Letters to the editor: 11-13-19

Driver should be off the road

I was very upset to hear about the recent accident on Queen Kaahumanu Highway that claimed the life of a young mother and gravely injured her children.


I’m incensed that the driver was released pending the investigation. I understand that the driver has not been proven guilty, but he has a record of reckless behavior and drunk driving and the public needs to be protected.

What if he drowns his troubles in more alcohol and takes to the road again? It makes me feel very unsafe to have him released from custody.

Please contact Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth at hilopros@co.hawaii.hi.us and ask him to get this driver off the road.

Lynn Beittel


Education worth the investment

I would like to shake hands with the geniuses who have decided that education is too expansive. The arts, vocational training, common sense. Remember them? Some of us do. And now I see all of this going the way of the dinosaur.

Money spent in the wrong way does not give our children the opportunity to earn a real living. You either stay in school or go into the trades.

Elected officials, let’s put back the things that have enabled — oh, that’s a bad word — us to feed our families and provide the people in a tight spot the help they want.

Why are we building more prisons and a wall when we can spend this money to help our children and grandchildren and those less educated?

The United States used to have the best education system in the world. What happened? Education is the best place we could put our tax money, not political education.

As our elected officials always preach, “we want democracy.” Well, that doesn’t happen unless education is the No. 1 priority!

Let’s set an example for the rest of the world.

Mark Berlanga


Recycling finger pointing begins

Who’s responsibility is it to sort the garbage? Seems to me that this is a shared responsibility. Yet, here in Hawaii where recycling is even more important, their system failed. Why? The contracted company that works for the County of Hawaii is blaming the customers squarely.

We didn’t separate 25% of the garbage for the plastic recycling, so it’s our fault they couldn’t send it to Indonesia for processing and make any profit. Really?

We have several states on the mainland that seem to have no problem running successful recycling garbage systems that have reduced the amount going into landfills by over 50%. Instead of a two-bin system, most use a three-bin system where you have a black garbage bin, a blue recycling bin, and a green yard waste bin. How they work this system is simple.

Garbage goes to the landfill. Green yard waste goes to a chipping shredder and compost yard to be processed into mulch, which is recycled.

Now the interesting part is where the recycling goes.

It goes to a sorting facility, in some cases run by the prison system in the state, where prisoners are employed to sort and classify the recycling into the various special areas: aluminum, ferrous metals, plastics according to type, then paper.

It seems like we either need to get another contractor that knows how to sort the recycling or the County of Hawaii needs to do it itself.

The bottom line here is that we cannot afford to be putting more plastic into our landfills just because someone cannot make a profit on it. It’s everyone’s responsibility to recycle properly. Even the companies that take on the burden of sorting our waste have a responsibility to ensure that everything possible is done to ensure that the minimum goes into our landfills with the ultimate goal of eliminating landfills entirely.

What has happened is unconscionable. As a society, businesses and people, we cannot allow more to go into our landfills if there is anyway to reuse these materials.

They need to find a way and work with the county to make sure that we have a system that works and not point the finger at the customer. It’s rather lame to say because the customers didn’t sort out all the garbage, we couldn’t make a profit so we had to stop recycling all plastics.

Sorry, that’s an answer that we cannot and should not accept.


John M Pierce