Letters to the Editor
Don't let City Council steal the queen's land
The queen's birthday demonstration just broke my heart. How can the City Council be in favor of taking land that the queen left to benefit her subjects?
How can anyone? We all need to call, fax, write and e-mail the City Council to stop it from taking this last bit of heritage from the people of Hawai'i. If you were ever moved by the story of the last queen, here is your chance to do something to help her.
As citizens of Hawai'i, we really have a responsibility to preserve the beautiful culture that is the essence of Hawai'i. Taking from the Hawaiian people again is wrong, lacking in any moral or ethical merit. Show your aloha and help put a stop to condemning the queen's land.
Ocean cage farming letter was in error
Several of Sook Han Lau's statements on open-sea cage farming in his Aug. 31 letter to the editor are incorrect. Please allow us to correct the errors.
The ocean lease permits a total of four cages, not 20. Public input was a major part of the permitting process that included public hearings, state agency consultations, neighborhood board presentations, civic clubs, fishing groups and more. News coverage has been extensive, both on TV and in all major local news publications, including The Honolulu Advertiser.
In fact, Cates International Inc. followed a very rigorous protocol for over two years to ensure that all concerns were adequately addressed in a process outlined by the Office of Environmental Quality Control.
The environmental assessment has been available for public review at the OEQC office since November 2000. The assessment includes a very rigorous environmental monitoring program required under the terms of several of the permits and the ocean lease.
You will also find measures to ensure that state and federal water-quality standards are not violated, ranging from reducing production to ceasing of operations entirely.
The Environmental Protection Agency issued a permit to Cates International in July 2001, and a federal grant has been awarded to an independent researcher to further measure the effects of the operation beyond the requirements of the state and federal permits.
All of the above is public information and available for review at the appropriate agency.
To date, Cates International has supplied more than 80,000 fish to markets that would otherwise be filled by fish taken from the wild.
Thank you for your concern. We are always pleased to discuss the safeguards built into our operations designed to protect and preserve our great ocean resources.
John R. Cates, Virginia Enos
Cates International Inc.
Language, culture aren't part of debate
A Sept. 2 commentary states that the Basque people can offer Hawaiians a lesson.
Could it be that the Basque people are similar to Hawaiians in that their government was also illegally overthrown, which later resulted in misappropriation of ceded land revenues, thereby ultimately leaving in question the "native identity"?
The writer offers a futuristic look between a culturally defunct Hawaiian and a non-native Hawaiian cultural expert.
Under all of these circumstances, we should never allow ourselves to use language and culture as an antidote that will keep us all immune from past injustices.
Hirono's link to past could be her undoing
David Shapiro writes in his Sept. 4 column that Mazie Hirono is "reinventing herself as a leader and decision-maker who's been in the middle of the action the past eight years." She may want to rethink that strategy.
The "action" of the last eight years in Hawai'i has been a tanking economy and a broken educational system that career politicians like Hirono have utterly failed to fix.
Lottery to help out schools won't work
There is one problem with Andy Anderson's idea of creating a lottery to assist the funding of Hawai'i's schools. The exact same rhetoric was used in California to sell the idea of the need for a state lottery.
A short time after the California lottery started, the political power base realized the revenue generated was enough to run the school system "by itself" in the state and made the decision to reduce the state school funding budget by an equal amount. Result: The schools in California are no better financially today than they were before the lottery started, and in some cases they are worse.
Sorry, Mr. Anderson, changing political parties doesn't make you any smarter than any other person running for office, but it does show how much (or how little) you value loyalty to your party.
Standard English isn't end-all of intelligence
Regarding David Childs' Sept. 4 views on Pidgin English: His insinuation that Pidgin English users are uneducated and are doomed to a life of flipping burgers is insulting.
Born and raised in Hawai'i, I went to college and majored in journalism and English. I can speak both Pidgin and standard English and can switch from one to the other without any problems. I notice that when people from Hawai'i get together, they tend to use Pidgin among themselves, with people switching from standard English to Pidgin with no deterioration of intelligence or communication skills.
Pidgin English is akin to Hawai'i as Cajun Creole is to Louisiana. It's my choice to use or not use Pidgin. One unique thing about Pidgin English users is that they can think in two different languages at the same time.
I suggest Mr. Childs learn more about the people who use Pidgin instead of criticizing, and he should get rid of obvious prejudices and get to know the people who populate the great state of Hawai'i.
Atheists' assaults on religion disgusting
Leave the firefighter's prayer alone!
