Kokua Line

Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Thursday, March 18, 1999

Group set up to advocate
separate church and state

Do you have an address for the organization, Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of Church and State? How many members does it have and how much does membership cost?

Write to Mitchell Kahle, president, Hawaii Citizens for Separation of State and Church, P.O. Box 4666, Honolulu 96812.

The group has a website: www.lava.net/~hcssc.

A $25 membership fee gets you a quarterly newsletter and updates of what the organization is doing, including the current challenge to a state lawmaker putting a Christian symbol on his Capitol office door. As for members: "We don't release our membership numbers," Kahle said.

HCSSC is nonprofit, run entirely by volunteers, he said. It relies on dues and donations for its "legal fund," but donations are not tax deductible.

The group's mission is "defending the First Amendment principle that government must never, by intent or consequence, promote religion or demonstrate any preference for one religion over another."

Kahle, a free-lance software developer, was a state director for the American Atheists, a national organization, before forming the HCSSC in 1997.

That year, the American Atheists demanded the removal of a 37-foot cross that had stood at the Army's Kolekole Pass since 1962.

"Because it was local matter, we formed a local organization to address that," Kahle said. HCSSC has "no affiliation with American Atheists," he said.

The Army initially fought the challenge, but eventually took down the cross. Since then, Kahle's group has made officials rename the annual Governor's and Mayors' Prayer Breakfast to the Hawaii Prayer Breakfast, and made the city establish a lottery system for groups to set up displays on the lawn of City Hall during the Christmas season.


I took my 81-year-old mother to get a new state ID card because it expires at the end of the year. She had to wait three hours to get it -- 10 minutes just to get an application. Why does it take so long just to get an ID?

Unfortunately, your mother apparently went to renew her ID during a five- to seven-day period in February in which there was a staff crunch, said Liane Moriyama, administrator of the ID card program.

One person was on leave because of an illness in the family and another was sick, leaving a minimal number of staff, she said.

That shortage did result in three-hour wait times, Moriyama acknowledged. However, the processing time now is back down to one to one-and-a-half hours at peak times, she said.

It's faster if you go during non-peak times, such as first thing in the morning.

If someone needs special assistance, Moriyama said to advise the staff because "we do go out of our way to help people," if possible.

In the meantime, she said she is trying to get two temporary positions, so that when hit with unexpected staff absences, there will be fill-ins.



To all the competent, pleasant, hardworking staff at the busy Makiki Post Office, especially recently when they were deluged with long queues of people because of the increase in postage, the new rabbit stamps, then the lovely new Love stamps. Kudos! -- M.C.



To whoever is responsible for putting that ugly kiosk on Kalakaua Avenue in front of the Princess Kaiulani Hotel. Why widen the sidewalks if you allow these kiosks to block the way and obscure the view? -- Jim

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to kokualine@starbulletin.com

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