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Editor's Desk // Letters
Don Chapman

Letter to the Editor – 10/9/13

Misplaced blame

Jerry Coffee agrees with me that the Veterans Administration (VA) should resume making loans to qualified buyers of homes with water catchment systems. But Mr. Coffee is wrong to blame the state for a change in the federal agency’s practice.

The state Department of Health does not regulate the rainwater catchment systems on single family homes. We never have. And since we do not apply the very strict state and federal testing requirements on catchment systems, we cannot say that water off a home’s roof is safe to drink. We never have.

Last year we learned that the VA began refusing loans on homes with rain catchment water systems. We quickly sent a letter to the VA suggesting that it consider a home with catchment water qualified for a loan if its system meets standards described in our publication Guidelines on Rainwater Catchment Systems for Hawaii (2001).

VA decision-makers have informed me that they would like to employ a water quality test on catchment systems prior to qualifying a home for a loan. DOH’s safe drinking water staff immediately suggested a simple and inexpensive series of tests that the VA could use for this purpose.

We are waiting to hear from the VA and hope to see its loan program restored so that deserving veterans will once again be provided low-interest loans to purchase homes with rainwater catchment water systems.

Gary Gill
Deputy Director, Environmental Health Administration, State Department of Health

Distrust Israel

I agree with Andrew Henry’s letter “Israel’s no friend.” Despite knee-jerk government and media denials, Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty is an ongoing national disgrace and insult to the U.S. military. Former NSA Deputy Director Oliver Kirby stated in 2003, “I can tell you for an absolute certainty (from intercepted communications) that the Israelis knew they were attacking an American ship.” In 1980, Sen. Adlai Stevenson III declared, “Those sailors who were eyewitnesses, have not been heard from by the American public … their story leaves no doubt but what this was, a fully reconnoitered attack by Israeli aircraft against our ship.”

Still, as U.S. taxpayers endure tax hikes, welfare for Israel quietly rolls on. Officially, Israel receives $8 million a day in U.S aid. This gross underestimate leaves out the billions in forgiven loans, gifts of military hardware, the economic drain caused by private donations and Israeli espionage.

Concerned citizens should consult the Council for the National Interest and Peter Hounam’s Operation Cyanide.

Jeff Hatcher
Honolulu

Send your letters to dchapman@midweek.com.

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