Letters to the editor: 02-8-19

Cigarette ban a ban on freedom

Did I read the Feb. 5 article about raising the age to purchase cigarettes correctly? My Hawaii House member and two others in the Legislature propose to do just that!

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What motivates such elected individuals to make it a law whereby no one under 100 years of age can purchase these addictive products? Yes, they are addictive, but the use of any such product should be left to the adult individual. But if my legislator thinks otherwise, he should also make it a crime to consume alcohol as well, because more innocent people are killed due to drunken drivers than by cigarettes.

However, Rep. Creagan, et al, feel that they have the power to dictate how adults live their lives — except when it pertains to alcohol. If this draft becomes the law of the land, then we as a state have lost a lot of our own decision-making ability. I trust that the entire body of the Legislature collectively laughs at the absurdity of such a freedom stifling proposal. But of course, my House member knows what is best for me. Like all politicians say, “Do as I say, not as I do!”

One last thing: I am a non-smoker (of anything), yet I would never even consider restricting what someone else does that does not impact the person or property of a consenting other adult.

Michael Last

Naalehu

Folly of government can’t go on

Periodically, like on a bimonthly schedule, the fire/emergency personnel at the airport set off an oil fire that they practice shooting hoses at. While practice builds proficiency, the resulting massive black plume of carbon laden smoke that we see, the volume of which dramatically exceeds the total carbon emission of all the islands automobiles for a month, shocks both residents and visitors, while further demonstrating the thoughtless workings of people who make decisions for us.

On the flank of Hualalai there is now a flashing beacon, perhaps intended to keep airplanes from plowing into the mountain, but in the effort to minimize that risk, the flashing light completely disrupts the nesting habits of the endangered and diminishing population of native birds up there.

On birds, in their wisdom, federal and state environmentalists managed to capture and breed the remaining native crows, releasing their progeny into the wild to be infected with mosquito born avian malaria, the cause of their impending extinction, and wonder why they all died. We could have released them elsewhere, but where would we find the mental abstraction needed in governance where elected leadership thinks that global warming is a farce because it was cold last night or that a 30 foot wall will keep us all safe and secure.

And now, our state highway department has lined a stretch of highway with concrete borders placed against the pavement to keep visitors from peering into a lava tube. First they cleared the area that people could safely park on, then they erect signage telling motorists that they can’t park there, and then put up barriers, almost on the road, to ensure that any accidents resulting from their effort to control the curious will likely be fatal.

I could go on, speed bumps on the short stretches of paved sections to Mahaiula, locking out motorist from parking lots at the beaches and even in the village, etc, but the real issue is that we the people, those of us who live here, are content to let this stuff go on, we are the ones that need to pay attention.

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Kelly Greenwell

Kailua-Kona