Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Monday, June 24, 2024 85° Today's Paper

Letters to the Editor

State failed child punched by father

Shame on the state Intermediate Court of Appeals for setting aside the misdemeanor conviction of Richard D. Dowling Jr., who had been found guilty of abusing his 11-year-old son for lying to him about a stuck door ("Parental discipline defense upheld in child abuse case," Star-Advertiser, Sept. 19).

If an adult pushes another adult down and punches him until he bruises, it is considered a criminal offense. Why should the laws be different for children?

Maui Prosecutor John Kim stated that the court took a "common sense" approach because parental discipline might always cause some mental distress.

It is common sense that child abuse erodes families and ultimately erodes our communities by raising mentally distressed adults. We need laws that nurture and protect our children, not laws that justify and condone abusive parenting. Children need advocates and role models, and the state failed Dowling’s son.

Kerrie Urosevich

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Rush job for APEC will cost more later

I read that we are not going to be able to get the underground wiring and sidewalk work before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting here in November, but we are going to go ahead and landscape ("State falls behind in fix-up projects for APEC meeting," Star-Advertiser, Sept. 13).

Does this mean we rip up the landscaping to work underground?

It is ever thus.

Geraldine Debenedetti

GMO foods carry potential for harm

Natural reproduction or breeding can occur only between closely related forms of life like cats with cats, not cats with dogs; wheat with wheat, not wheat with tomatoes or fish. In this way, the genes that offspring inherit from parents, which carry information for all parts of the body, are passed down the generations in an orderly way.

Genetic modification is not like natural plant breeding. GM uses laboratory techniques to insert artificial gene units to re-program the DNA blueprint of the plant with completely new properties. This process would never happen in nature. The artificial gene units are created in the laboratory by joining fragments of DNA, usually derived from multiple organisms, including viruses, bacteria, plants and animals.

The GM transformation process of plants is crude and imprecise and causes widespread mutations, resulting in major changes to the plant’s DNA blueprint. These mutations unnaturally alter the genes’ functioning in unpredictable and potentially harmful ways.

Hesh Goldstein
Aina Haina

Housing projects need lots of water

Thanks to Vicki Viotti for her article, "Sowing Seeds of Sustainability," (Star-Advertiser, Sept. 18).

I would like to enlarge on her brief mention that "water is another crucial but potentially elusive element. …" She was speaking in regards to the farmers. In regard to the Ho‘opili development, water is a necessity for thousands of homes and commercial buildings. An immense quantity of water would be critical through both dry and wet seasons. Where is it to come from if we have a drought similar to what Texas is experiencing?

Covering the ground with buildings and roads would prevent the rain, when it does come, from percolating into the aquifer.

Mandy Bowers

Insurance mandate put post office in red

Concerning the letter from Dan Brown blaming high salaries for the U.S. Postal Service’s financial problems ("Post office has high labor costs," Star-Advertiser, Sept. 16), the Republican Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act in 2006, which mandated the USPS to pay for all health insurance benefits over the next 75 years in a 10-year window.

This means the USPS must put into a fund $5.5 billion a year over the next 10 years to pay the health retirement benefit costs of future USPS employees who have not even been born yet.

No organization, public or private, does this. Without this burden the USPS would be sound financially and would have had a surplus of $1.2 billion for its 2008 and 2009 fiscal years.

The USPS is an example of what government does well. It ensures everyone has mail service no matter where they live. Passing laws to destroy what government does well is what politicians do well.

Roy Kamisato
Niu Valley

Medal of Honor is something earned

I wish the media would realize someone who receives the Medal of Honor should not be considered a "winner" ("Medal of Honor winners to gather on Oahu," Star-Advertiser, Newswatch, Sept. 18).

They did not receive the award as a result of a lottery or gambling at a casino. They earned it with blood, sweat and tears.

The correct term is "recipients," not "winners."

Thank you, from a 54-year veteran serving in and for the Navy and a very proud American.

Jim Taylor

Cable cameraman needs steadier hand

I’m finding that watching University of Hawaii volleyball on the Oceanic Cable station is just short of leaving me with a little motion sickness.

Please, Mr. Cameraman, don’t follow the movement of the ball; just focus on the full court.

There is also a lot of zooming in and out. Many times, the viewer missed where the ball landed because the camera zoomed in too close.

Maybe this is a good thing, as it may just make me want to attend at the Stan Sheriff Arena to see the Wahine play in person.

Sharon Ansai
Pearl City

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