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Friday, September 28, 2001

Remember 9-11-01

Burgess is wrong to promote disunity

All my life I have believed in Hawaiian sovereignty and entitlements. But Sept. 11 changed everything. Now when I hear that Hayden Burgess refused to fly the American flag at the Waianae Comprehensive Health Center it makes me mad (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 26).

Sure, Hawaiians got a bum deal from the foreign invaders. They took advantage of our hospitality and unselfishness. They even arrested our queen. But you know what? We could have done a lot worse. Anyone who has studied Hawaiian history knows we came close to becoming part of Russia. Even France had warships sniffing around our shores.

But today these islands are part of America, thank God. Today we are all Americans. And today is a time for unity. As far as sovereignty and entitlements go, everyone deserves a chance to own their own home and get a good education, Hawaiian or not. Providing these rights to all citizens is the duty of any responsible, caring government.

Hawaiians would be better served if organizations like the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and activists like Burgess would direct their energy toward unity rather than disparity, and worked with, instead of against, elected government.

Chandra Nalani Vali

Are airlines using terrorism as excuse?

There have been many headlines about the heroes of the Sept. 11 tragedies, but little mention of those on the other end of the scale -- airline CEOs.

Gordon Bethune of Continental Airlines laid off 2,000 employees a few days after the tragedies. He predicted other airlines will follow Continental's moves, leading to layoffs of as many as 100,000 workers.

Aloha Airlines' CEO, Glenn Zander will let go roughly 250 people. Is this not what the terrorists were hoping for?

Why not look for alternatives? Other companies are furloughing employees. Ask workers for pay reductions, or would that bite too much into Bethune's salary and bonus package of $7.3 million (1999)?

It would be unthinkable that these industry leaders are using the horrific acts of Sept. 11th as a guise for layoffs. President Bush has signed a $15 billion aid package for the industry.

Mr. President and members of Congress: Please remember these names when that money is allocated. Stand with those who stood by you, their country and their employees.

Ken Johnson


"I know my hands, even my wheelchair, can help others."

Ann Yoshida

College student from Mililani, who is considering a career in psychology or rehabilitation. Yoshida was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident 18 months ago, but has learned to drive again in a specially outfitted car.

"People have thanked us and said (they) feel much more comfortable with the security. Our main goal is to provide safety and comfort."

Les Keiter

General manager of Aloha Stadium, on stricter stadium security measures to begin this weekend at the University of Hawaii football season opening game. Among other restrictions, no coolers, backpacks or bags will be allowed.

State faces depression in attack's aftermath

Hawaii's single industry has been shot squarely between the eyes. How the leaders in Hawaii react to this crisis will be written in the history of Hawaii just like Dec. 7, 1941.

For a variety of self-imposed -- as well as external -- reasons, our economy has staggered since the Persian Gulf war in 1991. We have fallen while the other 49 states have prospered as never before. We do not have time now to start blaming the guilty in Hawaii. We must react.

Hawaii went from a recession to a depression on Sept. 11. Very soon we will be looking at massive unemployment at levels not seen since the 1930s.

John Mayo

Hawaii telethon would be in bad taste

Anybody suggesting a telethon for the sole purpose of promoting Hawaii is sick. I don't think any of the stars involved in the telethon for New York were holding their latest album in their right hand with an American flag in their left.

As a native New Yorker I am saddened by this suggestion. The people who died in the World Trade Center disaster are all heroes. Let them rest with dignity. Maybe the people who are not traveling to Hawaii or any place for that matter are mourning those who died.

Yes, let's get on with our lives and never forget the victims of the Sept. 11 attack on America and their families.

Kevin M. O'Connor

U.S. problems in Mideast are self-made

The attacks of Sept. 11 relate to the fact that the United States and its allies have been manipulating events in the Middle East and supporting repressive regimes there for decades. We rammed a brutal shah down the throats of the Iranians, then wondered why Ayatollah Khomeini was able to tap into such nationalistic, anti-American sentiment when he came to power. And we subsequently sheltered the shah from extradition, just as Afghanistan is sheltering Osama bin Laden.

