PATIENT COMMUNITY AGAINST LAND TRANSFER
Senate Bill 2771 and its corresponding House version would transfer management of Kalaupapa (Kalawao County) to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands when there is no longer a patient community in Kalaupapa.
The bill would also transfer all lands in the Department of Land and Natural Resources in Kalawao County to DHHL, which will then be required to transfer Kalawao County to the controlling Native Hawaiian sovereign upon recognition.
The bill further states that the Native Hawaiian sovereign government, at its discretion, would then be able to sell the lands of Kalaupapa.
The bill's author, Sen. Kalani English, D-6th (E. Maui, Molokai, Länai), has been quoted by the media has having consulted with and received approval of the bill from Kalaupapa's patient community.
This is completely false. None of the patient community here in Kalaupapa was ever informed of SB2771.
Its intent counters our wish that Kalaupapa continue to be managed by the National Park Service, as it has for the past 30 years. The Park Service is committed to the preservation and protection of the natural, cultural and archaeological resources here.
Iask that Sen. English reconsider his intent for the future of Kalaupapa and immediately withdraw SB2771 from any consideration.
Meli Watanuki | Kalaupapa, Moloka'i
FORMER MAYOR FOUGHT PREJUDICE
I had the honor and privilege of knowing the late Mayor Frank Fasi. I would like to let the readers know of another significant accomplishment by Fasi that has not been mentioned.
Fasi was instrumental in racial and gender integration of the city's work force. Fasi once told me that he directed the removal of the physical size restriction for police and firefighters because he saw it as prejudice. I recall that one had to be taller than 5 feet 9 inches to apply for those jobs. Also, there were very few Asian or women police or firefighters. Thanks to Fasi, many enjoy the career opportunities today that were once closed to them.
Fasi also told me that he ordered the systematic racial integration of city departments when he became mayor. He said he observed distinct racial concentrations in each department so he directed a conscious effort to integrate and it was done.
Today, there is a good mix of race and gender in all city departments. He told me he had faced many obstacles as a son of Italian immigrants and he vowed to do everything he could to eliminate them. And Mayor Fasi did just that.
Toru Hamayasu | Honolulu
DANGERS OF 'ICE'
METH PROJECT EFFECT STRONG FOR STUDENTS
I'm a Peer Education Program teacher and coach at Farrington High School. I've seen the effectiveness of the Hawai'i Meth Project campaign reflected in the interest and enthusiasm with which our students talk to their friends, younger siblings, and families about the dangers associated with this destructive drug, following the project's informative in-school presentations.
In fact, we have created a special module in our Peer Education Program presentations that addresses the topic of ice, based on the Hawai'i Meth Project's frank campaign about the realities of meth use.
Meth is a problem in a number of our communities throughout the state, and demands nothing short of a full-court press to beat it. Because meth is so addictive, we really only have one shot at keeping our kids away from this terrible drug.
Mahalo to the Hawai'i Meth Project for its on-the-ground efforts to prevent the use of meth, especially among teenagers.
Allan silva | Peer Education Program Teacher, Farrington High School
SOME FEEL UNSAFE IN AREA OF SHARK TOURS
I am 73 years old and my heart is broken because of what is happening to our ocean waters in Hale'iwa. Crabbers like myself don't feel safe since the shark tours operators began their business.
I attended the protest rally and shark tour operators offered us a ride on their tour boat. I would like to be with community members on the boat that goes out early every morning before daybreak. A boat leaves the harbor with two people and goes to the area where shark tours operate.
What are they doing outthere early in the morning? What's the purpose? We want to know.
Are they feeding breakfast to the sharks out there? If so, that is illegal, and why isn't anyone stopping them?
My friends and I no longer take our boats to some of our favorite fishing grounds because when we go out there now our boats are surrounded by sharks. This began when shark tours started. The sharks hear our engines and they come to our boats, thinking we are going to feed them. Where do you think they learned that behavior?
Someone has to stop the illegal feeding of sharks.
douglas zakabi | Mililani
PASSES NEEDED FOR CITY OFFICE BUILDING
As a person who visits the Frank Fasi Municipal Building regularly for business, I question why architects, engineers, contractors and others who have contracts with the city are not issued passes.
To enter military bases, people with regular business usually apply for a pass and it is issued for a period of time.
If the city were to do the same it would expedite entering and not waiting in the rain or delay meetings in which participants are waiting to obtain a pass.
leonard K.P. Leong | Honolulu