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Army should not have capitulated over Makua

Looks like the environmentalists and cultural practitioners won again and got the Army to quit using Makua Valley for live-fire exercises ("Army ends live-fire training at Makua," Star-Advertiser, Jan. 13).

These environmentalists have opposed the Army for decades and prevented it for years from using the valley for live-fire exercises. So the Army retreats and capitulates to these groups and lets them have their way again.

The only place left now for live-fire exercises will be at Schofield Barracks and the Pohakuloa training area on the Big Island.

As a former soldier in the 25th Infantry Division, 1958-1961, I resent this course of action. Why must the military always give in to these groups? I say it’s wrong and that Makua should be used for live-fire exercises.

Al Eisner
Silver Spring, Md.


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The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Advertiser reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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


Ag land a main reason Hawaii is so attractive

Agricultural land is being wasted and we need to preserve it for future generations.

Every landowner wants to develop the land for big money, but we should be saving agricultural land instead. The land that we save from construction can be used for farming of local foods.

For our visitors, the unique thing that we can show them is our natural vistas and rural areas and farmland. It’s all we have left of old Hawaii. The natural vistas and rural land are what make Hawaii unique compared with places such as Florida, the Caribbean and Bermuda. We never want to destroy them.

Alice Liggett


Union urged teachers to choose furloughs

Les Inouye says, "Without the union, teachers are powerless to argue for what everyone says is a priority — student learning" ("Teachers need union support," Star-Advertiser, Letters, Jan. 12).

Wow. May I refresh his memory? When Gov. Linda Lingle, being constitutionally mandated to balance the budget, offered the teachers a choice of a cut in income or unpaid days off (furloughs), guess what the union advised the teachers to do? Choose furlough days. At least you don’t have to work. Never mind that fewer working days also mean fewer instruction days. Priority? Methinks not.

Gerhard C. Hamm
Waialae Iki


China sets priorities and pursues them fast

The appearance of the Chinese J-20 stealth fighter was an unpleasant surprise — years ahead of prediction ("Trouble in China, Star-Advertiser, Jan. 13). The real surprise is: What took the Chinese so long?

Two years ago, the Chinese bought 60 high-speed trains from Siemens of Germany and earlier another batch from Kawasaki. In 2010 the Chinese trundled out their own high-speed trains and inaugurated commercial service between Wuhan and Guangzhou.

The Chinese now have more miles of high-speed service than everyone else in the world, and have become a rail exporter — from Saudi Arabia to Argentina.

The significance is that the Chinese set priorities and then act with great resources and greater speed. Look at solar panels and wind turbines.

China apparently did not set a high priority on the J-20 stealth fighter. The real effect is in Washington, where the U.S. military and their contractors have a more receptive audience.

Samuel S. H. Lee


Unions built America and deserve respect

Interesting but off-the-mark thinking by anti-union politicians, and especially large corporations ("Deficit- saddled states try to rein in unions," Star-Advertiser, Jan. 9).

When was the last time these folks swung a hammer, risked their life to save a swimmer or surfer in distress or did CPR on an accident victim?

How about dealing with a very large mean drunk who does not respect the badge? Union private-sector workers build your houses. State and county workers protect your neighborhoods, and rescue swimmers and surfers and transport your injured or ill loved ones to the ER.

Let’s not forget the folks who pick up your trash and clean your sewers.

The unions built this country and the middle class. Do you think these politicians and CEOs are willing to take the same hit? I don’t think so.

Mark H. Erwin


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