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Saturday, July 3, 1999

Why change the name of Barbers Point?

Barbers Point will always be Barbers Point...regardless of what some people say or wish. It's a shame we are going to sacrifice history for ego.

Changing the name and street names of Barbers Point isn't going to change history. Instead, we're showing great disrespect for our past.

Sueann Carter
Via the Internet

Burning flag is not freedom of speech issue

By what stretch of the imagination do you consider laws against desecrating the American flag to be in conflict with freedom of speech? The dictionary defines speech as "the act of speaking; the communication of thoughts and feelings by spoken words."

By your logic, destruction of property, terrorism, threats (including bomb threats), shouting "fire" in a crowded theater, slander and various other outlawed actions should be permitted as "freedom of speech."

Those of us who have been raised to respect the American flag, who have been wounded and risked our lives for America, and who stand and take off our hats when the flag passes by have little use for those who attempt to justify the desecration of it and condone other unacceptable behavior as "freedoms."

Roger D. Van Cleve
Via the Internet

Vets will never accept flag-burning

"Burn the flag," some of you say. "It's our constitutional right," or "freedom of speech," you argue.

In April 1943, at 20 years of age, I was the youngest soldier in Company A, 21st Infantry Regiment. Because of my youth, I was called "Junior."

I don't know how many ships made up the convoy that took us to New Guinea, but I do know that each of them had a flag -- not on the open deck, for sure, but somewhere below. Our unit had a flag and a bearer.

That was 56 years ago. I'm not "Junior" anymore. I'm an old man, a great-grandfather even. But I especially remember that day in New Guinea, when we gathered in a clearing with jungle all around us.

It was our last assignment there, and there were only 16 of us from our original company of 141. We stood before rows and rows of white crosses, each decorated with a flag -- our American flag.

Want to know something? You could never burn or see someone else burn the American flag if you stood where some of us have.

Frederick J. Titcomb

Pop those fireworks in your own house

As America celebrates its independence once again, I'm reminded of how many Americans use this occasion to violate the rights of others under the pretense that if you object to their right to destroy the peace and quiet, fill your breathing space with smoke, clutter your driveway with their rubbish, burn down your home and even take some lives and limbs in the process, then you are somehow less American.

If that is the case, so be it. Call me un-American.

I also believe that my rights end where yours begin; there are no circumstances under which I would pollute your air, litter your drive, etc.

I enjoy a good fireworks (not firecrackers) display. And I applaud the organizations and individuals who provide those free displays on the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve.

And, in the interest of preserving and protecting YOUR rights, I think you should be able to set off all the firecrackers you want -- in the confines of your own home. Close all your windows and doors and explode as many as you can afford -- inside your house -- during the hours of July 4 that it is permitted by law.

Keith Haugen
Via the Internet


"From day one, this has
been a...smear to dethrone the
duly appointed trustees of
Kamehameha Schools
and Bishop Estate."

Henry Peters
After Circuit Judge Michael Town dismissed indictments
against Peters and two Honolulu businessmen

"Hokule'a is like the islands.
You must take care of all your
supplies and everything you have
on the canoe. If you don't,
you won't survive."

Marilyn Schoenke
On the nonprofit foundation's program to teach students
about the culture, natural history and environment of Hawaii
by using the traditional voyaging canoe Hokule'a
in the learning process

Kim shows dedication on Natatorium issue

I was surprised and pleased to see City Councilwoman Donna Mercado Kim at the Manoa Marketplace, spending her weekend getting petitions signed to convince other Council members to put the Natatorium issue on the agenda.

What are the members of the majority so afraid of? Since Chairman Jon Yoshimura changed his mind about scheduling the Natatorium issue for its June 30 meeting, I signed Kim's petition as the only way for voters like me to express our opinion.

I appreciate Kim's hard work on the Natatorium issue. Save the arch and demolish the pool!

V. Young

Why the fuss now over Council budget?

Last year the real property tax rate was adjusted under the old City Council leadership. Nobody cried foul then.

Council members Rene Mansho and Jon Yoshimura made a similar tax adjustment this year. And our real property tax bill has been the same for three years in a row.

Mayor Harris and his people have been saying this all along. Why are some Council members trying to mislead the public?

Wendy Ray

Kennedys were far worse than Bushes

In her June 28 column, Maureen Dowd trembles at the specter of a Bush dynasty, worthy of comparison "to (the) Godfather saga." I assume Dowd has conveniently forgotten the Kennedy family, which had the audacity to assume that all of its sons should be president.

First there was Joe Jr., killed in the B-17 "flying bomb" project; next John, nearly cashiered from the Navy but restored to grace after the PT-109 debacle; Bobby, the first junior attorney to become attorney general; and Teddy, of Chappaquiddick fame. There is currently a new generation of Kennedys in office whose sole qualification seems to be the family name.

Memory can be both short and selective. Thanks, Maureen, but I'll take my chances with George "Dub-ya" (W.) Bush.

Larry Eshleman
Via the Internet

Eating was great way to help charity

With so much crime, drugs and economic woes, it was fantastic to see all the volunteers at this year's Taste of Honolulu. Mahalo to all who gave their time, and for the restaurants that generously donated food.

It's a great way for college students like myself to donate to a good cause like Easter Seals. I plan on attending Taste of Honolulu for the next 60 years!

Jennifer Chang
Via the Internet


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