to the Editor

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Saturday, July 28, 2001

Artists of Hawaii show was disappointing

The annual Artists of Hawaii show at the Honolulu Academy of Arts was a disappointment. I've seen better stuff by school kids displayed at McDonald's.

From more than 1,000 entries, the renowned director from the Brooklyn Museum of Art picked these pieces? Is this the best Hawaii can put up?

This says either of two things: shame on the local artists or shame on the person choosing the local artists. I tend to think the latter. I know Hawaii has better artists than this.

But if you think that show was bad and a waste of time, you'll be glad you if missed the last two shows at The Contemporary Museum, unless you enjoy arrangements of mutilated dead bodies or displays of blobs of shower drain hair.

Apparently the only art involved in recent exhibits is the art of persuasion by charlatan "artists" to convince weak-minded art directors of their worth. No wonder intelligent people are resigning their memberships to these two museums.

Michael Van Dorn

Return the land to Okinawan people

This is a plea to our government to re-think military policies regarding Okinawa and soon, if possible, to return the land to the Okinawans to let them pursue their visions of how they want to use it.

American military forces have been there since the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. That's a long time.

Our country is noted for its humanitarianism. By returning the land, we go a notch higher. We need to heed the cries of help of the Okinawan people.

Roy E. Shigemura

Law gives gun rights to individuals

Ken Armstrong's July 19 letter failed to address the fact that when the Bill of Rights was written, the "militia" was comprised of farmers, blacksmiths, carpenters, cabinet makers and a host of others -- individuals all. There was no National Guard back then. Each individual was, and is, endowed with the right to have a firearm.

His illogic that prisoners should also have weapons fails to make sense. Our rights are not absolute and never have been. The Supreme Court ruled that although we have freedom to say what we want, we cannot shout fire in a theater. Let someone libel Armstrong and see how fast his lawyer will respond. When a person violates the law he or she loses the right to bear arms.

We agree about speech being an individual right. What about the Third Amendment -- the right of the people to be free of government troops lodged in their houses? It too is an individual right. The Fourth, concerning illegal search and seizure also is an individual right. All of the original amendments except the 10th, which reserves certain powers to the states, are individual rights. They are meant to limit the power of government over the individual.

Attorney General John Ashcroft is correct that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual one.

Loren Ayresman
Pahoa, Hawaii


"They're both theories. They both have scientific data that go with them."

Denise Matsumoto,
Discussing whether creationism should be taught in Hawaii public school science classes along with Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

"He looked older, but he didn't seem older. He acted like us."

Josh Lui,
1997 Kailua High School graduate, on a classmate he knew as James Odom, who was actually a 20-something Florida man named Lonnie Webster. Webster used the real Odom's driver's license to establish a new identity and lived as Odom until he was discovered last week in Kansas and charged with identity theft and forgery.

Hawaii showed aloha to crash victims

As a friend, colleague and former student of William Jack Jordan, I would like to thank the staff of the Star-Bulletin as well as the Hawaii community for your sympathy and support during what was an incredibly painful time in the lives of those who knew and loved the Jordan-Herscovitz family.

I especially thank everyone for remembering Jack, his wife Jan Herscovitz and their children, Max and Lindsey, a year after the tragic helicopter crash on Maui that ripped them from our lives so suddenly and without warning.

The warmth and compassion that the members of your community have shown will forever remain in the hearts of the Jordan family and friends.

Kristin Kucsma
Friend of the Jordan family
Faculty Associate Seton Hall University

EIS will answer questions at Makua

Mahalo for keeping us informed on the Makua issue. Watching the video-taped community testimony about Makua on the Olelo channel is absolutely heart-breaking.

A Catholic priest at St. Peter's tells about the four children in his parish who were diagnosed with leukemia, and in the next parish over, four more. One child recently died.

Former Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee Aunty Frenchy DeSoto also talks about her daughter's recent death due to leukemia. Cancer cases and deaths in this area are extraordinary.

What more proof does anyone in this world need to justify a complete environmental impact statement? The people who live here testified that this is a matter of life or death. How else can they know if their land and water is so polluted that it is killing their children, if not by an EIS?

If their concerns are ignored, then we can only assume that the courts, state and federal governments, and the Army consider all these cases of illness and death as nothing more than "collateral damage."

The Army now owns the mountains of Kahuku above where I live. Will it become another Makua? Is our land and our children's health now at risk?

I respect the military as much as anyone but it cannot say it is protecting us while it is killing us and the tiny islands we live on.

Thank God for a "knight in shining armor," the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund.

Marisa M. Plemer

Military continues to need Makua Valley

Tony Castanha's letter on July 20 is an example of why the military needs to be prepared. Yes, it is true that he never knows who his enemies are, although the military does not conjure them up just to train the forces, as he charges.

What would he have the military do? Would he have them not train, or maybe just not in his backyard? If not his, then whose?

The 25th Infantry Division needs Makua Valley. Some of the best training I ever received was at Makua. There are not enough places in Hawaii for the military to train, and it is very costly to send everyone to the mainland for training.

I agree that there should be an outside environmental impact study done. If the results show that the Army will harm the environment, then it does what it has been doing for the past three years. But if it is reasonable to do, without harming the ecological environment, then the training that goes on there will add greatly to the Army's readiness. That will be good for everyone, including Hawaii.

And if China does invade, we will be ready.

William McCoy
Ewa Beach

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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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