Letters to the editor


POSTED: Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Slain teacher always there for students

Regarding the tragic incident at Ewa Town Center: The initial reports stated that stabbing victim Asa Yamashita, a Waianae High School teacher, took the day off to get a haircut and buy things for Girls Day. That morning, she was also a parent volunteer at our Technology Fun Run, supporting her daughter. She was with us from approximately 8 to 11:30 a.m.

She was always there whenever we asked for help both for the school and the classroom. She was a supportive parent who was always involved in her child's education. We will certainly miss her.


Norman K.Y. Pang


Holomua Elementary School


State court erred in relying on apology

It seems evident that the ruling by the Hawaii Supreme Court to prevent sale of ceded lands by the state pending settlement of any indigenous claims is without basis. Thus the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to counter the decision is crucial.

Action on this issue by the Hawaii Supreme Court is indicated to be based to a major extent on the 1993 Apology Resolution in which the U.S. is accused of playing a significant role in the 1893 overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani.

But the Apology Resolution is not a statement of fact, but a summary of opinions of those who simply interpreted that the U.S. played a role in the overthrow. Since there was no organized review of the Joint Resolution, either by the state of Hawaii or by Congress, there is no assurance of validity of its contents. In fact, the 1894 Morgan Report of the Congress exonerates the U.S. from involvement in the overthrow. Furthermore, the Apology Resolution negates its use as a supporting reference document by the statement that “;Nothing in this Joint Resolution is intended to serve a settlement of any claims against the United States.”;

A further consideration invalidating the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling is that the ceded lands in question were transferred outright to the state of Hawaii at the time of statehood. This would indicate that the state should be able to make decisions on these lands as long as there is compliance with federal mandates.


Frank Scott



Knee-jerk reaction won't prevent fatalities

The traffic fatalities over the past week have caused the police to publicly announce a campaign to deter speeding. However, this is only a temporary solution and will not resolve the problem in the long run because they cannot sustain this effort indefinitely. As a whole, it is not the average driver who causes these horrific accidents.

Incredibly, according to a newspaper article, James Krzywonski, the driver of the car that crashed last Thursday, killing him and his two passengers, was previously fined only $200 plus $37 in other fees for going 118 mph in a 55 mph zone. As a deterrent, lawmakers need to provide for stiffer penalties for this type of excessive speed.


Denis Tanigawa



Bill 6 a dirty job someone's got to do

City Council Bill 6, calling for the licensing, regulation and enforcement of bed-and-breakfasts, is win-win-win for Honolulu.

Licensing and enforcement are a big win for the county, providing an economic stimulus to small business, enhanced property tax values and windfall transit accommodation tax revenues.

Licensing and regulation are a big win for Honolulu visitors, providing safe, licensed alternative accommodations in new and different places like historic homes, farms and villages.

Regulation and enforcement are a big win for neighborhoods, with increased street parking and decreased traffic and noise. Without licensing, there is no regulation or enforcement, only prosecution.

Running a B&B is a dirty job. All of us benefit by having clean, low-cost places to stay nearby for returning friends and relatives.

The Council should be commended for carrying forth the hard work of Councilwoman Barbara Marshall to bring about fair and reasonable licensing of locally owned B&Bs.


Will Page



Civil unions would add to taxpayers' burden

Has anyone calculated or even estimated the additional cost to state and county governments to cover so-called dependents to civil union employees and retirees? Ken Chang (”;Letters,”; March 1) is absolutely correct. It's all about benefits.

Add this cost to the current problem of huge premium costs for existing workers and retirees for existing health coverage. Any responsible person would come to the conclusion that the Legislature should be looking for ways to reduce our huge deficits, not increase them.

Now is the time to seriously consider sensible and reasonable tort reform that could reduce health coverage costs considerably. We must hold our Legislature responsible if they continue to duck this issue.


A.L. Rogers





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