Governor proclaims Statehood Day
Editors note: Today is Admission Day. The governor's office issued a proclamation acknowledging this date as the 47th anniversary of Hawaii's admission into the United States. The excerpted proclamation follows:
On August 19, 1959 Hawaii became the 50th state.
History shows that in 1849, King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III made the initial attempt on behalf of the people of Hawaii to achieve full statehood. By 1919, Territorial Delegate Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole introduced the first of 33 bills to Congress regarding Hawaii's statehood.
Despite repeated opposition from some of the Southern states, Delegate John Burns successfully negotiated the admission of Hawaii as a state in 1958. The following year President Eisenhower offered statehood to Hawaii and the voters approved the bill.
After admission, the state of Hawaii had a voice in federal issues, access to funding for improving roadways, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure and full protection under the U.S. Constitution.
The citizens voted Territorial Governor William F. Quinn as the first elected governor in Hawaii. Territorial delegates, who previously were not allowed a vote in Congress, became U.S. Congressmen and, for the first time, the state of Hawaii had a vote in national affairs.
In Honolulu, the state Capitol building was completed on March 15, 1969, and became the new home of the legislative and executive branches. The eight Hawaiian Islands, Pacific Ocean, volcanoes, palm trees, canoes and island flora are symbolized in the unique architecture.
Our state seal, designed by Viggo Jacobsen, is a modified version of the Royal Coat of Arms of the Hawaiian Kingdom. In place of warriors, Hawaii's coat of arms is flanked by King Kamehameha and the Goddess of Liberty, who holds the Hawaiian flag representing the joining of Hawaii with the United States.
The state motto remained the same as during the ancient kingdom: Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono, which translates to, "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."
As one of the most unique and culturally diverse states, Hawaii is proud of its many contributions to our country and is honored to be the 50th state.
Therefore I, Linda Lingle, governor of the state of Hawaii, and I, James R. "Duke" Aiona Jr., lieutenant governor, do hereby proclaim today, Aug.18, 2006, as Statehood Day in Hawaii, and call on all of our island residents to celebrate and honor this very special day.
James R. "Duke" Aiona Jr.
Easy solution solves Kailua traffic backup
Small solutions can make a big difference. Thanks to Sen. Fred Hemmings who, with a simple and inexpensive traffic modification, solved a major headache in Kailua. The newly modified left-turn lane at Oneawa and Mokapu Streets has eliminated the huge backlog of cars on Oneawa every morning near Kalaheo High School. Cars would back up on side streets waiting to get onto Oneawa, with one to three cars squeezing through each time the light changed. Now there is no wait at all. This has cut several minutes off my travel time. Thanks, Fred! Your simple solution has made a big difference in my morning travel time.
No wonder we have such low voter turnout
Regarding the Star-Bulletin's July 16 story
"Low turnout haunts isles" by Richard Borreca:
With Iraqi voters risking their lives to get to polls and candidates being killed, it's shameful Hawaii has the distinction of the lowest voter turnout in our nation. There's nothing hard about taking an hour off to stop by one of the numerous polling locations to cast a vote. The problem is more a lack of interest.
We're training our young that we're not interested in new ideas, whether it's sixth-graders who see the value in a hair net for cafeteria workers or seniors who want to expose the deficiencies in a random drug-testing program. The seniors are told their article isn't worthy of the school newspaper, and the sixth-grade class is reminded school lunches aren't open to discussion. It should be no surprise that voting on tax issues or running for an office that would affect public safety isn't allowed.
It's not about absentee ballots. It's about removing obstacles to encourage candidates and allowing citizens to propose and vote on issues important to them.
Kevin J. Mulkern
Susan S. Mulkern
Case needs to explain how to fund NCLB
In response to a question at the Hawaii Publishers Association lunch about the role of the federal government in public education, Rep. Ed Case was strongly critical of the Bush administration's failure to fund federally mandated educational programs, particularly No Child Left Behind. He clearly indicated that such a situation should not be allowed to continue.
However, on education and many other issues, the administration has clearly exhibited a propensity to cut federal funding of needed programs, thus forcing the states to fund those programs on their own. Many of those programs are critical to the well-being of Hawaii's residents and need continued federal funding.
Case has said on many occasions that he supports Bush's tax cuts. He needs to explain where he would find the funds to increase spending for NCLB. He obviously won't cut defense spending. So presumably he must consider cutting other programs that provide assistance to those in need.
Is Akaka worth $1 million per term?
I realize that senators have an annual salary of $165,200 and that senators serve for terms of six years each. This comes to $991,200 per term we are paying with our tax dollars for someone to do a job. At this amount I would expect a great job!
Sen. Akaka might be a good guy and all that, but we are paying someone close to a million dollars to produce and he is failing, due to age. This is no longer about representing the people of Hawaii, instead it is about ego.
It's time for a change. We need a bulldog in this position.
I believe if Akaka manages to win in the primary, many voters will be left with only one option in the general election, and that is to vote Republican instead.
Akaka might not be up to another term
I attended the joint appearance of Senator Akaka and Congressman Case. No media reported what the audience saw: Akaka clearly was confused. An audience member asked, "When should Hawaii transition to younger leadership?" Case's campaign has raised this very question many times. Akaka knew the question would come but he was confused, stumbled and replied, "Hawaii has always been in transition with Inouye and Akaka there." The Akaka-friendly audience groaned and Akaka realized that he had not answered the question so he paused, looked around the audience and strangely said, "What about Abercrombie?" The audience was stunned. If a senator dies in office a sitting congressman does not just walk over to the Senate and take his place!
The media should probe and find out if Akaka is healthy enough to take on a demanding, six-year term. If he can't argue for Hawaii now, how will he when he is 87?