While columnist David Shapiro's column, "Revised Akaka bill unsettles Isle GOP," (April 12) made some good observations, it overlooks the bigger issue of why federal recognition makes sense for Native Hawaiians, and for all of Hawai'i, in the first place.
We appreciate that the measure's passage has drawn support from our congressional delegation and Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona.
It's important to step back and realize that this historic legislation represents an exciting new beginning for Native Hawaiians, one that not only addresses past wrongs, but enables us to build a bright future by reestablishing self-determination and self-governance for Native Hawaiian people.
When passed, this act will provide a framework to recreate a Native Hawaiian governing entity that will negotiate for land, rights and resources owed to the Hawaiian people. This entity will also help preserve the culture and the very existence of Native Hawaiians as a unique people.
Most important, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act will enable Native Hawaiians to create a better future for themselves and their families. It will benefit all of Hawai'i by bringing closure, finally, to this issue that has prevented our state from realizing its full potential for decades.Clyde W. NĀmuo
Chief executive officer, Office of Hawaiian Affairs
LAWMAKERS BLIND TO BIOFUEL IMPORTANCE
The U.S. military is taking the lead in renewable energy in our state. They are going to carpet Ford Island with photovoltaics and get off of HECO's grid. They are also leading the way in the development of biofuels right here in Hawai'i. Clearly, they can see what is coming.
Meanwhile, Hawai'i's civic and business leaders fiddle while Rome burns. They whine against passing a barrel tax that would fund development of clean energy resources and jobs for the people of Hawai'i, all for the price of a large cup of store-bought coffee per person per month.
We, the people of Hawai'i, demand that action be taken. Pass the barrel tax, earmarking it for clean energy development, and emancipate us from our dependence on imported oil. Do something before the lights go out.Mark A. Nokes
'WHY VOTE FOR ME?'
ONLY DJOU GAVE CLEARANSWER TO QUESTION
Thanks to the Advertiser for asking candidates the "Why vote for me?" question (April 11). The responses gave us all we need to know. Charles Djou is the clear winner because he is the only candidate who answered the question.
I was impressed with how in touch he is with so many slices of Hawai'i life: the military, immigrants, jobs and the most important job of all, raising the next generation of Hawai'i's citizens.
Case and Hanabusa ran off at the mouth about how messed up D.C. is, how unfair Hawai'i's haves and have-nots system is, how their opponents are the real problem and the old call for "change."
Lots of emotional fingerpointing and no answer to the question, so typical of today's politicians I don't know whether to be sick or sad. The people of Hawai'i are not stupid. We understand that the economy, high unemployment and high taxes need to be addressed. What we don't necessarily know is who is the person best-suited to represent us, until now.
Asked a simple question, only one candidate listened and answered the question.Dona Stewart-ho
KEEP IT INTACT
REPEAL OF JONES ACT WOULD HURT AMERICA
It seems like every couple years someone decides that if we could rid ourselves of the Jones Act, it would create a financial windfall for Hawai'i.
Imagine that you are successful in repealing the cabotage law through Congress. How would you feel knowing that we no longer had an American Merchant Marine? How would you feel knowing you had to rely on foreign ships and crews to carry our support material for our troops? Where does their patriotism and loyalty lie?
OPEC has us over a barrel as it is — do you also want to give the foreign shipping companies a barrel and encourage the same type of blackmail? Cheaper is not always better. Haven't you heard that you get what you pay for?Rick Demont
RAFAEL DEL CASTILLO IS A WORTHY CANDIDATE
Reading the news coverage of the special election for the vacated congressional seat made me realize how much the politics of the United States now resembles the "bowl picture" in college football, where the media tells us which teams are worth watching.
There are not only two Democratic candidates for the seat. There are five, and of all of them, Rafael del Castillo is worth considering. Intelligent, articulate and coming from a career of public service, he deserves a long look.
The thought that he, Case and Hanabusa might divide the Democrats' vote sufficiently to allow the Republican to be elected doesn't concern me at all.
In the November elections it will be one Democrat and one Republican and Djou's election for a few months is no more a referendum on Obama's presidency than my 6-year-old's preference for elephants over donkeys.
Just this once, why don't we all vote for the best candidate?Jonathan K. Osorio
CANDIDATE STRODE SAYS 'VOTE FOR ME'
The April 11 commentaries "Why you should vote for me" didn't mention the 11 other candidates for the special congressional election in May.
I am one of them. Unfortunately, this election will hurt Hawai'i more than it will help it. Without a Democratic primary, votes for Case and Hanabusa will split the party, allowing Djou to take the seat by default.
This would be an embarrassment to President Obama and will serve as a negative referendum on his policies in his home state. Hawai'i should be concentrating on the November election, which has a primary, the winner of which we could fully endorse instead of battling for this interim seat.
I propose a solution and an appeal to both Democrats and Republicans: Vote for me, Kalaeloa Strode, a Native Hawaiian nonpartisan candidate for Congress. I am a "bookmark" who will fill the seat until the general election chooses a representative for a full term. I'm the working man's candidate, the dark horse, an underdog in this competition.
I have a master's degree from the University of Hawai'i-Mānoa and am a dues-paying Teamster. I favor neither Republicans nor Democrats. I am the fresh start Hawai'i needs, a Native Hawaiian for all of us.Kalaeloa Strode