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Wednesday, March 1, 2000


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Attention must be turned to Congress

Hawaiian sovereignty, the ability to be self-governing, the ability to set our own destiny, is a journey. It is not a destination, somewhere we arrive and then it is pau.

Self-governance is achieved in degrees; sovereignty is exercised and achieved in degrees. The Rice ruling says very clearly that the exercise of Hawaiian sovereignty, within a state agency, is limited. Frankly, it is insufficient for our people.

The task at hand is to take the journey for sovereignty to the next level: the federal government. This is not an abandonment of OHA or the trustees.

We must seek federal recognition of an autonomous Hawaiian nation, whatever that constitution may be, while supporting and maintaining OHA as a state social agency.

The Rice ruling is a call to Hawaiians, an invitation to them to seek recognition of our sovereignty rights, not from the halls of the state Capitol but from the halls of the U.S. Congress.

Robin Danner
Project Hawaiian Justice
Kapaa, Kauai

Legislature bests OHA for dysfunctional title

The people of Hawaii constitutionally elected legislators to govern our lives, just like the Hawaiians elected their group of bickering, grumpy, rude and outspoken Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees.

What's the difference? The OHA trustees haven't suggested that state employees take naps and enjoy free snacks, while our schools are falling apart from lack of maintenance.

Ray Jeffs



"Everybody will vote in this election.
The only saving grace is the trustees
will have to be Hawaiian."

Colleen Hanabusa

On the November election for the state Office of
Hawaiian Affairs trustees, in light of the
U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found
the Hawaiians-only vote unconstitutional


"The Supreme Court was wrong.
This decision was not one
that took into account
Hawaii's history."

John Waihee

Whose law firm is still under retainer by OHA
and who is part of the legal team hired by the
trustees to fight their ouster by Governor
Cayetano and to strategize what they
will do now in light of the
high court ruling

Bullet U.S. Public Law 103-150
Bullet OHA Ceded Lands Ruling
Bullet Rice vs. Cayetano
Bullet U.S. Supreme Court strikes down OHA elections
Bullet Office of Hawaiian Affairs


Quit fanning debate over John Rocker

How enterprising of the Associated Press to find a member of the Atlanta Braves who has not been interviewed extensively on John Rocker, and for you to feature the story on Feb. 23. Does this now make it an even 100 banner headlines on that yokel, or does it just seem like it?

If you keep this up, I may urge the boob to sue baseball. After all, Rocker might find a judge who has read the First Amendment. Meanwhile, could you play another note for a change?

Jim Becker

Military impact aid only partly reimburses state

Al Coleman's Feb. 23 letter omitted some vital information. He wrote that if the military isn't happy with on-base schools, "impact aid is gone."

Impact aid pays the state only about 10-15 percent of the total cost to educate federally connected students. Public Law 103-382 was created "to PARTIALLY compensate Hawaii and other mainland school districts affected by federal activity for local tax LOSSES resulting from tax-free Federal Installations."

The DOE Budget Office's report for FY 1997-98 showed 32,122 federally connected students. Per pupil cost was $6,099, for a total of $195,910,472. The federal impact aid was only $24,995,446, so the cost to the state, after impact aid, was still a whopping $170,915,026!

A cost-benefit analysis that shows this kind of red ink, year after year, would conclude that Department of Defense schools are the way to go.

Carol Aiken

Let people smoke medical marijuana

As drug warriors' hysterical objections to medical marijuana wither in the light of logic and collapse in the face of compassion, they turn predictably to the appeal of "higher authority."

Law enforcement officials testify against humane liberalization, claiming that it would violate federal law. They forget that the feds have no constitutional authority over local law enforcement.

Our Constitution grants the federal government specific authority over state government in terms of national defense, sovereignty and interstate trade, but it is silent on the subjects of marijuana, aspirin and Kona coffee.

The 10th Amendment says, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Since the Constitution (though originally printed on hemp paper) never mentions marijuana, it is for Hawaii to decide the issue, federal statute notwithstanding. If our Legislature also remained mute on the issue, then the people would be free to medicate themselves as they saw fit.

As the Libertarian candidate for the U.S. House, I would never treat the Constitution with the same dismissive disdain as demonstrated by bipartisan drug warriors.

Lawrence Knight Duquesne
Kamuela, Hawaii

A multimillion reasons not to marry

So Darver Conger went on television for a lark, not realizing that she could be the chosen one in the Fox special, "Who Wants To Marry A Multi-Millionaire?" Then, on saying "I do," she was shocked to have received a kiss from Rick Rockwell. Hmmmm.

When a woman gets something she wants, she wonders why she wanted it. When a man gets something he wants, he wonders how he got it.

Speaking from experience, of course, that's the mystery, and why so many men and women probably remain single.

John L. Werrill

Don't eliminate Ala Wai Golf Course

As a member of the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association, Oahu Junior Golf Association and Mid-Pacific Institute golf team, I am worried that the city might turn the Ala Wai Golf Course into a public park.

My golf team practices there almost every day. If you take the Ala Wai away, we will have to drive all the way out to Mililani or Leilehua to get to courses that can provide us with the facilities we need.

The Ala Wai is one of the busiest golf courses in the world. It is also very convenient because it is in the heart of Honolulu. Leave it alone; it is making money for the economy. A park would just be a waste.

Reyn Tanaka
Grade 8, Mid-Pacific Institute

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