Letters to the Editor: December 24, 2020

To gamble is an
individual freedom

There is talk that Hawaii might be getting legalized gambling. That’s great news because it’s a bright light for individual freedom. There are those people who bemoan the fact that, “it will do irreparable harm to the community.”

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How so? Perhaps more harm than a drunken driver maiming (or worse yet killing) an innocent bystander? Think about this when, and if, you’re grieving over the loss of a loved one that was struck and killed by a driver who was impaired.

And exactly how will gambling impact me? I think that to gamble is just another way of throwing away your money. As for me, I’ll pass on gambling and let a few others reap the unlimited rewards of participating in a game of chance, or maybe those innumerable others who lost their funds in the small chance of winning big. These situations are best left to the willing participants.

I get real pleasure in seeing someone wearing an article of clothing depicting that they, “hit it big in Las Vegas,” yet how many shirts does one see proclaiming that they lost all their savings (and then some) at a casino?

I believe that to gamble is an individual freedom best left without the interference of government that should be enjoyed by all who want to partake. And it is best left to the individual to decide.

Michael L. Last

Naalehu

Keep forum open

I wish to share my extreme disappointment in West Hawaii Today’s apology for printing the opinion of one of our community members in the Friday paper.

The opinion is just an opinion and should be shared as such. The opinion shares the writer’s viewpoint. Many others in our community and country may have similar thoughts, but are too intimidated to honestly address.

West Hawaii Today should remain an open forum for honest conversation. It is not your right to filter thoughts in our community that only accommodate or parallel similar philosophies. The paper can, and should, be an avenue to welcome diversity of thought and stimulate discussion.

Warren Chong

Kona

Another choice needed

I also have a major concern about Zendo Kern becoming the Planning Director. I have watched him in action before the Leeward Planning Commission. He paints a rosy picture of things he presents while avoiding major issues or even stretching things. It seems hard to get straight answers, but he is working for developers, so anything for money.

Mr. Kern has worked for and been paid by too many local developers to tell them “no.” For the interest of what’s right and following County Code, policy, and the community’s interest another choice is needed.

I hope Mayor Mitch Roth and the County Council will see that another choice is needed for this important role. The Planning Director should not put the developer’s interests first.

John Powell

Kona

‘Big picture’ views appreciated

I really want to thank the WHT editors for including op-ed pieces from the Washington post and NY Times. These give us “big picture” views from top journalists and are informative, thought-provoking and sometimes entertaining. I particularly enjoyed Michael Gerson’s comparison from Nov. 27 that denying climate change is a political statement similar to putting a gun rack in a pickup.

Dennis Elwell

Naalehu

The okina will remain

Mahalo for using the okina in the newspaper Wednesday. I sincerely hope this is a new policy. The Hawaiian language only has 13 letters, the okina being one of them. Not using them is like taking two crucial letters out of the Roman/Latin alphabet used for English. Really changes words. In addition, the okina helps with the pronunciation of Hawaiian words.

So again, mahalo nui loa.

Cindy Whtiehawk

South Kona

Letters policy

Letters to the editor should be 300 words or less and will be edited for style and grammar. Longer viewpoint guest columns may not exceed 800 words. Submit online at www.westhawaiitoday.com/?p=118321, via email to [email protected] or address them to:

Editor

West Hawaii Today

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PO Box 789

Kailua-Kona, HI 96745

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