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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

The debate over the right to put up a flagpole has become heated at the state Legislature.


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Last week, I stood beside the American flag and fellow veterans to bear witness as the American flag suffered the indignity of Hawai'i's House debating whether it was worth the time to hear the "merits" of a bill that would give it the same legal rights as Hawai'i's laundry. The law would require associations to extend the same reasonable accommodation to the flag as they must to Hawai'i's laundry — a permanent pole and the right to fly daily.

The chair prohibited discussion of the bill's details — by Republicans. Yet, he allowed Rep. Marcus Oshiro to scold Rep. Kymberly Pine for using a "flawed" bill to "drag" 100 veterans to the session.

For the record: No one "dragged" us there. We stood beside our flag last week, as we formerly stood ready to die for it, because we love it.

Asserting the bill's details were flawed, when the chair denied any discussion of details to rebut it, lacks honor and honesty. Pictures with 17 hands raised for our flag, as the chair counted 14, screams worse.

Rep. Pine's motion won fairly. The win should stand, and its opponents not given a do-over.

george l. berish | Honolulu


I was alarmed to read that flag-bearing and freedom-supporting citizens were shouting down elected officials who did not share their political views.

I thought the flag represented a constitutional democracy that valued free speech, yet these patriots seemed unwilling to entertain alternative opinions.

Rep. Pine would be well advised to realize that community associations are perpetuated plantations where freedom rarely reigns.

The fact that she is fighting for a mere symbol of freedom rather than real freedom and participation in community associations suggests that the flag is being used for political grandstanding.

We needed a discussion about participatory democracy in community associations, and we got a political ploy pandering to voters in an election year.

R. Scott Belford | 'Ewa



I paused when I learned of Coach Rocha passing. I recall a great coach and strong mentor of developing young men. We were not a very talented team in 1966 and 1967 but Coach had the ability to motivate and teach each player to approach his potential.

Along the way we matured as he instilled the discipline and mental toughness to serve us well in our adult lives. He also laid the groundwork for better things to come with more talented players.

Practices were tough and instructional, and he set the example by playing in the scrimmages. While dominating us with his play, he gave instruction and direction. Games were against many nationally recognized teams. For example, we played Oregon at home and went on epic road trips. One trip included Utah State, Notre Dame, Purdue (led by Rick Mount), Centenary and North Texas State. We didn't win most games, but I felt each opponent knew they had been in a fight.

Coach pushed us and steeled us to face adversity, to persevere, to believe in ourselves and to improve. We never gave up. Thank you, Coach, for helping usher this once young, immature and mediocre basketball player into adulthood. God bless you.

George Smith | Kailua



I wholeheartedly agree with all concerned citizens who have written against the use of fireworks.

I support a complete ban of all fireworks except for planned and legal public displays, as is the case in many other states and in most countries.

Countless serious injuries and even deaths have occurred as a result of these devastating bombs. One person's fun should not be at the expense of another person's pain and suffering.

We cannot afford to have even one more year of unnecessary pain and suffering. The argument that it is a "cultural" practice is baseless, as it has been banned in all Asian countries.

Please legislators, do the right thing, and impose a statewide ban on fireworks.

Ivy Conry, R.N. | Kailua



I would like to praise TheBus's estimated arrival Web site, hea.thebus.org, which O'ahu Transit Services put out quietly.

This Web site offers real-time bus arrival and departure information, and is fairly accurate with its on-board GPS systems. Now I always check the Web site before leaving work to catch the bus.

It would be even better if the transit service could set up electronic boards at the bus stops to show the arrival information, or if somehow people would be allowed to subscribe to the information through their cell phone.

Honglong Li | Honolulu



It was nice to see Hawaiian Airlines applying for authority to fly to Haneda, Japan.

I hope the government gives them its full support, and sees the wisdom in awarding the route to Hawaiian.

Not only is the airline's uniquely Hawaiian service a great promotion for the state, but the route being awarded to Hawaiian would create more jobs for Hawai'i and further boost our economy.

john wade | Hale'iwa