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Sunday, November 25, 2001



Akaka mistaken about Arctic drilling

We had thought that Sen. Akaka was undecided as to how he would vote in committee on oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Now we find from his article (Star-Bulletin, Insight, Nov. 18) that he toured Alaska's North Slope in 1995, and it appears that he made up his mind about the issue after meeting with Inupiat Eskimos. Did he meet any representatives of the Gwich'in Nation, who don't want their way of life destroyed by oil exploration? He doesn't say.

There is an error in Akaka's piece: the 5 to 16 billion barrel figure of recoverable crude oil is an estimate from the oil industry, not the U.S. Geological Survey. The recent USGS figure is 3.2 billion barrels.

Senator Akaka says, "Development would use only 2,000 of ANWR's 1.5 million acres," but it is now known that the area proposed for exploration is in the calving area of the Porcupine Caribou herd, in spite of Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton's attempt to conceal that fact from Congress.

In the 10 years it would take for oil to start pumping from the ANWR, we could be well on the way to energy self-sufficiency, through conservation and development of renewable sources.

William Bailey

Race shouldn't divide sovereignty benefits

If you have no Hawaiian blood are you a victim of racial discrimination by the Hawaiian sovereignty movement?

Consider that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Rice vs. Cayetano clearly states that native Hawaiians are a race, dissimilar to Indian tribes. The revolution assisted by the United States overthrew a constitutional monarchy, the citizens and subjects of which were of many races.

Also, if the Kingdom of Hawaii had persisted, everyone born in Hawaii would be a citizen by birth. Many of us would thus have been equals, Hawaiian blood or not. Sen. Daniel Akaka and our entire congressional delegation, pandering to the ethnic Hawaiian vote, support a bill that establishes a process toward achieving sovereignty by native Hawaiians only.

Most sovereignty advocates seek land as an end desire. Ceded lands belonged to the Kingdom of Hawaii, a multiracial government, not to ethnic Hawaiians alone. Had the monarchy persisted, you, as a descendant of a Hawaiian citizen or a citizen by birth, also would be entitled to this land. Doesn't this seem like racial discrimination in sheep's clothing?

Paul de Silva
Hilo, Hawaii

OHA's demands are expensive

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs wants control of ceded land! Of course they do, the best defense being a good offense. But, since race-based entitlements are unconstitutional, how about they return the $400 million they got from Hawaii's school children before it's all spent. Does anyone know what it costs to repay a 20-year, $400 million bond issue? My guess is more than a billion dollars. What's yours? OHA is unconstitutional.

Bud Ebel
Makaha

OHA Special

Rice vs. Cayetano arguments

Rice vs. Cayetano decision

Holo I Mua: Sovereignty Roundtable




[Quotables]

"I did not hinder any investigation. Am I being charged with not being an effective postal service by nor forwarding some memo on?"

George Freitas

Kauai police chief, accused by the Kauai Police Commission of numerous violations, including failure to pass on a request from the county prosecutor's office to detectives that the wife of a police officer accused of sexual offenses be re-interviewed.


"When the plane took off in Oklahoma City, when it began to move, there was an applause from the students that the trip was actually going to happen."

Harvey Price

Director of an Oklahoma high school band that performed at a Waikiki parade and other events honoring the 60th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.


Governor, legislators acted to help economy

One of the positive aspects that have arisen from the Sept. 11 attack on America is the surge of patriotism that flowed over the nation. Americans have faced adversities before with a resilience and determination than has been the hallmark of America's independent spirit.

We in Hawaii also have faced perilous times and learned that our resolve is equally strong. Now our state, which faces one of the toughest economic battles we've ever known, must find the courage and strength to do what is right.

To their credit, our governor and the Democratic leaders in the Legislature moved quickly to assemble the best shakers and movers in the state to map out a strategy to help steer the economy past a potentially devastating path. They considered ideas to offer tax credits to business to spur investment, developing a marketing plan that reassures Hawaii's visitors that this remains a safe destination for them to visit, and continued exploration into the diversification of Hawaii's economy. These strategies have been incorporated into legislation that would provide the impetus to improving our economy through rough times and at the same time to take great care of our employed.

