Killing animals for fun is a warning sign
Regarding "Marines punish pair for dog's death" (Star-Bulletin, June 12):
It's amazing -- the people whom we give guns to. It's amazing -- the people whom we give the right to vote to.
"Amazing" is probably the wrong word. The appropriate word should probably be "sad."
In a big way, we enablers are all responsible for all of this lunacy that dominates the news. Whatever happened to the simpler, kinder adventures of Brittany and Paris? They're so harmless compared to these two idiots who were involved in this embarrassing incident.
Killing small helpless animals? That is how guys like Ted Bundy start their careers. This is the lowest form of human behavior.
Tomorrow's a day to honor Old Glory
The Hawaii Society of the Sons of the American Revolution calls upon Hawaii residents to honor and reflect on the flag's rich history and its significance to Americans at home and abroad tomorrow, Flag Day.
The Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes on June 14, 1777. The first Flag Day was celebrated in 1877 throughout the United States to commemorate the centennial of the origin of America's national banner. President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed and established Flag Day in 1916.
The Hawaii Society has a page on its Web site featuring the rules of proper flag etiquette and links to other Web-based resources. To learn more visit www.hawaiisar.org/patriotic_educational/flag_etiquette.html
Jeffrey Bingham Mead
Secretary and director
Hawaii Society, Sons of the American Revolution
Kamehameha parade relies on community
Karyn Abe (Letters, June 10)
and many others who live in Hawaii have to realize that the Kamehameha Celebration Commission has received no funding from the Legislature from the time of the Cayetano administration. The Kamehameha Day Parade is now purely put on by the goodness of people's hearts and pockets.
Local school bands are largely absent because our schools are on vacation at parade time. Mainland schools participate because it is their vacation time. The costs for floats and pa'u units are tremendous. A pa'u unit alone will cost at least $15,000 for horse rental fees, practice sessions, flowers and related expenses. A float runs into the many thousands, not including the hours of labor. The aloha spirit is alive when you consider the people at the grass-roots level who struggle to put a parade together purely through community efforts. On the other hand, the Pan-Pacific Parade is purely a commercial effort.
What is happening to the residents of Hawaii? Are we losing our sense of place? Don't we realize that without Kamehameha the Great we have no state of Hawaii? Why don't we become a part of the solution instead of doing nothing to save our precious and unique island home and its customs? Why is it that we are always destroying the wonderful things that made Hawaii so attractive to so many in the first place?
J. Kimo Alama Keaulana
Rail will make city No. 1 in tax burden
So Mayor Mufi Hannemann wants to claim that Honolulu ranks No. 1 in the nation for clean air (Letters, June 1).
He claims this partly based on the proposed rail project reducing pollution from the number of cars on the road. What he fails to mention is that we achieved this title from the Brookings Institution with our daily gridlock on the freeway twice a day, and without the rail in place.
The truth is that we are the only state blessed with the ocean on all four corners. This geological setting provides for the trade winds to carry the ambient course particles (EPA term for dust) away over the ocean.
P.S. Don't test the air during the southerly Kona winds that bring us the hazy vog over Honolulu. As far as I am concerned, this rail project will surely make Hawaii No. 1 forever for the taxes we will be paying to maintain this monumental endeavor. The mayor and the community should sit down and find a more cost-effective solution to easing the commute during rush-hour.
OHA trustee should stop pointing fingers
Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Rowena Akana places blame for the failure of the ceded lands settlement on OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona (Letters, May 30).
That is pure hyperbole. The entire OHA board (even me) was remiss in not understanding that negotiating a settlement with the state administration is far different from negotiating the straits of the legislative process. No one person was responsible for the fiasco, not even the Legislature, including the five senators who tied up the settlement bill. Simply put, OHA failed to "line up its ducks" so that the proposal would be approved by the Legislature. OHA thought that since there was agreement between the two parties, the Legislature would be willing to settle the long-standing dispute.
Putting that aside, however, it is necessary to address trustee Akana's assertion that there was no negotiating between OHA and the administration. As she put it, OHA had to agree with the administration's waiver of claims provision or there would be no deal. She ignores the fact that in any negotiations, "take it or leave it," time will come.
But the real disservice of Akana's letter is that she absolves herself of all "blame" for participation in the negotiating process. The four-year negotiations culminated in the agreement signed by the administration and the OHA board -- except Akana. The board was kept informed at every step of the proceeding and accepted the final terms, including the waiver provision. I do not recall Akana ever dissenting from any of the terms that were brought before the board, including the waiver provision that she now loudly decries.
So, let's drop the blame game. No one is served by it.
Board of Trustees
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Sierra Club has been active in transit issues
I am a Sierra Club volunteer who read Joe Lee's letter to the editor yesterday with some concern. He does not seem aware that the Oahu Group of the Sierra Club has supported rapid transit for years, including regular participation at transit meetings, dialogue with city representatives and publicizing a supporting position in December 2006 (see www.hi.sierraclub.org/oahu/
). In no way has the Sierra Club been "inactive."
It should be noted, however, that the city's proposed plan differs from the Sierra Club's recommendations because, among other things, it fails to connect to major destinations such as the University of Hawaii and Waikiki. The intent of the current rail project appears to be more focused on increasing development rather than servicing the already-populated urban core. For this and other reasons, you might hear more grudging support rather than actual enthusiasm for the project.
If Mr. Lee or others are interested in helping establish Sierra Club policy on this and other environmental issues, they are welcome to contact and volunteer with the Sierra Club at 538-6616.
Robert D. Harris