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Monday, October 23, 2000


Hawaiians feel like aliens in their own land

So much of what a person feels at any moment often relies on his or her cumulative experiences. Is it realistic to think that anyone can ever understand what someone else is feeling without having shared those experiences?

For those who want to know what Hawaiians individually and collectively may be feeling, consider this:

You wake up to discover that you have been brought to a new planet because Earth was about to be destroyed. You've been saved! Many of your friends and family did not survive the evacuation, but you are reminded of your good fortune and encouraged to move forward.

Your saviors welcome you to learn, participate and prosper along with them. They offer financial assistance, training, guidance and advice.

Again, you are reminded of your good fortune.

Yet everything familiar and meaningful to you is no longer relevant. Your language is dysfunctional. The criteria, values and principles basic to your decision-making no longer apply to your circumstances.

In fact, your once superior intellect, technology and knowledge are elementary in comparison to those of your hosts.

You have no "home" to retreat to, your national and cultural history is insignificant, and your values are no longer valued. How would you feel? How should Hawaiians feel?

Ramsay Taum

Mililani Trask deserves seat on OHA board

Many people in the state who do not have Hawaiian blood, but who are supportive of Hawaiian rights and sovereignty, are confused about whether to vote in the upcoming Office of Hawaiian Affairs election.

Most of us believe strongly that the OHA elections -- and OHA itself -- should be for Hawaiians only; we feel uncomfortable about voting in such a race. However, NOT voting gives a clear field to racists who are organizing to dismantle not only OHA but all other Hawaiian rights and entitlements.

In this case, trying to be sensitive to the rights of kanaka maoli by not voting in the OHA election means only insensitive people would be voting, which would be catastrophic. So people who care must vote -- for people of Hawaiian ancestry to preserve the integrity and purposes of OHA.

Yet there is a bewildering array of candidates. With the imminent passage of the Akaka bill, which will begin the process of establishing nation-within-a-nation status for Hawaiians, it is essential to elect to the board those who are most supportive and knowledgable about that process.

Mililani Trask -- attorney, governor of Ka Lahui and OHA board member -- has selflessly devoted much of her life to working in the national and international arenas to develop a nation-within-a-nation government and other basic rights for Hawaiians. Clearly, she is the most knowledgable and experienced person in the state with regard to establishing, organizing and implementing such a government. I urge the people of Hawaii to vote for her.

Joel Fischer
Professor, School of Social Work
University of Hawaii at Manoa



"The governor says we can't afford
to pay the other unions 14.8 percent.
Well, is anyone holding a gun to our heads
saying that is the only thing we
have to agree to?"

Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono
Publicly announcing her disagreement with
Governor Cayetano's labor negotiation strategy
with the Hawaii Government Employees Association
and its members' arbitration-awarded pay raise


"You don't do this in a democracy.
Maybe in a Third-World country you do."

Lionel Aono
Testifying as a private citizen (rather than as chairman
of his organization) in opposition to Governor Cayetano's
plans to do away with the Ala Wai Golf Course

Baraquio has put Hawaii on the map

Congratulations and a big mahalo to Angela Perez Baraquio, Miss America. Through her virtues, she has added a more conspicuous and prominent note to the small dots on the map of HawaiI, which is a big plus for all of us.

T. Ono

Professionals should compete in Olympics

I strongly disagree with Joe Ornellas' unfair assessment and criticism of the U.S. men's basketball players and the tennis-playing Williams sisters in the Olympics games because they are professional athletes (Letters, Oct. 7).

In the Olympics, practically all athletes from foreign countries are pros. They receive financing from their governments and are also under contract to sports apparel and equipment companies. In other words, they get paid.

I also noticed that the athletes that Ornellas criticized all happened to be black. As a American, I rooted for all of the athletes who represented our country.

If Ornellas wants to see amateur athletes, he should watch high school sports. True amateurism in the Olympics is dead.

Mitford H. Dunn

Policeman received special treatment

My deepest sympathy goes out to the family of Dana Ambrose.

I was really surprised to see the way cops were comforting each other after that terrible accident. If it had been an ordinary citizen like you or me, you can bet that we would be in handcuffs and would probably still be in jail.

Yet this member of so-called "Hawaii's finest" was allowed to roam around the accident like he was one of the investigators, not the criminal that he should be.

This young lady had a bright and long life ahead of her. I am waiting to see what kind of life this officer will have. I hope and pray that the only life he has is one behind bars.

Michael A. Silva

Stop printing letters accusing Gore of lying

On the Oct. 13 editorial page, you printed three letters with claims that Vice President Gore is a liar.

Since this election started, we have been inundated with claims about Gore's so-called lies. On closer scrutiny, these claims turn out to be false; then, the next day, we see the same claims, along with new ones, printed in your paper.

I fail to see even a bit of balance in your coverage. For instance, Governor Bush made at least seven misstatements of fact in the first debate, all of them self-serving. Have we seen any claims that he is a liar in your pages?

It is your newspaper, and you have a legal and moral right to print whatever you choose. But don't you also have an ethical obligation -- in fact, a duty to readers -- to print the truth? How is that served when you give space to opinions that contain clearly debunked falsehoods?

James R. Olson Jr.

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