Sunday, July 8, 2001
Voters are watching crooked politiciansOnce more another of our elected officials, City Councilman Andy Mirikitani, has gone down in flames due to a big head. What happens to officials once they are elected to represent the people? What kind of change in their mental makeup justifies the things that they do? What makes them think they are above the law? If what they want to do is against the law today, do they just change it to suit their needs?
Politicians, the people are watching you very closely, my friends. You were elected to help your communities and not to try to make all the bucks you can while you are in office.
We are getting tired of politics as usual in this state. The bet is on at my workplace that when Andy is finally sentenced, he will get six months probation and a $250 fine. Liberty and justice for a few. If John Q. Citizen were convicted of the same offenses, he might not see the light of day again.
Guess Andy won't be in the big raceWha-a-a-t? Could this possibly mean that Andy Mirikitani will not be running for Honolulu mayor?
George I. Nakamura
Musical 'ambassadors' deserved big send-offAt 4 p.m. July 5 at Kapiolani Bandstand, approximately 180 students and adults from all Hawaiian islands and parts of the mainland participated in a dress rehearsal/sendoff performance of a musical program they have prepared to take to seven countries in Europe during the next three weeks.
"Hawaii Ambassadors of Music," as they are called, are volunteers who spent countless hours preparing as well as $3,000 each of their own money to carry our island's musical message of aloha to distant shores. This is a performance anyone would be proud of.
Noticeably absent, however, was the governor, mayor or any other public representative who should have taken notice and acknowledged the effort of goodwill this group is spreading to the world.
I was told the Hawaii Visitors Bureau was even approached for buttons advertising Hawaii, but could only spare 150. There were no TV station news cameras (or newspapers) who could have had a great, positive human interest story to share.
Our eyes and ears are filled daily with the onslaught of drug raids, murders and corrupt public officials. Yet a group of well-meaning island representatives with the global message of aloha through music goes unnoticed. Auwe!
Cats and caretakers perform public serviceI used to live at Yacht Harbor Towers in the 1970s and fed a feral colony of cats at Ala Moana Shopping Center. The maintenance workers were delighted that the rat population in the storage area disappeared. Then new management ordered that I move the cats.
To make a long story short, I was allowed to keep the colony after it was recognized that the colony served a purpose and that cat lovers enjoyed seeing the mascots. I moved to Maui and am impressed by the progress of humane animal lovers on Oahu. Their dedication and educational efforts are to be commended.
Here on Maui, the Maui Humane Society's euthanasia count has decreased in proportion to the expected growth rate of cats. And it is recognized that the only different factor is the number of registered cat colonies. The cats are not just fed but also spayed or neutered. If they are at all tame and adoptable, the caretakers try to find a home for them.
Remember that rats bring diseases, such as the plague. Historically, common cats commanded a high price for their ratting ability during the ship and whaling days. I have followed numerous cat stories and wanted to say thanks to all who do so much for the kitties.
Feral cats keep rat population at bayThank you for the intelligent and compassionate June 30 editorial regarding the flea infestation at the University of Hawaii-Manoa Children's Center and the feral cat colony.
I care for a cat colony, and I've attended gathered data on colony dynamics.
UH Professor David Karl can give chapter and verse on when about 100 cats were "eliminated" to address a flea infestation on UH-M campus, the fleas increased; they were rat-borne! This was only a few years ago.
Healthy cats deter rats (think Egypt during Biblical era). They were originally bred to keep rats out of the granaries. They don't necessarily eat the rats, but they do kill them.
Quarantine burdens are too much to bearI would like to add my name to those who supported Senate Bill 204 and the effort to modify the quarantine process military personnel and their pets undergo when assigned a duty aboard Hawaii.
For years military personnel have voiced concern about the 30-120 day quarantine cycle and associated expense for household pets. For anyone who has had to manage the time, bear the expense and deal with the long-lasting effect upon the pet after they get out of that environment, the impact is significant.
It seems to me that the Senate-inspired revision is the "right thing to do" in light of how much America's military provides this nation (and Hawaii) on a daily basis.
U.S. Marine Corps
Even McVeigh was capable of repentingIn regard to the Rev. Neal McPherson's column in the June 23 Star-Bulletin, "Christians -- rise against executions": I whole-heartedly agree.
The purpose of the treatment of criminals should be rehabilitation, not revenge. When Jesus met a woman who had committed a crime for which, according to the law of that time, she should have been executed, he did not exonerate her of the crime, but he did encourage her never to sin again.
In the case of Timothy McVeigh, it is unfortunate that he showed little remorse for his crime and the suffering he caused to other persons. But over a period of time, with good counseling, I believe he could have truly repented for the crime and in some way tried to used the remainder of his life to make some small restitution to individuals and society for what he had done.
Armin H. Kroehler
"All of those hydroelectric permit applications were what got me into politics."
