Friday, January 19, 2001
home page local news opinion business island life sports
AP National & International News
Letters to the Editor
Dick Adair's Cartoons
Daryl Cagle's Cartoon
Submit A Letter
Submit A Commentary
Classified Ads
Restaurant Guide
Business Directory

Posted on: Friday, January 19, 2001

Letters to the Editor

Legislature should debate ban on guns

In response to the Jan. 12 letter by Maxwell Cooper, who responded to my Jan. 9 letter: Although it is interesting that "42 of 48 law review articles published on the Second Amendment between 1990 and 1999 endorse the individual right (to bear arms)," it is not law, and the courts do not agree.

The courts have said, "The Second Amendment acts only as a restriction on the federal government, keeping it from passing legislation that would infringe on a state’s right to arm and train its militia; the Second Amendment does not apply to the states and localities." Or so say the courts, and that is the law, not a law review article. So Cooper should ask, what part of " ... shall not be infringed" do the courts not understand?

The laws in three towns in Illinois are more restrictive than in Hawaii: Guns are banned. I think families and the victims of gun violence could argue whether our Legislature has far better things to do than to debate gun control this session.

I stand by my suggestion that a gun ban should be debated in this legislative session. It is through debate that all sides of an issue can voice their opinions. Is Cooper against all sides to the gun issue being heard?

Charles Luther
Pearl City

Military doesn’t need Makua for its training

Sen. Daniel Inouye’s support for continued live-fire military exercises in Makua Valley is ill-considered and not in Hawaii’s interest.

The exercises there are unnecessary and are injurious to the aina. They also go against the wishes of the Leeward Coast community.

Makua Valley is awesomely beautiful and rich in historical and anthropological sites and significance. Anyone who has visited the valley is impressed by its majesty and serenity. To have that beauty and peace crudely disturbed and destroyed by live-fire military exercises with heavy equipment tearing up the valley is an unpardonable atrocity.

The Army’s argument, which Inouye has swallowed wholesale, is that these live-fire exercises in this one valley on Oahu are key to maintaining the military’s presence and mission in Hawaii and the Pacific. This is unfounded. The military has a huge training site at P¯hakuloa on the Big Island. The military controls over 7 percent of all Hawaii lands, including a good chunk (over 20 percent) of Oahu, namely: Lualualei, Hickam, Wheeler, the immense Schofield Barracks, Kaneohe MCAS, Pearl Harbor and Bellows Air Force Base, to name a few.

John Witeck

Army has been good neighbor to Wahiawa

National defense is just the tip of the iceberg of what the Army provides our community. The military has long been a pillar of Hawaii’s economy. Further downsizing of the armed forces here would be devastating to our economic situation.

The men and women of the military have always been there in our time of need. Whether it’s emergency assistance from a medivac helicopter or a small community service project, the military volunteers step forward.

The Wahiawa community has coexisted with our military neighbors for decades. Our community is very sensitive to environmental and cultural issues as well, but we’ve always managed to strike a balance.

It is our hope that both parties in the Makua situation can find common ground and reach a compromise.

Gordon Kanemaru
President, Wahiawa Community and Business Association

Hawaii isn’t providing enough public schools

I am 11 years old. In my five months here, I have noticed that while there are a lot of houses, there are not enough schools to hold all the kids. My school was meant to hold only 900 students, but we have more than 1,000.

If the Hawaii officials want to make a better place to live, they should build more schools and pay the teachers more before it’s too late. After all, kids are the future. If we don’t get a good education, we won’t be a good, strong nation with smart leaders.

Jessica Williams

Hawaiian sovereignty issue won’t go away

Regarding the Jan. 15 letter by Ken Conklin on the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day: I find it amusing that Conklin would compare King’s message of civil rights and equality for all Americans "a lesson on sovereignty."

First, kanaka maoli are not and never were Americans, so to say that those principles of American civil rights apply to the independent Kingdom of Hawaii is hogwash.

Second, the sovereignty movement was formed to address the grievances suffered by the descendants of Hawaiian nationals of the Kingdom of Hawaii at the hands of the U.S. government after the illegal occupation and annexation of the independent nation of Hawaii.

Last, I would think all kanaka maoli would find the works of Mahatma Ghandi and King admirable and regard them as great role models. Nonviolence is always the better way. But Hawaii is not America and will never be America.

It is time for the United States to come to terms with the kanaka maoli if there is to be any closure to the shame it brought upon itself in the 1893 overthrow and 1898 annexation. And as a Native Hawaiian, I stand with my brothers and sisters and seek the demands that our last true sovereign, Queen Liliuokalani, sought during the dark days of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom and her imprisonment.

I know that the justice she sought for all her subjects will become a reality as long as we kanaka maoli are certain who we are and remind others who are not familiar with the history of these Islands that we are not going to disappear nor remain silent.

Rev. Dennis D.K. Kamakahi

Kalaeloa beaches need helping hands

Regarding the Jan. 14 article by Dan Nakaso: Being a regular user of the beaches at Kalaeloa, I have made it a rule to bring plastic bags with me. Every time I walk along the beautiful coastline, I fill three to four bags with refuse left by disrespectful fishermen and ungrateful beachgoers.

