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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Letters to the Editor

Energy conservation views are appalling

Mike Leidemann's column "Conserving isn't just a virtue" quotes Vice President Dick Cheney's now-infamous statement, "Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not ... a(n) energy policy."

"When I read those words," Leidemann writes, "I wanted to ... cry for all the people in Hawai'i who have worked so hard to promote and practice conservation ... " He notes that just a 15 percent improvement in the fuel economy of SUVs could save more energy than could ever be pumped out of the Arctic National Wildlife Range.

Dick Cheney is a throwback to the aggressive, plundering male mentality that brought us slavery, two World Wars, the Cold War and now the most horrifying of all: the genocidal war against Mother Earth. His thought patterns go straight back to Attila the Hun, who sacked Rome. Today the Cheneyites are sacking 50 acres of rainforest every minute.

Fortunately he's in a minority. More people every day see Cheney's deformities of power and reject rule-by-corporations in favor of "biocracy," the rule of equality of all life on Earth.

Just as cigarette companies fell from Wall Street to the gutter in a few years, so may Cheney's desolate view fade quickly to the primitive backwaters of those who love our Earth home as they rise to the clear majority.

Howard C. Wiig

Children can develop 'addictions' to foods

I would like to add a consideration of food "allergies" and "addictions" to Mike Markrich's May 6 Focus article, "The terrible costs of childhood obesity."

Food "preferences" are typically formed in childhood and continue for a lifetime. However, daily consumption of the same food (or drink) may produce an "allergy" that functions as an "addiction." (Repeated exposure to a substance is a common cause of an allergy, and repeated consumption is how we develop tolerance.)

The appetite control center of the brain, the hypothalamus, has histamine receptors, and histamine is released by the body in response to substances we are allergic to. If we become allergic to a food, so that our body releases histamine, that can cause the hypothalamus to make us crave more of the food.

At the same time, the aversive effect of that allergenic food causes the brain to release endorphins, morphine-like substances that kill pain. The person gets a "high." When this is repeated, the person develops a physical tolerance, after which not eating the food causes "withdrawals" and "cravings."

I have found that people have such "allergies" and "addictions" to a wide range of foods: commonly to sugar and fat, but also to caffeine and chocolate, and even to chicken, among many, many others.

The American Psychiatric Association has several classifications of "caffeine-related disorders" similar to those involving alcohol and drugs. Having vending machines with allergenic and addictive foods (and drinks) at schools makes as much sense as selling cigarettes and alcohol on campus.

However, parents should also realize that feeding their children the same foods every day, especially those they already crave, is tantamount to "feeding addictions" that continue for a lifetime and lead to obesity and a host of illnesses.

Terence C. Wade, Ph.D.

Two Waikiki streets have been misnamed

Two streets in Waikiki, supposedly named for two prominent chiefs of old Hawai'i, do not bear their real names.

One is Kalaimoku Street, apparently named for high chief Kalanimoku. The missing letter, the "n," is not a misspelling. In the Hawaiian language, "kalaimoku" was the office title of the "chief adviser for state affairs," but it is unlikely that the street was named for the office and not the man.

High Chief Kalanimoku was the kalaimoku of Kamehameha I, II and III. His title was later translated by the foreigners as "prime minister." He was known as "kalaimoku" for a good reason: The name of a high chief could not be uttered; it was sacred.

Even Mary Kawena Pukui, et al., in the book "Place Names of Hawai'i," confuses Kalanimoku's name with his office title by stating, "Kalaimoku: a variant name for Kalanimoku ... " and then describes his office title, "adviser and prime minister ... " not suspecting that it was the definition of "kalaimoku."

The second misnamed street is Kuamo'o Street. In 1819, High Chiefess Ka'oana'eha, niece of Kamehameha I, adopted the second name Kuamo'o for the locality on the Big Island where her brother, Kekuaolalani, had been killed during the revolt against the overthrow of the kapu (taboo) by Kamehameha II.

Nevertheless, it appears that, probably for political considerations, the name Kuamo'o had not been used widely since history books, genealogies (including the ones in Liliu'okalani's book) and the Great Mahele use the name Ka'oana'eha or Mary Ka'oana'eha.

George Avlanitis

Kaua'i's Maha'ulepu must be preserved

Maha'ulepu is a 2,900-acre beachfront property on Kaua'i's South Shore near Kipu Kai and the Hyatt golf course. Though the property is privately owned, it has remained undeveloped and open to both the public and to researchers, who have uncovered significant cultural and scientific resources.

It is a site that, defined by its living history, has become sacred to all who understand its past and present.

That is why a grass-roots coalition called Malama Maha'ulepu, as well as similar groups in years past, have made it its mission to preserve the area. And it may also be why landowners who could have used the money have been reluctant to sell or develop the property.

From the onset, Malama Maha'ulepu has sought a collaborative solution to the future preservation of this irreplaceable site. Among the group's stated principles is that public access to Maha'ulepu should be perpetual and appropriate, and that the landowner should receive fair value for land dedicated or sold for public purposes. It has found support from Gov. Cayetano, the state Legislature, the County Council and thousands of Kaua'i residents.

