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Your Views for May 5

It’s a health issue

The Coalition for Tobacco-Free Hawaii (CTFH) and CTFH-East Hawaii Community Coalition give a big nod to the fifth anniversary of the ban of tobacco use at Hawaii County beaches, parks and recreational facilities, including parking lots on the Big Island.

Following Hawaii Island’s footsteps, Honolulu recently passed a smoking ban for several Oahu beaches, including those in Waikiki. This is a step in the right direction for Oahu to ensure health and safety to those enjoying the outdoors. We acknowledge those who have enforced the law in Hawaii County, and we are eager for the same results at Honolulu beaches.

For the past five years, the CTFH-East Hawaii Community Coalition has led in teaching the community through classroom presentations, promotional banners and bookmarkers, and community events to promote the tobacco-free parks, beaches and recreational facilities law.

We appreciate all the community partners who are assisting in teaching our communities about the ordinance, including the American Cancer Society, Hui Malama Ola Na ‘Oiwi Native Hawaiian Health Care System, the University of Hawaii at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, the University of Hawaii at Hilo Nursing Program, the Hawaii County Police Department and University of Hawaii at Manoa Cooperative Extension Services. We are thankful for their kokua and partnership.

Together, we are helping our communities reduce resident and visitor exposure to second-hand smoke. We are keeping outdoor recreational facilities and the environment free of tobacco litter.

It takes a unified community to create a healthier Hawaii County and to set positive examples for our keiki. We are proud of this milestone and will continue to foster a healthy living environment for all.

Forrest Batz

Assistant professor of

pharmacy practice,

Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy

Not so ‘ideal’

Who says politicians don’t listen? In the last two weeks, there have been at least six letters to the editor complaining about excessive aircraft noise.

The Legislature heard the complaints and responded by funding an “international flight training program” in Hilo, connected with UH-Hilo and Hawaii Community College. They argue that Hilo is the “ideal” location for such a program.

I guess being the most remote international location, having universities with no infrastructure or faculty in aviation, budgets that cannot support existing faculty and programs, an urban airport bordering residential neighborhoods, telescopes that must hire aircraft spotters to avoid laser interference, the highest fuel prices in the nation and folks complaining about aircraft noise makes Hilo the “ideal” spot.

All this talk about tight budgets, the need to fund entitlement programs, and the unwillingness to fund buildings for existing fledgling programs must have fallen on deaf ears when it came to Sen. Gil Kahele’s desire to back a program fueled by his son’s interests. “No conflict of interest!” Makes one wonder how the Legislatures define “conflict of interest.”

Maybe the Defense Department can pony up with the funds to support a drone port in Hilo, but the jobs will be for stick jockeys, not aircraft pilots.

The costs for an aviation program run far beyond the $10 million to $15 million for a building. Just visit the old McDonald Douglas training site in Salina, Kansas, or the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida to see the high-tech and high-dollar flight simulators, guidance systems and computer banks to get an idea of the true cost of such a program.

There are dozens of shuttered Air Force bases with far bigger runways, existing and abandoned buildings, locations close to aircraft and equipment manufacturing plants, cheaper fuel, and easy reach of numerous universities. If there are pressing needs for aviation programs, why not use these facilities?

Don’t UHH and HCC have enough critical funding needs without embarking into new areas that will forever require massive funding?

If Hawaii Island folks start complaining about vog, the Legislature will find someone whose relative thinks the island would be the “ideal” spot for an international chemical plant!

Stephen Worchel


Bad call, HTH

Shame on you for disrespecting one of Hawaii’s fine young athletes with your tasteless editorial cartoon. (Tribune-Herald, May 2). Yes, he has developed a thick skin, but should expect support from the hometown newspapers.

I also expect you to publish an apology for your egregious error in judgement.

Susan Kitchens



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