MORE ALOHA WOULD GO A LONG WAY
I'm not looking for change, besides the overpopulation of selfish people.
We are the Aloha State. More aloha equals the change we all need.L. Anderson
UNION CHIEF'S OP-ED JUST TYPICAL RHETORIC
Eric Gill's op-ed piece in last Sunday's paper was very disappointing. If it had been an advertisement laying out Local 5's position it might have been justified, but it wasn't. You put it in as if it was a serious piece.
Gill needs to use less rhetoric to protect his salary and work more with the hotels as a true partner. It isn't going to happen in Hawai'i.Bob Bulkley
BILL ALLOWED TO 'SLIP UNDER THE RADAR'
Am I wrong for expecting Hawai'i's politicians to be men and women of integrity? Am I wrong for expecting Hawai'i's politicians to uphold our state motto, "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness?" Am I wrong to feel deeply troubled about what happened on the last day in the last hour of this year's legislative session?
Those in power chose to suspend the rules requiring a two-thirds majority to reconsider a tabled bill and instead voted to do so by a simple majority. Why did they wait until the last minute? Why did they suspend the rules?
Because of the way this bill was handled, I feel troubled. It appears that HB 444, which dramatically affects Hawai'i's people and its future, was slipped in under the radar, through political maneuvering. It makes me suspicious of the democratic process.
Hawai'i, beware! If it happens once, it will happen again. Soon, your voices will not matter at all. For those in power can and may do whatever they wish. Let's elect men and women of integrity, who will listen to the voice of the people and who will follow proper political process.Russell Higa
BIBLE DOESN'T HAVE ROLE IN LEGAL ISSUE
In the civil union debate, separation between church and state becomes blurred as those opposed to HB 444 call mainly on their religious background for support.
In a May 16 letter, the writer summarized the biblical stance on homosexuality, stating that "God's view has not changed from one testament to the other" and thus holds true today.
How does what the Bible supposedly said thousands of years ago hold any weight in the realm of legal human-rights issues? Which determines our laws today? HB 444 also covers heterosexual couples; how can the opposition be considered secular if they target only homosexuality?
Our government is bound by law to provide a secular reason in passing any bill into effect. The issue is not whether what the Bible says is "acceptable" holds true in contemporary society. The issue concerns human rights and equality on legal grounds, on passing a law that affects everybody, religious or not.
By vetoing civil unions based on primarily religious opposition, Gov. Lingle would be advancing a religious agenda, as well as entangling government with religion, clearly denying the separation of church and state guaranteed by law.Cheri Nagashima
TIME FOR STATE WORKERS TO ADJUST
Thank you for printing Robert Kaus' article, "Do Democrats have to love unions?" on May 9.
His comments and observations about the need for unions to update their thinking is so timely and pertinent to Hawaii! Can you relate to his statements that unions are still pushing our politicians to raise taxes to pay for over-staffed, no-productivity-accountability government (union) workers with paid benefits? Can you relate to the common joke in Hawaii that if you don't want to work for a living, get a state job?
This is not a partisan issue. Just open your telephone book to the government listing pages. There are eight pages of federal government listings, four pages of city and county government listings and 15 pages of state government listings! Could this be a contributing factor to our budget deficit?
Yes, in the past unions did a lot for Hawaii's workers. But it's time for an adjustment. It is imperative that our government unions get with the times and focus on productivity, not seniority!Cindra Minakami
FISH SPECIES THRIVE, SURVEY OFF THE MARK
The article "Volunteers needed for makai watch training," (May 13) states that based on a survey, Maunalua Bay has the lowest fish numbers in the state of Hawai'i.
I find this to be untrue. As an oceanographer, throw netter, fly fisherman and commercial fisherman, I use the bay daily, and can easily find thousands of pounds of fish.
Just last week I observed 500 pounds of kala, 1,000 pounds of nenue, and 100 pounds of manini. I even saw uhu and mullet. If you know where to look, you can also find hundreds of pounds of āholehole, weke, and ōio.
I'm not sure who conducted this survey, but it is clear to me that it was not done by someone who understands fish movement and spawning. So I have to ask, is this propaganda to eventually ban fishing in Maunalua Bay?Makani Christensen
A NATIVE RETURNS
KAILUA TOO NOISY TO ENJOY, EVEN INSIDE
I grew up in Kailua and have been traveling all over the world. I'm back home for a few weeks visiting friends and family, who mentioned that Kailua has been redeveloped and is a really nice place to hang out. So I decided to go check out the shops, cafes, restaurants and other hallmarks of a worthwhile town center.
My verdict: Lame.
While the look of the place certainly is different from what I remember, and it was nice browsing the new boutiques, when I sat down to have a cup of coffee and read the book I bought at a local book store, I just couldn't. It was so loud!
Jerks blasting stereos and jerks on their huge, illegally modified motorcycles were a constant annoyance. Even inside the cafe, the ambiance was ruined.
All the money and effort business owners put into improving the ambiance of this place, and it's ruined by selfish jerks who think public spaces are their own private arena of self-expression.
I, for one, will recommend to people not to visit Kailua. It's like a NASCAR derby here.Justin Hahn
PARKING STALLS OFTEN GO TO HEALTHY FOLKS
While laws require parking spaces for the handicapped, it seems these spaces are frequently used by those other than the disabled. I often see healthy individuals with a handicapped placard using these spaces intended for others.
Although to most of us this may seem trivial, I have two concerns. Obviously this leaves fewer parking spaces for those who really need them. Secondly, it demonstrates an uncaring attitude toward both our laws as well as our disabled, an attitude that reflects a lot of what ails our country today.
Do we do what is right, or what we can get away with?Clifford Smith
VOTE-BY-MAIL ROUTE NEEDS A ROAD MAP
About a month ago, upon receiving the special election vote-by-mail ballot, I completed it and mailed it in the same day.
On May 19, a letter arrived from the Office of Elections. It stated that my signature was invalid and that I had until May 20 to show up in person to correct the situation.
At Honolulu Hale, a line of voters was backed up out the door. After a 30-minute wait, I was able to recast my ballot.
It was only by luck and perseverance that I was not disenfranchised. Most voters faced with such obstacles would simply quit.
The vote-by-mail process must be improved to protect voter rights and assure validity of election results.Rhoads E. Stevens, M.d.