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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, October 14, 2004

Letters to the Editor

City, state on their way to a 'one stop' Web site

Your editorial recognizing the potential of the new online Hawaii Business Express service (" 'One stop' Web site should be city, state," Oct. 8) is right on target. Coordination of online business services with the city is already a top priority, as reflected by the fact that representatives of each county are part of the state Web portal advisory group.

Coordination of the one-stop site with the city was specifically addressed during an Oct. 6 news conference to launch the service. As we stated then, inclusion of city services appears to be everyone's goal. We have already discussed with the city how this might be accomplished, and we intend to renew those discussions once the new city administration is in place.

The future for coordinated online business services is certainly bright, and is part of the Lingle-Aiona administration's ongoing efforts to foster a more business-friendly environment.

More than two dozen new businesses were formed via the Web site within its first 48 hours of operation. The public can look forward to more consolidated business formation services being offered at www.ehawaii.gov/BizEx over the next year, and we welcome hearing from site users about any additional related services that they would like to see.

Mark Recktenwald
Director, State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Target car companies that promote speed

Mike Leidemann's Oct. 5 article "Speed kills more often on Hawai'i's highways" was timely and depressing. It's true that most of us sometimes exceed the speed limit. But not a day goes by that I am not shocked at some maniac zipping by, darting in and out, markedly exceeding the rest of us who are already five or 10 miles over the legal limit. Those are the accidents waiting to happen.

The article states that authorities are at a loss about what to do, other than issue more tickets. Here's a new idea. Target the car manufacturers that daily deluge the airwaves with advertising images of suicidal speeding, swerving, tailspinning cars. It does not matter a bit that the microscopic print at the bottom of the screen says "professional driver on closed course." Why do they show us stuff we should not be doing?

Young, inexperienced drivers with budding egos see that stuff and eat it up.

Government regulations took cigarette advertising off the air because it was dangerous to the public health. Well, so is speeding. Law enforcement and safety agencies should get to the automakers and simply stop the "zoom, zoom, zoom" images. Cars can be marketed for their safety, styling, fuel efficiency and many other factors. Why do they insist on selling us speed and potential death?

Call or e-mail those companies that promote risking our safety on the highway and boycott their cars until they produce safer advertising.

Michele Watts

A waste of resources

It is very comforting to note that our city and HPD are so over-staffed and over-funded that they can expend the resources to bust a monkey. Other cities are using their resources to fight problems like crack, traffic and homelessness.

Bob Freeman

Natives were not wearing 'costumes'

This is in regard to the almost perfectly well-written story on Oct. 4 by Karen Blakeman regarding the recent Pow Wow at Thomas Square.

I do take exception to Ms. Blakeman's note of the participants' wearing "costumes" as they performed various dances throughout the weekend.

Native Americans do not wear costumes. Costumes are what people wear when they want to present themselves as someone or something they are not (e.g., Halloween).

Native American dancers wear regalia, amazingly handcrafted traditional dress, often painstakingly adorned with ornamentation such as beads, ribbons and feathers.

A.V. Robinson

Bring back contest for bodyboarders

I've recently learned that there will not be a Pipeline contest for bodyboarders this year. I was living on O'ahu attending college when an agreement was reached and a contest at Pipe was held a few years ago. I really want to thank the mayor for helping us out that year.

But it seems weird that bodyboarders are being denied again. Bodyboarding has always been a main part of my life since I started about seven years ago. It was the one thing that kept me focused, off drugs and out of trouble when people around me were giving in. One of my dreams was to compete in that very contest. It was something that I worked toward. Now, I'm a teacher at a Hawai'i public school, and I know how important goals and dreams are for our children.

Please don't take away this event from us. To your average Hawai'i resident, this event may not matter, but to some kid out there aspiring to be a professional bodyboarder, it could mean everything.

Travis Miyazaki
Kalaheo, Kaua'i

Column was incorrect on new demographics

I am writing in response to Jerry Burris' Sunday column "Hawai'i's politics changing." Mr. Burris contends that districts such as Mililani and Kapolei are "more concerned about themselves than about 'us' or 'our group' than their parents."

I believe Mr. Burris drew the wrong conclusions from his discussion points. Mr. Burris wants you to believe that the "younger, more affluent" people of Mililani and Kapolei are self-centered and only concerned with "lifestyle" issues. Mr. Burris, you are incorrect.

Mr. Burris, you are correct that the families of Mililani are concerned with what school their children go to and the quality of that education they receive. Education is the gateway to new experiences, success and prosperity. The perception is the current public school system and politicians cannot provide the quality of education needed to compete in tomorrow's world.

