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Sunday, August 5, 2001



Pali hairpin slick is a recurring problem

Regarding the July 27 letter discounting the Pali Highway slick: I have been a Pali commuter for 37 years and have served on Pali traffic safety and control committees in years past. The moss growing on the hairpin turn has been a regular occurrence for at least two years. I have previously reported it to both highway officials and on radio.

Going the 35 mph limit and coming into the turn, any responsible driver is going to brake. Even at that speed you feel the sway. That area in the last two weeks has had a mat of green that was a danger to the commuting public.

We need more people to take the time to report danger spots. Thanks for the police reports and to the highway department for cleaning up this danger.

Jack Sullivan
Kailua

Curriculum and life certainly have evolved

I find the argument about creationism and evolution very funny. When I went to public school on Kauai in the 1930s, I learned about God, the Bible, different types of religions, Adam and Eve and so on. Later on, they talked about teaching evolution, but the majority of people were against it, believing it would go too far, and that is just what has happened.

I guess that those people who teach evolution are gods. They know all and can make people believe in anything they want because they have the word "professor" in front of their names. When they say something is one million years old, we believe them because we ordinary people do not know how to prove them wrong. When they say we come from apes I have to believe them because they went to college. They are very big talkers with big words that most people do not understand and so they must be 100 percent right.

Oh, I do not go to church and I am not a religious person.

Lester Forrest

Misguided educators are hurting students

Regarding your Aug. 3 story, "BOE bars Bible theory from science classes:" You may call it "Bible theory," but the Bible never theorizes; it declares.

I don't think God is much interested in claiming credit for creating the educational elites in Hawaii. After all, courtesy of their great intellectual prowess, this state has a third world-quality educational system.

Hawaii students are victims of the school board members, and folks such as the minister in your article who coupled creationists with believers in a flat Earth.

But as the creationists might say, there's got to be a purpose, right? The Darwinian dupes in the state educational establishment want all of us to know that these beautiful, white sandy beaches were begat by the ocean, which was begat by the Earth, which was begat by the Big Bang, which was begat by, well...it doesn't matter what, as long as, God forbid, God doesn't get any credit.

Mark Loncar

Conservation, renewal are fairy-tale solutions

The editorial "Bush persists in pushing a flawed energy plan" (July 17) was absurd all by itself. The belief that price controls, conservation and renewable energy will solve the long-term energy needs for the future prosperity of our nation or our state belongs in the tooth-fairy department.

If price controls work, then obviously they should be imposed across the board. For example, cut oil prices in half. If that doesn't work, cut them in half again. Then get your supply on the black market.

As for conservation, it's a great idea for the other fellow, but not for the Star-Bulletin. It takes a great deal of energy to publish, print and distribute a newspaper. The Star-Bulletin should shut down and leave daily print news to the Honolulu Advertiser. The Advertiser should insist its staff ride bicycles to and from work and interviews; at work there should be no air-conditioning.

As for renewable energy, the Advertiser should adhere to a policy of using solar-produced electricity to run the presses, period. No sun, no newspaper. The subscribers will understand, of course, because customers are always loyal.

Get real, editorial board.

Richard Rowland
President Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Freedom of expression includes flag burning

James Taylor is upset that Hawaii's elected representatives voted against the flag-burning Bill. (July 26 letter.)

What Taylor doesn't realize is that the prescribed method to honorably dispose of a flag that is worn and tattered is to actually burn it. What this proposed legislation does is punish flag burning based upon the match-holder's point of view. Torching old glory because you hate this country is punishable; doing the very same act out of reverence is not.

In the case of Texas v. Johnson, the State of Texas sought to punish a demonstrator for burning the flag in protest of the policies of the Reagan administration. The Supreme Court ruled that because Texas allowed the burning of the flag for reverent disposal but not in a protest, the law suppressed only one point of view and thus violated the free speech clause guaranteed by the Constitution. Here, the Supreme Court concluded that acts of protest are considered a form of speech.

Let this Navy lieutenant commander express his opinion on the matter. Go ahead: Burn the flag in protest. That is what freedom of speech is all about. The only benefit gained is more income to commercial flag manufacturers. The freedom of speech and to demonstrate is a right afforded by the Constitution of which I am bound by oath to protect.

Patriotism and love of country reside in the heart. No display of flag desecration can ever erode any feeling of duty, honor and country.

Damon Senaha
Lieutenant commander
U.S. Navy
San Diego, Calif.

Bush plan mixes religion, government

The founding fathers stated very clearly: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." President Bush, the Salvation Army and other faith-based groups wish to violate that admonition. They want to establish a quid pro quo whereby religious groups would be exempt from anti-discrimination laws in return for providing taxpayer-funded, church-based social services to the state.

Church groups are provided wide latitude to do as they please in religious matters, in keeping with the First Amendment. But when government money is used, they must abide by the same laws that apply to others.

