Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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May 24, 2006 - MidWeek
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Wahiawa queen

I just got through reading Susan Sunderland’s article, The Friendly Flavors of Wahiawa (Zigzag, 5.17). I am a Wahiawa girl who was born in Waialua (no hospitals in Wahiawa then) and raised in Wahiawa on Dole Road. My brother, Buckie Manley, still lives at the family home. I attended Leilehua and later went to Kamehameha, where I graduated in 1948 along with my brother Elmer. In the old days we did have a Pineapple Festival, but I can’t remember when they had the last one. In 1950, I was the Pineapple Festival Queen.

Just thought I would add a little history to your column.

Dolly Manley Phillips

Kailua


What we GET?

In MidWeek‘s April 5 edition, Larry Price praises the state Legislature for its cooperation on the general excise tax (GET) increase for transit by attaching needed collection and handling provisions to another bill. Now that the current session is completed, I found no such provisions in the 95-page document covering bills passed. Despite the state surplus that could have accommodated collection of the GET increase as the state’s “contribution” to mass transit on Oahu, the taxpayers are left with House Bill 1309 from last year, which “rakes off” 10 percent of the increase for the state’s general fund - or $15 million-plus per year. Those funds are now likely to go to legislators’pet projects rather than the special fund to be set up by the City and County for mass transit.The potential loss (to transit) of those funds, perhaps $250 million over the next 15 years, should be addressed in this year’s election campaign.

Frank Genadio

Kapolei

Flu factories

This week, the Bush Administration released its plan for dealing with a bird flu pandemic. The plan finds the potential effects more comparable to those of a war or widespread economic crisis, than to those of a hurricane, earthquake, or terrorist attack. The U.S. death toll may reach 2 million, once the virus mutates to allow transmission between humans.

The deadly H5N1 bird flu virus originated a decade ago in Hong Kong’s poultry farms. The 1999 West Nile virus, and the more recent SARS virus had similar origins. The virus strains responsible for the 1918 Spanish flu that killed 20 million people, the 1957 Asian flu, and the 1968 Hong Kong flu all evolved on pig farms.

Today’s factory farms are virtual flu factories. Sick, crowded, highly stressed animals constantly exposed to contaminated feces, urine and other secretions provide ideal breeding grounds for the replication and mutation of viruses into more lethal forms. The bird flu virus is spread mostly through global poultry trade, rather than migratory birds, as has been commonly believed.

Each of us can help prevent this catastrophe by replacing animal products in our diet with wholesome vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains. These foods don’t carry flu viruses, are touted by every major health advocacy organization, and were the recommended fare in the Garden of Eden.

Kyle Festing

Kaneohe


Young smokers

I’m a 13-year-old male and eighth-grade student at Washington Middle School.

I’m writing to you because I am concerned about the smoking problem in Hawaii and the bad effect on our community, especially to teenagers like me. Some are addicted to it at a young age, some are dying because of lung cancer. What really concerns me is second-hand smoking. They suffer disease because of other people’s responsibilities.

The research I found is that more than 400,000 deaths in the United States are caused by smoking cigarettes. If our Legislature or Congress, can’t pass a law to resolve this smoking problem, our country will suffer more in terms of high risk to our environment, and medical insurance goes to a higher premium.

My suggestion is to ban smoking to a person younger than 21, to charge higher fines to a person caught selling to a younger user, and charge fines if caught smoking in an illegal area or smoking under age. Laws to ban smoking must be strictly implemented.

Eilevon James R. Dahilog

Honolulu

Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by email to dchapman@midweek.com. Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
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