to the Editor

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Thursday, July 24, 2003

Enough bother about KITV and HVCB

I'm curious as to how much money has been wasted trying to defame KITV and the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau. It seems that both parties, KITV and HVCB, have admitted their errors (about inappropriate spending and travel) and made due recourse, yet our state legislators insist on pursuing this moot issue.

Let the issue rest and get on with more pertinent issues, such as the looming bus strike or better security at beaches where gutless punks steal from their betters.

Gerald Sylvester
Wailuku, Maui

HVCB personnel are Hawaii's best

The American Society of Travel Agents hosted the annual World Travel Congress here in Honolulu, despite the effects of Sept. 11 and the economic downturn.

It's not only the sand and the surf that sells Hawaii, but also the people from the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau. At the travel trade shows, other visitor bureaus man their booths, but it's the Hawaii contingent that attracts the most visits. It's not just what Hawaii has to offer; it's the personnel who know these agents on a first-name basis.

The HVCB is up against the big boys like Las Vegas, New York City, Orlando and Anaheim. To persuade the traveler to visit Hawaii, we are up against economic challenges, political situations and other countries with more enticing rates.

We are in good hands with HVCB. Why are we nickel-and-diming them? These are the most productive, imaginative and friendly group of people you could find. Let's move on!

Rachel R. Shimamoto
Travel Ways, Inc.

Lottery would fill state coffers again

Hawaii should start a lottery. It would attract tourists and in the process relieve the state's budget shortfall. The casinos can be left out. State legislators should pass legislation legalizing a lottery as soon as possible.

How Tim Chang

The naked truth about Kamehameha statue

Each year the Hawaii State Society of Washington, D.C., honors the memory of King Kamehameha the Great with a lei-draping ceremony in Statuary Hall in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. During the last two years, Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees have participated in the ceremony.

In previous visits to Washington, I was given tours of Statuary Hall. When we approached the Kamehameha statue I was advised that its placement in a dark corner was because it was too heavy for the main floor. I accepted this as a reasonable explanation. During our June visit, though, I observed that other statues were much more massive than Kamehameha. As I sat pondering its obscure placement, I realized that Kamehameha was the only statue dressed in what some would consider inappropriate attire.

I am offended by the notion that this might be the reason for placing our statue in a dark corner. Kamehameha's attire comprises sacred symbols of our alii: the mahiole (helmet), ahuula (feather cloak), and the Ka'ei Kapu o Liloa, the sacred feather sash of Liloa that Kamehameha inherited.

KITV and other media ("Isle congressmen stick up for king's statue," Star-Bulletin, July 18) report that tour guides at Statuary Hall erroneously explain that the statue was originally delivered naked, and that it was sent back to Hawaii to be "clothed." The statues of Kamehameha -- whether in Washington, D.C., Kohala, Hilo or Honolulu -- are a source of great cultural pride.

Clyde W. Namuo
Administrator, Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Bible, not science text, to be used against gays

Unlike Melvin Partido (Letters, Star-Bulletin, July 14) and Henry Uehara (Letters, July 16), Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong argues on the basis of "overwhelming medical, scientific and psychological data ... that homosexuality is more like left-handedness. It is a part of the very being of a minority of the human family, and therefore it is something to which one awakens, not something one chooses to be."

Fundamentalist minister William Carey studied the scriptures in their original languages (Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew) and concluded that they "do not express the anti-homosexual sentiment that the English translations do. I therefore do not believe that God is, or ever was, anti-gay."

Despite its recognized value, the Bible is not a science text and cannot provide complete, up-to-date answers to questions about sexual orientation (which is not identical to sexual behavior).

Reading or quoting the Bible unskillfully can lead to serious interpretative disarray. Consider Mark 16:17-18, wherein Jesus said that "those who believe ... will pick up (presumably venomous) snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all." (New International Version)

Who could pass this test of belief?

Kent Hirata

Segregation is not Kamehameha's intent

Regarding the case challenging the Hawaiians-only policy of Kamehameha Schools ("Kamehameha sued over its admissions," June 26) I must point out that attorney John Goemans' reasoning is specious and his language inflammatory.

The legacy of Princess Pauahi bears nothing in common with the segregationist policies of Alabama Gov. George Wallace, as Goemans says. Wallace was trying to keep an oppressed minority under heel. Kamehameha Schools, by contrast, is trying to lift an oppressed minority up through the power of education.

It is Goemans who is following Wallace's example and promoting racial inequity. Every kamaaina living in Hawaii, every kamaaina living abroad and every person of conscience in America should stand up to oppose him.

Ramon Arjona IV
Orting, Wash.


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