Libraries do their best to stay open weekends
We appreciate the Star-Bulletin's efforts in publicizing good things happening in public libraries, such as Kaneohe Public Library's decision to increase public service hours, resulting in a six-day-per-week schedule. While a Nov. 29 letter
to the editor noted the lack of Saturday hours, we would like to emphasize that this library is one of three on Oahu that is open on Sundays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The other two libraries are Kaimuki and Pearl City.
While the goal remains to return to a seven-day schedule, staffing at this time does not permit it. Nevertheless, Windward Oahu public libraries provide seven-day coverage, with Kailua Public Library and Waimanalo Public & School Library open on Saturdays and Kaneohe Public Library open on Sundays.
We welcome everyone to visit the library, particularly on Sunday, and see a wide range of patrons using our resources.
Thomas P. Churma
Kaneohe Public Library
Kauai welcomes all with its great beauty
I recently returned to Oahu after treating myself to Thanksgiving on the beautiful island of Kauai. I have been to Kauai many times during the 35 years that I have lived in Hawaii, but I am always overwhelmed with the grandeur and beauty that our creator bestowed upon this island in the middle of the Pacific. I shared with a friend on the mainland that I have surely discovered the most beautiful place this side of heaven.
I read somewhere: "The vision of aloha -- It's Kauai's spirit -- One island -- Many peoples -- All Kauaians!" I also read on Kauai a Hawaiian proverb: "Ho omoe wai kahi ke kaoo." "Let us travel like water in one direction." I would suggest to the governor and our legislators that we adopt this same vision for the entire state: "One state -- Many peoples -- All Hawaiians." Imagine that!
I encourage all to visit or revisit the island of Kauai as there is not only beauty to behold, but a warm, friendly atmosphere abounding where all people are welcome.
Some news isn't all that unexpected
Regarding an item in "Newswatch" (Star-Bulletin, Dec. 1
Headline: "Glitch delays mailing of bus-pass stickers."
Public reaction: "Typical."
Roger Van Cleve
Are turtle eggs worth more than 'ice' baby?
So let me get this straight. A "person" is only a "person" if he or she is born and alive ("'Ice' addict cleared of killing newborn," Star-Bulletin, Nov. 30
). OK, then I guess there would be nothing wrong with going out and stomping on some sea turtle eggs or nene eggs, right? I mean, it's not like I'm killing actual "turtles" or "geese" since they haven't actually been born yet.
Of course, if I were to do that I would be arrested and charged with cruelty to animals. Even though they technically aren't animals since they are still in the eggs. But that's Hawaii for you. There is more concern for the animals here than there is for our children. A person can go to jail for having too many pets or for leaving a dog in a parked car to die. But if a parent leaves an infant in a car or takes drugs and kills her baby, well that's just fine. It looks like the next endangered species in Hawaii will be the keiki!
Being indifferent worse than being a liberal
In response to Justin L. Tanoue's description of how you can tell you're a liberal (Letters, Star-Bulletin, Nov. 30
): Since his description is intended to offend liberals, I can only conclude that Tanoue is what he thinks is the opposite of liberal -- a conservative. Two people come to mind when I hear rhetoric that is solely intended to divide Americans.
Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois said, "There is not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America -- there's the United States of America."
The second person is Elie Wiesel, an author and Holocaust survivor. He said, "To remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all." The opposite of conservative is not liberal, it's indifferent. The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. We live in a scary time when burying our heads in the sand and being indifferent is a sin. People are dying, families are losing loved ones. The least we can do is not be indifferent.
It's easy to tell who's a Republican, too
In response to Wednesday's letter (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 30
) about how to tell if you're a liberal, I offer the top 10 ways to tell if you're a Republican:
» You believe that poor people should pay more taxes.
» You think welfare is bad, but you support billions of dollars in government handouts to corporations.
» You think that the cost of rebuilding New Orleans should be financed by cutting Medicaid and food stamps.
» You campaign against raising the minimum wage but have no problem with CEOs making $30 million a year.
» You think no one should question the president in wartime, even if the war is wrong and dangerous to America.
» You elect a president and vice president who dodged the draft, and then support their attacks on the patriotism of decorated war veterans.
» You believe your party stands for morality, and that it's just a weird coincidence that top Republicans are being prosecuted for corruption, fraud and perjury.
» You believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11.
» You didn't read this list, because you already know what's right and don't want to be confused by the facts.
Don't put burden of proof on parents
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling places the burden of proof on parents of special-needs schoolchildren in an administrative due process hearing (Editorial, Star-Bulletin, Nov. 16
). Hawaii shouldn't celebrate this ruling, knowing the inadequacies of special education in this state. The federal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has always upheld the practice of placing the burden of proof on the Department of Education, and not parents.
