to the Editor

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Friday, October 5, 2001

Remember 9-11-01

Americans must adopt tougher mindset

We cannot afford to lose our focus. The cowards responsible for perpetuating and aiding in the Sept. 11 tragedies in our country must face the severest of consequences. Their actions were designed and orchestrated to murder en masse.

Some argue that we should not counter violence with violence. These people believe that the answer can only be achieved through peace and reconciliation.

But how do you reconcile with individuals whose primary goal is to cause chaos and destruction? What can you say to individuals who harbor years of bitterness and hatred? How do you meet with individuals who would believe they will find greater reward in some after-life by simply blowing up the entire meeting room?

The answer is, you can't. My maternal instincts tell me that evil is evil. And any threat to me, my family, or country, by evil, must be eliminated in any way possible.

Trancita Winquist

Raising U.S. flag above palace was wrong

It is with deepest disappointment that I have learned of the actions of the Friends of Iolani Palace. Many members of the Friends organization are Americans, but Iolani represents more than just some building on supposedly American soil. It is the symbol of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Liliuokalani flew the American flag at Washington Place to honor the kanaka maoli who died in the service of the invading country. She did not fly it to honor aliens who died fighting a war involving the occupying country. The appropriate response to the recent events would have been to fly the Hawaiian flag at half staff. This was already done.

Flying the American flag over the palace is an insult to the Hawaiian patriots who died trying to prevent the very same thing from occurring. Some even died in the bowels of Iolani Palace. No one was allowed to mark their deaths or mourn for them then, or ever. The actions of the FOIP dishonors their suppressed memory, and trivializes their sacrifice.

Their actions have betrayed all those who follow in the footsteps of Liliuokalani, to preserve the Hawaiian nation. Perhaps they should consider a liaison advisory board with the independence groups to advise them on their course of action.

Baron K.F. Ching

Flag incident tells much about Hawaii

Banishment of the American flag from the Waianae health clinic is an important touchstone for how Hawaii responds to global realities today.

If anything good in Hawaii comes of the Sept. 11 incident, aside from the outpouring of shared sorrow for the loss of life, from all quarters, in response to this crime against humanity, it will be the exposure of manao from those Hawaiians, native and non, versed in verified facts, whether Hayden Burgess intended so or not.

Hawaiian sovereignty is a controversial subject, even among activists. Yet truth will have its voice. According to accepted international law standards, Hawaii was never annexed, nor was Hawaiian sovereignty ever extinguished.

In spite of how U.S. internal law wishes to obscure accepted international laws -- U.S. foreign policy as Hawaiians know it -- the truth is that Hawaii is the only independent nation in recent history that has been illegally occupied without the slightest trace of intention to restore it intact, as law dictates.

There are many misconceptions in and about Hawaii. So be it; neither this, nor America's desire and actions to "write the rules" here and/or globally, will negate the validity of law, nor the scrutiny of the rest of the world.

Michael Locey
Anahola, Kauai


"The mood among law enforcement is, if a terroristic situation arises, they want to be prepared."
Art Ong
General manager of Magnum Firearms & Range, where business has been brisk in both gun sales and weapons instruction since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on America. Ong said 15 to 20 law enforcement officers have purchased handguns, shotguns or rifles in the last three weeks.

"There's no way he could have carried away some of that stuff by himself."
Sherman Chan
Honolulu police lieutenant, on a man charged with first-degree burglary for stealing 500 lawn ornaments, including two bronze Chinese lions weighing about 200 pounds each.

Americans' outlook on liberty must change

Even though America was built on the principle of tolerance, we cannot afford any longer to exhibit a carte-blanche attitude of tolerance. The American people have to learn how to say "NO" again:

No, you cannot come into this country without a good and valid reason. Be prepared to be monitored and asked to leave when your welcome is up.

No, you cannot overburden our legal system with frivolous lawsuits, taking precious time and resources from our legal system to prosecute people like those who bring terror to America.

No, you cannot take God out of our government and prayer out of our schools.

No, you cannot disarm the American citizen. America can and will in the future be infiltrated from within.

