PLEASE DON'T ALLOW THIS TRAGEDY AGAIN
I just returned from O'ahu after a three-week holiday. The beauty of your land has to be seen to be believed. The sand, sea, surf and mountains draw thousands of visitors every year.
But your most precious resource is your children. While I was visiting an 18-year-old woman was killed in an accident while riding in the back of a pickup truck.
Why is this allowed? Had she been strapped into a seatbelt in the truck she would still be with us. If your legislators don't have the courage to prevent these kinds of accidents, the parents of Hawai'i should. Please don't let this happen again.Bob Hemphill
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
WATERS AND SHORES SHOULD BE PROTECTED
I see the Gulf oil spill as another "9/11." This is an attack and a threat to our country.
As in Hawai'i, residents of the Gulf states base their lives and their livelihood on the sea.
The president, not BP, is responsible to defend the United States.
The Coast Guard and National Guard, along with the coastal communities, need to be activated to defend the shores and waters of our country.
As for BP, they must give needed data to the Environmental Protection Agency and assist scientists and engineers in reducing the threat to the southern region of the United States.
BP and its associates, including Halliburton, should pay, not for the first five days of "cleanup," as advocated in the U.S. Senate, but for the total cost of destruction and the complete cost of the recovery.
This is the time for Congress to establish oversight that will protect our communities and environment.
This is the time for the president to lead and defend the United States.Mary A. Guinger
REMEMBER BENEFITS, RIGHTS OF 'ANUENUE
Thank goodness the powers that be have worked something out to end furlough Fridays. There has been a great deal of concern for the general public school population.
At 'Ānuenue School, the DOE's K-12 Hawaiian language immersion school on O'ahu, the impact has been doubly harmful. Trying to teach both Hawaiian and English in less time has had compounded hurtful effects on student learning.
As your editorials have stated, the whole system needs to be improved. However, in the improvement process, do not forget the legal, economic and other rights and benefits of the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program. In other words, "do not throw the baby out with the bath water."Charles V. Naumu
Principal, Kula Kaiapuni 'O 'Ānuenue
SOLAR PANEL USAGE
EXCHANGE LAVA FIELDS FOR PRIME FARMLAND
Instead of using prime agricultural land in Mililani on which to put solar panels, I'd like to suggest that the state exchange the lava fields in North/South Kona and Ka'ū in a 2-to-1 ratio for the agricultural lands in Mililani. One hundred acres of lava land for 50 acres of prime farm land on which to put solar panels.
Much of Pōhakuloa Training Area, which is a mile closer to the sun, is also covered with lava. This is prime land for solar panels which may power pumps to move East Hawai'i water to the Waikoloa lands for agriculture.
Nectarines, peaches, apples and other temperate climate fruits can be grown at Pōhakuloa with adequate water.
The prime farmlands in Mililani should be sold to farmers with dirt under their fingernails, and the lava lands should be sold to solar power providers.Richard Sasaki
Captain Cook, Big Island
CIVIL UNIONS CRITICS COULD SHOW RESPECT
An argument supporting defining marriage in Hawai'i as between one man and one woman was that it was not about religious views, it was only about defining "marriage."
The implied promise was that same-sex couples would be granted their civil rights, but not the right to "marry." HB 444 fulfills that promise, and the Legislature demonstrated true courage in passing it.
To deny civil unions crosses the line between church and state by denying a right based on the convictions of some religions. Opposition to civil unions is not a universal value, it is a religious tenet.
If you take religion out of the equation, you are left arguing for "traditional" marriage and echo the arguments for the preservation of other "traditions" (slavery, men-only voting rights, segregation).
Those of you who won at the ballot box, accept your victory with grace and generosity: Same-sex couples will never be able to marry in Hawai'i. Hold your honor high and step back. Show respect for those who take a wider view of love and commitment and step back. They are not infringing on your principles — please respect theirs.Dorien Mcclellen
OLD SCHOOL YEAR SET AROUND AGRICULTURE
In response to Lynne Ono's letter about the school year ("Why not go back to our old calendar"? May 24):
The old traditional school calendar was created to allow children three months off during summers to help harvest crops. Today there is no use for that outdated, obsolete school year.
Also, the traditional and modified calendars have the same number of instruction days. When the modified schedule was created, it was called "year-round school" and many thought the kids actually go to school all year long. In reality, the modified calendar reduced the three months of summer vacation to six weeks by spreading the vacation breaks throughout the year.
This year the summer break was increased to eight weeks to accommodate summer school, taking away one week of vacation in the winter and one in the spring. No matter what calendar is used, furloughs would have had the same effect.Max Miura
MEXICO PRESIDENT'S HYPOCRISY ON SHOW
American sovereignty is threatened. Not by outsiders, but our own members of Congress.
What gall they display by giving the president of Mexico a standing ovation as he criticizes legitimate laws made by our states to protect the interests of both their states and our country.
The president of Mexico then displays his hypocrisy by stating in an interview that his country requires immigrants to have the proper documentation, that illegal immigrants are dealt with harshly and that Mexican police have the authority and readily ask those suspected of being in the country illegally for their identification.
He admits this after calling our country and the state of Arizona racist and discriminatory? Where is the outrage over this double standard by our president and our supposed representatives and leaders?
How dare they allow this foreign leader come to our county as a guest and denigrate our laws and then applaud him. Those who did have no right serving this country in their positions they now hold.James Roller