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McDermott's opinion on gays is irrelevant

Failed right-wing candidate Bob McDermott has had a Eureka! moment. He has suddenly realized that gays want not just to be tolerated, but accepted as well (Letters, July 7). Since gays have been saying this for the more than three decades -- ever since the Stonewall riots -- I'm wondering why it's taken him so long to catch on.

Two things that he's wrong about, though: He thinks we want a law saying gay is normal and he thinks we want his small section of society to say it's OK to be gay. Not so. Gay is already normal. And we don't need people like him saying it's OK for us to be who we are; we need them to discard the arrogant notion that it is within their competence to say being gay is not OK.

I know the right-wing "community" is not happy about the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court, having earlier taken away their right to discriminate against blacks, women and other minorities, has now decided that gays also are entitled to fair and equal treatment.

Society and history are moving forward, Bob. Come along or stay behind, it's your choice. But know this: No one is going to hang around waiting for you.

Andrew Thomas

LCC coordinator should be reinstated

The residents of Waianae are accustomed to being overlooked, neglected and let down by government officials. We have become proactive as a community as a result of this. Lucy Gay is proactive as well ("Contract not renewed for popular LCC official," Star-Bulletin, July 10).

As Leeward Community College coordinator, Gay has built up a sorely neglected joke of a community college outlet into a viable educational alternative for the Waianae Coast. The list of improvements she has made in her short time here is long. She has gone far beyond the call of duty and cannot easily be replaced. We as a community believe she is the best person to continue the improvements that she has made here.

We hope that those who have the oversight of LCC Chancellor Mark Silliman will be wiser than he, and will overrule his poor decision.

Susan Endo
On behalf of the Executive Council, Makaha Ahupua'a Community Association

Veto commentary showed clear thinking

I want to commend Chiyome Fukino and Lillian Koller, directors of the state Department of Health and Department of Human Services, respectively, for their concise commentary ("Despite governor's vetoes, safety net for the needy remains intact," Star-Bulletin, July 7.)

Hawaii is renowned for its expansive social service programs, and DOH and DHS have made tremendous efforts to ensure the health, safety and welfare of Hawaii's people. Their support for Governor Lingle's decision to veto social-service program allocations is not only a sign of organizational loyalty, but of unburdened, clear thinking.

On the other hand, July 8's veto override legislative session was saturated with party-line drivel -- hardly the cogent, unbiased thinking we elect our representatives to display.

Fiscal discipline goes beyond financial responsibilities; it inherently includes the government's responsibilities to the people.

Kristi Sue-Ako

Fanning Island journey is great entertainment

The article by Harry Thomas, published in the June 22 Star-Bulletin, sent my brain spinning! Here is a person who went on a Norwegian cruise liner, apparently to be entertained the entire time. He gained none of the pleasures experienced by those who take a cruise to relax and visit a different culture.

Fanning Island's sand strips surround a large central lagoon filled with coral heads and exotic fish. The island's known history begins when Capt. Edmund Fanning sighted it in 1798. A coconut (copra) plantation was established. A cable station was built before World War I to connect Canada, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia, the main Pacific posts of the British empire.

The people who live there today are citizens of the Republic of Kiribati. When the cruise ships arrive, the residents provide entertainment and help serve food to the guests. They have little else to share, but they are very friendly.

The one day at sea when the ship is on its way to the island and the one on the return trip provide time for relaxing. If this is not reason enough to go on an ocean cruise, then somehow I have missed the purpose of it.

Marion Kelly

Pedestrian lights put beloved angel at rest

Our beloved Marilene Rongcal Bacani did not die in vain. The crosswalk fronting Child and Family Services at Fort Weaver Road finally got its pedestrian-activated lights.

On July 09, 2002, a week after celebrating her 16th birthday, Marilene lost her life after she was hit by a car on the crosswalk. She was on her way to the bus stop to do volunteer work for handicapped children at Campbell High School.

We, the Rongcal-Bacani family, would like to thank all of the people who rallied behind us -- relatives, friends, the Child and Family Services staff, James Campbell High School staff and students and some strangers. We thank everyone who signed our petitions and sign-waved with us for many days to get the attention of the authorities for these traffic lights.

Special thanks go to Sen. Willie Espero and his assistant Tom Berg, Sen. Brian Kanno and his staff, Rep. Romy Mindo, the Ewa Beach Neighborhood Board and former member Pam Smith, and all the community leaders who supported us and followed through on our request for these life-saving lights. Thank you to the Department of Transportation for listening and acting on our plea. Finally, a big mahalo to all members of the media for supporting our cause and for being with us since the tragic accident happened.

Our very special angel, Marilene, who will forever live in our hearts, will now rest in peace knowing that pedestrians can use the Child and Family Services Center crosswalk safely.

Lolita Rongcal Takeda Rongcal-Bacani family



What should be done about those triangle-shaped concrete islands created when the city makes two-way streets one way?

Send your ideas and solutions by July 14 to:

Or mail them to:
c/o Burl Burlingame
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

c/o Burl Burlingame


How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). 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 and include a daytime telephone number.

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