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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, September 28, 2009

'Barbarian Princess'

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Keeping the "country feeling" in La'ie is an important goal of the Envision La'ie development plan.

Advertiser library photo

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INITIAL SENSITIVITY TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

A barbaric decision: When Mike Gordon first brought this controversy to the public's attention, it was heartening to read that the film producers at first were sensitive to the reaction of the Hawaiian community. Alas, it was too good to be true. This has just become another case of the insensitive treatment of all indigenous races in America.

I e-mailed a suggestion that the most poetic and appropriate title for this movie should have been "A Crown of Dew." At this point I'm wondering when the movie producers are going to release the "Barbarian Princess" video game.

Ralph Togashi | Mililani

B&B'S

OPPONENTS PRESENT OTHER FACE OF ISLES

Am I the only one who was perplexed by the antics of the opponents of B&B homes during the recent City Council zoning committee hearing? I was left with the feeling that these folks must be cousins to the hysterical minority who are losing their grip during town hall meetings about health care on the Mainland.

The Keep It Kailua group is now circulating an e-mail that uses the Karl Rovian strategy of calling something the exact opposite of what it is, referring to B&Bs as "bed and breakfast hotels." Child, please. We all know the difference between a hotel and a B&B.

If I were contemplating a stay at a B&B on O'ahu, it would scare me to death thinking that I might end up next door to someone who exhibits such open animosity to my presence in the neighborhood. It's a perfect example of the dichotomy of living in Hawai'i. On one hand, we're constantly reminded of our special spirit of aloha. On the other, we take to the streets to protest the thought that we might actually have to show it.

Eric Epling | Kailua

TEACHER FURLOUGH

EDUCATION IS A PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT

Teacher furlough days will begin next month, and we are hearing a lot of buzz about how this will affect student learning. The disturbing trend is hearing parents' vitriol about how this is somehow robbing their kids of the "basic right of education." These parents must think they live in a "nanny state," literally and figuratively.

Education is not a right; it is a privilege and a responsibility. At the end of the day, who among us will be satisfied to give credit to or blame the government for our child's learning outcomes? Of course each of us will do the best we can for our children, so can we do so without playing the blame game, please? To do otherwise is to teach our children that everything is owed to them, erasing all thankfulness or appreciation for what they have.

Elizabeth K. Lyons | Mililani

ORDNANCE REMOVAL

WAIMEA/WAIKOLOA CAN BE TRAINING SITE

The $70 million cleanup of ordnance in the Waimea/Waikoloa area on Hawai'i could be better spent. The U.S. military trains their own ordnance cleanup teams. Why not use Waimea/Waikoloa as one of those training sites until they "train" all folks necessary to remove all the ordnance and other debris? It would be a temporary training site as it will shut down once all of the area is cleaned. Perhaps it could move to other "training" sites in Hawai'i. Waiahole/Waikane? Rabbit Island? In the ocean off the Leeward Coast of O'ahu?

This would be such a positive solution to a serious problem across Hawai'i's lands and oceans. They can have additional "training centers" in Puerto Rico and other land bases on the North American continent.

Sharon Pomroy | Anahola, Kaua'i

HEALTH CARE

A LITTLE CLARIFICATION ON FEDERAL 'PLAN'

Ms. Ackerson (Letters, Sept. 23), I am a federal retiree with over 41 years of service, including four years of military service. Let me clear up some misconceptions you may have.

First, there is no federal health insurance plan. There is, as part of their compensation, federal heath benefits available to federal employees. This allows them to pick and choose among many private health plans. Their monthly cost and quality of coverage is dependent on which plan is chosen. My plan does not provide dental benefits.

The reason this plan is not available to non-federal employees is the same reason the state provides Quest coverage and does not give state health benefits to non-state employees. It is the same reason why military retirees have DOD health benefits not available to non-military personnel. It is earned.

One last thing: Congress has a much better plan than any federal employee. Free treatment at top military hospitals, free drugs, dental, etc. You may want to consider running for Congress.

Peter Chisteckoff | Mililani

ENVISION LA'IE

VISIONING PROCESS IS EXCITING, NEEDED

I would like to thank The Honolulu Advertiser for painting a clearer picture of Envision La'ie in your editorial on Sept. 14. You've described well what our community has been going through this past year. As one of hundreds of La'ie residents in this "visioning process," this plan for the future of La'ie was drafted by the support and input of at least 700 community members. It's what we want and need to sustain ourselves.

Many of us want La'ie to continue to provide opportunities and access to good education, affordable housing and job opportunities. At the same time, we would never want to lose the "country feeling," but keep our culture, character and beauty intact, where families can stay and prosper.

It's exciting and encouraging to go through this visioning process as a community member. Though this process is only at its beginning stage, I am optimistic for the future as we continue to have open and robust dialogue that supports a thriving community.

Yes, it takes a whole village to raise a child a timeless reminder that children will thrive only if their families and community thrive.

Bobby Akoi | La'ie