Filipinos stand with Hawaiians
We urge the Filipino community to stand united with native Hawaiians in their fight to gain federal recognition as one of American's indigenous people.
Some opponents of the Akaka Bill, which provides for federal recognition of Hawaiians, say only Hawaiians would benefit. Critics are raising fears that passing the bill would mean non-Hawaiians would lose jobs, homes, businesses, property or be forced to leave Hawaii. This is a misrepresentation.
The bill provides for a process of negotiation that will include everyone. All ethnic groups will be invited to the table with Hawaiians and the federal government. Through them, we will have a voice on the resources that will be dedicated to the Hawaiian governing entity.
Filipinos are among the newest immigrants to Hawaii, and we cherish the right to participate in the democratic process. We have learned the value of working together to support and protect the values that define our life in Hawaii. Many of our children and grandchildren are part-Hawaiian. Our families, our neighbors, our community and our history make this a special place.
The Hawaiians lost their sovereignty and way of life in 1893, when their kingdom and nation was overthrown with U.S. government support. One hundred years later, Congress apologized and promised a process of reconciliation. The Akaka Bill provides an opportunity to correct that historic injustice to restore the dignity, honor and respect for Hawaiians, these islands' indigenous people, our host culture.
As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first contract laborers from the Philippines -- the Sakadas -- we give thanks to the people who welcomed us. Mabuhay to all native Hawaiians. We stand with you.
Edmund C. Aczon
Hawaii Carpenters Union, Local 745
National Federation of Filipino American Associations
Ethnic Studies Professor, University of Hawaii
Governor of Hawaii 1994-2002
Fil-American Citizens League
Filipino Coalition for Solidarity
Abelina Madrid Shaw
Put aside partisanship and support our troops
Reflecting on Memorial Day, it is very sad that in Hawaii and the nation excessive partisanship, especially over President Bush's terrorism and Iraq policies, has made victims of our men and women serving in Iraq. Symbols that are used to show support for them and unite as Americans are now seen as divisive. The American flag, yellow ribbons, red-white-and-blue buttons, etc., are seen as politically incorrect by large numbers of Americans.
It should not be that way. These symbols represent all Americans -- white, black, brown, liberal, conservative, Protestant, Catholic, Jew, Muslim. What is really sad is that because they are serving in a controversial war in Iraq, many Americans feel it is politically incorrect to wear the American flag or a yellow ribbon as a means to show respect and support for those men and women in Iraq. When Americans are in harm's way, volunteering to serve their country, we should put aside partisanship to support our men and women in whatever way we can.
Senior senators add to crippling deficit
A quote taken from your May 30 editorial
: "Seniority is very important, as Senator Inouye ... has demonstrated through his 43 years in the institution, where he has earned the reputation as king of pork for directing federal money to Hawaii."
Being elected a U.S. senator seems akin to obtaining a job for life, doesn't it? Once elected, all you need to do, like Inouye has done very effectively, is to direct plenty of money back to your state, deficits be damned. The sole measurement of good governance is counting the dollars being spent. If this isn't a good reason for term limits, then there's no such animal. In Inouye's 43 years in the Senate he has helped steer the finances of the United States into the gutter. This country is trillions of dollars in debt. People who don't know any better blame the president for budget deficits, but in truth it is Congress, populated by the spendthrift likes of Senators Inouye and Akaka, that really spends the money.
In turn, because our generous congressional representatives can't help but spend other people's money, they continue to raise taxes, add user fees and levy new duties (see all the security fees added after 9/11). They can't help but fiddle with the tax code, resulting in a labyrinthine nine-million-word behemoth that not even the Internal Revenue Service can figure out. Not to blame just the Democrats; even so-called conservative Republicans can't help but spend. We need term limits. Inouye, Akaka, Byrd and Kennedy, even Case and Abercrombie, they all need to get kicked out. Let's not wait for them to die while in office.
Don't let commercial interests take beach
What's wrong with Kailua Beach being like it was 50 years ago (Star-Bulletin, June 1
)? The zoo that it has become
with all the commercial activity is sickening. The saturation point has been exceeded by a whole lot.
I grew up on this beach. To see what it has become saddens me. Enough is enough. Ban 'em, take back the beach.
Cutting bus service hurts Kalihi seniors
The city Department of Transportation Services must have a special hatred for the people of Kalihi because it is cutting bus service to the area by discontinuing numerous bus stops there. The department is ignoring the fact that the Kalihi-Palama area is the second-largest populated area in the city of Honolulu and has a very large bus ridership. It also seems unconcerned that seniors, the handicapped and others will have to walk several blocks to find a bus stop.
DTS is suppose to be providing a public service and this is not being done. If the city plans to reduce bus service, then the bus fares should be reduced immediately, too. Thanks to Transportation Services, many people might begin to drive their cars instead of riding the bus. Do we really need more cars on our highways?
Kalihi-Palama Neighborhood Board
TV viewers miss UH baseball revival
It's an absolute joke that K5 is not televising the University of Hawaii baseball team's NCAA regional games this weekend. I like K5 president and general manager John Fink and have admired his work for years. I respect the many positive things he has done for UH and for local sports media in general. But this recent decision is a disappointing example of small-time thinking. The excuse of having a "short time frame" to prepare is a poor one. With the baseball team's success this year, qualifying for post-season play was a very real possibility for well over a month. I'm sure that's adequate time for contingency plans to be crafted and arrangements to be made. If only K5 had the proper vision to do so.
The UH baseball team is approaching the exciting culmination of a season that has been accurately described as a program "revival." It's a level of success that the school hasn't seen for more than a decade. It's a terrible shame that that's what it will continue to be: unseen.