The whole time, I hear in my head the words "preserve the aina" and I give thanks for the blessing we are honored with called Kalaeloa.

Alex Matthews

Danny’s story is one of love, perseverance

Bravo for the wonderful article in the Jan. 14 Ohana section on Danny and Catherine Mitsunaga.

My wife and I met Danny a couple of years ago at a restaurant where he was a waiter. His engaging, open, vibrant manner made us immediate fans, and we frequented that establishment often as long as he worked there.

Over time, we learned of the learning challenges and the inspiring account of Catherine’s patient and steadfast assistance in his difficult journey. It occurred to us more than once that Danny’s story would bless so many if it could be told.

Thank you for doing that: for enriching all of our lives with the story of Danny and Catherine’s life of love, faith and perseverance.

Mark Yasuhara

Mayor: Concentrate on running Honolulu

Several months ago, Mayor Jeremy Harris campaigned for re-election by telling voters that Honolulu was the best-managed city and that he has "done more with less." Only now the weary taxpayers learn that our county did not plan and budget for government employee pay increases, as did other counties, and that we are looking at possible raises in our real property tax rates.

To top it off, the Harris administration submits an $83 million supplemental capital improvement budget for things like road resurfacing, equipment and ongoing construction projects. Supplemental budgets are supposed to be for "unanticipated" expenses that are essential and usually emergency in nature. A compliant City Council (Duke Bainum, Jon Yoshimura et al.) expresses concern but capitulates in the end. This spend, spend, spend mentality, coupled with a lack of accountability, has got to stop.

I find it amusing that Harris said in a TV interview on inauguration day that he would decide about running for governor in the next two to three months. Such a statement from a person who had not been on the job one day into his new term as mayor. To that, I say, concentrate on being a good mayor before you look to be our next governor.

Mark Mori

Please take some time to help save my life

Typical people, such as yourselves, are busy in their everyday lives. But it wouldn’t hurt to take a little of your time to give blood.

My name is Natalie Frazier, and I am proud to say that I have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is a type of cancer. The treatments I get take about one year, and I am still in the process of getting my treatments. When I do, I sometimes get really tired and need blood or platelets. Since my blood type is O-negative, I may not get it in time. Being only 11 years of age, to me that’s a pretty scary thought.

Now that I’ve explained my condition to you, I hope you can realize how important giving blood can be.

So please give a little of your time, to give just a little blood, to save a life.

Natalie Frazier

Museum plans raise questions

Recently, Hawaii’s first lady, Vicky Cayetano, in wishing to preserve the unique cultural and historic legacy of Washington Place, has proposed turning the home of Queen Liliuokalani into a museum for entertaining and for tours and constructing a residence for future governors of Hawaii in the rear of the property.

In the ensuing week, I received many phone calls from friends who wanted to know what my thoughts were. I felt it incumbent on me to express my feeling.

When the Ariyoshis lived there, we, like the Cayetano family, felt a great loss of privacy. There was always a delicate balance between our public and private lives. But it was such a privilege and honor for our family to have lived in the home of our queen. Living in her rooms, among her things, we felt a responsibility to do our best for the Hawaii we all love.

We used to tip-toe in front of the imposing portrait of Queen Liliuokalani by William Cogswell and quietly say a prayer that we would always be faithful to her memory and to her undying devotion to the people of these Islands.

Perhaps building private quarters outside, but close to, the home is an excellent idea and a good compromise, especially since the state would not have to acquire expensive real estate to accommodate this concept. A foundation has been established to raise monies for the residence. From experience, I know private monies are hard to come by. My husband always contended that asking the private sector to assist in supporting state functions is just another tax.

There are many questions to be answered before a final decision is made on this very important and potentially costly issue. If a new residence is built, who will maintain it? Who will maintain Washington Place as a museum, because its upkeep will be tremendous? What will the state’s responsibility be? What will the foundation’s responsibility be? Will there be a charge for Hawaii’s residents to visit Washington Place?

While we were in residence, trained volunteer docents conducted many tours and there was never a charge. I raise these questions only to stimulate discussion. I hope that in the process, the community, the Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Legislature will be consulted. If Hawaii’s people support this proposal, they will support it wholeheartedly and generously.

We have such wonderful memories of Washington Place. Vacating it entirely should never happen because when people leave a home, it becomes empty of love and vibrancy and it dies. I hope this will not be the end result. The home of the queen is so very special and it deserves to be filled with people, music and love.

Mrs. Cayetano should be commended for raising the issue of the future of Washington Place. I pray that a solution will be found that will be satisfactory to the people of Hawaii, and one that we can imagine Queen Liliuokalani might smile upon.

Jean M. Ariyoshi

[back to top]

Home | Local News | Opinion | Business | Island Life | Sports
USA Today | Letters to the Editor | Dick Adair's Cartoons
Submit A Letter | Submit Commentary

How to Subscribe | How to Advertise | Site Map | Terms of Service | Corrections

© COPYRIGHT 2001 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.