It's disgusting that the minority are still trying and often succeeding in harassing the majority of us who believe in God. It's equally disturbing that our public officials, judges and lawyers are often partners in crime with them as they try to force their religion on us. Atheism is just as much a religion as is our faith in God it's just that man becomes the god as he exalts his pea-brain mentality above the infinite wisdom of the One who created him.
Ancient wisdom tells us that "the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
Ash from H-Power should be reused
The trash-disposal situation on O'ahu is truly a crisis. But, to me, one of the most disturbing things is how much ash from the H-Power plant goes to the landfill.
Can't the ash be used to make construction bricks, or in place of sand in cement, or something, rather than just being part of the waste-disposal problem?
One does indeed have state 'citizenship'
I just read Jeff Herman's Sept. 4 letter to the editor claiming a mistake in the juror questionnaire with regard to the term "citizen." Mr. Herman obviously does not understand the definition of that word.
The word citizen actually is the derivative of the word "city" and literally means "an inhabitant of a city or town." This definition has been broadened over the years to include "a person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it."
So Hawai'i's Judiciary was indeed correct when it used the word "citizenship" to describe an allegiance to the state of Hawai'i.
Don't take loved ones for granted anymore
As we draw close the the one-year anniversary of Sept. 11, many of us want to forget what happened to not see images of terror fill our country.
But we cannot forget the lessons we learned from Sept. 11. One lesson I learned is that we cannot take people for granted. It is so easy to take family, friends and loved ones for granted. Sometimes we forget that relationships are all we have; they are all we should hold on to.
Recently, there have been child abductions and murders hitting the front pages of the newspapers, and this only reaffirms what we should have learned on Sept. 11: We should start to cherish our relationships. Start telling people how much we love them, and let nothing come between us.
People are too valuable to take for granted. One moment our loved ones can be here, and the next they are gone. So let's all take some time and tell each other how much we mean to each other.
Mixed signals given on Hawai'i economy
As a local boy who had to move to find employment (and who still reads your newspaper online), I enjoyed the irony of your business headlines of Sept. 5.
First headline: "Bank economist says state back on track." Second headline: "Tesoro laying off 125."
Yup, sounds right to me.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Coping with Sept. 11 stress
Most of us will never forget what we were doing on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. We watched in horror as the events unfolded on our television screens. Most of us relived those moments in the weeks and months that followed the never-ending media coverage, struggling to keep going.
The months after September also allowed us to see the strength of the human spirit in a new light, having experienced an extraordinarily horrific event and witnessing the courage and compassion of people closest to the tragedies.
As we approach the anniversary and try to cope with the memories, let us remember, both collectively and individually, that although we're still learning to deal with this tragedy, it has already affected our lives in many different ways.
For more information and additional materials on coping with the anniversary of Sept. 11, visit the National Mental Health Association's Web site.
Studies on the impact of such traumatic events indicate that the prevalence of mental health disorders among children and adults increased in the wake of the attacks. The amount of television coverage we watched was found to directly correlate with our symptom levels of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.
That's why, as the anniversary of Sept. 11 approaches, it's more important than ever to take care of ourselves. We need to be mindful about what we watch on television and be careful not to watch endless hours of coverage.
Doing something positive, such as giving blood or volunteering in our community, is a good way to gain a greater sense of control and perspective. It's important to reach out and talk with friends, family, doctors or ministers about our feelings. Paying attention to simple, everyday tasks, such as getting plenty of rest and exercise, eating healthfully and avoiding excessive drinking and risk-taking activities, will help us cope with the memories, sadness and grief.
In addition, our children will watch us for clues about how to act or feel and are likely to model our behavior, so taking care of ourselves and expressing ourselves are extremely important.
Encourage local schools to be responsive to the anxiety the children will be experiencing. Teachers and parents can encourage age-appropriate activities that help children share their feelings, such as writing stories or doing artwork.
Most importantly, if you or your children have strong feelings that won't go away, seek help from a mental health professional. This is essential for those with existing mental health problems or those who have survived trauma in the past.
If you are in need of immediate help and do not already have a doctor or counselor, statewide phone numbers to call are Aloha United Way's Helpline (dial 211) or the Crisis Hotline (521-4555 on O'ahu or toll-free 1-800-784-2433 statewide), available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Otherwise, call your healthcare provider if you have insurance.
We must take care of ourselves and each other during these difficult times. Mental health is everyone's concern.
Benjamin L. Carroll III
Mental Health Association of Hawai'i