AMENDMENT DIDN'T PROHIBIT ALTERNATIVES
It seems that James Hochburg (Letters, Feb. 12) has misinterpreted the ruling of the Hawai'i Supreme Court in his letter decrying a planned lawsuit to secure equality after the Legislature's failure to advance HB 444 this year.
In 1999, the Hawai'i Supreme Court issued a summary disposition in the famous Baehr v. Lewin case, ruling narrowly that Hawai'i's voter-approved constitutional marriage amendment made that case moot.
It is important to note that neither the Supreme Court nor the voter-approved marriage amendment ever prohibited the enactment of alternate legal structures such as civil unions. In fact, civil unions represent a common middle-ground compromise that the voters specifically left room for when they amended the Hawai'i Constitution in 1998. And civil unions represent an essential legal mechanism to protect the rights of citizens to equal treatment under the law, as required by the Constitution. This lawsuit is not selfish, as Mr. Hochburg writes, but essential to the basic premise of our government that all citizens are equal.
eduardo hernandez | Los Angeles
UHKONA EXTENSION OFFICE LOSES AGENTS
Most Kona residents would find it unconscionable that no replacements are being hired for the UH Kona Extension Office. Kona deserves equity considering what we contribute to the state, Big Island and the university.
Within the past few months, we've lost the extension agent responsible for Kona coffee. We've lost the office manager responsible for frequent community meetings at the office.
We've lost the economist who helped growers with the cost of production. This void is detrimental to the sustainability of our families.
Three salaries will not have to be paid yet we cannot get one replacement? Not hiring an agent for Kona where growers work with the state's most important "high profile" crop is tantamount to total abandonment by the university.
Is all this talk of island sustainability simply lip service? UH needs to re-evaluate and prioritize production agriculture. To refocus on what the community feels is important, to feed the population locally grown produce, should be paramount.
If you, the chancellors, are the leaders of the University of Hawai'i, then you must refocus and prioritize the needs of the community you serve.
Ken Love | Captain Cook, Big Island
DO HSTA LEADERS LISTEN TO TEACHERS?
I am a college-bound student at Roosevelt High School. I am fortunate to have many dedicated teachers who care about my education. These teachers are willing to convert planning days to instructional days to eliminate furlough Fridays.
I would ask the HSTA leadership whether they are truly reflecting the wishes of those they purport to represent when they continue to oppose the conversion of non-instructional days to classroom time.
Ben Chun | Honolulu
USE LOCAL CHARACTERS IN TELEVISION REMAKE
It's great that "Hawaii Five-0" will be resurrected on location here in Hawai'i and we will have Alex O'Loughlin as Steve McGarrett and Daniel Dae Kim as Chin Ho Kelly. I guess that a remake will have to be different, with present-day Hawai'i crime situations and characters. I hope that the governor will be female like Linda Lingle and hopefully for comic relief we could have a Frank DeLima or Andy Bumatai as a cab driver or detective. Perhaps we could have Raiatea Helm as a singer character or Jake Shimabukuro strum the ukelele to "Five-0" beat. Get the Neighbor Islands involved with interisland cruise-ship crime stories.
When I lived in North Carolina from 1989 to 2007, "Hawaii Five-0" was a treat for me. Go, "Hawaii Five-0!"
franklin kam | Honolulu
LAWMAKERS LACK COURAGE FOR BAN
The news we hear every day on the fireworks ban is baloney. The majority of our so-caring lawmakers do not have the guts or courage to ban this insanity. Yet they come up with suggestions to raise the fees on permits.
What a joke. Who needs permits to blow illegal concussion bombs or any other illegal fireworks? It's free and unenforceable.
O'ahu is the one island that needs a complete ban so badly. These lawmakers are the culprits responsible for all the injuries that happen every year and they don't seem to care. Useless fireworks pollute our air and cause serious injuries, not to mention the danger our firemen face when they have to put out brush fires.
To all you lawmakers: Wake up before it's too late to say "I'm sorry." You are responsible, so get your act together or get out of office.
eugene Cordero | Pearl City
FORMER UH COACH WILL BE REMEMBERED
It was with both sadness and fond memory that I read of the passing of former University of Hawai'i basketball coach Ephraim J. "Red" Rocha.
Because it was my opportunity to have played for and coached with Red at UH, he will always be part of what was the wonderful experience I enjoyed in Hawai'i. Red was a good coach and a good man for whom I have much respect. God bless Red Rocha and may he rest in peace. Aloha, coach.
James r. halm | Vallejo, Calif.