Letters to the Editor
Pu'u O Mahuka should not be disturbed
Recently I visited the ancient city of Rome. There, restoration of the old city and statues are limited to the washing of the surfaces only. None of the columns, walls or broken statues are restored. They are left as they are found without any further disturbance.
As with Pu'u O Mahuka, there are situations that should be left as they are.
Witch-hunt against Harris disgusting
Jeremy Harris is a good man, and he's my pick for governor.
I think it's pretty disgusting that the Campaign Spending Commission is being used as a vehicle for some kind of witch-hunt against Harris. The people of Hawai'i aren't stupid we know all the lame tricks of the status quo powers-that-be.
I have no doubt Harris' name will be cleared and that he will emerge victorious not only from this unsavory battle but as the resounding winner of the 2002 gubernatorial race.
Democratic 'machine' pulling Harris' strings
There is no better proof than the fact that Ben Cayetano is the governor of Hawai'i to prove that the choice of the "Democratic machine" determines our leader, not the choice of the people.
The timing of the investigation into Mayor Harris' campaign funding suggests that the "machine" is not too happy with him.
But why would it be? What would become of Hawai'i if we actually had a man of integrity like Jeremy Harris as governor?
No way Mayor Harris would break the law
As a long-time political observer, I doubt very seriously that Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris broke any campaign-spending laws.
Because of his high-profile position as mayor, he has been able to surround himself with the best campaign officials and advisers available. Lex Brodie, Roger Liu and Peter Char are all successful men who are at the top of their professions. They also do not receive any monetary compensation for their hard work with Harris.
So why on Earth would these men put their reputations and careers on the line by breaking any campaign fund-raising rules? I can assure you that these men are smarter than that and that there is no way they were involved in anything illegal.
I just hope that whoever is leading this smear campaign is exposed and tried in the court of public opinion.
Casino would create many jobs in Hawai'i
Why are state politicians against having a casino built in Hawai'i?
Do they know the number of jobs that would be available with only one casino being built?
Desk clerks, gardeners, cooks, laundry workers, maids, janitors, cashiers, restaurant workers, maintenance men or women, just to mention a few.
Would the politicians still vote against legalized gambling if they were unemployed? Look at all the people who were laid off since 9/11. Their kids need to eat, too.
Restaurant smoking should be banned
Aloha! My name is Kiana Vincent from the 'Aiea High School Peer Education Program. I am writing to you in regard to the editorial on banning smoking in restaurants.
I agree with you because even if you were to sit in the nonsmoking section, you would still be able to smell the smoke through the air-conditioning circulation. There is no shield dividing the smoking and nonsmoking sections.
Another reason smoking should be banned in restaurants is that it affects everyone's health around you both smokers and nonsmokers.
Neighborhood board ignored community
In contrast to views recently expressed by neighborhood board chair persons, I have little confidence in the boards.
The November Waikiki board meeting featured a Hilton Hawaiian Village presentation on its proposed new tower. Due to great opposition to this project, the meeting was well-attended. At the presentation's conclusion, attendees were given an inadequate few minutes to respond some being cut short if they weren't finished when time was up.
The speakers overwhelmingly opposed the project, citing, among other things, the overload on Waikiki's infrastructure and loss of residential views.
The board essentially ignored the speakers except to remark that some board members had similarly lost residential views in the past implying that since they had endured such hardships, the speakers should endure them, also, rather than try to influence development in Waikiki. The board then voted unanimously to recommend the Hilton project.
The recommendation doesn't carry weight of law, but one chairman recently wrote, "Government agencies respond favorably to board recommendations when the communities are behind the board." This board's vote reflects neither attendees' sentiments nor those of scores of letters and petitions representing hundreds of people published in Hilton's environmental impact statement.
Consequently, I have no confidence that neighborhood board recommendations actually reflect the will of the community.
Many contributed to Korean Festival
The first-ever Korean Festival held on Jan. 12 was a tremendous success. Twenty thousand people enjoyed the day-long celebration of Korean art, dance, food, ssirum (Korean sumo) and Taekwondo at Kapi'olani Bandstand, capped by a Korean movie featured at Sunset on the Beach.
