Letters to the Editor

GMO science

I thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed Bob Jones’ stand on GMOs, reference his “Awaiting Proof GMOs Are Unsafe.” I have a degree from Purdue University’s School of Agriculture and have studied at UH’s School of Tropical Agriculture. I never had any financial interest or otherwise with GMOs.

GMOs are just examples of selection or breeding for improvement that has been going on ever since the beginning of mankind and crops.

What gets me is how these sociology majors and what have you are all for organically grown. An example of going organic is using human fecal material for fertilizer (commonly used in some countries), with the resulting eatables exported to the U.S.

On the contrary, in using non-organic NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium) – chemical fertilizer they would be against), you have a benign salt whereby if you ground it up and used it in place of table salt, no harm. Let them try that with their organic fecal material!

Lewis Hitchcock

Bowing is cleaner

Re: Don Chapman’s column about the tradition of bowing in Japan:

When I retired to Hawaii 20 years ago, the mere thought of bowing my head to anyone would not enter my head, because I perceived bowing as an act of submission rather than one of respect.

Now it seems to me the Japanese may live longer, healthier lives because they greet one another with a bow rather than a handshake, so even the thought of shaking someone’s contaminated hand is repulsive to me.

Rico Leffanta

Crash and learn

I was reading my MidWeek while catching up on some recorded TV sports. I literally had just finished David Chang’s column “Failure Can Be The Best Teacher,” when on the NASCAR broadcast, commentator Darryl Waltrip said: “You learn a lot about your car when you wreck it.” That’s basically just a ‘good old boy’ way of saying exactly what Mr. Chang did about learning from failure.

Tom Lee

Great advice

Every time I read a column of David Chang’s, I tell myself I have to write to thank him. Finally I am actually doing it! Mr. Chang presents innumerable interesting and informative subjects, all revolving around money in one form or another.

Reading his column, I often find myself thinking “That is a good idea” or “I never thought of that.”

He offers practical solutions as well as websites to further our understanding. Each column is a treasure.

Karyn Abe

Clowns in action

Just wondering: Any chance the clowns (posing as architects) who forgot to include safety gates and a backup power system for the city’s rail project (which will cost extra millions of dollars) are the same guys who built the UH Wahine softball stadium so fans couldn’t see much of the field? Or erected the backward-facing signs on the H-3? Where, oh where, do we find these people?

At least now we know where the term “Good enough for government work” comes from: Hawaii.

Richard Walker

Library progress

Thank you for MidWeek‘s outstanding cover story about the modern Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS). We have made amazing progress over the past five years, as we improve and increase our quality, professional programs and services, and continue to develop traditional and print collections even as we are moving increasingly into the digital arena. Some highlights of our recent progress include:

* Wireless Internet access in all our libraries

* All-new public access computers in every library within the last two years

* High-speed Internet access in all our libraries, and by next year we will have fiber-optic connectivity in all our libraries

* A growing collection of ebooks and audiobooks, which now includes some 30,000 licensed items, as well as access to a similar number of free eBooks

* Access to more than 80 online databases

* You can now like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

* Our new program Ed2Go provides instructor-led lifelong learning courses, from personal finance to digital photography to starting a business.

* HSPLS is the only library system in the world to offer the Microsoft IT Academy, which provides online digital literacy and advanced technology training.

* More than ever before, our patrons can now build their future in the world of technology and prepare themselves for employment in the modern workplace.

All these items and programs are available free to the public, and we have laid a very solid foundation for continuing growth and progress in the coming years.

Richard Burns
State Librarian