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Friday, May 25, 2001

City should purchase Luana Hills course

We should all support the city's purchase of Luana Hills Golf Course. It's a unique parcel of land providing trails and open spaces from Kailua through Waimanalo for all the people, not a select few.

It is clear that HRT Ltd., (Weinberg Foundation) will indeed build over the golf course just as soon as it is allowable. Make no mistake, this is a one-time opportunity.

Betsy Connors

We should use the word 'hero' selectively

The word hero is being used a lot when someone in public service dies while in the line of duty. This is not bad, but I feel we can honor them without calling them heroes. I hope we don't overuse the word.

The striking nurses on Molokai are true heroes. The other day they put aside personal goals by leaving the picket line to help someone else. This is true heroism.

Alvin Noguchi


"As a rule, people are really nice to us. People always come up to you and ask you a question or say you're doing a good job."

Alex Garcia,
Honolulu police detective, on the reception officers get at island restaurants. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that some mainland officers are finding unwanted objects -- including saliva and poison -- in the food served to them at fast-food restaurants.

"Put God in, add parents, the kids and other ingredients for a big blue ribbon."

Mary Beth Beale,
Holy Family Catholic Academy teacher, describing the formula that won her school recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School. The academy and Noelani Elementary School both earned the honor, which is given for excellence in leadership, teaching, curriculum, student achievement and parental involvement.

Voters unimpressed with Legislature

Two weeks after the adjournment of the 2001 Legislative session, it's still not clear how the public feels about the results. I say this was a historic session that sets the table for a modern state government.

So why does the average "Joe Aloha" in the Star-Bulletin/KITV poll appear largely unaffected? Maybe he really doesn't care about the process until there's an attempt to raise his taxes or take away his driving privileges. Or perhaps he is still puzzled by the wide range of opinions floating around.

For example, the public worker unions have been very vocal in their unhappiness over passage of bills to privatize government services and to reform the Public Employees' Health Fund. They have pledged to unseat lawmakers who supported the bills.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Chamber of Commerce "loudly applauds the 2001 Legislature," and the Hawaii Business Roundtable offered its congratulations for a "highly productive and efficiently run" session.

House Republicans are busily draping themselves in political glory, but find a deep split on health-fund reform an ill-fitting garment that exposes a little too much. Dissident Democrat Rep. Ed Case also must be feeling a bit awkward. After all, he broke away mainly because he didn't think Democrats were capable of passing true reforms. Yet they did, and without his leadership or involvement.

Gov. Ben Cayetano said the Legislature's work on reform deserves an "A."

Unfortunately, the Star-Bulletin/KITV poll shows that most people thought he was wrong on the teacher's strike. Do they think he's wrong about the Legislature, too?

With all that, I guess you can't blame Joe Aloha if he's having a hard time figuring out what to believe.

Paul Fung

GOP umbrella isn't big enough for gays

One day after Log Cabin Republican leader Jeffrey Mead declared that the Republican umbrella was big enough even for gay and lesbian citizens, we learn that that umbrella must have holes in it.

The Republicans in Vermont are busy trying to dismantle civil rights legislation for gay and lesbian couples. It looks as if Mead's pronouncement rings hollow. So much for the "Party of Lincoln."

Martin Rice
Kapaa, Kauai

Law, not faith, will bring justice to gays

In response to Deacon Jeffrey Mead's May 20 column article about my suit to have a cross removed from St. Jude's church yard, I did not file the complaint to have the cross removed to gain a sense of "healing" -- but for justice.

There are churches that are accepting and affirming of homosexuals but they are the minority. If I am wrong, then what is the necessity for all those "gay-friendly" religious groups? Unfortunately, most churches oppose anything that would give homosexuals equal rights.

Religion is a crutch that people use to beat down anyone who believes differently. Mead uses his crutch when I point out that not everyone sees the cross as a sign of "all that is good and pure."

I see religion as the most destructive force on this planet. But that does not make me a bad person. Instead of having faith in a symbol or a book, I trust in science and secular law.

The Constitution demands the separation of state and church. The problem is that many government officials use their religious biases when making decisions concerning homosexuality. If you remove religion from the equation, you remove the nail from the cross.

Michael J. Golojuch Jr.

We need to teach lessons in aloha spirit

In the three weeks my wife and I spent touring Australia and New Zealand, we were impressed with the aloha spirit exhibited by all those people we came in contact with. They were polite, helpful, gracious, outgoing and extremely kind, smiling all the while as they assisted us in every respect. They generated the kind of aloha spirit that we're supposed to be noted for here in Hawaii.

Many of us in the 50th state believe we have a monopoly on the spirit of aloha. Quite the contrary, the spirit of aloha is practiced rather sparingly here and, at times, with prejudice. You've got to be blind not to see this prejudice being practiced, especially among the younger generation who sadly, are not being taught how to distribute this most cherished and vitally enjoyable feeling of love.

This aloha spirit is not in the genes, nor is it inherited. If we expect others to emulate us, then it is up to us to continue this trend of spreading love and aloha at every turn of the road, so that in so doing, others will pick up the tempo of that aloha spirit and cause it to grow.

McWarren J. Mehau
Mountain View, Hawaii

Rail line would have been nearly completed

A few years ago, it was Councilwoman Rene Mansho who cast the deciding vote against a mass transit rail system.

Had she voted in the affirmative, the rapid transit project would have been almost completed today.

We need to go upwards and an elevated monorail would greatly help to relieve the ever- growing congestion on our surface roads.

Robert Kam

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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.

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