Editorial | Letters Letters to the Editor By Star-Advertiser staff April 6, 2012 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. Plastic bags harming nature Go to any grocery store in Maui or Kauai. You will see fruits, vegetables and meat, but there is one thing that is missing: plastic bags. So why should you care? In Hawaii, we are surrounded by beautiful scenery: plants, animals and especially the ocean. The waters surrounding our islands are filled with life that will someday struggle to exist because of what humans are doing to it. Every year, the average person uses hundreds of plastic bags. The population on Oahu is nearly 1 million: Do the math. Throwaway plastic bags continue on in our environment, where they remain in landfills for decades or go on to pollute the ocean. We can already see the effects of plastic bag pollution in the growing Pacific garbage patch. It is alarming for these tiny islands to practice the environmentally harmful habits we have now. Legislators need to pass the bag fee bill now. Acasia Hokama Honors Student Organization, University of Hawaii-Manoa How to write us The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~150 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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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. Letter form: Online form, click here E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (808) 529-4750 Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813 Anthems should be sung by all Thank you for your comments on our national and state anthems ("How to add some passion to the national anthem," Star-Advertiser, Off The News, April 3). We started grade school in the 1930s when we all had to memorize all the words to both "The Star-Spangled Banner" and Hawaii Pono‘i." Every morning, we lined up outside our classrooms, saluted our red, white and blue star-spangled flag and loudly pledged allegiance to it. Then we sang our national and state anthems loudly and solemnly with no frills attached. To this day, we feel their tug. Our hearts ache at ballgames — and even at memorial services — when the nation’s and state’s anthems are often sung to us or performed for us, often in a manner or pitch we cannot participate in. Please, we want to participate. Please have singers who will lead us in pledging ourselves to do and be our best for our nation and state. Jim and Yoshie Tanabe Hawaii Kai Democrats may be misnamed The Democratic Party’s recent refusal to allow Laura Thielen to run as a Democrat for the state Senate suggests that the party may well be misnamed. This embarrassing decision marks Democrats as denying voters the option of more candidates. Laura Thielen has served Hawaii’s people as state Planning Office director and state Department of Land and Natural Resources director — unique qualifications for legislative office. Voters want to see the party hold a party meeting open to the press where Thielen can satisfy any questions the party has regarding her qualifications as a candidate in the Democratic Party. A videotape of this session could then appear on the Star-Advertiser website, allowing all Democratic voters to judge for themselves Thielen’s qualifications. If the party certifies Thielen as a Democrat for Hawaii’s primary election, it can put democracy back into Hawaii’s Democratic Party. Paul Berry Kaneohe Fishing integral to food security An expert team at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research has just released its findings on how to meet the challenge of feeding the world, given climate change and food shortages. It paints a sobering picture.Growing demand will require intensified food production, which could accelerate environmental degradation and civil unrest. Its recommendation is to increase sustainable food production efforts at the local level. It’s a good thing that Hawaii already is on the right path. We have a strong foundation of ahupuaa self-sufficiency and current growth in sustainable and socially conscious local farming. But what we lack is a new generation of fishers to lead the sustainable production of local seafood, both from the sea and fishponds.Overexploitation and ineffective management during recent times has resulted in declines in catch rates and ecosystem health. Without fish, how secure can Hawaii’s food security really be? John Parks Honolulu Priorities seem to be kapakahi Brown water advisories after every heavy rain. Water-main breaks monthly, and the third worst roads in the nation. Hospitals and emergency rooms jammed with rerouted ambulances. Now the state can’t fund the buses to get children to school and the city can’t help? Both state and city governments can’t take care of what we have and the city wants to build a train? It seems the priorities are more than a little kapakahi. Jim Nash Kaneohe Previous Story Letters to the Editor Next Story He 'ōlelo kūhelu kā?