Letters to the Editor
KAWAMOTO WOULD HELP MORE IN LOW-RENT AREA
Gensiro Kawamoto's idea for low-rent Kahala housing is a bad idea.
If he instead sold his expensive Kahala land and bought property in low-rent areas, he would have far more acreage to help 10 times as many low-income residents. This would also generate 10 times the rent revenue, enabling him to provide even more assistance to the needy.
In short, if Kawamoto's motives are truly altruistic, he should help as many people as possible by offering low-rent housing in low-rent areas.
Moreover, his plan is not fair to other low-income people, who work hard to pay $400 to $500 per month rent, only to see others pay $100 per month and live in a Kahala mansion. Those qualifying for Kawamoto's housing will be more than happy living in low-rent neighborhoods given the super-low $100 rent.
Finally, the Kawamoto plan is unfair to current Kahala homeowners, whose home values are hurt. While many will not sympathize, the destruction of property values is totally unnecessary as relocation to low-rent neighborhoods will help even more deserving families. This is not a NIMBY argument, as low-rent projects do not hurt low-rent neighborhoods, as they would high or even middle-class areas.Gerry Lan
BLAMING LANGUAGE BARRIER IS OUTRAGEOUS
I am outraged at Frederick N. Rames' defense against allegations that he molested six boys (Advertiser, Oct. 10). Rames' attorney claims because all six boys are Marshallese and assumedly non-native English speakers, that their statements aren't reliable because the statements were interpreted through the boys' parents, and Rames was "pressured" to confess during his interrogation.
Whether Rames did it or not is of no issue to me; the damage has already been done to the boys, to Rames and to the Marshallese people. The most upsetting part is that often the racial minority (a term I use with great resentment) is attacked because it is assumed that we do not have a voice.
We are at a time in history when the Marshallese people are bursting out into the world scene and showing ourselves to the world. We are showing everyone that we are here and more than willing to fight for proper representation.
Blaming the language barrier is a bad excuse. If a Marshallese person can get a job and support their families enough to pay for soccer fees, then they can understand and interpret English just fine.Lee Ann Risko
REPUBLICANS WRONG TO IGNORE MARK BEATTY
I don't know which upset me more, Gov. Linda Lingle's appointment of state Rep. Cynthia Thielen as the Republican candidate in the U.S. Senate campaign or Rep. Mark Foley's e-mail scandal.
I feel sorry for Republican primary runner-up Mark Beatty. He put in his time, effort and expenses only to be ignored by the Republican hierarchy. I will vote Democrat.Charles C. Ng
DO NOT DENIGRATE THOSE WHO FOUGHT FOR U.S.
I am in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Shafter. I just came back from a deployment to Iraq, where I was in the Al Anbar region and witnessed many horrible things. Four servicemen died around me. My vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device. My team suffered five wounded in one foot patrol. I have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since returning. Yet what country have I returned to?
I live in Kane'ohe, and within a week and a half of moving into my new home, I have had my safety threatened, been told "haole, go home," had my car window smashed in, and had my laptop computer, my wife's jewelry and two digital cameras stolen in a forced break-in of my home.
If Hawai'i wishes to be separate from the United States, then let it vote — if not, do not denigrate those who volunteer to defend her, to die for her and to give up so much in her defense.
This is not the United States that four of my friends died to preserve.Joshua D. Hall
NO INDICATION GUARD WILL GO BACK TO IRAQ
I want to take this opportunity to address an area of concern for the Hawai'i National Guard and their families.
Recently, a number of politicians have been quoted as saying that Hawai'i National Guard soldiers may be recalled to active duty and deployed once again to Iraq for an indefinite period. Title 10, U.S. Code 12302, relating to mobilization of reserve call-ups, states that a member of the National Guard or reserves cannot be involuntarily called up for Title 10 active duty for longer than 24 months unless the president declares a national emergency.
Since the soldiers of the Hawai'i Army National Guard's 29th Brigade Combat Team and several other units were mobilized for an 18-month period in 2004 and 2005, it is highly unlikely that they will be recalled to active duty any time in the near future. I have received absolutely no indication that the U.S. Army has any plans to do so.
This applies to about 90 percent of the Hawai'i Army National Guard who've already served a Title 10 active duty tour. The other 10 percent of our soldiers who've not been mobilized may be subject to a recall, depending upon the needs of the U.S. Army.
Bottom line: I'd like to reassure our National Guard soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families that there are no plans at this time to send our soldiers back.
Finally, I'd like to clarify one other point about a federal call-up of National Guard troops. Although the Department of Defense informs a state's governor ahead of time concerning unit mobilizations, the governor is not consulted and does not have veto power.Robert G.F. Lee
Major general, Hawai'i National Guard, The Adjutant General
SMOKERS BEING DENIED EQUAL RIGHTS IN HAWAI'I
You would think, this being an election year, that our local politicians would think twice about passing a no-smoking bill that is against the 14th Amendment. The 14th Amendment refers to equal rights for all U.S. citizens. Smokers as well as non-smokers.
I'm sure the smokers in Hawai'i will remember that when they go to the polls next month.Fred Remington
SLATER'S RAIL COLUMNS RELENTLESS, REDUNDANT
Does Cliff Slater have any other songs in his repertoire? Or is "Railing Against Rail" his one and only number?
It seems we are hardly able to open our paper without seeing another of his angry diatribes against Mayor Mufi Hannemann's transportation plans. We get it already: Cliff Slater doesn't like rail!
Although he has no reasonable alternative to the mayor's proposals, he appears determined to kill the only remedy that shows any promise of lessening our driving woes.
It saddens me that he has created this private crusade to keep Honolulu from moving into the 21st century merely because he doesn't want to ride a train to work. It annoys me that this newspaper has given him the forum for his relentless and thoroughly redundant rhetoric.
Could you please find a commentator with more than a one-track mind?Andrew Thomas