Letters To The Editor

Wrong on shale

I am a big fan of Fareed Zakaria, but his shale gas column (April 4) overlooks a serious issue: groundwater pollution. So called “fracking,” or hydrofracking, which involves the injection of hydraulic fluids into shale deposits to release gas, has apparently polluted water supplies with toxic chemicals in some areas of the U.S. Use of these chemicals is supposed to now be prohibited, but there is concern that current regulatory oversight is not adequate to prevent abuse. As it is, the availability of potable groundwater in the mainland U.S. is bad and getting worse. Without appropriate regulation it could come down to a choice between cheap energy or cheap water. Lucky we live Hawaii.

James Young

Broad discourse

Doug Mencoff has my full admiration for his principled and spot-on swipes at Susan Page, Pat Buchanan and (special ugh) Michelle Malkin in MidWeek‘s April 11 Letters. MidWeek, in turn and as always, deserves kudos for allowing a full range of discourse, allowing intelligent readers to consider different perspectives and choose the correct path. As for me, Mr. Mencoff’s takes on morality and propriety are persuasive. After all, you “strict Constitutionalists” out there: What part of “provide for the … general welfare …” don’t you understand?

Robert H. Stiver
Pearl City

Agreeable facts

I had to laugh at Doug Mencoff’s letter “Right is wrong,” especially the part about MSNBC being his source for facts and Fox News spewing lies. Apparently he defines “facts” as those things he agrees with and “lies” as those with which he disagrees.

I wonder how he would explain Fox News’ domination of all its competitors combined and MSNBC’s ranking in the bottom among viewers. I’d guess he would call all the Fox News viewers gullible dupes as he blissfully sips his Kool-Aid.

Geoff Boehm

It’s not war

After reading the letter Doug Mencoff sent in last week titled “Right is wrong,” it has become increasingly clear to me that the “Leftist Liberals” and the “Conservative Right” will never get along. I’ll admit that I myself have chosen sides and lean toward the right on many of the issues we face these days, but when did it become a war?

All Mr. Mencoff can do is spew hatred and call everyone he doesn’t agree with a liar. This is true with most of the liberals who choose to ram their political views down my throat. I’ll say something about how sad it is that people turn to the government for help instead of helping themselves, and all of the sudden it’s no longer a civilized conversation! Everything is Bush’s fault, Fox News kills babies, my candidate for president is “Twitt” Romney, and everyone on my side is a rich, white, racist liar trying to cut any programs that help the poor, disabled or the elderly! Really? The president stands up in front of the media last week and proclaims that if we pass Paul Ryan’s budget, we won’t be able to forecast the weather as well as we did because we won’t have the money to launch new satellites, and Fox News is the liar? I think Mr. Mencoff should educate himself with facts first. He might not like what he finds.

Eric Nedzweckas
Hawaii Kai

Honolulu hula

Bob Jones suggests in last week’s column it would be nice to move the Merrie Monarch Festival to Blaisdell Center so more audience could attend and TV production costs would be lower.

I think it would be better if the media – broadcast and print – would recognize that there is another world-class hula competition held at Blaisdell Arena, one that is being ignored every year while all the focus is on Merrie Monarch.

The 39th annual King Kamehameha Hula Competition will be held June 23-24, and it could be bigger and better attended with some advance publicity. We’ve suggested many times that the media should not ignore the Honolulu event and that hotel concierges should alert and assist guests who might want to enjoy two wonderful days of hula.

The larger population base on Oahu, the close proximity of Blaisdell to the Waikiki hotels, and the size of the air-conditioned arena with its more comfortable seating means the Honolulu event could easily be bigger than Merrie Monarch without detracting at all from the granddaddy of all hula competitions. The Honolulu event would draw residents and visitors in June who do not go to Hilo in April.

Keith Haugen

Kids’ advocates

I am writing regarding your excellent cover story on Mariska Hargitay and her Joyful Heart Foundation. Thank you for raising awareness about the very important issue of family and child abuse.

I would like to offer a suggestion for the many people who might be wondering how they can help local children. Please look into becoming an advocate for abused and neglected children in Hawaii by becoming a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).

As Mariska said, “When I see a story (on child abuse) in the news, I think about kids who don’t have a voice, who think they’re alone and think it’s their fault, that they’ve contributed to it somehow and that they are responsible. I think that’s what kills me and breaks my heart, that these are little innocent victims.”

CASA can help change all of that. CASA is unique because it is the only program where everyday citizens are appointed by judges to speak up for abused and neglected child in the Family Court system.

CASA is a national nonprofit organization with programs on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island. Volunteers come from all walks of life. We welcome volunteers from all cultures, professions, ethnic and educational backgrounds. Volunteers are well-trained with no less than 30 hours of training prior to being assigned to a case. Roughly half of our volunteers work full time.

If you are interested, I recommend you check out our website at CASAHawaii.org.

Ken Bailey
President, Friends of CASA-Hawaii

Email your letters to dchapman@midweek.com