Matson art offends Hawaiian culture
The Feb. 5 article on the Matson "menu" prints
reflects the insensitivity of the 1930s to the host culture of our islands.
Yes, as mentioned in the article, Eugene Savage's paintings are very detailed, but those details are full of errors. What is particularly offensive is the depiction of the feathered war god, Ku-kailimoku, lying in a basket of food next to the head of a pig. This image continues to be reproduced in many formats without consideration toward our Hawaiian protocol and history. It is another marketing ploy at the expense of our Hawaiian heritage.
Banning fireworks on July 4 is unpatriotic
Senate Bill 831 is a terrible bill and would take away something the people of Hawaii consider tradition and patriotism ("Bill restricts July 4 fireworks,"
Star-Bulletin, Feb. 17). Fourth of July symbolizes our freedom and independence and what this bill strives to do preserves neither. I understand that fireworks can be dangerous, but when used in a responsible manner or under the supervision of parents, they are part of any Fourth of July celebration in the islands.
To take something away in part is hypocritical. Why Fourth of July and not New Year's and Chinese New Year's? This disparity is not justified, and if you look at firework sales, the numbers are much higher on New Year's, posing greater risks for accidents.
Growing up in Hawaii, fireworks have always been a part of family celebrations, and I would hate to see future generations not experience them on a day when America is celebrating its independence.
We have many Hawaii soldiers fighting for our freedom in Iraq. Isn't the Fourth of July a way to honor their heroism as well? I do hope our lawmakers take a closer look at this measure and realize that it would be taking away something the people of Hawaii consider a unique part of life here.
Expanding prison won't improve safety
This is in response to the Feb. 13 letter written about expanding Kulani Correctional Facility
and letting inmates grow food and live in a tent city with oversight by military personnel.
Have we not learned from Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo? It is disturbing to see that despite evidence-based research, people still believe the approach to public safety is to treat prisoners with harsh demand. Added to the mix, by advancing the theory that state legislators have the duty to make decisions and lead society without community input is like putting the cart before the horse.
Our lawmakers represent the communities from which they were elected; it is their duty to listen and weigh public communication, including evidence that proves time and time again that public safety is not to imprison more people for longer lengths of time. Rather, it is to provide training that will afford men and women the opportunity to successfully re-enter the community through job and vocational training, education, housing and life skills.
Carrie Ann Shirota
Failing bus system makes rail necessary
I'm glad to see that the plan for rail service has finally taken off, even though I don't believe it will be done in 10 years.
I hope I'm not the only one who feels like I've thrown my money away spending it on a bus pass. I've almost lost jobs and my grades have dropped in classes because of buses that come late, don't come, or are filled up and don't let me on. I've had bus doors shut on me, my stops ignored, and been passed by after sitting at a bus stop for almost an hour when the driver barely glances over and rushes past.
I had to work in Waikiki the day of the marathon. I had to report to work at 5 a.m. sharp, but ended up walking to work from my house near McCully to Kapiolani Park, because, while TheBus so graciously ran four extra buses from Kapiolani Park to the Hilton Hawaiian Village for those poor, tired runners in their $300 hotel rooms, it didn't think to run an extra bus in the early morning for the people who actually had to work that day.
We wouldn't need a rail system if we had a reputable public bus system, and not a company that caters only to tourists and steps on the locals and workers.
Government workers deserve fair wage
I read with interest the governor's rebuttal to legislators critical of her State of the State address regarding her promise of "fair wage increases" for public employees. The governor responded that her team has had constructive negotiations with unions.
As a negotiator for the Hawaii Government Employees Association, I know that this has not yet occurred for us. We would welcome her attention to our members who make up the vast majority of her employees.
We look forward to receiving the open and honest dialogue given to other unions. A fair wage increase would be a win-win situation for the governor, her employees and the public we both serve.
Ken K. Morikawa