Letters to the Editor
The old Latin Mass is still church-sanctioned
While I very much enjoyed reading the Dec. 27 article about the new Mel Gibson film and the Tridentine Latin Mass that many of us still love and enthusiastically celebrate, I am a bit concerned about the impression that article will leave with the average reader and, especially, with the average Roman Catholic.
The article indicates that we who love the traditional Mass are opposed to the Vatican and are worshipping in ways that we were directed to abandon. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Pope John Paul II himself has authorized the continued celebration of the Tridentine Mass promulgated at the Council of Trent. The bishop of Honolulu further authorizes its continued celebration each Sunday at St. Anthony Church in Kalihi.
We who adhere to the traditional movement within the church find that the old ritual best expresses the truths of our Catholic faith and nurtures us in its regular exercise. Recently, it has been celebrated by cardinals and at the Vatican itself.
While it is most unfortunately true that there are those within the church who oppose us, who want to see us continually marginalized and who will probably even attack me for saying something good about the old Latin Mass, we remain faithful Catholics eager to restore the beauty of our old traditions and to lead other believers to a renewal of their faith in Jesus Christ through the graces that it continues to offer all mankind.
In love and charity, we invite all to experience its beauty for themselves.
Thomas D. Herndon
Lingle is right: OCCC needs to be replaced
I would first like to say that I agree with the governor that OCCC needs to be replaced (Advertiser, Dec. 30). The concept of community correctional centers is outdated, and the facility itself is in desperate need of repair or rebuilding.
I also agree that the Federal Detention Center is impressive. On the surface.
There are two major reasons the design of the FDC works. It is my understanding that everyone in the building is sent to training and is a sworn law enforcement officer. Everyone includes secretaries, cooks, workline supervisors, nurses, doctors, everyone. So if there is any kind of problem in the facility, each and every person who works in the building can be used to assist in quelling the incident.
We at the state level do not have that luxury. Nothing we have even comes close.
Second, and perhaps more important, is the transfer option available to the Bureau of Prisons. If an inmate is a management problem, has mental-health issues or is just not suited to that particular type of facility, the BOP has the ability to send the inmate to any one of hundreds of facilities. These options would include the maximum facilities in Illinois, Kansas, Colorado, etc.
Again, we at the state level do not have this very valuable tool available to us.
Yes, I do believe OCCC needs to be rebuilt or moved. As someone who works inside the walls of this facility, I only hope that there is debate and more research before the final decision.
Dennis M. Corrigan
Parents, control kids
Here it is, days later, and they are still setting off fireworks. I don't know what is wrong with these parents nowadays. They are the ones who should be scolding their children for ignoring the law concerning fireworks. They are teaching their children that it's OK to disregard the law. So parents, please discipline your children and be responsible.
Years of neglect have created this mess
Make no mistake about it. The condition of O'ahu's streets and highways was deplorable long before the recent heavy rains.
Equal blame should be assumed by both the city and the state. Years of neglect and improper maintenance now yield patches upon patches upon patches. Very seldom have roadways been resurfaced. They have been patched and badly, again and again.
Now conditions have become intolerable. No amount of blacktop applied with bucket and shovel can do the job.
The city and state must be held accountable for damage done to Island motorists' vehicles, and priority must be given to repaving, not patching over patches. It is also time to remove the many steel plates proliferating on Nimitz Highway and elsewhere. They, too, are dangerous to negotiate and can cause tire and body damage to motor vehicles. God help the poor motorcyclists and bicyclists.
Truly, road conditions and traffic have been permitted to get out of control, and any remedy cannot be implemented before gridlock occurs. We're nearly there. Are our government decision-making ostriches prepared to deal with the consequences?
Earmark money for UH student housing
Many articles have addressed the high level of administrative expenses at the University of Hawai'i in recent months. I hope that the scope of this discussion can shift from the salaries of specific individuals toward the finding of solutions for historically underfunded critical areas such as the Manoa dorms and the finding of an economical organizational structure at UH.
The one statistic that is most appalling to me, but to this point has not been commented on, is that UH-Manoa spends 98 percent of its general fund budget on human resource expenses. One of the results of this is that monies for maintenance projects, such as student housing's $42 million in deferred maintenance, have been left unfunded.
To address the immediate problems in student housing, I propose that the Legislature earmark the $42 million that is needed by students living on campus out of the monies that Manoa will receive next year.