The Bush proposal, therefore, places the government in collusion with tax-funded religious agencies that will discriminate based on a religious purpose. Therefore, it hopelessly entangles the government with religious-based reasons for discriminating against gays.

Such an arrangement is not only unconstitutional but unholy. Christ said "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's." These religious groups will have to decide whose rules to play by, and to which master they will answer.

Khalil J. Spencer


[Quotables]

"We'll be lucky if we can get a settlement in two years."

Donald Cataluna,

Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee, predicting that new settlement talks between OHA and the state over past-due revenues from ceded lands will not be easy. Previous settlement talks broke down in April 1999.


"What does that mean? So we can have wall-to-wall cabarets?"

Lynne Matusow,

Chairwoman of the Downtown Neighborhood Board, on a proposal to change liquor laws for a section of downtown Honolulu that would allow more cabarets -- establishments allowed to serve liquor until 4 a.m.


Public turns its head at stolen estate lands

When Attorney General Marjorie Bronster failed to get Senate confirmation, Gov. Ben Cayetano said: "This is war...and in every war, there are casualties."

The former attorney general plundered Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate. Using the power of her office, she made all kinds of wild accusations. Mass hysteria followed and the trustees were publicly lynched in the media. Hundreds of subpoenas were issued and the trustees were indicted and made out to be criminals.

Bronster attacked Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate and initiated the action. An integral part of the conspiracy to takeover KS/BE were the people who said the "trust" was broken as well as the people who repeatedly said, "The Bishop Estate will be changed forever."

KS/BE and the Hawaiian people were the casualties. The last will and testament of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop was broken by the Hawaii Supreme Court. The princess' legacy to her people was taken by the state. And the good trustees never had due process in the judicial system.

The public was never informed of the fact that KS/BE was a very successful, well-managed institution. The former trustees were diligent in their duties and extremely loyal to the wishes of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop as stated in her will. No other group of trustees has accomplished what these trustees did for the estate.

Ironically, in the 1970s. when KS/BE was struggling financially -- it was forced to sell land to meet payroll -- did anyone care about Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate?

Now, does anyone care about how the state is controlling and managing the Kamehameha Schools /Bishop Estate?

The proof and evidence is in the taking. Does anyone really care about how the state stole 300 acres of Ka Iwi Lands for only $12 million? We all need to be concerned. Your legacy and your lands may be next.

Carolyn Peters
Waianae

Editor's note: Carolyn Peters is the wife of Henry Peters, one of the five former Bishop Estate trustees who resigned amid charges of financial mismanagement of the estate in 1999.

Bishop Estate Archive
Kamehameha Schools

Academy made proper choice not to show film

I have seen the word "censorship" used, in more than one source, in reference to the Honolulu Academy of Arts not showing the Alice Anne Parker films. Perhaps my understanding of the word is incorrect, but I think declining to show, read or sell something is the prerogative of any individual or organization.

Censorship would be the government prohibiting the showing of the films anywhere. Evidently, I also do not understand the word "feminist" if these films are supposed to relate to the movement. I thought if it had to do with political, social and economic rights of thought, it had to do with political, social and economic rights of women.

I fail to see any relationship between a film showing dozens of vaginas with improvement of women's rights. Quite the contrary.

Shirley Hasenyager
Kailua

Got the tax rebate blues?Send Bush rebate to the Democrats

I, just as you, am about to receive a munificent -- ha! --tax refund sent to me by George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress.

I, just as all intelligent and responsible Americans, do not object to paying taxes, depending, of course, on where that money goes.

Let's use it to get our public schools back on track. Pay the teachers! Clean up the environment. I like to breath fresh air and drink clean water -- no arsenic, please, George. It's almost as bad for my digestive system as your fiscal, national and international policies.

Let's clean up our cities, protect our national forests and reserves, our rivers, lakes and streams. And most important of all, pay off our national debt. A nation as deeply in debt as ours is just as much at risk financially as a private household in over its head. Every intelligent, responsible citizen in this country knows that. The only people who profit from such an enormous debt are those feeding on the interest to that debt.

Therefore, I am sending my refund -- and, believe me I need it just as much as you -- to the Democratic Congressional Committee, 430 South Capitol St., S.E., Washington, D.C. 20003, in hopes that the next election will be an honest one and we can kick the imposter and his irresponsible Congress and all their gun-slinging, religious-fanatic, oil, tobacco and corporate buddies out. Do NOT be bought off!

Bettejo Dux

Not happy with rebate? Then give it away

If people aren't happy with their refunds, maybe they should donate it to charity and get the full tax benefit and make someone else happy.

I'm happy that I'll be receiving that refund because it's $600 more for my bill payments. It's $600 more to feed my kids. Without it I'd be that much deeper in the hole. With $600 or $300 you could start your savings program, invest or spend it on a good time you otherwise couldn't afford.

You should be happy the government is giving it back to you instead of spending it on pork. Those who complain about this refund are a bunch of ingrates. You complain when the government takes it, now you complain when it gives it back.