With the legacy of the Felix consent decree, we cannot move education backward to the disadvantage of children. This shift will produce a clear challenge and distinct disadvantage to our special-needs children and their families, unless we work together in calling for a return of the burden of proof onto the DOE.
Hawaii may wish to follow the examples of states that traditionally place the burden on the school system and that are drafting regulations to conform to that practice.
President Autism Society of Hawaii
Placing all blame on GOP is laughable
When I read Mike Abe's commentary ("Something is wrong and it's the GOP's fault," Gathering Place, Nov. 29
), I agreed with everything he said regarding the problems in Hawaii, such as water distribution, tax exemptions for hotels, maintenance backlog of school buildings and an underfunded education system. However, the first thing that came to my mind was, "I wonder if he realizes how he is setting up the Democratic Party for a fall."
Either Abe has a short memory or he just arrived in the islands in the past three years. These problems have plagued Oahu for the 20 years that I have lived here, and my neighbors and friends tell me they existed in the years before I arrived. The Democrats have been in power for 40 years, and continue to dominate the Legislature.
Now Abe lays all of these problems on the Republican administration that has been in office about three years. Who is he kidding?
He charges that nothing has come of the governor's "New Beginning." That's because the Democratic Legislature has blocked every program or change that Governor Lingle has attempted to implement.
Abe kept coming back to the "profit-driven free market" like that is a bad, evil thing. A strong business environment creates jobs, and provides the tax base that supports our state government and public services.
By the time I got to the end of the article, I was laughing. Abe then portrayed the Democratic Party as the "moral" party. Perhaps, he's new here, and is not aware of all of the Democratic legislators who have gone to jail.
During the last election, Democrats kept writing letters to the editor stating "We must preserve the Democratic Party values." One reason that Linda Lingle was elected was that the people of Hawaii were fed up with the "Democratic Party values."
Believe me, Mr. Abe, your article did no service to the Democratic Party.
We have many things to thank liberals for
A counterpoint to Justin L. Tanoue's Nov. 30 letter
titled "How can you tell if you're a liberal?"
You should thank the liberals if:
» You are covered by medical insurance at work.
» You work decent hours for a decent wage (eight-hour day, 40-hour week, plus overtime).
» Your workplace is a safe environment.
» Your kids go to public school.
» Your kids are not forced to work while still young.
» You have received unemployment insurance when you lost a job.
» You have or will receive Social Security, Medicare or retirement benefits.
» You can retire and enjoy life.
» You can eat food free from poisons and drink clean water.
» The environment is clean or is getting cleaner.
» You can see people of all races and ethnic backgrounds at work and play.
» You have the right to vote.
» You can marry whomever you wish.
Conservatives have opposed every single one of the above.
Glen P. Corlin
Hawaii resident stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany
Did Aiwohi not think her fetus was a person?
My disgust at the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that a fetus within two days of birth is not a person is tempered only by compassion for Tayshea Aiwohi, who must live with what she did for the rest of her life ("'Ice' addict cleared of killing newborn," Star-Bulletin, Nov. 30
). I would be willing to bet that for all intents and purposes, she believed that fetus was a person.
What is the difference between this case and the Laci and baby Peterson case? Scott Peterson was convicted of second-degree murder of a six-month-old fetus in California. The jury in that case even explicitly said that the fetus was a person.
Education before they get into drugs is the key. People make a conscious choice to take drugs. Once that choice is made, they are responsible for the consequences of their actions. Obviously, in Hawaii, criminal and unlawful activity is mitigated by a lack of morals and a sense of right and wrong.
My prayers are for the Supreme Court members who must live with their decision; for our prosecutor, who has done his very best to protect the rights of the most helpless of victims; and most important, for the multitude of lives this decision will affect in a most negative and dark way.
When will all this evil madness end?
Much like the David al-Qaida (the bad) against the Goliath of Powerful Nations (the good), or the mouse of ill intent crawling up the elephant's left leg to initiate, it is quite astounding to the point of ridiculousness, how this maniacal mischief is bringing the whole world to its knees.
With armaments of the highest state-of-the-art, modern-day technology, America, Great Britain, France, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Canada, China, Australia, India and Pakistan, among others, including North Korea for good measure, how in God's name can we be held in seemingly endless fear of hostage to his evil presence around the globe.
With all respects to the hapless Jewish population rounded up by the monstrous exploits of Adolf Hitler, akin to this, is it not time to adopt similar radical measures and make all clerics, Muslims, whatevers, with evil intent and sitting in comfort in every nation, be held accountable, and put an end to this eternal nonsense in our midst?
Perhaps we do need another Pearl Harbor, another 9/11, another London Underground, another Madrid mayhem, another Paris burning, another Bali, another Battle of Trafalgar, to really get our act together and stop this idiocy that's gone on far, far too long.
John L. Werrill