Tourists aren't the ones trashing Hawaii
Eric Poohina (Letters, April 8
) wrote to suggest that the only way to stop further destruction of the aina was to stop any more tourists and immigrants from coming to Hawaii.
I just have to ask: How many tourists do you see stranding their junked cars by the roadside? Which tourists are tossing their worn-out mattresses, their used-up appliances? Stop at a red light and see all the cigarette butts that have been tossed from car ashtrays. Go to any little mall and watch people drop their trash on the ground, even if an opala bin is nearby. Watch their children do the same.
Too many people here think "aloha aina" means "cover the land in litter." Before accusing others, we need to take responsibility for our own actions.
Japan would be wise to keep U.S. Marines
The decision to relocate a substantial number of U.S. forces, mostly Marines, from Japan to Guam, although a joint agreement, is a strategic mistake on the part of the Japanese government.
The Japanese government and its foreign ministry are too sensitive to complaints by its local communities, so much so that they tend to overlook the big picture; i.e., the future security of its country. With growing resentment and animosity from South Korea and communist China about contested islets between the nations and a belligerent North Korea nearby, there is little chance that Japan could enter into serious discussion on controversial issues without a strong military. The Self-Defense Force is insufficient to independently protect the country without U.S. protection at this time.
Keep war, hurricane money separate
It's a sneaky way to get things passed in Congress -- by putting two items together in one bill. Congress just passed an appropriation for $109 billion for the war in Iraq and for Hurricane Katrina relief. Wonder how much was for the war and how much was for Katrina?
I wouldn't be surprised if the bulk was for the Iraq war and a small amount for Katrina. It is sickening that they should focus more on the war and less for the needy at home. We need an overhaul of our Congress and our president and his gang.
Let's put our priorities where they belong -- not to have people killed, rather to help the poor and needy.
Francis K. Ibara
24-clinics could ease hospital burdens
Early treatment of minor injuries and diseases can help to prevent expensive hospital stay and work-time loss. Have any of the hospital administrations ever consider opening a 24-hour minor emergency clinic close to their emergency rooms?
Many people postpone having their minor injuries or illnesses treated right away because they are concerned about the long wait and the high cost of the emergency room visits. A 24-hour minor emergency clinic can be a solution to that problem. It would cost the patients much less money because it would be staffed with regular physicians, physician's assistants and licensed practical nurses.
The 24-hour clinic can help to lessen the emotional and financial burdens on the patients, their family members and their employers by restoring their health and returning them to work sooner. It would be a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Immigrants are illegal, but not immoral
I hear a lot of nice people say that immigrants who are working in the United States illegally are criminals and should be deported. These people confuse legality with morality.
It was illegal in the 1850s for desperate slaves to run away from plantations, and it was illegal for abolitionists to shelter them from police in the North and South. But it was moral.
It was illegal in the 1930s for desperate European Jews to violate the U.S. immigration quotas in their flight from Hitler's Germany. It was illegal for friends, relatives and smugglers to help them defy guards on both sides of the border. But it was moral.
It is illegal for many immigrants in the United States today to seek freedom and productive work. It is also illegal to pay them for work. But it is moral.
America's Founding Fathers recognized that they were breaking the laws of the British empire when they signed these words, "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men Are Created Equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Their actions were illegal at the time. But they were moral.
People who act morally are courageous, not "criminal." I admire moral courage. I don't admire those who outlaw moral human action.
Will former candidates succeed next time?
Three Democrats planning a presidential run,
Have already had their day in the sun,
There's John "Catsup" Kerry, and Al "Recount" Gore,
Plus John "Babyface" Edwards, all warriors of yore.
Could this be a case for a second-chance win
Or, as history has shown, just another has-been?
Wanda Kulamanu Ellis Au
'Tent people' should leave during the day
With the beaches in Hawaii being the tourist attraction and significant revenue producer for the state, I am perplexed as to why the non-taxpaying "tent people" are allowed to dominate these pristine attractive locations.
