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Friday, June 27, 2003

Lawsuit is unfairly picking on Hawaiians

If it were not true that there are many other schools that non-Hawaiian students can apply to, or if it were not fact that Hawaiians continue to suffer from Third World socio-economic statistics, or if the United States did not admit in law that the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom was illegal, or if it were not true that some experts say the Hawaiian race faces extinction, I would believe that this lawsuit has some merit ("Kamehameha sued over its admissions," Star-Bulletin, June 26). Since all I have mentioned is true, I believe this suit is nothing more than another attempt to kick Hawaiians while they are down.

People must learn for themselves the facts of how Hawaii and Hawaiians have come to be a part of the United States, and how this history of injustice has been devastating to Hawaiians.

Steven Tayama

Should girls' schools have to admit boys?

I am not of Hawaiian blood, but many of my friends and relatives are. Knowing that Kamehameha Schools is committed to preserving its culture and ensuring that Hawaiians have a strong chance for proper education makes me feel good about being from Hawaii. Attorney John Goemans' stance is akin to saying that non-Native Americans should be considered for admission to reservations. Perhaps he wants to force Saint Andrew's Priory and La Pietra to admit boys instead of just girls as well?

There are so many children of Hawaiian blood who would otherwise not have a chance at education, why exclude them in favor of children with options across the board? Why is this non-Hawaiian student who filed suit so interested in attending a school where he will likely be the object of continuous scrutiny and pressure? There are many wonderful schools in Hawaii, even charter schools in Hawaiian culture if that's his interest, so why does this child insist on overturning the dying wish of one of Hawaii's foremothers?

Summer Shidler
Madison, Wis.

Some drivers take aloha a little too far

Having the aloha spirit is a good thing, but some Hawaii drivers take it to ridiculous extremes. Why do some feel compelled to let every car cut in front of them (or leave a wide space in front of them as if to invite one and all to "come, cut!")?

More of us could get to work on time, and road rage and accidents would be cut in half (or more) if we could only get these people off the road. Even if you leave early, encountering even one of these drivers will set you back like 1,000 traffic jams!

Irene Kubojiri

Paying coaches more won't make teams win

The University of Hawaii seems to be putting the cart before the horse ("The $750,000 man," June 20). In reviewing the list of the highest-paid football coaches in the country, I noticed two important things: The programs were tradition-rich and each had a long line of successful coaches. Additionally, each one of the programs consistently ranks in the top 20 and plays in a major bowl game. None of these attributes applies to the UH football program and never will, until they decide to play a balanced schedule: nine home games out of a 12-game schedule, a fact not lost on sportswriters who vote in the polls. Until UH decides to go on the road against good teams and prove it can win, it will continue to be mired in mediocrity with the highest-paid coach not in the top 20.

High salaries should be a reward for performance, not an icon to pin hopes on. Wake up, UH: Money cannot buy success, or championships.

James Roller

Jones' salary donors show skewed priorities

University of Hawaii football coach June Jones' salary is not the issue ("Genuine Jones worth every bit of his pay," Letters, June 25). I'm confident the genuine Mr. Jones would be worth far more than $800,000 in the private sector. The issue is priorities.

When we consider funding for public education, too many of us have given up. Witness the number of families that sacrifice to pay their children's private-school tuition. We throw up our hands and say, "Why throw money down a rat hole?"

Children are not rats, and many of them deserve better than they're getting. I'd like to see private money like that so generously donated to UH to supplement the football budget used to improve our public schools. I'd like to see one or two generous donors adopt a school, as has been done elsewhere in the country. Most of all, I'd like to hear a discussion of our state's priorities. What are they and how can we focus on them?

Tom Dolan

All couples in love should be able to wed

I have always believed that even in America, a land where non-inclusive religious beliefs have invaded and taken a stranglehold on our government, that ultimately all disenfranchised minorities will gain their full rights as promised by our nation's Constitution. It is a simple fact that in America all people who love each other and want committed relationships, including same-sex couples, should have legal government recognition of such a bond.

Soon the United States will become surrounded by countries and states that are enlightened. Canada to the north with marriage, California on the West Coast with civil unions, and even Mexico to the south are considering a full-rights civil unions bill. Other states are busy working on both marriage and civil unions for same- gender couples.

As I travel through life in Hawaii, I am often asked, "Are you married?" My answer is always the same: "No, and there is not one state in America that will let me be legally married!"

I want that answer to change in my lifetime.

Skip Burns
The Civil Unions- Civil Rights Movement
Captain Cook, Hawaii

Don't blame scooter rider for dog's death

This letter is in response to Leslie Hayashi ("Scooter riders should leave their pets home," Letters, June 6). I don't believe University of Hawaii volleyball player Tony Ching intended for himself or his puppy to suffer such consequences as a result of his May 23 accident, in which a car sideswiped his scooter, injuring Ching and killing his puppy.

No one, human or animal, is completely safe when there are some people who drive recklessly and do not obey the law. This accident could have happened to a dog riding in a car, back of a truck or someone walking their dog, so please don't be so presumptuous.

Doris Warr


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