Let coin say aloha with king, Diamond Head
I just finished reading Friday's article relating to the Hawaii state quarter design
I like the first design in the group, of King Kamehameha with Diamond Head in the background. I would change only the size of the king to the smaller size on the third coin. It is an amazing design, keeping the history of the islands and their royalty and adding the recognizability of Diamond Head and palm trees and the wonderful word "Aloha," which embodies the spirit of the people of Hawaii. I hope this one gets chosen!
Civil unions also help opposite-sex couples
I appreciate the Star-Bulletin's editorial support
(Jan. 30) of the Legislature's proposed bills that would allow same-sex couples to obtain legal recognition in the form of a "civil union"
and provide access to legal rights, benefits and responsibilities that are now available only through marriage.
Civil unions are an important step to ensure that Hawaii treats all committed and loving couples equally, whether same-sex or opposite. Opposite-sex couples also are included in the civil union bill. This is of significant benefit to elderly widows and widowers who often can't marry because of the impact it would have on their pensions and Social Security benefits.
Finally, one of your readers complains that civil unions would cost taxpayers money (Letters, Feb. 1). I'd like to point out that same-sex couples pay taxes as well, and often higher taxes, since we are denied many of the tax savings available to married couples through joint filing and the ability to transfer property to each other without taxation.
Life goes on after legalizing civil unions
The Legislature is finally talking about legalizing civil unions
(Star-Bulletin, Jan. 28).
I come from Vermont, where civil unions first came to be, after a Vermont Supreme Court ruling. It was a very divisive issue in 2000, with heated and unpleasant debates across the state.
What happened then? The sky didn't fall. Heterosexual marriage didn't collapse.
Within a year civil unions were a non-issue. Gay and lesbian couples received the legal protections afforded to other couples in Vermont.
Is it perfect? No. Some decry it saying separate but equal is not equal. Some relationships fail, just as some married heterosexual couples divorce. But, it works.
I am reminded of the comment of Robert Stafford, Vermont's long-term U.S. senator, who was a flinty, conservative Yankee Republican. During the debate before the civil union law was passed he said:
"I consider that love is one of the great forces in our society and especially in our state of Vermont. It occurs to me that even if a same-sex couple unites in love, what harm does that do anybody or any society? So I felt compelled to come here and say that."
Fatal mistake should mean no driving ever
From a strictly human perspective, the value of a human life is incalculable. When the driver of a motor vehicle kills a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk, he should voluntarily surrender his driver's license -- for life. Whether said death is ruled homicide or manslaughter, the victim is no less dead.
Given the enormity of his "mistake," why would such a driver ever want to drive again? If he refuses to surrender his license voluntarily, the community should take it away from him -- for life.
Peace demonstration larger than reported
I spoke with Bob Watada (Lt. Ehren Watada's father), who gave a speech at the Washington, D.C., peace march Jan. 27. I wanted to know what had happened during the march because our newspapers and network TV had given very little coverage to what seemed to be building up as a milestone in public opinion and congressional opposition to the Iraq war.
What I heard was an outrageous confirmation of the media underreporting this peaceful event. Watada said, "The U.S. capital was surrounded by peaceful war protesters. Those there said hundreds of thousands of people came to D.C. from 48 states ... I have never seen anything like it or have I been involved in something like this, ever."
It's shocking to see our usual media sources saying "tens of thousands" attended the march. The only coverage on CNN was of the "raging grannies" converging on the Capitol steps as if there might be some violence from the over-60 crowd of dangerous grandmas. There was no coverage of six members of Congress giving speeches, or of Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, or Iraq veterans against the war or any others except a movie star or two.
The silence of the media is no longer an option while $286 million a day is spent on this tragic mistake of a war.
Doctors deserve thanks for taking care of us
It is never too soon (or too late) to pay homage to our dedicated and caring doctors on Oahu. Following is my list of doctors to be so honored:
» Jorge G. Camara, ophthalmologist and humanitarian at St. Francis Medical Center.
» John Kristofich, cardiologist at Straub Clinic and Hospital.
» Hingson Chun at Straub.
» Thomas A. Rulech, doctor of pharmacy, anti-coagulation program.
Also at Straub -- Roman Glamb, dermatologist; Kathleen Kozak, internist; Roy Adaniya, pulmonologist; and Timothy Older, rehabilitation.
Also Jane Service, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. And Laura Hoque, medical director, Kapiolani Breast Center.
I'm sure all of these doctors' patients are grateful for their constant caring and concern during their various medical setbacks and challenges. And we must remember their nurses, assistants, etc., who also contribute to their care and comfort.
My sincerest mahalo and aloha to you all. May God bless you all always.