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Isle leaders failed to stand up for pledge

I am disappointed that so few of Hawaii's leaders made public statements against the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision on the Pledge of Allegiance. I did not hear a peep out of Governor Cayetano or Hawaii's congressional delegation. The only leader I did see on television was Board of Education member Carol Gabbard, who rightfully said Hawaii should ignore this ridiculous court decision.

I am beginning to understand why Hawaii has the lowest voter turnout in the nation. There is so much corruption in our political system, and so few of our politicians are willing to put politics aside to take a stand for what's right.

I am probably not the only one who is convinced that the only thing of importance to the majority of our elected officials is to stay in power.

David Estrada


Koreans justified in anger toward Japan

In his column ("Koreans still find it difficult to be good sports about Japan," The Rising East, Star-Bulletin, June 30), Richard Halloran writes about the "grudge" and feelings of "antipathy" Koreans display against Japan long after the Japanese colonization of Korea ended.

How would you feel if a Japanese emptied his pipe on your head to make you drag your rickshaw faster? Or if the Japanese forced you to adopt the Japanese language and culture, forsaking your own? Or if you had to replace your name with a Japanese one? Or if you had to submit your body to countless Japanese soldiers for their pleasure? It isn't surprising, then, that Koreans hold a "grudge."

On the other hand, Halloran says, many Japanese show no hard feelings toward Koreans, but why should they? Koreans have never enslaved their nation and raped their women. It will take more than time to heal the wounds of the past. Perhaps Japan can start the healing process by honestly and sincerely admitting their wrongdoing and begging Korea for forgiveness. Let's see them rewrite their history textbooks and educate their children about what truly happened during the colonization of Korea and during World War II. Only then can there be a genuine sense of closure and a resolve to forgive and forget.

Glenda Chung Hinchey

Excessive noise ruins Waikiki ambience

Ray Graham hit it right ("Back-up beepers destroy tranquility," Letters, Star-Bulletin, June 29). Back-up beepers on construction equipment blast at well over the legal decibel limit, even when they work in fenced-off areas with no people around. Fire trucks and ambulances go down Ala Wai with full sirens on at night when there's hardly any traffic and the lights are green.

Would it not be easy to have some control over the sirens, like first using the quieter blast and turning on the brain-rocking blast only when needed, such as through red lights?

How come the rest of the world does fine with quieter signals? Singapore's Orchad Road is lined with big hotels and high-rises and even in heavy traffic, you may hear a siren once a week, whereas here we encourage people to call 911 for any little reason. And in Singapore, back-up beepers use a pleasant "ko-koo" sound.

We also must put up with thunderous motorbikes, screaming mopeds and ridiculous car alarms. Can nothing be done to stop this nuisance?

Audun Davik


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