We are deeply grateful to those who made this success possible members of the media for their extensive coverage, which generated interest in our culture; our co-sponsor, Mayor Harris and the city departments, for their outstanding and tireless support throughout; our generous sponsors; and all of the Korean community groups and volunteers for their hours of dedication. To all, we gratefully say "kamsahamnida."Ê
We hope this festival will be an annual event and invite the community to attend other special events we will be hosting throughout this year and next as we celebrate the 100-year arrival of Korean immigrants to the United States on Jan. 13, 2003.
Centennial Committee of Korean Immigration to the U.S.
OHA trustee's letter has the facts wrong
Rowena Akana's Jan. 29 letter regarding OHA's legislative package needs a response:
"On Sept. 12, 2001, the Hawai'i state Supreme Court delivered a devastating blow to the Hawaiians," she wrote.
No, the blow was to OHA, not Hawaiians. Most ethnic Hawaiians never got OHA's help, and 80 percent of Hawai'i's people are racially excluded from ever receiving help.
"The third bill addresses the need to revisit Act 304 as directed by the Supreme Court," Akana wrote.
Wrong! The Hawai'i Supreme Court did not "direct" the Legislature to revisit Act 304. The court overturned Act 304. It said whatever happens next is up to the Legislature, which could (and should) take no action to give public money for racially segregated beneficiaries. Instead, redirect all ceded-land revenues to the public schools. Twenty-six percent of all students are ethnic Hawaiians. That would give Hawaiians more than the 20 percent that OHA formerly got.
"Without a steady flow of income to sustain all of our programs, we trustees must now reassess our current programs and look at ways to downsize to preserve our trust assets," Akana wrote.
Yes! Reassess huge expenditures for TV ads, and millions for lobbying the Akaka Bill. Those "trust assets" were never intended to be a perpetual endowment. If OHA never gets another penny, it would take 20 years to spend what's now in the stock market.
" ... settle the ceded-land claims with the state," Akana wrote. "This would allow the Hawaiian people the opportunity to have a land base on which to build our nation. The ... Akaka Bill ... is very important. ... Without this recognition, we cannot proceed to nationhood."
The ceded lands belong to all of Hawai'i's people. Our nation is the United States. Most citizens of Hawai'i, including most ethnic Hawaiians, don't want racially separate enclaves.
"OHA will develop a partnership with Fannie Mae to allow all Hawaiians to borrow money for home mortgages for down payments and closing costs at a reduced interest rate below the prime rate," Akana wrote. "We will ... develop a health initiative for our kupuna."
Wouldn't all citizens appreciate such programs? How can Fannie Mae and OHA use taxpayer dollars for illegal "redlining" (giving racially discriminatory loans)?
Our state Supreme Court has cut off OHA's money supply. Don't blow this opportunity.
A story of death, grief and cameras
I'm wiping away tears after reading an e-mail that came from Japan a few minutes ago it was from the daughter of a man who was one of my very best friends and a co-worker. I remember his upbeat Christmas card that came in just a few days ago.
The e-mail reported that he had just been killed in Tokyo on the way home from church by a driver who sped through an intersection against the red light. I can't believe he is suddenly dead.
His daughter's message, probably painfully tapped out through her own flood of tears, gave me a new perspective on the letters that have appeared in the Honolulu papers protesting the speed cameras and which will no doubt follow as the red-light cameras start to operate.
People are killed by those who run red lights my friend is now one of them.
People are killed by speeders, tailgaters, those who drink and drive and others who feel they have a special right to disobey laws put in place to protect all of us.
To these letter writers: I have no sympathy for you. I feel like burning all of your letters right now.
The SUV that tailgated my car yesterday in the right lane and which then cut over to tailgate another car is frivolously playing with my life, my wife's life and the lives of everyone else nearby. That same SUV had a plastic cover on its rear license plate. Drivers like that and those who speed, even where highway conditions call for caution, are potential killers.
Please read the letters these people are writing. I find it strange that people will claim the right to break the law and endanger others' lives. Remember, as you read, that each writer is a potential killer.
Please slow down, observe the law and encourage others to do so as well. A death is irreversible. Those who insist on speeding, or who provide support or assistance to speeders, are advocating for the right to kill and maim.
If your spouse or your parent is one of the letter writers, speak up now before your family or another is touched by tragedy. Don't enable a speeder by remaining a silent passenger. When you get home, reflect on the fact that you made it this time, but next time someone could be killed or injured even as you avoid speaking out.
When someone complains to you about the traffic cameras, ask them why they insist on the "right" to drive unsafely. There is no such right.
It's too late to say "sorry" after someone is dead.