Letters to the Editor

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Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Politicians force tax hike down our throats

In referring to concerns about raising the general excise tax to fund a rail system, Mayor Hannemann was quoted as saying, "I don't believe we are railroading at all."

Let's see: Rep. Neil Abercrombie gave us an ultimatum that it was now or never to raise the GET, or he wouldn't support us in seeking federal transportation funds in the future.

The Legislature passed CD 1 to allow the county to raise the GET to fund a "locally preferred alternative for a mass transit project," which means rail.

Governor Lingle allowed the bill to pass without her signature even though she had taken a pledge not to raise taxes.

The City Council introduced Bill 40 to raise the GET to fund rail concurrently with the passage of CD 1 by the Legislature.

Meanwhile, the mayor has continued to work hard in support of raising the tax. So why don't I believe it when we're told we're not being railroaded?

Doug Thomas

Elevated bypasses will solve gridlock

Honolulu taxpayers would be brutalized by the monstrous expenses needed to construct and maintain rail transit -- even with the aid of federal money.

Advocates of rail transit have this illusion that an excellent people-mover such as rail transit will solve traffic gridlock.

But the reality is that rail transit has not solved traffic gridlock in even a single city in the entire nation.

The construction of an underground bypass roadway in a mainland city shows to solve traffic gridlock. The archives of Discovery Channel contain a film that recorded this mega-construction of an underground bypass roadway which eliminated traffic gridlock.

An similar idea could work for Honolulu with the construction of elevated bypass roadways at the bottlenecks that are the causes of traffic gridlock.

Ruben R. Reyes

Courts can nullify your will or mine

Whether you support the Kamehameha Schools policy or not, you should stop and look now at the bigger picture. That policy is dictated by the last will and testament of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop.

If the courts can change the intent of her will -- a legal and binding document -- they can also change yours and mine. It's frightening.

Keith Haugen

Ruling was a knife in the Hawaiian heart

The 9th Circuit Court ruling against Kamehameha School's admission policy is a knife in the heart of every Hawaiian.

Through education, Hawaiians can raise their status and change their negative socioeconomic statistics.

The ruling is the beginning of the end of everything that we know as Hawaiian. Hawaiians need to unite, form a government and gain political recognition to insure that the schools and the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop remain for the benefit of Hawaiians.

Maile Lu'uwai
Paia, Maui

Schools help maintain Hawaiians' identity

With the recent ruling against Kamehameha Schools, I fight every moment to hold back tears of sorrow. I am not angry. As an alumna of Kamehameha Schools, I was not taught to hate, but to grieve and create awareness.

The schools don't ask the federal government for money to put their programs into motion. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you want someone to tell you that you have to feed his or her child with the money you worked for to feed your own? The Hawaiian people remain underserved even with the construction of the two new campuses. I believe the aim of Kamehameha Schools is to serve the children of Hawaiian ancestry and provide them with an education that they can use to contribute to the betterment of American society.

Our culture almost died when the United States overthrew the monarchy. We almost lost our identity and the amazing talents our ancestors possessed. It tears me apart to think that my children might not have a thriving culture with which they can identify.

Kawohikukapulani Schaumburg
Wilmington, N.C

Ask yourself, does school discriminate?

As I read about the flap concerning Kamehameha Schools' Hawaiians-only admission policy, it seems to me that outside observers would have to ask themselves a very simple question: Is what Kamehameha doing by discrimination?

The answer has to be "yes." So, when we strip away all of the rhetoric, the bottom line is those who support the policies of Kamehameha are supporting school discrimination, pure and simple.

Jerry Okamura

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