problem of radical Islam and global terrorism. The 9/11 attack was our awakening to a new kind of warfare, a war like no other. Our military is well aware that to win it we will need to rebuild countries that harbor terrorists. We will do this by putting troops in harm’s way and convincing the local population we will defend them.

No one in our military should ever think they might die for nothing because a few like Mr. Herbert don’t get it.

Brian Barbata


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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

Fish farming unfairly attacked

Another Food and Water Watch attack against ocean fish farming ("Factory fish farming: A track record of costly, messy failure," Star Advertiser, Nov. 16) notes our two pioneering farms, the only commercial U.S. open ocean aquaculture farms, are struggling in the current economic climate.

No surprise, everyone is struggling.

Let’s also note that there were more cultured fish in the marketplace, the cage technology proved effective and the environmental impacts proved minimal and manageable.

Hawaii needs innovative efforts to facilitate state-wide economic diversification and new investment like Hawaii Oceanic Technology through approaches like tax incentives. FWW’s local anti-aquaculture campaign tries to manipulate opinion rather than accurately inform. Stopping development in the lead state would be a big boost for them nationally.

John Corbin
Former manager of the Hawaii Aquaculture Development Program


Handicap stalls being misused

It seems stores and facilities are adding more handi- cap parking spaces. This is an admirable trait.

And since the missus does a lot of our shopping, I frequently drop her at the entrance and park the car in a regular spot. This usually affords me a view of the handicapped area.

I see perfectly healthy people coming and going from those cars. No canes, crutches, walkers or wheelchairs. Apparently, if someone in the family is truly handicapped and they have the sticker, anyone in the family can take advantage of it.

This is not only unsportsmanlike, it is illegal.

Bob Frye
North Shore


Hands-free law isn’t perfect

The hands-free law doesn’t target the real problem with talking and driving.

With the hands-free law you have both hands free, but you are in the same state of mind as you would be if carrying a phone in one hand and talking on it.

Most drivers don’t drive with both hands anyway. The majority of drivers always have a hand free for whatever else they are doing, from changing the station to eating a burger, all of which are driving distractions.

The way people drive now, without distractions, is scary enough. The last thing we need is another distraction for drivers. 

Shawn Brown


Walkers, cyclists need protection

Another pedestrian has died, this time on Maui after being hit by a car when crossing the street

How many deaths and injuries will be allowed until something is actually done? A pedestrian or cyclist in Hawaii can’t feel anywhere near safe.

It is time to do something about this and actually promote biking and walking as an alternative to taking cars.

But how easy is it to convince people to leave the car at home when we hear about pedestrians being killed, bikers yelled at for occupying the roads and walkers fined hundreds of dollars for walking against the red light?

We need stricter speed controls and separate biking lanes to promote these alternative transportation methods. The sooner changes are made, the sooner we will see a safer and healthier Hawaii.

Wilhelm Irwe


If rule is unfair, then change it

The truth is, many people make rules to keep from making tough decisions.

The Kahuku football eligibility situation could have easily been resolved had the Oahu Interscholastic Association rules committee used common sense and good judgment. Instead, it referred to precedent to support its case.

If a rule is inadequate, do we continue to make the same mistake in support of precedent?

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "Young men know the rules, but old men know the exceptions."

I suspect there were too many "young men" on the rules committee.

Ron Yogi

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