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Monday, August 3, 1998

'Traditional marriage' doesn't need saving

Much has been written on these pages lately about saving "traditional marriage." It seems that many people long for appointments to our state Supreme Court, because they think their interpretation of our state's Constitution should prevail.

Our traditional marriage is doing just fine, thank you. We are wondering what our marriage needs to be saved from. We don't see any threat on the horizon to our holy union.

What is really being threatened is our Bill of Rights -- threatened by this misguided constitutional amendment that will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot. This amendment actually gives the Legislature power to overrule the Supreme Court.

Our Bill of Rights protects every citizen. It should not be changed because some people might not like a particular group. This is why we will be voting "no" on the amendment.

Allicyn and Gary R.M. Tasaka

It's absolutely not true homosexuality is genetic

Dr. Martin Blinder's assertion (Letters, July 6) that homosexuality is genetic is patently absurd. I'm not a medical doctor, but I can read. The research is quite clear: There is no conclusive scientific evidence that our sexual orientation is fixed at birth. In fact, some researchers say that "born gay" theories are "unfounded and politically dangerous."

Even the liberal Kinsey Institute reported in 1970 that 84 percent of the homosexuals it studied had shifted their sexual orientation at least once, 32 percent reported a second shift and 13 percent made five changes during their lifetimes.

Movie actress Anne Heche publicly stated that she had never had a lesbian relationship until she hooked up with Ellen DeGeneres.

If Heche can switch from straight to gay, why isn't it possible for gays to become straight?

Patsy Rumfield

Dentist driven from Lanai by greedy, uncaring kings

Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Lanai, there was pain and suffering due to the need for a dentist. The king of Lanai was asked by the health department to provide dental services for his subjects.

Recruited by the king was a young general dentist, who risked everything to relocate his family far, far away from his beautiful mansion in Kentucky.

Lo and behold, five years later, the mighty king united with the powerful king of managed health care to drive the young dentist from Eden, even though he had never eaten the forbidden fruit.

It was decided that both kings would increase their massive wealth by taking what many would considered to be domain of the young dentist.

The king of managed care could complete his statewide network of corporate clinics, and the king of Lanai could save much gold by giving his subjects cheap managed care policies.

Alas, the young dentist finally raised his white flag and marched sadly under siege back to his old Kentucky home. He sadly proclaimed, "Because of my defeat, all state and county workers will be stuck with managed care dental insurance."

But our story has a happy ending, because the young dentist returned to a land where mighty kings do not control the subjects. And he lived happily ever after.

Dr. Nicholas J. Ochs

Legislature will consider bills on death and dying

In response to Rep. Bob McDermott's July 6 letter, Governor Cayetano should be commended for his courage, especially in an election year, in encouraging discussion on the important social, moral and legal issues associated with death and dying.

In addition to having created the Panel on Living and Dying with Dignity a year and a half ago, he has offered to present our recommendations to next year's Legislature in the form of bills.

Six of our recommendations were unanimously endorsed by our members. Among them were improvements in the areas of spiritual counseling, education and training for health-care professionals, advance directive, hospice care and pain management.

Also unanimous was the recommendation that involuntary euthanasia should not be permitted and should remain a criminal act.

A majority of the panel recommended physician assisted suicide and physician assisted death with administrative and procedural controls to deter abuse. All of these issues should be subjected to intensive public discussion and debate.

Hideto Kono
Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel
on Living and Dying with Dignity

Kalani teacher knows how to teach respect to youth

Our teacher, William T.L. Lee, has taught us many things in his English II class at Kalani High School this summer. He has taught us:
Bullet Self-respect and how to use our abilities to our fullest potential.
Bullet To value everybody's opinions, no matter how different they may be.
Bullet That discipline, along with hard work, will help us attain what we want out of life.
Bullet That it is demeaning to ourselves and to others when we use profanity.
Bullet That being able to articulate is the best way to show others the broad range of our vocabulary and how much we know.
Bullet The values to help us reach our aspirations.

On July 20, we saw on TV news that the state has been given $1 million to teach students how to behave in class and how to respect other people. The news report said that many teachers don't know how to do this.

William T.L. Lee can help to train these teachers, as he has taught us these valuable lessons every day in class.

Aimee Peahi
English II, Summer School
Kalani High School
(Editor's Note: This letter was signed by 18 other students.)

Unresponsive bureaucrats ignore citizen concerns

In December, I wrote a letter to Mayor Harris about the pedestrian accidents in front of McKinley High School. It went unanswered for two months.

I called his office to check on it and a person promised to get back to me. Two weeks passed and nothing. A second call by me resulted in a statement that I would get an answer soon.

I did get a letter from transportation chief Cheryl Soon, but no answer to my question: Why did the Department of Transportation feel it was OK to waste thousands of dollars for a pedestrian light at McKinley, when there were already lights at each end of the block?

Her letter only said that the decision was made. She wrote that, if I had any questions, to call a lady on her staff, who had no answers either.

The same thing has happened with respect to faxed and hand-delivered letters to Budget Director Malcolm Tom on another topic.

These government people are all the same. They think our tax money is their own private business and that voters have no right to know anything about what is done and why.

They cannot justify the money being spent. They prove this every day.

Gordon Banner

Gun foes regularly distort stats, opinions

In response to Ken Armstrong's June 30 letter, I offer the following:

Bullet "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

The reason pro-gun advocates refer to the second half of this amendment is because it refers directly to the right of the people as individuals to keep and bear arms. Many scholars, professors, lawyers and Supreme Court justices conclude that we, the people, collectively and individually have such a right.

Bullet As for crime rates, anti-gun advocates use all firearms deaths lumped together -- accidents, suicides and homicides. Combined with sensationalized media cases, these paint a grim picture of America's crime situation.

Homicides are actually on the decline, and accidental deaths to children up to the age of 18 are at an all-time low. Anti-gun advocates consider persons up to the age of 25 to be children, thus falsely making things look worse than they are.

Victor Limacher
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

McCain tobacco bill should have been passed

The McCain bill offered support needed to reduce tobacco use among youths. It would have funded projects that make a difference, activities that make teen-agers realize why tobacco is harmful.

Showing teens that people are concerned is the best way to demonstrate that they are being taken care of. Sometimes, this is all teens need to get motivated to becoming tobacco-free.

This country is known for caring about the future of its citizens. But, by not restoring the funding for programs dedicated to reducing youth tobacco use, is this really an action of being concerned with the future?

Chrisanta Mesina
Youth Advisory Board Member,
Coalition for a Drug-Free Hawaii
Junior, Pearl City High School

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