No, you do not have the right to national-security information, even if you are a member of the media. Anyone attempting to gain such information should be prosecuted as a spy.

Bottom line: You cannot do anything you want, anytime you want, anywhere you want.

James Roller

Religion was cause, not answer to terror

In response to the recent terrorist acts against the United States, the headline of your Sept. 29 Keeping Faith section, "Reaching for God," was ironic to say the least. The misguided pilots who steered jetliners into the World Trade Center and Pentagon were doing just that, reaching for a Judeo/Christian/Islamic God.

No other incentive could have motivated them except supreme confidence that they were doing the will of God, Abraham or Allah and would soon be welcomed into paradise. They left notes and writings to that effect. Reliance on "divine guidance" and the false pretension that anyone could know, let alone understand, the will of any God will lead us down the same road as bin Laden.

The interview with Henry Blackaby appeared to echo the outrageous comments of Jerry Falwell, seemingly justifying acts of Islamic zealots as retribution by God because "we were turning away from God in government and courts were anti-Christian."

When will we stop this insanity? Religion is not the answer to these problems, it is the cause. It always has been, and always will be.

Jon Sobstad

Only experts should comment on outbreak

Hopefully, those in seats of government like Maui City Councilman Alan Arakawa and others whose comments have influence, will carefully weigh what they say about the dengue fever outbreak.

They should consult with the doctors at the state Health Department and learn all they can about the disease. Hopefully, they will see that any remarks about isolating or quarantining need to be left to the experts.

Jill Painter Christierson
Haiku, Maui

Let noisy frogs live to eat mosquitoes

It might be a good idea to leave the frogs alone for now. Their shrieking is just to let you know that they are on watch, and devouring hundreds of mosquitoes that might be carrying dengue fever.

They are great hunters of all kinds of bugs, and now we could use their help. Let them do their thing for now; they might just keep you healthy.

Skip Crawford

Use caution in decision on BRT

Implementation cost estimates and traffic forecasts for large transportation infrastructure projects, like the proposed Bus Rapid Transit for Honolulu, have been wrong in the past.

The U.S. Department of Transportation analyzed 10 rail transit projects implemented in the 1980s and valued at more than $16 billion in 1990 dollars. Cost overruns ranged from 10 to 106 percent with an average of 61 percent. A 1995 Danish study that analyzed costs from several transportation infrastructure projects worldwide concluded that cost overruns in the 50 to 100 percent range are common and overruns in excess of 100 percent do occur.

Transit ridership forecasts also tend to be overly optimistic. The DOT found that ridership was 28 to 85 percent lower than forecasts. On average, ridership was 65 percent lower than the forecasts.

If we build the Honolulu system, it may cost us more than 1.5 times the initial budget and less than half of the people expected to use it may do so. Several of them will be TheBus passengers as happens when there are overlapping mass transit systems.

The BRT will also generate considerable additional congestion on roads and intersections. If the proposed system can be successful under these conditions, then building it would most likely be a good thing.

Panos D. Prevedouros
Associate professor Department of Civil Engineering
University of Hawaii-Manoa

Articles helped save Queen's Dental Clinic

Many thanks to Star-Bulletin writer Helen Altonn, whose stories helped generate strong support in the crusade to save The Queen's Dental Clinic.

She was always willing to listen to our plea as well as responsibly report on the value of this clinic.

Richard Courson, D.D.S.

Culprits who set fires will get their due

On Sept. 9 another fire was started near Mililani Memorial Park. As a member of the Oahu Island Burial Council, I'd like to thank the fire and police units for responding. The council's primary objective is caring for our ancestral remains. Previous fires have been set in this area within the last few years.

May the arsonists cease this destructive, disrespectful and irresponsible action before it's too late. This reflects on their families. The spiritual power of Ke Akua and our Iwi Kupuna (ancient and contemporary) are real when harm is done deliberately. It just takes time and an example, such as the culprits who vandalized Puuiki cemetery, who were caught.

Thomas T. Shirai Jr.
Oahu Island Burial Council

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