Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Saturday, April 04, 2009

Lawmakers followed will of the majority

In response to your March 28 editorial opinion, “;Timid senators deny equal rights to isle minority,”; while you might see them as timid, I see the senators as doing their job listening to their constituents.

Proponents of the failed civil unions bill can bemoan all they want the “;strident opposition skillfully orchestrated by conservative and religious groups”;; the hard truth is, like the national landscape, a majority of Hawaii citizens spoke loudly our belief in safeguarding the sanctity of marriage - between one man and one woman.

That's what this civil union measure was all about, cloaked in civil rights, to change the definition of marriage.

There are adequate resources already available, in state and federal government, for same-sex couples to enjoy “;rights, privileges, responsibilities and benefits allowed to married couples.”; Toying with the language won't change it.

Unlike those who chose otherwise in the House, those in the Senate did the right thing; and for that, rather than being handed pink slips, I suspect they'll keep their jobs next year.

R. Maui Quizon

Protect the public, not the criminals

It appears that the court system has gone amok. Your April 2 story “;Accused gunman was free on bail at time of shooting”; makes it clear that by bending over backwards to support the guilty the judiciary has put the entire community at risk.

Three times, beginning Jan. 20, the judge postponed a sentencing hearing over the prosecutor's objection. Three times. Because of this the community was terrorized Saturday morning when Joseph Peneueta was gunned down on Pauahi Street. Those living in the immediate area are having nightmares, can't eat, can't sleep. Had this convicted person been in jail where he belonged, this tragedy could well have been averted.

Judges should protect the rights of the community, not those of convicted criminals. The judiciary needs to address community groups and explain to them why the rights of the guilty are more important than the lives of the community.

Lynne Matusow

State shouldn't gouge Navy for hitting reef

Well, according to Laura Thielen, chairwoman of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, the Navy will be “;held responsible”; for the damage to the reef after the warship USS Port Royal ran aground.

What a scam ... isn't the money from President Barack Obama's (and the Democratic Congress') spending orgy/stimulus package enough for a while?

As an avid scuba diver (20 countries since 2004), I can attest that Hawaii's reefs, in general, are garbage compared to most of the world. To think that money should be paid for a scrape in what amounts to dead coral is just greed and publicity manipulation.

Our military should be respected. Mistakes happen, but to add insult to injury ... well, what do you expect of our selfish politicians?

Mike Sakalauskas

Mahalo to Legislature for warm welcome

On behalf of Kenneth Copeland Ministries, we would like to extend our mahalo to the 52 representatives of the Hawaii state House of Representatives, who welcomed us into the Legislature to deliver the official invocation for the 38th day of session. This was our first time speaking at the Hawaii state Capitol, and while there we were deeply touched by the hospitality of your legislators and their willingness to serve the people of Hawaii. Thank you so much for welcoming us into your House, and may God bless the people of Hawaii with his abundant grace, favor and love. Mahalo nui loa!

Stephen Lowell Swisher Kellie Copeland Swisher
Kenneth Copeland Ministries
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

Kawananakoa off base in OHA criticism

It is almost tragic that someone as “;prominent”; as Abigail Kawananakoa would make such outrageous statements as she did at the recent observance of Kuhio Day without knowing the facts (Star-Bulletin, March 27).

Anyone with any knowledge of the history of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands knows that since the present chairman, Micah Kane, has directed its operations the department has done more to assist its beneficiaries than ever before. I have spent 50 years in public service, have witnessed the despair felt by DHHL beneficiaries in times past and am aware of their joys now that the department is really serving their needs.

By the way, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs actively assists DHHL in meeting the beneficiaries' needs by contributing $3 million annually, which pays the interest on DHHL's capital improvement bond issues. OHA also assists DHHL's financial responsibility programs. I don't know what Kuhio might have had in mind for the program, but I know that Micah and the department are definitely living up to its mission.

She says OHA has not helped any families. Ask the students in the charter schools, and especially the immersion schools, how OHA has assisted in their education. Ask those scholars at the University of Hawaii whom OHA has assisted in obtaining their master's degrees and doctorates. Ask the nonprofits now struggling through this recession how they would fare without the $18 million OHA granted them in 2008. Ask those beneficiaries who have been assisted by OHA's loan programs.

Bottom line is OHA and DHHL serve the Hawaiian community, and by extension all Hawaii residents.

Walter Heen
Vice chairman
Office of Hawaiian Affairs




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