to the Editor

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Thursday, July 5, 2001

Kailua does America proud

As we do every year, members of the Pearl City Elks Lodge 2669 boarded a bus and rode across the beautiful H-3 to Kailua, to march in the town's annual Fourth of July Parade.

Accompanied by the Elk's Boy Scout and Cub Scout Troops and a Vietnam veterans' group, we began the two-hour trip down a main residential street. There were thousands of residents lined up to watch the big parade.

I consider myself to be the luckiest person in the world; I was privileged to carry the American flag, with the POW/MIA flag flying by my side. We were followed by the Scouts, vets and other Elks carrying the 50 state flags.

Now for the best part: We began our two-mile walk and we hadn't marched 20 feet when I noticed people rising from their chairs, removing their hats, and placing them and/or their hands over their hearts, saluting our flag! This occurred throughout the entire parade. Young and old alike, waving flags and wishing us all a Happy Fourth. Almost every home had a yard full of red, white and blue banners and flags.

To the people of Kailua; You're the best. You should be proud of yourself for your hard work and dedication to your country. I salute you; you are REAL Americans!

Jim Taylor

Police need help to stop cockfighting

We were gratified to read (June 22) about the Honolulu Police Department's recent raids of cockfights and we applaud the Star-Bulletin's June 25 editorial in support of HPD's actions. The newspaper's position clearly expressed why we, as a civilized community, should eliminate all forms of cruelty from our neighborhoods.

The vast majority of people in Hawaii oppose cockfighting as cruel to animals and agree that it should be illegal (91 percent and 82 percent respectively, according to a Ward Research report in 1993).

The link between acts of violence against animals and people has been well-documented. Cockfighting is a violent blood sport that promotes other lawlessness and acts of violence. It is important for all of us to understand that cockfighting is part of a cycle of violence, and to support all efforts to eliminate this blight from our state.

We as a community should not tolerate this blood sport. What we must do is support and encourage police efforts and call the police immediately to report any cockfighting activities.

Pamela Burns
Hawaiian Humane Society


"Mr. Mirikitani has always sought to do what's best for his constituents, and I personally feel that what's best for his constituents is for him to resign as soon as possible."

Duke Bainum,
Honolulu City Councilman, after fellow Councilman Andy Mirikitani was found guilty of bribery, theft, extortion and other violations in a kickback scheme.

"...56 pillars, triumphal arches that only a Caesar or a Spielberg could love..."

George Peabody,
An Iwo Jima veteran, expressing his disgust with the design of a World War II Memorial proposed for the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Christian names were imposed on Hawaiians

For more than 100 years children born in Hawaii were required to have Christian names. The Sunday Star-Bulletin's "Name Game" story claimed, "It was once customary among Hawaiians to give a child a 'haole' first name."

Christian missionaries, recognizing the traditional importance of names to the Hawaiian people, required that they drop their "heathen" names and adopt "Christian" names. This attempt by the missionaries to destroy Hawaiian culture was codified into law.

In 1860 Hawaii law dictated that all children "have a Christian name suitable to their sex." The popularity of biblical names in Hawaii is a result of this racist law. Many people forced to reconsider the name of their newborns interpreted the term "Christian name" to mean a name taken from the Bible.

The government of Hawaii dishonored its people by upholding the discriminatory "Christian" name requirement.

The unconstitutional law was repealed in 1967 "to remove the mandatory requirement that each child be given a Christian name." The law was revised to substitute the words "given name" and removed the phrase "suitable to their sex."

Since it is no longer illegal to give a child a Hawaiian name, it is not surprising that many are celebrating the Hawaiian culture by doing so.

Holly Huber

Harris campaign began building long ago

In retrospect, one can almost pinpoint the time Mayor Harris made the decision to run for governor. I'd guess it was when the sewer excavations on Kalakaua near Kapahulu, open for several years, suddenly got some attention. Then the city had to redo Kuhio Beach, the Natatorium and the Kapiolani Bandstand. Now the Hanauma Bay project.

It's obvious that all of this monument-building is for show. One need only sniff the breeze at places like Keawe Street, or at the Atkinson-Ala Moana intersection to realize how badly the sewer system has deteriorated. But then sewers don't show. And maintaining sewers isn't as much fun as building monuments.

But not even the monuments are done right. Just think about the unfinished Natatorium pool. And the fake rocks at Hanauma Bay. Just think about what Jeremy could do on a statewide scale.

Robert R. Kessler

Rice decision opened idiocy to all races

It seems that for the longest time, it was the Hawaiians who made up the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees, and they were the only people able to make fools of themselves in public. Now, thanks to Freddy Rice, any nationality can make fools of themselves as OHA board members.

OHA Trustee Charlie Ota spent $50,000 to be elected to the OHA board, just to show the people of Hawaii that he can be a fool, too. His profanity, live on television, was embarrassing to say the least. He embarrassed our governor (which is really hard to do) and, worst of all, he embarrassed all the people of Maui County.

Donald G. Micco
Wailuku, Maui

Convention center cost $1 billion

Your July 2 article about the Hawaii Convention Center reported that it cost the taxpayers $350 million. The truth is that thus far it has cost the taxpayers more than $1 billion. Also, this white elephant state structure triggered the passage of Hawaii's first tourist hotel room tax 1987. Since then tens of millions of dollars have been and will continue to be spent to subsidize the structure.

My city administration originally approved the selection of a Japanese firm (First Development/Daiichi) to build, run and operate the $365 million convention center ($730 million including principal and interest on the borrowed money).

The old VFW clubhouse opposite the convention center was to be the site of a 2,000-room hotel headquarters for Daiichi.

The hotel industry would have no part of my plans to privatize the building and ownership of the convention center at no cost to taxpayers. They got then-Gov. John Waihee to "let the state (taxpayers) get the job done." And that they did -- in spades.

Former Mayor Frank F. Fasi

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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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