My suggestion is to share the beaches. Let the tent people set up, say, from sundown to sunrise, then disassemble and be off the beaches for the tourists to enjoy during the daylight.
This 50-50 settlement should resolve the issue and possibly encourage the tent people to seek a more permanent status in the community as renters or property owners and as more accountable citizens.
Ala Moana park cleanup is a good start
Good job, Mr. Mayor. Now that the three-day cleanup of Ala Moana Beach Park is complete, let's hope the governor and other mayors take heed and an island-wide cleanup followed by regular maintenance of all statewide parks will begin.
Stephen N. Bischoff
Homeless problem belongs to state, too
I applaud the governor for moving forward on both temporary and long-term programs to address homelessness. But what took so long? Her recent remarks that it should have been solved by more compassion from the mayor and the city strike me as disingenuous.
What's wrong with the state showing some "compassion" since it has the money and capabilities to handle the problem better? The governor needs to be reminded occasionally that the city of Honolulu is in the state of Hawaii, not some separate entity. The residents of Honolulu comprise 75 percent of the population and pay their fair share of income taxes, so their problems are state problems. For too long the city has gotten the problems and the state has gotten the money. The governor needs to pay more attention to her largest constituency, the residents of Honolulu, and stop acting like we live in another state.
Human rights should take precedence
When I sold art to visitors they always gave good comments about Hawaii. First reason why it was paradise to them were the people -- not so much the native people as all the people. Then they'd mention island weather and geology.
Here, strong points are made where our immigrant population show themselves as definitive contributors to the islands; and, where Hawaii no longer means nativism. On the other hand, there is a telling distinction between settler and immigrant. Sometimes, and apart of immigrants, settlers exclusively pursue an equality to natives. Whatever.
Nationally, immigration has become profound. Immigrants, after all, intuitively understand earth's law of work and citizen's rights, and, that land is not a keepsake for dead ancestors. Just look around at all the working people, our growing human family. Service to the land defaults any status quo. It's called human rights.
Michael S. Teruya
If water's safe, let's see officials jump in
OK, so our government officials and leaders are saying it's safe to go back in the water ... sounds like that infamous line from the movie "Jaws," doesn't it? People did go back into the water, but the shark came back, too, and people died. Yup, it was just a movie, but what a movie that was. Now we here in Hawaii have our very own version of "Jaws" the movie, but ours is a very real, ongoing threat to health, safety and lives.
Officials are saying the water in the Ala Wai Canal is back to pre-sewage-spill levels, so the paddlers can go back to their home bases and the city will not extend the permits to let the three paddling clubs continue to practice off Kaimana Beach (Star-Bulletin, May 5). But those pre-sewage-spill levels were not healthy, either.
I have yet to see those who are proclaiming the water is safe in the waters themselves. If it truly is safe, then let's see each of these quoted officials in the waters in Waikiki, rolling around in the sand, and paddling in the Ala Wai with their own children, grandchildren and other family members. Let's see them do it with the news media there, and without them rushing to the showers to wash everything off. I'll believe the water is safe when that happens. Until then, like the other paddlers who value their health and safety, I'm staying away from the Ala Wai.
Stay on your side of the highway line
One of the greatest traffic safety ideas of all time is the white or yellow line that separates your vehicle from oncoming traffic. Sometimes it's single, sometimes it's double, sometimes it's not there at all. "Keep to the right" is the idea.
I believe I can say with certainty that Farrington Highway on the Leeward side of Oahu and Kamehameha Highway on the Windward side are very dangerous two-lane roads. Remember, the center strip is your lifeline. So be smart, be alert and be satisfied with your half!
Le Roy J. Henry
Obey the law -- unless cops aren't around
It is good that we are taking a tough stance on pedestrian crossing violations. However, who will monitor these violations?
I reported the license number of car that almost hit me, but I was told nothing can be done. Although you experience a violation and report it to the police, it does not hold water; the violation has to be witnessed by police officer.
What good is it if you have a law that cannot be enforced? Do I have to get hurt or killed before a police officer can "witness" that a crosswalk violation has occurred?