By doing this, the Legislature would not only ensure that the condition of residential buildings on campus is improved, but it would also force the Manoa administration to improve on its current fiscal policy, for then its own salaries would need to be covered with revolving funds.
I make this proposal believing that the amount UHM receives from the Legislature will not increase from last year and knowing that the Manoa administration has no plan for coming up with anything near the $42 million that is needed.
Rainbow Classic showed aloha spirit is still alive
The recent Outrigger Rainbow Classic was an outstanding example of how sports can be an uplifting event for our community.
In the final game, where Hawai'i beat Fairfield 50 to 49 in overtime, the game was intense and the crowd engaged. Yet, the most touching experience at the Stan Sheriff Center Dec. 30 was when the crowd gave the visiting team a standing ovation and cheered loudly for our visitors. It showed that Hawai'i and our fans have real class.
Contrary to popular misconception, the aloha spirit is very much alive in Hawai'i sports. What a great way to end the year and to welcome a new one.
Limbaugh hypocritical about 'doctor shopping'
I find it ironic that Rush Limbaugh is now whining about the "politically motivated" inquiry into his "doctor shopping" activities by the authorities.
Limbaugh was all for Ken Starr's fishing expedition that threatened Monica Lewinsky with long jail time if she didn't divulge her private consensual activities with Bill Clinton, which had nothing to do with Paula Jones' sex harassment suit, which had nothing to do with either sexual harassment or the Whitewater land development project Rush was a cheerleader for.
Without diversity, life would be boring
I was recently thinking about the future of the human species. I was looking much further ahead than most people do, however a million years.
See, in a million years, the product of the intermingling of races (which is a wonderful thing, by the way) will be a single race of people. There will be no more white, black, Mexican, Asian or any other race. Along with that, if the current progression of company and cultural globalization continues, in a million years we will all have the same culture as well.
I don't know what people in a million years will think of this, but as a citizen of the 21st-century world, it is kind of scary to me. What will it be like without diversity? I believe the world will be a pretty boring place. What do you think?
Sierra Club accusation reveals its true agenda
So the Sierra Club accuses a North Shore developer of creating muddy runoff water during the recent huge rainstorms. The Clean Water Branch determines that the developer's project contributed only "minor amounts," while most of the runoff came from surrounding areas.
Instead of apologizing for its false and premature accusations, the Sierra Club continues to attack the developer. This only reveals the Sierra Club's true agenda, and it's not about protecting the environment.
The Sierra Club's NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) attitude and its inconsequential lawsuits are one of the reasons why home prices are skyrocketing out of the reach of our working-class teachers, police and firefighters. If the Sierra Club's Blue Water campaign were truly interested in preventing runoff, it should have taken its attack to the properties that were causing the runoff mud.
Leatherback turtle still imperiled
|The giant leatherback sea turtle has outlived the dinosaurs but may not survive humans.
Associated Press library photo
Despite the development of a "circle" hook (which features a slight adjustment in the angle of a "J" hook), a change in bait from squid to mackerel and the development of a "leatherback lift," the new plan will have little impact on leatherback sea turtles. The female nesting population of the leatherback has been estimated to have declined by 95 percent in the past two decades.
Furthermore, as is shown in the NOAA's own video "Leatherbacks Aboard" at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/turtles/, leatherbacks are mostly caught on their flippers by longline hooks and will be unaffected by the new bait since they feed on jellyfish, not squid or mackerel. It is unclear from the NOAA report how much such a lift will cost, who will pay for it, if it will be mandated for all U.S. longline vessels, and if there will be enforcement to ensure that it is actually used.
Most importantly, NOAA estimated a reduction in leatherback bycatch of 70 percent. Although this study may help reduce turtle bycatch, the achievable reduction is inadequate for protecting the plunging Pacific leatherback population. These new techniques are insufficient to fulfill guidelines for reducing bycatch rates to "levels approaching zero" for endangered sea turtles. Any incidental take of leatherbacks is detrimental to their continued survival.
The only way to protect the leatherback is to maintain the closures to longline fishing in U.S. waters of the Atlantic and Pacific, not reduce bycatch-related restrictions, as NOAA is recommending. The Sea Turtle Restoration Project is also currently advocating a U.N. moratorium on longline fishing in the Pacific.
The NOAA project would encourage an intensification of longline fishing by opening currently closed longline tuna and swordfish fisheries, thereby further endangering both endangered sea turtles and seafood consumers because of the mercury in the fish.
Robert Ovetz, Ph.D.
Marine species campaigner
Sea Turtle Restoration Project