Mahalo to the governor and the Democratic leaders to insure that the people of the state become the ultimate recipients of their efforts.

Richard Fujimoto

Sponsor would help new teachers

When I was in the Navy, a service member and family stationed outside the continental United States would always have a sponsor assigned to them.

This person would communicate with the service member before they left their last duty station, meet them on arrival at the airport or ship terminal, provide them transportation to their hotel or temporary residence and keep in touch with the new arrival until they were settled in, providing continuing assistance as necessary until the new family became a little bit familiar with the area.

As most of the new teachers to Hawaii are single, a program like this could work for them. A current teacher, retiree or volunteer from the public could be assigned as a sponsor, possibly paid a stipend or receive some other benefit for this duty. This would go a long way in the retention of new teachers, especially science teachers who are so sorely needed in Hawaii. They would believe that someone cared about them and be more apt to remain in Hawaii.

John Heatherman

What happened to the Peace Corps?

Whatever has happened to the Peace Corps? In recent years we have read no news at all about this significant peaceful army representing our country abroad.

Along with military action, now more than ever it would seem that there is increased need to challenge our citizens to work overseas for friendship and good will among nations. The members of the Peace Corps, too, are unsung heroes. They are willing to share their talents, to listen and to learn from others, and to give of themselves in building bridges of reconciliation and harmony in the world, especially now with Islamic countries.

If our government and our people would catch a new vision of the possibilities of the Peace Corps, surely young people as well as many who are retired would respond.

I believe that Hawaii is an ideal place for an intensive training center for Peace Corps volunteers.

Armin H. Kroehler

Solar-powered hat saves a bit of energy

I read with interest the Nov. 14 letter from Tom Sebas regarding solar energy. My wife, Margaret, and I are from Lincoln, England, and while are staying in the Ohana Waikiki Tower for three weeks, we are doing our little bit to save energy.

Some three years ago I purchased a hat while visiting Spain. It is solar powered inasmuch as it has its own energy unit; i.e., a solar panel on top of the hat with a propeller/fan built into the hat peak. It is quite effective and I have had many comments about my hat. I am surprised that many Americans have not seen the likes of it before. The hat cost me approximately $6.

Just thought you might be interested in my hat. We are enjoying the local people, who are so helpful and friendly -- in particular, shopkeepers and bus drivers.

David Green

Terrorists are like cockroaches

Your Nov.19, 2001, editorial "Don't deny rights to accused terrorists" is disturbing.

We are facing an enemy whose mission is to destroy America and kill as many Americans as possible. We have already seen that they have no limits to the methods to be used to accomplish their mission. Everyone must recognize that America and the world is in great peril.

If you suggest that the U.S. military court is a kangaroo court, how would you characterize those who have passed judgment on the U.S. with their sentence of death to America?

I can't think of anything more insane than to face an enemy who is intent on killing you, and giving that enemy any help whatsoever.

Our constitutional protections may have been appropriate on Sept. 10, but in wartime those protections should not be used to protect the enemy. It's like giving cockroaches the same treatment as the family cat.

I would hope that we will avoid the carnival of charges, denials, trials, and appeal after appeal for any alien terrorists caught in the future.

I am with the president on this one.

Earl Dedell

UH renovation shows costs have shot up

Regarding the million-dollar renovation to the University of Hawaii president's house:

I remember the uproar that occurred when the Matsudas moved to the UH president's House and a mere $10,000 was authorized for the purchase of new curtains.

Today, nary a whimper. My how times have changed.

William J. King

Hirono has great leadership qualities

Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono is the kind of leader Honolulu needs. Michael Reilly (Letters, Nov. 19) apparently knows nothing about Mazie Hirono yet claims that she has no discernible style of leadership.

When her extensive work led to the passage earlier this year of a vital comprehensive educational package, which contained the most progressive initiatives to improve education for our children and support teacher quality, that took leadership.

