Letters to the Editor

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Set aside the beer and get serious

After reading the many letters opposing the ban of alcoholic beverages during University of Hawaii football games, I began to wonder why is it so important to these people that they be able to drink alcohol?

I grew up in a family where alcohol was abused by my father, and it created dysfunction within our family unit that continues to this day.

People should spend their time writing -- and vocalizing -- about more important quality-of-life issues, and get a life while they're at it -- not another beer.

Vicki Borges

Lack of wiretap law let suspects free

Although wiretaps helped dismantle four drug-distribution organizations supplying 40 percent of the crystal methamphetamine on the Big Island, only 19 of the 47 suspects have been charged in federal court. The other 28 suspects cannot be prosecuted because the state's wiretap law is hopelessly behind recent technological developments and more restrictive than federal law.

Why didn't House Judiciary Chairwoman Sylvia Luke grant a hearing to the Law Enforcement Coalition's House Bill 567 or the Senate version, which would have repealed the current electronic surveillance statute in order to conform Hawaii's electronic surveillance laws to federal laws controlling wiretaps?

She said she was "reluctant to allow evidence gathered by federal law enforcement officers to enter state courts because the federal Patriot Act authorizes invasions of individual privacy not allowed under state law."

If Luke had bothered to read the House bill, she would have known that its purpose was to make Hawaii's electronic surveillance laws consistent with federal electronic surveillance laws that existed prior to the Patriot Act.

I hope voters will hold Luke accountable for the release of the 28 suspects.

Jeannine Johnson
Niu Valley

Abuser's sentence didn't match crime

I was beyond rage and anger at the recent sentencing of Peter Vierra by Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario for the sexual abuse and pregnancy of a 12-year-old girl. Vierra has robbed this young girl of any semblance of a normal childhood, and possibly beyond. To think that this person was sexually abusing this child since the age of 7 for a total of six years is beyond belief, especially when compared with the slap on the wrist given him by Judge Del Rosario. Twenty years, with the judge recommending to the Paroling Authority that Vierra serve a minimum of six years, is a total failure of our judicial system. Vierra will be back on the streets before the attorneys can finalize the paperwork.

Judge Del Rosario should be dismissed from the bench, if this is his idea of justice for this young child.

John L. Shupe

Governor doesn't want advice on BOE vacancy

The paper reports that Governor Lingle is seeking applicants to fill the soon-to- be-vacant seat of Rep. Ken Hiraki. Why hasn't she sought applicants for the vacant seat on the state Board of Education held by the late Shannon Ajifu? Once again, as was the case when Lex Brodie and Laura Thielen both resigned from the BOE, Lingle is not seeking public input. Why does Lingle hold two standards for filling vacant elected seats?

Ajifu stood for students, parents, teachers and administrators. She supported the right of gay students to learn in a safe and conducive environment. Will the governor find someone who will fit her mold (i.e. supports old local school board ideas) or someone who can try to fill Shannon's shoes?

Garrett Toguchi
Member, Board of Education

Trustees, others should read Pauahi's will

Princess Pauahi Bishop's will is clear. People in Hawaii, including the Kamehameha Schools' trustees, need to actually read it, instead of striding willy nilly into a bonfire of mob-hate fueled by ignorance and politics.

U.S. law and the 9th Circuit Court's decision does not bar any sort of preferential treatment (e.g.., scholarships) for children with Hawaiian ancestry. U.S. law simply prohibits an absolute bar to admission on the basis of race, same as it prohibited racism at the University of Alabama decades ago.

Instead of accepting that reality, trustees along with Governor Lingle and others who ought to know better, have flashed the rhetorical middle finger at equality under the law.

Mike Rethman

Many don't grasp school's contributions

Many in the Hawaiian community say they don't support the Kamehameha Schools during these trying times because they, or their children, have not been admitted into one of the K-12 campuses.

It makes me wonder if these same people have keiki attending any of the more than 25 pre-school sites that Kamehameha runs or supports through its Pauahi Keiki Scholarship program. I wonder if they have taken advantage of any of the programs offered, or sponsored, by the school, including Explorations, Kamehameha Scholars, the 'Ike Pono traveling van and the Kupuna programs, Family and Child literacy programs, health and wellness seminars, and career development planning services.

I wonder if they have been to Paepae o Heeia -- a Hawaiian fishpond, Waipa on Kauai, or any of the other land-based educational sites that the school has developed and supports through its 'Aina Ulu program.

I wonder if they have ohana that attend Hawaiian charter schools, New Century charter schools and Hawaiian immersion schools that are supported by the school.

I wonder if they understand that this ruling on the admissions and preference policy will jeopardize not just admissions to the campuses, but all of these other programs as well.

It is time to stand beside an institution, though far from being perfect, has the potential to prepare a nation for the challenges that lie ahead economically, socially, and spiritually.

Dirk N. Soma

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