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Letters to the editor – 3/25/15

Reckless hikers

I am so tired of hearing about Honolulu firefighters having to rescue uneducated, unskilled “hikers” from our mountain trails. In the span of a week, there were at least three rescues on our island.

These areas are so dangerous, even the most experienced hiker could be at great risk. I’m not sure how people from out of state get information about these sites. I’ve heard there are tour companies posting these areas online and even providing maps on how to access the trails. They, unfortunately, do not mention the dangers, and in some places that it is illegal to enter for that very reason.

Do we not remember back in 1995, when rescuing a hiker, how two of our police officers, Tate Kahakai and Bryant Bayne, lost their lives doing just that!

I have no sympathy for people who put their own lives at risk, but when they endanger others in the name of adventure, that is unacceptable! Then, the state of Hawaii has to foot the bill for all of this. When does it end? Why aren’t they held financially responsible for their actions? They go back home telling a story of how they got lost or injured and had to be rescued by helicopter, and how cool it was. I say they should pay a fine and be charged for the rescue efforts.

Karen A. Lopez

Editor’s note: Getting lost, stranded or killed while hiking always is preventable, as Rasa Fournier pointed out in her feature story “Danger Trails” in January 2014. Google “MidWeek Dangerous Trails” for practical tips on safe but adventurous hiking.

Good spirit

I have enjoyed reading professor Jay Sakashita’s Misfit Spirit column. Some people may see his column as a “jab” at religions, but as a teacher he is doing exactly what he should be doing: educating us on the different aspects of faith, including the good, bad and often ugly. Hawaii is unique in that we are exposed to many different religions in our daily lives. Many island families, including extended “ohana,” friends and neighbors, are Christians, Buddhists, Shinto, agnostics/atheists, Hindu (U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard), Jews and even (oh, the controversy) Muslims.

I am so grateful to live in a place that celebrates Obon, malasadas at Damien School, the Greek Festival, Lantern Floating at Ala Moana, Honolulu City Lights, St. Anthony’s blessing of the animals, Makahiki and the list goes on. We can hear the church bells from St. Andrew’s and Our Lady of Peace. Smelling incense and seeing offered flowers while walking by Kuan Yin Temple on Vineyard Boulevard is a treat for the senses!

Having more information on any subject will allow an intelligent opinion.

Sally Lum

Farmland grab

News of more housing on prime farmland brings chills to my body, and I see my parents, grandparents, greatand great-great-grandparents crying tears in heaven. It is outrageous that this continues to happen.

Becoming a state was taught to us in school as a good thing. I believe now, as an adult, we learn the truth in many ways. The truth is now haunting and will destroy everyone’s quality of life.

I grew up in Kailua 60 years ago, and there were farms all around, with fresh produce and easy access to the truck farms that were taken over for housing. My husband’s grandfather farmed in Haleiwa, and the family ate fresh produce daily. When he lost his land, it created many health issues, including diabetes, heart problems, cancers and liver trouble. Now we go to open markets and they, too, are disappearing.

When will this wake up those responsible that they are killing people with a slow death with diseases from processed foods, not to mention our oxygen pollution, water pollution, etc.

I was blessed to be born and raised in paradise, and feel so sad to see what is coming in the future. Please, we, the people, need to stand up.

Judy Suan

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