Editorial | Letters UH should fight NCAA sanctions Jan. 1, 2016 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! The University of Hawaii definitely should appeal the NCAA’s basket- ball sanctions, especially the crushing blow of being banned for 2016-2017 post-season play. 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. The University of Hawaii definitely should appeal the NCAA’s basket- ball sanctions, especially the crushing blow of being banned for 2016-2017 post-season play. While UH already felt the sting of its self-imposed sanctions, it most definitely suffered severe recruiting damage as a result of the NCAA delaying its sanction announcement, which was totally unjustified. This past year, the flaky NCAA already snubbed the UH Wahine volleyball team, a final Top 8 team, by denying it the right to host post-season play. If UH does not fight the NCAA’s harsh, untimely basketball sanctions now, the NCAA will tag UH a pushover school and will continue to bully it in the future. If the UH men’s basketball team can show incredible courage in fighting through the Diamond Head Classic with its inspirational play, the UH administration needs to put up a good fight with the NCAA. Ed Uchida Hawaii Kai Obama bungled future of Cuba President Barack Obama occasionally has likened his achievements with those of President Ronald Reagan. On June 12, 1987, Reagan made a speech in West Berlin. That speech included the line, “Mr. (Mikhail) Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Two years later, on Nov. 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall was opened, and began to be torn down, and East Berlin gained freedom. Obama opened some relations with communist Cuba on July 20, 2015. The embargo had been in effect the same year the Berlin Wall was built in 1961. The difference is that one president demanded that the communists give up their tyrannical control over their people, while Obama has given the dictators Raul and Fidel Castro their greatest hopes in exchange for nothing. One president took down a wall. Another president gave in to make a wall even more oppressive to its people. Earl Arakaki Ewa Beach Obama should free prisoner I write because a Guantánamo prisoner, Tariq Ba Odah, remains locked up today — five years after he was cleared for release. He has been imprisoned without cause and without charges. This prisoner has been on hunger strike for seven years, force-fed through a nasal tube and kept in solitary confinement. A third country is willing to take him, and has asked for his medical history, which he has agreed to provide. But President Barack Obama’s generals are blocking the request and keeping him behind bars. His weight has dropped from 148 pounds to less than 70 pounds. Obama could have him freed with a phone call. He should pick up his phone and do it before he grabs another golf club or cup of shave ice. Why not? He is the commander in chief. Larry Geller Downtown Honolulu Concealed carry concept is scary Twice recently your readers have been treated to lengthy pro-gun commentaries — first from your staff cartoonist, Dave Swann, who chided the president and concluded that, shucks, there probably just isn’t much we can do to prevent the 32,000 gun deaths in America each year (“Obama mischaracterized ‘assault weapons,’ but he had a point,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Dec. 17). Next, Dick Porter complained that he and other like-minded souls can’t carry their loaded, concealed firearms everywhere they go (“Hawaii’s flawed ‘concealed carry’ law makes us easy victims,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Dec. 22). The prospect of thousands of our fellow citizens, calm or angry, sober or drunk, sane or suicidally depressed, packing their guns — creating the potential for every dispute over a parking space to turn into a gunfight — is truly scary. But don’t worry, only “law-abiding citizens” will have guns. Oh wait, all the mass killers in recent memory were law-abiding citizens right up to the moment they started killing people. The state of Hawaii has the lowest rate of gun deaths in the country. Let’s keep it that way. Nick Dreher Hawaii Kai Being soft target invites homicide I totally disagree with Felicity O. Yost, who mixes use of guns in homicide and terrorism like apples and oranges (“Hawaii gun laws make sense,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Dec. 25). I also disagree with her that courts have upheld our gun laws. Lots of homicides occur with weapons other than guns, so taking away guns from criminals will not reduce homicide. Having a gun for self-defense is the only guarantee of our security. Being a soft target only invites homicide and terrorism. Russel Noguchi Pearl City Previous Story Please don’t blast fireworks illegally Next Story Where would you rather visit?