Letters to the Editor

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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Non-Hawaiian student has other options

In spite of the fact that my kids were not allowed to apply for admission to Kamehameha Schools, we never, ever felt left out of the Hawaiian community. Nothing stopped us from embracing the islands, the culture or the people. In spite of our race (and mid-1970s arrival), we have had the same access to the land, sea, language, song, dance, and historical and archaeological sites as well as canoes of all types and sizes that our indigenous neighbors, friends and family enjoy.

There are other high schools.

Richard W. Rogers

Life in prison best sentence for parents

Thank you for your Aug. 12 editorial opinion against the death penalty. My interest in the subject goes back to the Majors and Palakiko case in the 1950s, which resulted in the abolishment of the death penalty in Hawaii.

The death of little Talia Williams was a tragic occurrence, and I think life in prison for her father and stepmother (relatively young people) would be far worse than releasing them from this life.

Evelyn Shepard

Thieves should be forced to work

Hawaii has one of the highest property crime rates in the nation, and I might add, one of the highest UNRESOLVED property crime rates in the nation. Hawaii's liberal judges often send drug users to treatment programs at taxpayer expense, an exercise in futility when the user doesn't want treatment!

I challenge our liberal judges to consider a real treatment program based on work. I propose that all thieves be sentenced to one year of work at minimum wage with 90 percent of their pay going into a "theft victims restitution fund." Second-time offenders get two years, third-time offenders three years, and so on. Let them clean up the highways and parks and beaches, remove invasive plant and tree species (i.e., California and Fountain grass, keawe and koa haole) and plant and care for native dryland trees and shrubs. Isn't about time we provide our citizens and visitors thorn-free beaches and parks?

There's plenty of work to be done and I challenge our liberal judges to consider the theft victims' rights for a change while at the same time doing something constructive for the drug user.

John Twelker

Great minds of past, wisdom for present

William Jennings Bryan, thrice the Democratic Party nominee for president, was part of the prosecution team that convicted John Scopes in 1925 of violating Tennessee law by teaching the theory of evolution.

When Bryan died that year, H. L. Mencken, Baltimore newsman and essayist, wrote: "The president of the United States may be an ass, but at least he doesn't believe the world is square. ... The Golden Text is not painted weekly on the White House wall, and there is no need to keep ambassadors waiting while Pastor Smith of Smithville prays for rain in the Blue Room."

Too bad that Mencken is no longer alive to write about President Bush and his belief that "intelligent design" should be taught along with evolution and his disbelief in global warming.

Charles E. Frankel

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