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Tuesday, August 10, 1999

Tapa


People don't choose sexual orientation

Frank Morten's Aug. 2 letter condemning homosexuals requires a response.

He claims that he "chooses" to have sex with women. Fine. He did not, however, choose to be sexually attracted to women -- just like homosexuals do not choose to be attracted to persons of the same gender.

Homosexuality is not unhealthy and does not lead to AIDS. Promiscuous, unsafe sex practices are unhealthy and can lead to AIDS, regardless of one's sexual orientation.

Since AIDS got its foothold in America among gay men, it should be no surprise that the majority of cases result from men having sex with men. But 84 percent is a substantial drop from the 100 percent of 10 years ago.

Some things, but not all, are about choices. One can choose one's religion, political affiliation or whether to be a bigot. No one chooses sexual orientation.

Ken Scott
Via the Internet

Don't let construction mar celebration

Where is the logic? Dec. 31, 1999, is the biggest event we will see for another century, and an incredible opportunity to welcome first-time visitors to Waikiki.

Yet the Hilton Hawaiian Village will welcome in the new year by removing the lovely gardens at Ala Moana and Kalia Road. And the state will add to that mess by beginning construction of the Kalakaua pedestrian bridge, and by tearing up Kalakaua Avenue to replace water mains.

Reschedule these construction projects to begin in April, allowing Waikiki and the state to prosper. Let's put our best foot and face forward as the year 2000 arrives.

Helen T. Carroll


Quotables

Tapa

"There was a TB patient in isolation
and one day he was so down.
He said, 'Imai-san, I like go outside.'
I carried him on my lap and sat him
down on a chair. He cried and cried.
He was so happy to see outside.
That night, he died."

Sugako Imai Fujikawa

92-YEAR-OLD FORMER NURSE
Remembering her days as a nurse at Kuakini Medical Center,
which will celebrate its 100th anniversary next July

Tapa

"When you take a look at
other sports, games get called because
of darkness even when they're not over.
It was such a wonderful day for our
club and now we feel like they're
trying to take it away from us."

Diane Ho

COACH OF THE HAWAIIAN CANOE CLUB
On the disputed final results of Saturday's 47th Hawaiian Canoe
Racing Association, which will be discussed at the
organization's board meeting on Friday


Hawaii public TV doesn't sell donor lists

Like your July 28 editorial, I too was disappointed that several mainland public television stations had exchanged their donor lists with partisan political organizations. Hawaii Public Television never has nor has it ever considered initiating such a practice.

At HPTV, we hold the trust and privacy of our 20,000-plus members so highly that we have had a long-standing policy expressly forbidding the exchange, sharing, renting out or selling of our donor or membership lists with anyone.

Although we do not condone what occurred on the mainland, the disclosure pointed out the urgent need for continued government support of public television. Why? Ten years ago, we had not yet seen the proliferation of television channels, some catering to a single interest or issue. This growth far outpaced the smaller increase in our population and caused the marketplace to be tremendously fragmented.

In the wake of the Littleton tragedy and at a time when family values are being closely inspected, isn't it heartening to know that amidst the media clutter, public TV continues to stand head and shoulders above the commercial and cable channels in quality?

To support the withdrawal of federal support for public television because of the questionable judgment of a few stations is like favoring the abandonment of welfare or Medicare because some people abused the system. Let's rethink our priorities and values.

Scott Shirai
Chairman of the Board
Hawaii Public Broadcasting Authority
Via the Internet

Polynesians can teach beauty of acceptance

Having been a paddler myself, I feel for LiAnne Taft. So I was thankful for Diane Chang's Aug. 2 column, "Competitive paddler rocks canoe of prejudice."

By exploring her own prejudice, which many of us share, Chang showed that such prejudice is indefensible -- especially in these islands where the original people, the Polynesians, have and still have less than black-and-white gender identities.

They can teach us a lot about acceptance (which is better than tolerance) of differences, if we will just listen to them, instead of being purveyors of hate and discord.

Liz Randol
Kilauea, Kauai
Via the Internet

Ige's comparison was insulting, embarrassing

I have a message for state Sen. Marshall Ige: Please do not compare yourself to Japanese Americans who were interned prior to and during World War II. That is an insult to the Japanese Americans of that period, and to the Japanese Americans of today.

Stop belly-aching. And if you have any semblance of honor left in you, show responsibility. And do not continue to shame us.

Steve Uyehara
Kalaheo, Kauai

Don't blame Cayetano for claim disagreement

Chairman Peter Liholiho Trask's July 26 letter criticizing Governor Cayetano for disagreeing with the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust Individual Claims Panel, and for trying to "dismantle the claims process at every turn," neglects one important point: the Legislature sided with the governor's position.

In 1997, lawmakers created a working group to provide the kind of guidance and clarification to the panel that Trask said was lacking in the law. The Legislature also expressed concern about the claims process and the millions of dollars the panel was recommending the state pay to claimants.

Trask also said that the panel was an independent body. However, sitting on it was at least one claimant, which is a classic conflict of interest. How can the state pay what the panel is recommending when it consists of people who will benefit financially?

Perhaps Governor Cayetano realized that the fairest way to resolve these issues is to have the claimants file suit in court, which is what his veto will accomplish.

Kathleen N. A. Watanabe
Francis Paul Keeno
Michael K. Nakamura
Kathryn-Jean K. Kanemori

Individual Claims Unit
State Department of the Attorney General

Tapa

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