When she saved Hawaii's businesses millions of dollars by working closely with the state Legislature this year to pilot the repeal of the highly controversial Medical Privacy Act, that took leadership.

Just a few weeks ago, when she led the charge and became the driving force to ensure desperately needed health benefits for workers and families displaced as a result of the Sept. 11 tragedy, that took leadership.

Reilly appears to have a different definition of leadership than I do. Those who work with Mazie are impressed by her passion for fairness, her intellectual yet compassionate approach, her talent to bring differing views to the table. Mazie's distinctive leadership results in moving mountains for the people of Hawaii. I like Mazie Hirono's style of leadership.

Joy Kobashigawa Lewis

State needs realism in pursuit of hi-tech

Thanks to John Flanagan for his Nov. 15 column, "Hawaii's aspirations for high technology get a reality check." Flanagan reports on a hard-nosed assessment of Hawaii's high tech "pipe dream" by Guy Kawasaki, a high-tech entrepreneur and Iolani grad.

Conferences, seed money and good intent are smoke screens. According to Kawasaki, "The way to develop high-tech companies is to throw every dollar possible into building a world-class science and engineering faculty at UH. This will attract the talent to generate ideas and start new businesses." But the governor and Legislature opted to emasculate the university system by severe budget cuts and gross indifference. We have short term policies and priorities. The University of Hawaii Board of Regents has not helped the situation by their inability to change and to lead.

If the state representatives and other interested parties are serious about attracting high-tech industry to Hawaii they should read Flangan's article, and stop chasing rainbows.

Anthony Locascio

No prayers, Muslim or otherwise, in schools

In your Editor's Scratchpad (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 20) regarding Muslim prayer in New York schools, you say, "Just imagine students trying to hold a Christian or Jewish prayer meeting in a Taliban school ..." Try doing it in any public school in the United States and you will have our own equivalent of the Taliban, the ACLU, taking you to court.

James E. Mazure

Courts are on the side of sex offenders

It seems too easy to forget the heinous crime committed against a 7-year-old New Jersey girl, Megan.

The action of the state Supreme Court, to strike down Hawaii's sex-offender registration law as unconstitutional, exemplifies the view, held by the majority of the public in my opinion, that our judicial system supports the offender, and ignores the victim.

It was quite ironic for me to read an article in the Star Bulletin on the same date as the above story, with comments about "due process" from a judge of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. Per the article, the judge said in part "... we should remember that the constitutional language conferring rights such as 'due process' is vague."

Somewhere along the line there has to be a much-improved balance between interpretation of the law and common sense. The public deserves equal protection under the law, the same as the wrongdoer.

Perhaps Hawaii should simply invite all sex offenders, those who don't want to be identified and may want to continue on in their deviate ways, to reside in our wonderful islands.

Steve Good, Ewa Beach

Don't blame refiners for lack of competition

I only recently caught up with Rob Perez' report on gasoline prices and the subsequent letter to the editor from Rep. Terry Yoshinaga. While there were some inaccuracies in the Perez article (like going from the price of a gallon of crude to the price of a gallon of gasoline, it was the representative's letter that was more disturbing.

The representative missed the major point in the Perez article, which is that "competition in the marketplace, not the cost of crude, dictates pricing."

If Hawaii had more refiners selling product in Hawaii, we might see gas prices go down. Obviously not very many people want to do business in Hawaii and therefore Hawaii drivers are at the mercy of the two refiners. If the price of gasoline remains high because that is what the market will bear, or is willing to pay, then can you blame the refiners? The same phenomenon can be witnessed in the sale of fireworks.

Instead of introducing legislation next session to "bring down the price of gas to our people" which would be "price controls" (and we know how well that works!), Yoshinaga might serve her constituents better by learning basic economic principles of supply and demand and do something about the poor business climate that has limited our options to only two refiners of gasoline. She might also want to investigate why Hawaii has the highest state and local gasoline taxes in the nation, the combined total together -- with the federal taxes -- adding nearly 57 cents to every gallon we purchase.

