Letters to the Editor
Hawai'i can be safe without quarantine
We agree with your Jan. 30 editorial position that "We should be wary of any proposal to change the rules" regarding animal quarantine.
The Hawaiian Humane Society has always maintained that keeping Hawai'i rabies-free is of the utmost importance. Our official position statement begins, "The society is committed to keeping rabies out of Hawai'i ... " and then adds, " ... and the most effective and humane means for accomplishing this should be pursued."
The Hawaiian Humane Society is one of a dozen organizations and individuals who are part of the Community Quarantine Reform Coalition, all of whom are also committed to keeping rabies out of Hawai'i.
The coalition's proposed changes are based on the state's own risk analysis, testimony by former state veterinarian Dr. Calvin Lum and Dr. Dewey Sturges, and input from the leading rabies specialist at the Centers for Disease Control. The proposal also leaves in place the 120-day quarantine for dogs and cats that do not meet strict requirements.
We are members of the coalition seeking change because it is clear that Hawai'i can be protected without imposing unnecessary hardship on the companion animals of returning kama'aina or new residents and families transferred here for a job or military assignment.
Rabies is a very emotional issue, but our quarantine laws should be based on science.
President and CEO, Hawaiian Humane Society
Ending camera program would be a mistake
I am a Kane'ohe resident who travels the Pali Highway. I am very pleased with the result of the traffic cameras. The road is much safer when everyone is going the speed limit. I know many drivers share my view.
To people everywhere: What kind of message are we sending to our young people when we try to outsmart or do away with a system that finally makes us responsible for our own actions?
To those who have valid concerns: Take it through the proper channels and set a good example for your children.
To the legislators: Where were you when this system was being proposed? That is when you should have done your homework, not try to look like heroes now. But don't pretend to be representing me by voting to do away with this system.
To those who continue to speed and swerve in and out of traffic with no regard for the safety of others: Speed kills, and may the traffic cameras be with you.
To those who are willing to drive safely, be accountable and take the consequences for your actions: God bless.
Nancy E. Talmadge-Cazinha
OHA's Akana wrapping herself in ignorance
I wanted to write this letter to personally thank Ken Conklin (Letters, Jan. 31) for publicly taking to task Rowena Akana and her grossly inaccurate letter of Jan. 29 regarding OHA's legislative package.
For far too long, people like Akana have wrapped themselves in ignorance and myth. They have used, ad nauseam, cute but highly unnecessary, Hawaiian-language catch phrases in a vain attempt to create some esoteric "just us" approach to their argument.
In my opinion, OHA is nothing more than a bunch of angry, question-authority, counterculture rejects who are virtually unemployable elsewhere, and who have set themselves up in high-paying jobs. They rant and chant about the past exploitation and "domination" of Hawaiians by the white man, but do not hesitate, for one second, to self-elevate themselves, above their very own kind, in jobs, titles, wages and personal agenda.
I am happy that Conklin and others like him have chosen to speak out. For, unless every history book ever written about Hawai'i is inaccurate, those of "Hawaiian blood" came to be here simply because their ancestors took this land away from its original inhabitants by killing them. This is something that Akana and her ilk always fail to remember.
Furthermore, what was so great about living in Hawai'i under a king or queen under that oppressive feudal system?
With our jobless rate, why not gambling?
Do I have this right? The front-page headline of the Feb. 3 Advertiser reads: "Panel votes to kill gaming bill," citing "increased crime, ruined lives, broken families, hidden financial costs, social degradation and a proliferation of the gambling culture."
On the other hand, in the business section, same paper, the cover-page headline reads: "Unemployment gloom lingers," with the subhead: "50,000 file local jobless claims since Sept. 11." With the exception of the "proliferation of the gambling culture," doesn't a record jobless rate and a prolonged 12- or 13-year economic doldrums cause the same ills as gambling? Increased crime, ruined lives, broken families, hidden financial costs, social degradation and a proliferation of a welfare culture.
By the way, would one of those hidden costs be the empty Convention Center that could easily serve as a casino center?
Besides that, why are gambling bills being heard in the obscure state House Committee on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs? Same old, same old. Bottle it up. Seems as if the do-nothing Legislature, our leaders, our visionaries for the future of our state, are determined to commit us to another decade of same old, same old. Shame on them.
Have our political leaders even begun to acknowledge that we are a one-horse economy? That we either ride that horse or we hobble it, as we have over the past decade and more? Or, let's just shoot the horse and watch as more of our children and residents leave for greener pastures.
Pauahi clearly stated Hawaiian preference
Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, through her will, founded and gave purpose to the Kamehameha Schools. While she did not live to see the schools built, her husband, Charles Reed Bishop who was also one of her original trustees was clearly in the best position to know her intent.
Mr. Bishop affirmed that Pauahi's wish was to give preference in Kamehameha's admissions to children of Hawaiian ancestry. School records and policies of that time support this, as do numerous letters and public speeches written by Mr. Bishop after his wife's passing. Every subsequent board of trustees has adopted this admissions policy.