Craig Watanabe

Tax rebate could have helped the needy

The refund check is in the mail, but local taxpayers are not thrilled.

I received my tax rebate (attempted bribe?). First one I ever saw with a promotion for a president printed on it. I e-mailed our appointed president, George W., saying I would return my $300 if his multimillionaire-contributors returned theirs. Let's give it to those who really need it.

I noticed that the money to send the checks out -- along with $34 million worth of presidential promo letters announcing their imminent arrival -- was spent in Texas. Surprise, surprise! That money could have helped a lot of hurting people.

Most of my rebate will go to helping Democrats take back the U.S. House and Senate.

Robert G. Devine
Ocean View, Hawaii

How much would Gore have refunded?

In your July 29 article about the federal tax refund, the Star-Bulletin didn't ask those whiners how much they would have received under Al Gore's presidency. Next time bury such non-news in the "Winners and Whiners" section at the bottom of the page where it belongs.

Douglas J. Fessler
Pearl City

Questions of sovereignty Hawaiians know what's good for Hawaiians

Your July 14 editorial is right. The constitutionality argument of the Barrett case will have its day, and Attorney Patrick Hanifin will prevail. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that. What I despise as a free-thinking Hawaiian, is the establishment, including the media, limiting the playing field so that it seems there are no options for Hawaiians except complete submergence of the Hawaiian identity, or the Akaka bill. Hawaiians will be what and how we tell them to be. Period.

What you call a basic necessity for us, is really a necessity for the "American way" on foreign soil, over a non-American nation. If you would tell the truth, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Department of Hawaiian Home Lands are both federally designed for those non-options anyway. I am happy to say that world opinion will soon be shaking it's head at the shameful travesty the United States, the "legal" legislators and the media, continue to perpetuate. Of course, I wouldn't expect you to print this as you have blacked out the recent complaint at the United Nations Security Council against U.S. violations against the sovereign Hawaiian kingdom, as well as any other "black letter law" truths. May the truth prevail.

Michael Locey
Anahola, Hawaii

Changes in bill rip away Hawaiian rights

We are shocked that Congress has not questioned the constitutionality of the Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill, which undermines the self-determination of native Hawaiians.

According to a Department of Justice attorney, the bill discriminates against Hawaiians and is "compromised recognition." The bill treats Hawaiians as unworthy of native rights equal to those of native Americans on the continent.

Hawaiians are asking that hearings be held on this bill, which differs considerably from earlier versions and should be amended to protect Hawaiians' rights and lands. Without a hearing, the Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill should be killed.

Lela M. Hubbard
Chairwoman
Coalition for Justice for Hawaiians

Hawaiian recognition bill will create conflict

Your editorial of July 25 says the time is ripe to pass the native Hawaiian recognition bill. You say, "When opportunity knocks, one should open the door."

That is not opportunity knocking; that is the big bad wolf. The time is ripe to bar the door and call 911. Long ago the people of Troy opened their city gate to accept delivery of a beautiful-looking gift -- a big wooden horse. They never recovered from the ensuing disaster.

This bill of Senator Akaka's seeks to protect Hawaiians-only programs by setting up a new Hawaiians-only government. Most Hawaiians aren't separate and apart from everyone else, but will feel forced to join this new government to get benefits from bureaucrats now running the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. All Hawaii's people will be divided by race: Dad belongs to Kanakaland; Mom is kept out.

A crazy-quilt patchwork of Hawaiian lands and non-Hawaiian lands will create battles over jurisdiction.

Untaxed, unregulated Hawaiian businesses will drive out heavily-taxed neighbors across the street. There will be constant ethnic strife. Please don't let this happen.

Ken Conklin
Kaneohe

'Right-sizing' means more efficient service

Larry Solomon took issue with me in his July 30 letter to the editor on the subject of Hawaii being tops in the national rating for the number of state emloyees.

As a self-described "life-long Democrat," he likely supports unlimited growth and spending in state government while opposing the option of privatization, though without the support of some key life-long Democrats we would not have passed the historic privatization legislation this year.

While I respect Solomon's contrary opinion on the issue, he is dead wrong on personal attacks on me: I have been on "the business end of a pink slip;" I do have compassion for people (including close friends and relatives) who lost their jobs -- and small businesses too -- because of oppressive taxation, regulation and bloated government.

My discussion of "downsizing" or "right-sizing" always stresses attrition, more efficient delivery of services -- as recommended by the state auditor but not implemented -- and not forced unemployment. Finally, I am mindful that I am a public servant, but one who pays my own health and dental plan -- not billing them to taxpayers.

Those who attempt to politicize, or drive a wedge between selected "working people" and advocates for meaningful reform, should know people like me and other small-business owners are working, too, and much too hard for the return allowed by excessive government growth in Hawaii.

Sam Slom
President
Small Business Hawaii
State Senator, 8th District






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