Lowell Kalapa
Tax Foundation of Hawaii

Those in charge must remember sacrifice

On Nov. 11, I was privileged to attend a Veterans Day ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl. A privilege freely given by those who gave all their tomorrows, so that I and others like me may have today. They ask for little -- only that they not be forgotten. A moment from our lives to remember should not be too much to ask. Many who were there travelled thousands of miles. It is a sad reflection of our times when our local politicians cannot do the same.

Joanne Klatt
Hauula

Flag over Iolani Palace symbolized unity

It's disgraceful to hear comments from the Hawaiian Patriotic League about the U.S. flag raised over Iolani Palace. The flag was raised, not as a stroke against "all that is Hawaiian," but as a symbol of unity in time of need. It is selfish of them to speak of "a day of sadness for the Hawaiian people" and "how sad our ancestors must be" in light of the horrific events of Sept. 11. Kau'i P. Goodhue's lash of rather seeing Iolani Palace burned down instead of seeing the U.S. flag flown not only depreciates the memories of those killed, she also tarnishes the integrity of the people of Hawaii -- whether they have Hawaiian blood or not. The people of Hawaii know better than anyone the effects of a vicious attack; this gives us clarity in a time of chaos. We cannot forget that our flag represents our nation of freedom, and the sacrifices that were made for that nation.

Brad Kam

Some Hawaiians are blinded by hatred

As a Hawaiian, I say we should raise the flag over Iolani Palace in remorse of the recent tragedies. Many Hawaiians have hate in their hearts about what has happened 100 years ago, and I am one of those people, but why fight now in this time of need? I'm only 17 and haven't been around long, but to me my Hawaiian culture is everything.

It is not the Hawaiian community as a whole that I am referring to, but a few who have said and done things that has made me realize that they are blinded by hate, which causes them to be ignorant. Yet many say it hurts to see the American flag flying over Iolani Palace because of what has happened long ago. This has nothing to do with what has happened to our monarchy; it shows that the Hawaiian people care about what happened on Sept. 11. The American flag was raised over the palace for a very important reason. You may say we're traitors, but all we want to do is show we care.

Christian Omerod

Grades won't improve without right class

Regarding your front page headline of Nov. 20 ("Science test scores drop"): Let me see if I have this correct. Hawaii's students scored lower than the national average on the 8th grade National Assessment of Education Progress Science Test. Hawaii does not require and 8th grade Science Course. I wonder if our students would see a "cause and effect" relationship, or is that an 8th-grade science subject?

Rickey L. Ricketts

BOE members don't test well in logic either

Well imagine that: Hawaii students don't do well in science. Could it be because those who run the schools have trouble telling the difference between science and delusional fairy tales -- and want the latter taught in science classes?

The slow takeover of the BOE by religious fanatics is at least partly to blame. How can a student learn the scientific method when these zealots are making things up out of whole biblical cloth and then telling teachers to pass it off as science?

The message is sent -- forget science! You can rely on myth and make it up as you go along rather than take the time and effort to form a hypothesis and subject it to investigation and verification. You can make any absurd assertion and then tell us that, because it can't be proven wrong, it must be right.

How can we expect our children to know a strong induction from a weak one, much less a deductive argument from an inductive one, when adults can't seem to do it? (Yes, logic is one of the sciences.)

What lazy kid wouldn't take this option, especially when it's endorsed by the Gabbards and Haras of the world, those who are in positions of curricular authority?

Perhaps if we had the same minimal academic requirements for BOE members that we do for students, we could do away with "Carol and Sherwood in Wonderland" reasoning and "dumb by choice" creeping religious indoctrination in the science classroom.

Andy Parx
Lawai, Hawaii

Fever affects brains of state officials

So the state doesn't want to inform incoming passengers, from areas of the world in which dengue fever is epidemic, to contact health authorities if they come down with symptoms soon after arriving in Hawaii. These government people make me sick!

Mark Lee

Harry Potter, please rescue Hawaii

Harry Potter has come to Hawaii just in time. Perhaps only he can make dengue fever disappear, make tourists reappear and explain the recent proclamations and pontifications of Judge David Ezra.

Richard Y. Will






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