PASSAGE OF HB 444WAS NOT 'SNEAKY'
I am happy to see that The Advertiser apparently now supports legislation creating the status of civil unions. I disagree with your assertion, however, that House actions to pass the bill were "just plain sneaky" and somehow not respectful of the democratic process.
Action on the bill had been formally postponed in January. To pass the measure after such postponement required no less than four separate, very public, consecutive motions, and voting for all was recorded by roll-call votes on April 29. Just because something is done at the last minute does not mean it is sneaky or undemocratic.
Indeed, had these steps been taken before debate and passage of the budget bill, the House would have been derided by many for creating a "distraction." In my view, the House not only did the right thing, the House did it in an open and responsible way at the right time.James J. Nelson
TV STATIONS HAVE DISCRETION TO CHOOSE
I am writing in response to Kalaeloa Strode's May 2 letter.
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs partnered with Hawaii News Now to provide a forum that would allow voters to see how the major candidates stood on key issues including those very important to Native Hawaiians. The Federal Communications Commission allows television stations discretion in choosing which candidates they include for their debates or forums.
The inclusion of the three top candidates was done to facilitate a meaningful debate within the limited time constraints.
We wish Mr. Strode the best in his campaign for Congress. We remind him that OHA looks out for the best interests of all Native Hawaiians as well as all Hawai'i as I am sure he is running to represent all of the district's residents.Ed Nishioka
Communications manager,Office of Hawaiian Affairs
NEGOTIATION MUST OCCUR BEFORE SIGNING
Proponents of the Akaka bill (The Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act) are asking lawmakers to sign into law a bill whose provisions will be negotiated by others at a future time. These proponents say, in effect, "Have no fear — these negotiations will be just and reasonable."
I wonder if these proponents would be willing to give me their signed personal blank checks if I assure them that what I fill in on the checks will be "just and reasonable"?
There must be a better way to address these issues which affect ownership of 40 percent of the land in Hawai'i and 100 percent of its population.Bob Henninger
CZECH TOURISTS WILL NOT RETURN TO ISLES
For the past 10 years we have spent three winter months in Hawaii. But if we want to see parks full of homeless people, unsanitary public restrooms and beaches full of garbage, then we do not have to fly all the way to Hawaii to see that.
We remember times when the Fort De Russy beach was groomed by special equipment every night, but go see it now. It's full of litter and there is no lifeguard there anymore.
Should I mention other Hawai'i "pleasures" like people riding skateboards and bicycles on sidewalks, motorcycles without mufflers, and the list can go on. We also notice a growing population of dogs whose owners do not clean up after them.
So next year, Bahamas, here we come.George Karous
Praha, Czech Republic
MAYOR'S COMMENTS HIT RESPONSIVE NOTE
Amidst the hype and hoopla of presidential dress mandates and Convention Center patronage surrounding the scheduled 2011 APEC meetings, Mayor Mufi Hannemann's recent commentary strikes a responsive chord in two meaningful ways.
First, it sets forth a common vision which the conferees can embrace and unify toward a common goal of powering a new and all-inclusive Asia-Pacific economy.
Second, in targeting a knowledge industry cluster based on alternative energy, sustainable infrastructure and industry growth, environmental and habitat management, ocean and atmospheric sciences, and culturally sensitive population movement, "Honolulu could become the focal point of an international movement that could have long-range economic and environmental benefits."
The mayor's engaging commentary is reminiscent of the time several decades ago when we worked to establish an international presence in the state's planning and development endeavors.Shelley M. Mark
CANDIDATES SHOULD LIVE IN THEIR DISTRICT
We have Mazie Hirono, who lives in the 1st District representing the 2nd.
Now we have the two Democratic candidates for the 1st District seat, living in the 2nd district. While cross- district residence is lawful, the candidates are carpetbaggers nevertheless, as they put their political self-interest above whichever district they wish to represent. Maybe there will come a time when new energetic faces will enter the Democratic arena, and not beholden to party politics, but to the people of Hawai'i.Paul Miller
NOT BOTHERED BY AIONA'S PAID TRIP
Bad, bad, bad, Mr. Carroll Cox.
What you really did was make us want Duke Aiona more because he is willing to be the only one to stand up for his faith among all the other politicians ("Ethics complaints filed on paid trips, May 6).
I was proud that Aiona attended a prayer event in Argentina as a Catholic citizen from Hawai'i, who also happens to be our lieutenant governor.
So please, Mr. Cox, don't muddy the water as you are trying to do.Kaluhi Faborito
FEW PEOPLE REALIZECOMPLEXITY OF ISSUE
The naive letter supporting immigration controls by local and state police in Arizona ("Why is law against illegal aliens bad?", April 29), ignores the complexity of the issue.
One example of that is that Chamorros from Guam and the Northern Marianas, who are United States citizens by birth, are now being stopped in Arizona and being asked to produce documentation of their citizenship.
Racial profiling is a dangerous policy in any case, but especially when Mainlanders don't even know about the inhabitants of U.S. Pacific Island territories, and in their ignorance assign them to the wrong racial category.
How many U.S. Mainland tourists on vacation in Hawai'i could immediately produce evidence of their citizenship if it were demanded of them?David Chappell