Rep. Hermina Morita,
State legislator representing East Maui and North Kauai, about proposals during the 1980s to divert the Hanalei River and Lumahai Stream for hydroelectric projects. An Idaho energy company is now exploring the possibility of producing power by damming Kauai's Wailua River.
"We knew we were going to win; obviously, this was a little tighter than we'd hoped."
Head of the Hawaii hotel workers' union, who beat his bitter rival for the post, Tony Rutledge, by only 21 votes.
Ota ought to resign from OHAI have tried to stay out of this controversy and have never written anything about the Office of Hawaiian Affairs because to attack OHA is actually attacking myself. The not-so-smart U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Rice vs. Cayetano changed all that. Trustee Charles Ota's profanity, on island television no less, now becomes a different situation.
I was happy it was Ota who had won the Maui seat because I knew that he was a smart businessman. As a reporter for Akaku Television covering the OHA elections, I had mentioned how he might be like Max Takabuki, the former Bishop Estate trustee who helped make wise investments for the trust. I said Trustee Ota might be exactly what OHA needed. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
I requested financial help from Ota for funding a group of dancers, crafters and artisans from Hawaii and the mainland to travel to Australia on a cultural exchange, where I am being recognized along with five other indigenous people in the world. Trustee Ota said that this is the kind of thing OHA should fund and to submit a proposal. I did, and after five months found that he did not do anything. In calling other trustees, I found that Ota had not pursued funding for our trip. I was told also that he did not go to board meetings.
My question is why, Charlie, after spending $50,000 to "buy" the election and deny other qualified people from holding this important office, you don't participate and use language that is unbecoming to the office you hold? You should do the right thing; resign to save face and let someone else represent Maui. Please do it now.
Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell
Unruly OHA trustees should be removedI am appalled by the childish actions of the Office Of Hawaiian Affairs' trustees. In particular, the attitudes of trustees Linda Dela Cruz, Clayton Hee and Charles Ota. What needs to be realized is that as these trustees bicker with each other, OHA's beneficiaries are still falling through the system of this American society. What also needs to be recognized is the immense immaturity of these three OHA trustees. While they hold their strong ties to the Democratic Party and Hee's best friend, Ben Cayetano, OHA and its beneficiaries still need assistance.
However, solutions to problems cannot be addressed when opprobrious attitudes are used in board meetings. We need new trustees to replace these trustees who flaunt their verbal filth on television. That is why I supported Lehua Gibson, Vicky Holt-Takamine and Hannah Springer.
Adrian K. Kamali'i
'Ilio'ulaokalani Youth Coalition
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
King approved law on Christian namingOn July 6, letter writer Holly Huber wrote, "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.'"
In 1860, there was a Hawaiian king and kuhina kui (chief adviser to the king) with extraordinary powers.
The Constitution provided: "No bill or resolution, although it may have passed the Legislature, shall become a law, or have force as such, until it shall have been presented to the king, through the kuhina nui, for the revisal, and if he approve thereof, he shall signify his approbation by signing the same.
"But if he have any objection to the passing of such bill or resolve, he shall return it with his objections in writing to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large or their journal, and no such bill shall be brought forward thereafter during the same session."
The king and kuhina nui must then have approved of this. Why blame only the missionaries? Was King Kamehameha III an impotent ruler? I think not. He is reputed to be Hawaii's best king. Let's stop revising history as much as we do.
Paul de Silva
Hawaii drivers never learn safety habitsI have lived here almost 25 years, but I still have not gotten used to Hawaii's driving patterns -- speeding up when the light is yellow, not pulling over for emergency vehicles, crossing solid lines, not putting on a left-turn signal until you're half-way through the intersection...
Then I figured it out when I went to get my drivers' license renewed last week. In North Carolina, where I learned to drive, I had to take driver's training, including classroom instruction, mobile unit (a simulator) and behind-the-wheel. People in Hawaii have not taken required driving training before initially getting their licenses and now don't have to take a test to renew their licenses so they cannot even be reminded of the safe-driving laws they never learned in the first place.
Company's donations were voluntaryThis is in response to the Star-Bulletin's July 1 article on Mayor Harris' questionable use of campaign funds. The story said, "The city's largest construction jobs are subject to a competitive process in consulting contracts for engineering, architecture, landscaping and legal services are awarded on a nonbid basis."
For the record, Delta Construction Corp. is a licensed general contractor, and all of its city projects were obtained through the competitive bid process.
This means Delta was awarded its contracts because it was the lowest qualified bidder. Delta must bid against competitors for each job.
Despite the article's implication that a contribution equals a contract, Delta never received a demand or a suggestion that a contribution to the mayor's campaign was necessary to receive a contract. There was never a quid pro quo relationship. The city's competitive bid process insures against such a link.
Delta Construction's donations to the mayor were based on its support for the administration's public works construction and Vision programs.
Kenneth J. Kobatake
Delta Construction Corp.
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.
Letter form: Online form, click here
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813