Malama Maha'ulepu is dedicated to preserving Maha'ulepu in a way that does not entertain a contentious process. In my view, this place is too significant in terms of its cultural, historic and scientific resources, too sacred, to be submitted to the usual environment vs. development debate. The preservation of Maha'ulepu goes well beyond these issues.

This place has somehow managed to maintain its existence and secrets throughout thousands of years. Out of respect for its past and its future, our past and our future, one would hope a collaborative dialogue concerning its preservation will be sustained.

Susan Dixon
Hanalei, Kaua'i

Boaters should have say in privatization

We would like to know how privatizing the Ala Wai and Ke'ehi small-boat harbors would, as the governor states, " ... generate enough revenue to upgrade the facilities in the other small-boat harbors throughout the state."

This claim goes counter to the fact that even at the current low revenue rates, the Ala Wai and Ke'ehi facilities' revenues cover all of their expenses and generate a surplus that is used to help support the many other state boating facilities that are not self-sustaining.

In fact, the Ala Wai harbor is the top "excess revenue provider" for the system and Ke'ehi is fourth.

Just for starters, the privatizer must come up with about $2.35 million per year just to keep our state boating program at its miserable status quo. When the normal business costs of lease rent, operations, maintenance, insurance, taxes, profit and the extensive renovation costs are added, the fee costs to our boaters may become astronomical. We need to know what the "numbers" are in this privatization venture to fairly analyze it.

It appears that the impact of privatization on the boaters is of little concern to the state. The popular feeling is that the state doesn't care how high the privatization boaters fees would go, as long as the state could escape the responsibility for causing and correcting the serious boating facilities problems.

We agree that privatization is a viable means of achieving this, but if the state is not going to look after the boaters' interests, as it appears, then the boating community should be given an opportunity to affect the privatization plan.

Bill Mossman
Hawai'i Boaters Political Action Association

Public school teachers must now walk the talk

Now that Hawai'i teachers are in the top 10 in salaries nationwide, and probably No. 1 in the nation for benefits, let us now ask all teachers to be sure that Hawai'i's educational system gets into the "top 10" and not at the bottom of the 50 states.

The governor has done his job and weathered all the bad name-calling and signs held by our so-called "professional educators," including the leadership of the HSTA. Next time around, they need to show professionalism and respect if they want our children to look up to them.

It is unfortunate that the "silent majority" was afraid to speak out, and understandably so, because the teaching profession has become a "sacred cow," with everyone either having a spouse in education, a relative or friend or even neighbors as educators. The governor got very little coverage by the media in support of his position. For every two or more negative letters to the editor, the governor got only one. This is not equality.

Every union member feels that every other member deserves a pay raise, but we all know that such is not the case. When economic times are bad, we must all share the burden of what is affordable.

Teachers should feel thankful for employment, and if they think it is easier outside of the teaching profession, just try the private sector. Reading daily of one major company after another laying off workers is not good reading.

So now I ask, since the teachers have gotten a very good contract, please "walk the talk." Show us results that will place Hawai'i in the nation's "top 10 in education."

Tom Sugita
Pearl City

Hawaiians must share the blame

Forbidden to speak Hawaiian? What's up with that?

I was raised in Papakolea and attended Roosevelt High School in the 1950s. Our homestead kupuna often conversed in Hawaiian. My father listened to the public broadcast of the Kawaiaha'o Hawaiian language church service on the radio every Sunday. Scholars compiled references for study of the Hawaiian language and tradition to guide us. 'Iolani Luahine generously performed ancient chant and dance at the Honolulu Academy of Arts for all to see.

We kanaka maoli generally neglected the cultural opportunities afforded us, and now we feebly blame others for the self-inflicted personal loss of our heritage. We reach out to regain our pride, but cannot succeed until we accept individual responsibility for the many years squandered on indifference.

I recall we used to tease our Japanese classmates for attending Japanese Language School after our public school classes were pau each day. Here we were, making fun of them for studying their ethnic culture and traditions while we allowed our own to shrivel away.

In my day, Roosevelt High School offered Hawaiian history (taught by a part-Hawaiian man) as an elective credit, but homemaking and shop were preferred electives for most of my friends. Hawai'i's schools provided positive cultural reinforcement with Hawaiian pageants, choir performances, Hawaiian holiday observances, etc., but were we listening?

It is tragic to see so many of our homesteads wantonly trashed and littered by homeowners. The Hawaiian Homes Commission should reward excellence with an "Aloha 'ļina Award" plaque or sign to be displayed on each nicely trimmed, clean house lot that reflects the spirit of "Proud to be Hawaiian."

We should pay more attention to our own linguistic sloth. Our younger generations must learn to care.

When did 'Anaeho'omalu Bay become "A" Bay and Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway become "Queen K"? We elders have not set a proper standard for correct 'olelo. When did Hawai'i Island become the "Big Island"? When did we inject the letter "t" in place of our Hawaiian alphabet letter "k," saying "tutu" instead of the affectionate "kuku or taro instead of kalo or tapa instead of kapa? When did we start to say "Hanalulu" instead of "Honolulu" or pronounce the home of our revered Pele as "Killowaya" instead of "Kee-lau-ea?

We have to throw off this comfort blanket of blame and self-pity and stand tall, accepting our individual responsibility as stewards of our cultural destiny.

Lovena Chong
Volcano, Hawai'i Island