Letters 03|07

“Q&A: Ann Rahall” 02/07
Planned Parenthood of Hawai‘i’s medical director discussed Plan B, a brand of backup birth control, and Gardisil, a cervical cancer vaccine.

Thank you for the piece about Dr. Ann Rahall, who, like Planned Parenthood of Hawai‘i, is compassionate about confidential and dignified reproductive medical care. It is terrific to see mainstream media cover the facts about emergency contraception and related issues.

—Rai Saint Chu, Honolulu

“How Is the Mayor Doing?” 01/07
In response to associate editor Ronna Bolante’s midterm review of Mayor Mufi Hannemann, the mayor’s press secretary, Bill Brennan, submitted a letter to the editor. Here’s a response to Brennan’s letter.

Bill Brennan earns an A for spin. Our criticisms with respect to the mayor’s environmental record are far from “unsubstantiated.”

We have taken issue with the mayor’s continued refusal to implement curbside recycling. Their spin includes the claim that burning trash constitutes curbside recycling; now Brennan says there was no curbside recycling program in existence to cancel. In fact, there was a 2004 budget bill providing for curbside recycling, the city followed through with the bidding process, and blue bins were distributed to some residents. In these past few years, the city has very likely trashed over 100 million pounds of recyclable materials.

Recycling hasn’t been the only casualty since this mayor took office. The mayor also shelved the $8 million “solar bond” passed in 2004 that would have increased energy efficiency in city buildings. He opposed environmental charter amendments approved by voters, including one to fund open space and coastal protection and another to make O‘ahu bicycle and pedestrian friendly. More frustratingly, the city continues to fight litigation by the Sierra Club and other citizen groups that aim to remedy the near-routine raw sewage spills that occur with each heavy rain and prevent future catastrophic spills like the one that closed Waikiki one year ago.

We have a long way to go to make this island sustainable. But the mayor can help get us there. He can settle the sewage suit, implement curbside recycling, work to make O‘ahu truly bicycle and pedestrian friendly and implement clean energy solutions. When he does, the Sierra Club will happily award him an A. We’ll even give him extra credit.

—Jeff Mikulina, director
Sierra Club, Hawai‘i Chapter

“Plant Seekers” 12/06
Sheila Sarhangi wrote about a group trying to prevent the extinction of Hawai‘i’s 1,200 native plants.

The efforts of the Plant Extinction Prevention Program to save from extinction endangered and sometimes unique flora are similar to those of the informal worldwide circle of collectors of Hawai‘i’s music, seeking out rare and often unique recordings and occasionally “propagating” them through CD reissues. Hawai‘i’s splendid musical heritage currently rests in the hands of about a dozen major, mainly private, collectors. There is an urgent need for some kind of institution to monitor, coordinate and serve as a repository for recordings and related printed matter. Exactly like precariously surviving plants, Hawaii’s irreplaceable musical “flowers” could just as easily be lost forever.

—John Marsden, Sheffield, England

Letters to the Editor may be e-mailed to: letters_honmag@pacificbasin.net, faxed: 537-6455 or sent to: HONOLULU Magazine, 1000 Bishop Street, Suite 405, Honolulu, HI, 96813.