Pauahi also desired that Kamehameha make special provision for "orphans and others of indigent circumstances." This wish, too, is honored today, as, by policy, approximately 15 percent of the student body is admitted under this category.
Further, Kamehameha Schools subsidizes 95 percent of all student tuition, and 60 percent of our students receive additional financial aid from Kamehameha Schools toward their remaining costs.
Finally, as most Hawai'i residents are aware, Kamehameha's practice of hiring Protestant teachers was discontinued in 1993.
The will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop is an instrument of benefit for all Hawai'i. The princess' pure aloha for her people is reflected in her desire that Hawaiians have preference in availing themselves of her legacy.
Hamilton I. McCubbin
Chief executive officer, Kamehameha Schools
Legislature should OK long-term-care bill
My father needed long-term care for at least five years before he passed away. Unfortunately, the family could not afford nursing-home care, so my mother took the brunt of caring for him 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This took such a toll on my mother's health that she became ill and ended up in a state nursing home through Medicaid.
A long-term-care program would have made a big difference in the final years of my parents' lives. I am willing to pay $10 a month premium as proposed by a bill in the state Legislature.
Tourism Authority audit is no surprise
Why are the findings in your Feb. 8 article "Audit faults tourism agency" no surprise?
The Hawai'i Tourism Authority has been wasting taxpayers' dollars for years, even prior to the "dragster" disaster.
HTA executive director Richard Humphreys says he "welcomes the criticism." Well, isn't that just dandy?
Humphreys, if someone ripped you off for thousands of dollars, let alone millions, would you just "welcome their being criticized"?
Politicians should have to keep track of gifts
Why are political donors responsible for keeping campaign contributions within legal limits?
The candidate themselves should be responsible to ensure they don't receive more than the maximum amount allowed by law. They are the ones who solicit contributions, they are the ones who benefit from these contributions, and they should be responsible for monitoring the contributions.
Having said that, a better system would eliminate campaign contributions by individuals and businesses altogether. The state or city should give each candidate a reasonable, equal amount of money with which to campaign.
Contributors expect favoritism and tend to receive it through bid and nonbid contracts whether our politicians admit it or not. Geolabs was rewarded with $660,000 worth of nonbid contracts from the city while contributing substantial amounts of money. The appearance of impropriety exists even though Mayor Harris denies it.
I recommend campaign finance reform and term limits so that career politicians cannot profit from this corrupt system. Keep up the good work, Bob Watada.
Forest ecosystem needs commitment
A comment to Bill Rosehill's Jan. 28 letter: Ecologists have to take their successes one little step at a time. Just as the Hawaiian Islands became populated by new plant and animal species one little step at a time, over millions of years, one 'akia pola'au in a koa tree doesn't make a forest ecosystem. This is just a beginning.
The interest in Hawai'i's flora has only been recent, and having visited the Hakalau National Wildlife Preserve, I was encouraged by the fact that something is being done and the results are most encouraging.
What concerns me, however, was the question of what the commitment would be, over time. The success that we are now seeing in propagation and native forest restoration is just an end to land abuses, deforestation and species extinction brought about by the bad land management of the past.
Native plant propagator
Special-ed students are also affected
Recent articles on the DOE budget cuts note that special education has been spared. This is not entirely true.
Most special-education students spend at least some of their day in regular-education classes. Cuts to regular-education programs and services impact special-education students, too. Further, these funding cuts contribute to an "us" versus "them" attitude as resentment grows over funding inequities.
This prompts one small suggestion to the DOE leadership: Stop paying for medical services for Felix-class students. Return responsibility for payment for these services to health insurers where it belongs and where it rests for all other students.
Put those millions of dollars that you'll save back into general education. Support general-education programs and teachers with the same fervor that you bring to special education, and watch all students reap the benefits.
High-tech 'security' lessens our liberty
It's all so seductive: Government leaders promising "security" for all and no effect on your constitutional rights and protections. They hail the use of technology, characterized as a benevolent partner to their authority, as they move ever closer toward a high-tech lock-down.
The media, in their evolved role as our domestic propaganda machine, have conditioned us to believe this "wholesale capitulation to authority" is our duty and the only patriotic course available.
Allow me to give my fellow citizens a quote understandable to even the most feeble: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin.
Koreans should mix more with the locals
My fellow Koreans, learn to be more Hawaiian. I'm so saddened to see so many of you unemployed, disheartened, working at low-class jobs such as waiting tables, washing dishes or driving taxis. Why? Because you are not trying hard enough to be Hawaiian.
You and your children must learn to mix with the locals. If you do this, you will learn English and local customs and traditions quicker. And prosper quicker.
You are one of the most intelligent and hardworking peoples of the world. We Hawaiians are the nicest and most hospitable people in the world. We are here for you, any time. If you just stick to yourselves, life here will only be a little more difficult.