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LETTERS for January 14 issue

January 14, 2010
Lahaina News

HOW CAN HAWAII CONTROL AERIAL FIREWORKS?



I’ve been thinking a lot about this fireworks problem we have here in Hawaii. I played with firecrackers as a kid (we weren’t allowed to use aerials). So, is our problem really with adults? Parents who allow their children to use aerials? Or is it adults who use aerials in residential areas?  


Shame, shame on them. This is NOT cultural use. This is stupid use. If the shoe fits here, then you just have to wear it. And I won’t apologize for it.


So, where do we start? First of all, an outright ban is unconscionable. Shooting for the sky and settling for something less? Maybe that’s what it is out of Honolulu and that’s okay.    


Fireworks are not manufactured here in Hawaii, so I think we have to concentrate on how they are brought in. No aerials are to be sold at retail outlets. Would that help? I think so, because that would keep them out of the hands of nonprofessionals.  


I know of a small business owner in Wailuku that was able to bring in fireworks and sold them illegally. They did not have a license to sell.  I forget whether he had aerials or not, because I was just not interested in it then. But now is different.


I think allowing professional fireworks displays is a must! But only to professionals! So, we must find a way to stop the sale of aerials to nonprofessionals... and how do we do that? I don’t know enough about the shipping in and out of Hawaii, so I have to ask for help there. A friend from California has told me fireworks came in from Mexico, and they were able to buy them, even though it was completely illegal in California.  


My question is, is there a way we could stop the aerials from coming in to nonprofessionals? Can we find a way to stop them from coming in, so retail stores could sell aerials? Perhaps a severe penalty would make it not worthwhile anymore? Let’s stop playing patty-cake with this.


Here is where I stop and succumb to the professionals. What’s taken you so long to figure this out? Tell us all about it!


GORDON C. COCKETT, Lahaina





STATE BILLS WOULD REGULATE FIREWORKS



As chair of the State House Committee on Public Safety,  I have been working diligently alongside many of my colleagues in the House and Senate to pass legislation to address the deleterious effects of fireworks in Hawaii.


Three fireworks-related bills passed out of the Committee on Public Safety last legislative session that I actively supported; they were carried over to the 2010 session and are still alive. 


SB1060 SD1 HD2 is in conference, and both HB397 HD1 and HB398 HD1 are in the House Judiciary Committee. This session, I will continue to work with my fellow legislators to move these measures through to final passage.


A conference draft for SB1060 SD1 HD2 would establish a task force to study the most effective ways to stop the importation of illegal fireworks into the state. I support this approach to the problem of importing fireworks into the state. We must determine how illegal fireworks are entering the state, and then distributed, in order to develop an effective program to stop the contraband from impacting the residents of Hawaii.


HB397 HD1 assesses a surcharge tax on the sale of consumer fireworks, requires retailers to report on fireworks sold and requires the Department of Health to report on the effects of fireworks on young children.


HB398 HD1 allows counties to enact ordinances or adopt rules regulating fireworks that are more restrictive than state law regulating fireworks under chapter 132D, Hawaii Revised Statutes.


I urge all who support banning or placing severe restrictions on fireworks in Hawaii to join me in asking the chair of the House Judiciary Committee to hear HB397 HD1 and HB398 HD1, as well as requesting the conference committee to pass a substantive conference draft of SB1060 SD1 HD2.    


The public needs to get involved and weigh in on this issue.


REP. FAYE HANOHANO, District 4, Chair of the House Committee on Public Safety





DMV STAFF IS EFFICIENT



The DMV experience is not so bad. I recently registered three vehicles, one trip to safety inspection, then DMV and home again for each. I was impressed with the efficiency of the staff and newer facility. In all, this couldn’t have taken me as long as it would take to write a 3/4-page letter in the paper.


TONY LATHROP, Lahaina





MAUI UPHOLDING BAD TRADITION



I had the same vehicle registration nightmare as Douglas West in Honolulu 30 years ago with a car from Canada. Nice to see that Maui is keeping on the tradition... NOT!!


KAT ASKEW, Honokowai





IS OUR GOVERNMENT ANY BETTER?



How can our media chastise the government of Afghanistan as being corrupt while they foster our government of incompetent nincompoops, shysters, liars and highway robbers?


RAY PEZZOLI JR., Kihei





RUNNING BOARDS SERVED A PURPOSE



Recently, on a very warm day, I saw a car broken down on the side of the road. There was a family standing outside the car. They were waiting for help. They looked hot and forlorn.


I remember years ago a family would not need to stand there in the heat of the day. They would have been sitting on the running board on the shady side of the car.


Very few of us remember running boards on a car. Among other uses, they were for people to sit on until someone could fix the car.


Bring back running boards!


ARSENE “BLACKIE” GADARIAN, Lahaina





LET STUDENTS USE CELL PHONES



Why not use cell phones at school? I think cell phones should be used at school because we’re in the information technology age — why not take advantage of it?


In the case of a personal emergency involving ourselves, not the whole school or the whole community, we will want to contact a family member. We will not want to go through the office to contact our parents, because they will need to know the situation in order to call our parents. We will not want to discuss the problem with them, who we barely know! We will only want to talk to a parent or guardian! The situation might be a bully, a pain in our body that you cannot discuss, or even something that is personal to your family that shouldn’t have been spoken of.


Why do kids in this generation need technology? Children need technology because they are getting savvy about technology in their childhood. So, when they grow older, it is like water or food to them. They can’t live without it because they have become so attached to it — their whole lifestyle changes when they don’t have it within use.


The opposition states children should not use cell phones at school because it becomes the school’s responsibility to find what happened to the cell phone when the student lost it. So when this situation comes up, it should be not the school but the children and/or their parents’ responsibility to find it.


I would like schools to allow students the use of cell phones during school hours. I want you as a reader to fight for the right of cell phone use at school!


NOHEALANI MAHUNA, Lahaina
 
 
 

 

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