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Monday, October 16, 2000

Tapa


Aliens shouldn't be allowed to vote

Anyone who suggests that legal permanent residents be allowed to participate in local elections is off-base. Voting is a right that comes with the attainment of U.S. citizenship, and should remain so.

Immigrants, generally motivated to better themselves, pursue an obstacle course to be able to come to this country and obtain permanent resident status.

The five years spent between the granting of this status and the eligibility for citizenship is a time for the alien to prove his or her promise as an American. This is done by paying taxes, volunteering and becoming informed about politics, among other things. Upon becoming naturalized, the new citizen has the right to vote as part of the responsibility of citizenship.

The franchise that all Americans enjoy today has come at great cost to those who preceded us. Wars have been fought, bloody civil disobedience riots have taken place and countless courageous people have worked tirelessly to enact appropriate legislation to guarantee this right for all.

Offering the vote at any level to noncitizens would dilute the efforts of these dauntless patriots. The current voter registration scandal could have been avoided had proof of citizenship been required at in-person registration.

Roger Tansley
Lanikai

Tale of a special birdie on the Ala Wai

Since it seems that everyone can make a comment on the governor's proposal to break up the Ala Wai Golf Course, let me add my tee to the pot.

The tradewinds were blowing their darndest one beautiful afternoon many years ago, surging across the golf course and hitting full force into the wall of apartments lining Ala Wai Boulevard.

Despite it all, our foursome finally made it to the 18th. There I stood, resting on my putter awaiting my turn -- when I noticed a parakeet bucking the winds head first, flapping its tiny wings for all they're worth, inch by inch headed straight in my direction.

Most likely, the gale force winds had blown open its cage on the lanai of one of the nearby apartments and it was trying to make its way to freedom. But why against the wind? My thought was that, instead of taking the easy way out by going with the wind and ending up within the Waikiki jungle, it was heading for the open spaces of the Ala Wai and the shelter of the trees and hills beyond.

Even as I was ruminating over this, the parakeet became directly overhead. So I reached up and grabbed it. Unzipping one of the pockets of my golf bag, I stuck it in there.

When we got to the clubhouse, I told the gal behind the counter that I had gotten a birdie on the 18th. She just gave me a look that said, "Oh, yeah?" Then I unzipped my bag, pulled out the parakeet and showed it to her. With a shriek, she turned and ran.

Here ends a tale that Tiger Woods may want to keep in mind when he's in need of that one birdie to close out the match.

Ben Tamashiro

Columnists are wrong about golf course

I was a bit rankled over recent columns by Bill Kwon and Diane Chang, who both oppose the closing of the Ala Wai Golf Course. These two writers seem to agree with the self-serving tunnel vision mentality of some of our populace.

Kwon asked, in his Oct. 5 column, why close the golf course when it is making money. Does he realize that a half-billion dollars of real estate is being tied up for the benefit of a small, select group?

Chang's Oct. 6 column criticized the governor's imperious taste and perks. Didn't all previous governors receive the same freebies, like being able to golf at country clubs and military courses? Remember, Cayetano was the only governor who opened up Washington Place to all the people.

Koon Hoy Ho

Build 'Summer White House' on Ala Wai

Hawaii is no longer a plantation and we have lost that mentality, thanks to Japanese development of our hospitality infrastructure in the 1980s. We owe our economic health to them and should dedicate a structure to the Japanese when we develop the Ala Wai. It could also indicate that we've let bygones be bygones.

Furthermore, the Ala Wai is an ideal location for a national building. We should consider offering some land to the government for a "Summer White House," as thanks for statehood. The benefits would include providing 1) more executive security and 2) a convenient location for foreign dignitaries to meet, thus changing our image as only a playground.

This would formalize Hawaii as a complete and unique visitor destination.

Ivan L. Kam


Quotables

Tapa

"She was drawn here by the spirit
of the island -- to live, work and finish college.
Now her spirit dwells here."

Rod Ambrose
FATHER OF 19-YEAR-OLD DANA AMBROSE
After the Leeward Community College student, originally
from San Clemente, Calif., died in a two-car crash involving
a Honolulu police officer, Clyde Arakawa

Tapa

"The administration did not
tell me how to reorganize
the Council."

Jon Yoshimura
CHAIRMAN HONOLULU CITY COUNCIL
Rejecting the accusations of Councilman Andy Mirikitani
that his powers on the Council were diminished because
he questioned the Harris administration's handling of the
Ewa Villages scandal. New Councilmen Romy Cachola
and Gary Okino will chair their own committees.


Trask sisters have a right to be frustrated

Leihinahina Sullivan and Healani Sonoda did well to remind us about the many contributions of Haunani and Mililani Trask to the cause of justice for Hawaiians (View Point, Oct. 6).

Let us also not forget the tremendous emotional and psychological costs of their long struggle: the constant and virulent attacks, half-truths, misrepresentations, death threats, etc.

As if this were not enough, imagine their personal pain at seeing the slow and, seemingly, unstoppable erosion of Hawaiian rights. Is it any wonder their frustration mounts?

Teresa Mansson
Kailua

Hawaii Democrats must clean up their act

If democracy is to survive in Hawaii, the Democratic Party needs to be purged. As the largest organized crime organization in the state, with kickbacks a requirement for conducting business, the party needs to shed its image of political favoritism.

Just as the federal government has moved to take over the Los Angeles Police Department as a "criminal organization," the Hawaii Democratic Party will be taken over by the feds (shades of Tammany Hall), unless its members clean up their act.

Civil service reform is only the first step. A mid-career test on law and ethics should retire the incompetent.

Stephen C. Haus





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