We also know that staying within one's own ethnic group only caters to the old politics of playing one group against another. The "young and affluent" of Mililani and Kapolei believe that developing coalitions among the various groups and developing consensus on a few vital political objectives will improve the present and lay a strong foundation for their children's future.

In short, I believe the families of Mililani and Kapolei see a better future with Duke Bainum versus Mufi Hannemann.

G.L. George

Learner needs must be matched with services

The Oct. 8 letter "Yep, just throw more money at the problem" by Thomas E. Stuart states that schools may have control of only 32 percent of the total DOE budget, rather than 58 percent. Since none of the mass of the space object ever reaches the classroom, teachers are not affected by the massive emission of money. Well, that's OK with me — as long as we provide different types of education for different sets of students' needs.

After 18 years of commuting back and forth to one public school, I transferred to another public school that is closer to home. Each school has a different school climate because its respective student population is culturally distinct. Yet teachers are managed at each school as though the student population of each school is exactly the same. Although some students do very well in classrooms, many students belong in "classrooms without walls."

Students who belong in educational environments different from existing classrooms are not being serviced by public schools. And just as bad, students who do very well in classrooms are being inefficiently serviced by teachers who are forced to deal with students who belong in classrooms without walls. So the classroom becomes an environment that inefficiently services students who do well in school; and the classroom completely fails to service students who belong in wall-less classrooms because their needs as learners are not recognized by a standardized system of accountability.

If the increase of money in the public education budget supported rational goals that recognize diverse student needs, then who controls the budget doesn't matter. Until learner needs are matched with educational services, those mysterious and massive space objects will remain of interest to both Thomas E. Stuart and me.

Leonard Wilson

Preferential laws are wrong

Aloha is for everyone, not just those of one ancestry.

Thanks to Bruce Fein for his powerful commentary of Oct. 10 opposing the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2004, the so-called Akaka bill. His most important point: While this bill is bad for Hawai'i, it would be disastrous for America.

Fein writes, "Like Adolf Hitler's blood tests for Jews, a minuscule percentage of Native Hawaiian ancestry would establish an entitlement to participate in the new, racially exclusive domain."

In Hawai'i, we have Hawaiian immersion schools paid for with public funds, with all subjects taught exclusively in the Hawaiian language and concentrating on Hawaiian culture, and private schools exclusively for Native Hawaiians.

Goebbels used motion pictures to further propaganda. In Hawai'i, propaganda is spread via the state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs newsletter, broadcast via public television, and more recently in prime time on Hawai'i's NBC television affiliate.

Under Hitler and Goebbels, the Nazis created an official registry, excluding Jews, gypsies, handicapped and those not meeting special requirements of Aryan ancestry. In Hawai'i, proponents of the Akaka bill are now signing up those with Native Hawaiian ancestry to establish the citizenry to create a new Hawaiian nation.

Aug. 21 is Hawai'i statehood admission day, a state holiday. In 1959, over 94 percent voted yes for statehood. In recent years, public officials of both major political parties have done little to acknowledge, proclaim or celebrate Statehood Day. It appears they are embarrassed to be American or fear "offending" Native Hawaiians, seen as the "swing vote."

However, there are citizens presently fighting in the courts for equal rights for all of Hawai'i's citizens. Fourteen plaintiffs of various ancestries reflecting a broad cross-section of Hawai'i's residents will be before the Ninth Circuit Court on Nov. 1 (Arakaki v. Lingle) demanding the abolishment of government-run race-based preferential laws that now give those possessing Hawaiian blood homesteads and revenues from public lands, special schools, loans, elderly care and other benefits denied to those not of the favored ancestry.

Because these 14 citizens are demanding equal rights for all, some Native Hawaiians and Hawai'i's congressional delegation are spearheading the Akaka bill, hoping to circumvent not only the U.S. Constitution, but also established Bureau of Indian Affairs procedures and criteria for American Indian tribal recognition. This new "tribe" would have a potential membership of over 400,000, far larger than any existing tribe.

The Akaka bill would be unfair to real Indian tribes, be a recipe for permanent racial conflict in Hawai'i, diminish the territory and sovereignty of the state of Hawai'i, and, as Bruce Fein says, be the beginning of the end for the "indivisible Union composed of indestructible states" envisioned by the U.S. Constitution and secured by so much sacrifice in the Civil War.

Earl Arakaki
'Ewa Beach

(Earl Arakaki is one of the plaintiffs in Arakaki v. Lingle, No. 04-15306 in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, scheduled for oral argument Nov. 1, 2004.)