In Arabia, we picked the Saudi tribe to lord over all others and add insult to injury by calling the country Saudi Arabia. In addition, our continuing support for Israel makes us the object of hatred by its enemies.

It behooves us to put aside inflammatory rhetoric, take a good hard look at the realities and decide what price we're willing to pay to pursue a course of action.

Kelly Pomeroy

Disaster brings families closer

The recent tragedy at the World Trade Center has had unforeseen consequences for my family. We had an appreciation dinner recently at my mother's house. We hadn't had a dinner there for quite awhile, ever since she had surgery over a year ago. However, given the events of the past two weeks, the time seemed right to continue our tradition.

The attack on the WTC, with it's horrific lost of life, has forever changed our lives. We always hear about the fleeting nature of life but it takes an event like the attack to jolt us into remembering that fact.

My wife and I watched the horrible devastation occur again and again on our TV. But most gut-wrenching of all was watching the anguish of the families who lost loved ones. We couldn't help but appreciate the fact that our family had been spared that fate.

Like the old saying goes, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone." Sept. 11 reminded us of that fact in vivid detail. It was in that spirit that we got together again, like the old days.

Mark Doo


When discrimination is just good judgment

Michael Golojuch writes (Letters, Sept. 21) as if discrimination is bad. The dictionary definition of discrimination has no value assigned to it, except in one case it is defined as "to use good judgment."

Indeed, that is what each of us must accomplish every day when we decide with whom we associate at work and in our social lives.

As an Eagle Scout, I will never discriminate based on race, creed, sex, or other orientation that cannot be changed -- that is unlawful discrimination. I will legally discriminate, and encourage the Boy Scouts of America to continue to legally discriminate, based on sexual orientation.

Bruce Fink

Editorial about OHA was wrong again

As usual, the Star-Bulletin in its editorial ("Another change in leadership won't help OHA," Sept. 23) makes wrong assumptions regarding the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

I have supported Haunani Apoliona with my vote on many occasions since her rise to the chairmanship. For instance, I have supported all the appropriations she has sought for the post-Rice strategy plan. However, not a penny has been spent because she keeps putting off any planning for the future. This is precisely the problem with Apoliona. The trustees come up with solutions to the problems OHA and the Hawaiians face, but many of the important ones are not acted upon or carried out. OHA is in a crisis and we cannot afford to have a leader who cannot or will not make decisions. It's just too important.

As for criticism, no matter what we do, we can always count on the Star-Bulletin for that. At least some of us are not afraid to make decisions that may be criticized later. Whatever we do, I can assure you it is better than sitting in an ivory tower making Monday-morning quarterback statements.

Rowena M.N. Akana
Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Paddlers unfazed by channel or crisis

Congratulations to the wahine of Kailua-Kona's Kai Opua Canoe Club on their successful defense of the Molokai-to-Oahu Hawaiian outrigger canoe race championship.

In view of our recent national tragedy, which led to cancellations of numerous events across the country, it was heartening that the annual wahine crossing of the treacherous Kaiwi Channel was held.

In 1975, then Healani Canoe Club coach Richard "Babe" Bell guided the first women's crew in a historic crossing of the Kaiwi Channel. Two crews of women crossed that day, with Healani winning that first unofficial race. Still, there remained doubt about the ability of women to cross the channel.

In 1979, the first official Na Wahine O Ke Kai women's outrigger canoe race was held, and has since been a successful annual competition. This year, facing gale force winds, rough seas and not dissuaded by fanatics threatening our country, a proud, Hawaiian cultural event continued. Imua.

Earl Arakaki

Hit-and-run deserves tougher sentence

The one-year sentence of Tiuli Faatoia in the hit-and-run incident where Daniel Agcaoili was struck and killed while riding his moped is a travesty of justice. No wonder there are so many cases of hit-and-run.

It's east to understand why someone who is most likely drunk will run after an accident. Leaving the scene and going somewhere to sober up is seen as the best way to avoid a stiff fine, loss of license and jail time.

Prosecutors and courts need to get tough on such drivers. Until they learn that the risk of fleeing is too great, they will continue to run.

Charlie Colburn

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