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Letters for Friday, March 8, 2013

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Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013 12:00 am

Isn’t one drowning more than enough?

The death toll from drowning is horrendous every year, but this year is outrageous.

And as a community, we must shoulder the responsibility to keep our visitors safe.

You wouldn’t let your kids go — even if Eddie would!

Each year the state of Hawai’i and the visitor industry spend hundreds and thousands of our money to invite guests into our home, Kaua‘i. We need to be proactive in protecting them.

The ocean is, legally speaking, “an attractive nuisance,” just like a community swimming pool.

And we have similar responsibilities for protecting the average person from the risks associated with that risk.

Homeowners are required to have pools enclosed, and with gates that must be opened to reduce risks. Homeowners can be sued if someone trespasses and is drowned in an unprotected pool.

Why don’t we have a five-minute video that is mandatory shown on every plane flight, for the captive audience of visitors? Here is how it should go:

 “Welcome to Kaua‘i, the adventure of a lifetime! You are entering an environment that is one of the prehistoric jewels of the planet. (Spectacular video) Our volcanic mountains are among the tallest on the planet, measuring from the seabed. These huge, 5-million-year-old mountains erupt from the bottom of the ocean, rising abruptly to nearly 4,000 feet. (Graphics, diagrams.)

“The sudden rise of an island landmass in deep water, rises unprotected from the full force of Pacific waves, producing spectacular and dangerous surf. (Video) In winter it is particularly dangerous. (Video)

“Kaua‘i is the oldest of the inhabited area and has numerous beaches. (Spectacular beach videos) However, unlike the larger continental landmasses such as Mainland North America, there is no slow protective rise of an off shore continental shelf, which can reduce the force and impact of waves. (Graphics) Our waves are entirely different from Mainland waves.

“This means that the ocean, while beautiful, becomes a killer for uninformed visitors, and even the strongest surfers. We want to welcome you to Kaua‘i. You are our guests while you are here. (Gorgeous local men and women smiling, hula, etc.)

“You need to understand that there is exceptionally strong surf, and wave surges including random “rogue” waves, which can suck even an Olympic swimmer or experienced surfer, out to sea. (Video)

“Please listen carefully to all warnings, ask at your hotel, and respect our beach warning flags. (Video)

“We want you to have the time of your life, not lose it!     

“Aloha, and play it safe while on Kaua‘i.”


Virginia Beck


Yonamine is a Hawaiian treasure

Unlike my past letters to the editor debating the issue of the county-manager system with Mr. Glenn Mickens,  I join him today in recognizing and honoring the memory of Hawai‘i’s sport legend Wally Yonamine.

Again, unlike Mr. Micken’s professional baseball career when he did play against Wally Yonamine, my only sports/athletic encounter with Wally occurred during  my 8th grade elementary school year when I played softball for Makawao School, representing East Maui, against Kam III School of Lahaina, representing West Maui for the Maui Island Public School League Championship.

Makawao School could have won the championship that year had the Lahaina center fielder named Kaname Yonamine not caught the hit, which would have won us the game. Shucks!

“Kaname” Yonamine, as I knew him then, is well known among and throughout Hawai‘i’s football and baseball fans and Japan’s baseball devotees. It was football, initially, where he first started as a triple-threat half-back for Lahainaluna High School on Maui. He was an elite runner, passer and the team’s kicker. I knew Wally when he attended Lahainaluna High School where he remained for one year before he was enticed to attend O‘ahu’s big time football high schools. It was Wally Yonamine and quarterback Joe Tom who were instrumental in bringing Farrington High School its first league championship in the 1940’s.

Wally played professional football for a very short time, and it was really in baseball that the legend of Wally Yonamine got started and developed into a genuine legend, which all Hawai‘i respects and admire.

 He retired deserving of all the accolades bestowed upon his accomplishments. He is gone now but he will always be remembered.

Alfred Laureta


Beginning of the end

Antonin Scalia swore an oath very similar to the one below when he became one of our nine United States Supreme Court Justices.

“I, Antonin Scalia, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as a Supreme Court Justice under the Constitution and laws of the United States; and that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

How’s that “Citizens United” thing working out for the country?

Is Scalia doing a good job protecting voter’s rights?

When he said Act 5 was a “racial entitlement” in court recently, my jaw fell like the Roman Empire. Not because he’s a conservative, but because he’s repeatedly demonstrated a one-sided loyalty.

Vincent Cosner


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