Lee Cataluna hit the nail on the head (“Time for new approach on illegal fireworks,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 27).
We absolutely need to call in the big guns (so to speak) to deal with the illegal fireworks crime spree. The abuse is so blatant that it’s hard to believe. The explosions start in October and just build.
It was 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 29, and someone in my neighborhood already was at it, in broad daylight. The last two nights my husband and I have been woken up by “bombs” going off about 3 a.m. Why is this allowed to occur? It’s illegal, it’s dangerous and it’s in-your-face disregard for the well-being of others.
Cataluna is right that outside help is required. It’s long past being a quaint custom and is now outright terrorism.
Tour helicopter industry fails to operate safely
I do not believe “thoughts and prayers” are sufficient in the case of seven people dead as a result of the recent helicopter crash on Kauai (“Investigators look for Kauai helicopter crash’s cause,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 30). Those words have come to mean that “we are sorry, but nothing is going to change.” Of course, we are all sorry for the loss of life. But the issue now is: What is to be done in order to prevent it from happening again?
U.S. Rep. Ed Case appropriately expressed anger at yet another fatal crash (“Case calls air tours unsafe, wants stricter regulations,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 28). He introduced legislation in Congress that would bring some sanity to the tourist helicopter industry, which has failed miserably to regulate itself, and to a Federal Aviation Administration that appears callously uninterested in doing so.
The Hawaii Helicopter Association again will state that the industry is perfectly safe, despite statistics to the contrary. But the day the bodies were found, close to 200 tour helicopters took off on our islands, flying over schools, parks and residential areas, all without appropriate regulations that could save the lives of those in the air and on the ground.
Safer to take helicopter than to drive on roads
It is small wonder that many of us hold politicians in such low regard. U.S. Rep. Ed Case attempts to enhance his political prospects by grandstanding over the Kauai helicopter crash before the bodies were even recovered (“Case calls air tours unsafe, wants stricter regulations,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 28). His rhetoric and behavior are reprehensible.
It would be a different matter if Case bothered to educate himself on the issue. Instead, he inflames the debate over aviation safety with blatant disregard for the facts.
Contrary to what Case states, tour operators are tightly regulated and diligently comply with regulations regarding altitude, weather minimums and safety. Taking a tour is, statistically, many, many times safer than driving on our roads.
Instead of reasoned discourse, Case spews misinformation to incite indignation over what is, statistically, one of the safest activities in Hawaii.
Patrick J. O’Reilley
Most important advice: Don’t fly in bad weather
I’ve been on two helicopter tours in Hawaii, both on Kauai, years apart and at both ends of the experience spectrum. The first was a deluxe tour on an incredibly beautiful cloudless day — with Beethoven pouring through the headphones. The second was a fully loaded chopper on a heavily overcast day years later on my honeymoon — with rain water occasionally spraying inside the helicopter and severely limited, as in hardly any, visibility.
From riding single-engine planes in my youth with my dad at the controls — he flew Civil Air Patrol anti-submarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico during World War II — the most important thing I learned from him when it comes to flying is, if you don’t have to, don’t fly in bad weather.
Hawaii has its own Nuremberg interpreter
The New York Times obituary for George Sakheim mentioned that “Sakheim … was one of the last surviving interpreters” who had worked at the Nuremberg Trials (“German-born U.S. soldier was translator at Nuremberg Trials,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 29).
The Star-Advertiser should have inserted a line to note that another of those few survivors is our own Siegfried Ramler, retired from Punahou School and at 95 still a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the East-West Center.
Ramler was a member of the group that developed simultaneous interpretation for the trials. He gave many inspiring talks, here in Hawaii and elsewhere, about that invaluable tool.
His memoir, “Nuremberg and Beyond,” tells his story “from 20th century Europe to Hawaii.”
Identify whistleblower, make Schiff testify
If the Democrats continue to follow through with the impeachment of President Donald Trump, the American people have a right to know the identity of the whistleblower, and U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff should testify in Congress.