MAHALO FOR SPENDING HOLIDAYS WITH US
I would like to take this moment to say a big mahalo to President Obama and his family and thank them for coming to Kailua for their holiday vacation.
Sure, we may have been somewhat miffed with traffic congestion and the B&B folks are not happy about his choice of lodgings, but he chose to come and spend his private family time here with us and be here to ring in a new year.
May the new year bring blessings and happiness to all.
SHAWN CHRISTENSEN | Kailua
LET'S WAIT FOR HIS RESUME TO GROW
With regard to proposals to rename half of the state of Hawaii for President Obama, and to establish state holidays marking key dates in his lifetime, I would caution the advocates that such honors may be premature.
Our 44th president has served just under one-fourth of his term in office and his list of actual accomplishments is sorely in need of "fleshing out." He continues to collect kudos and honors that ring hollow when considering the life accomplishments of Hawaii's American hero Sen. Daniel Inouye. I think the state can safely start renaming streets, parks and whole neighborhoods in that great man's honor.
As for a state holiday for the Hawaii-born president — bad precedent. Ohio will require a week of added holiday, Virginia even more at eight days, and Massachussetts four days.
Having recently relocated here from Ohio, I wish my new home would defer renaming places until my wife and I learn the original names. Let's wait till after he finishes a second term and has a resume of more voluminous and concrete accomplishments before starting to plaster his name over the existing great names already honoring our forebears in this beautiful state.
JAMES NELSON, M.D. | Honolulu
GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT DECIDE WHO LIVES
Recently there was a news article about a Kailua man who shot his terminally ill wife while she was a patient at Castle Medical Center and later killed himself. Although these incidents are quite morbid and even tragic, they certainly do not pave the way for more "death with dignity" legislation in Hawaii.
While some people may support legalizing these euthanasia programs, which target the elderly or terminally ill, one must wonder where it will stop.
The eugenics movement in the early 1900s forced thousands of people to undergo sterilization procedures for heredity diseases, genetic deformities, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, mental illness and many other disabilities.
In Germany in the 1940s more than 250,000 disabled people were murdered, for the well being of society, under a law that was called a "mercy death." Doctors had the sole power in deciding who was worthy of life. Throughout history, there have been movements to create a "perfect" society.
The notion that emotional, social and economic problems can be solved by eliminating elderly people is too extreme.
The "death with dignity" movement is nothing less than genocide. The government should not decide who deserves to live or die. Our island kupuna deserve better.
KARYN HERRMANN | Honolulu
REMEMBER HOLIDAYS AS SESSION STARTS
This past holiday season we heard messages of "Love" and "Good will towards all," but will those messages get lost?
As we head into 2010, the first major test will be the opening day of the Legislature. Will the legislators remember those messages, or will they all be lost in political maneuvering?
Here's to 2010 being better than 2009 and that those in power finally believe in social justice and those that already believe in social justice get some real power.
Remember all you need is love to support equality and justice for all.
MICHAEL GOLOJUCH JR. | Kapolei
RAISING PERMIT FEESWON'T FIX ROOT CAUSE
Lunsford Phillips (Letters, Dec. 31) suggests that raising the firework permit fees will curb violations.
I would argue that the violators are not even paying permit fees to begin with, and that something to this effect simply becomes yet another government tax on those with low income that opt to waste their money.
Raising fees fails to address the root cause of the problem and applies yet another misguided effort, similar to how our City Council operates by imposing bans and raising fees.
In many instances, such actions do not work and actually increase the danger to the community.
At least our police chief is attempting a proactive approach by soliciting public help in identifying the violators.
GARY PAYNE | Honolulu