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Everyone here came from somewhere else

Since coming to the islands, I've learned that there's the "aloha" spirit, and there's also the "haole leave" spirit.

I'm afraid that trying to control or turn back the presence of America in Hawaii can be compared to trying to stop a large, fast-moving river. I'm American, and I became a part of this river when my forefathers from England, Germany and Wales immigrated to the beautiful continent of North America. They left their homelands with hopes of finding freedom.

I wonder to what extent their freedom was free. Brothers of sisters, daughters of mothers and husbands of wives were killed, fighting against each other. The "Indians" died trying to preserve themselves, their lands and their freedom from my freedom-driven fathers. We took their freedoms, and now, some say, America is taking the Hawaiians' freedoms. Consequently, some Hawaiians want me to go back to the mainland; while on the mainland, some Native Americans want me back in Europe, and I'm sure someone in Europe would want me somewhere else.

If I'm not Hawaiian, then maybe I'm American. And, if not American, then German. And, if not German, then Danish ... I'm not sure. Are Hawaiians really Hawaiians? Didn't their forefathers immigrate to these islands from somewhere else?

A Hawaiian is as much of an immigrant as I. With that, I would like to say I'm staying here, and Hawaiians are welcome to stay, too.

Elliott Phelps

Definition of Hawaiian keeps changing

Years ago, it was proclaimed that to be considered a "Hawaiian," one had to have at least 50 percent Hawaiian blood. But the ever-widening flow of intermarriages has resulted in a dazzling array of mixtures, producing beautiful people but thinning out the Hawaiian bloodline. For years I have thought that to be considered Hawaiian, a person had to hit that 50 percent mark. Even now, to qualify for lands given by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, recipients must have 50 percent blood quantum.

But this distinction seems to be disappearing. Linda Dela Cruz, an Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee, has said there are discrepancies between the Native Hawaiian Registry and the Native Hawaiian Roll (NHR-1 and NHR-2) as to the diminishing amount of Hawaiian blood a person possesses. Due to intermarrying, this situation was bound to happen. To register for either census, one needs only a birth certificate on which there is the word "Hawaiian." Wow! She also says that even one drop of Hawaiian blood qualifies a person for this registration. Finally, she cautions that 100 years from now, one drop of Hawaiian blood will have been divided so many times that "Hawaiian blood" will no longer exist.

In the end, with so much confusion among the groups challenging one another in lawsuits related to Hawaiian issues, it will be no wonder to me when the courts decide the current cases with a slant toward the views expressed in the U.S. Constitution.

Kosta Stojanovich

Everyone should share cost of police raises

I'm all for the vehicle weight tax increase to help pay for police raises. But everyone must pay into this. It's not fair to put this burden only on auto owners. The police are here to serve all of us, not just the people who own cars and trucks.

Ed Harai
Ewa Beach

Graduation task force hearing just shibai

On Dec. 5 a public hearing was held at McKinley High School for input to the Department of Education's "Vision for the High School Graduate."

It was a very disappointing and pretentious meeting. Not a single member of the Graduation Requirements Task Force was present. The only DOE representative at the hearing was Instructional Services Branch Director Anthony Calabrese, who charted the ideas he found significant.

If task forces could not be present, I would have liked to see three easels with the categories "what," "why" and "how," as professionals and concerned citizens made their presentations.

It seems as if all that was said was "gone with the wind." The meeting appeared to be shibai, held only so it could be said that pubic input was provided.

If the DOE's Graduation Requirements Task Force and the staff of Instructional Services do not correct the incompetencies and unaccountability that exist in the pubic schools today, the "Vision for High School Graduates" will be a blurry one, not only for future graduates, but for today's, as well.

Faith Wong

Help for keiki with delayed development

Thank you for publishing the story about Daniel and Kathy Ulrich's family ("Family activities ease boy's disorder," Nov. 16). We are pleased that the early intervention services provided to Myles and his family support his development.

The Early Intervention Section of the Department of Health is mandated by federal and state law to provide services statewide to children from birth to 3 years old who are developmentally delayed (or at risk) and their families. Services assist the child's physical, cognitive, communicative, social or emotional, and adaptive development. There is no cost to the family for services and support.

If anyone has questions or concerns about the development of their child under age 3, they should call our information and referral line, the Hawaii Keiki Information Service System (H-KISS), at 808-973-9633 for Oahu and 800-235-5477 for those on the neighbor islands.

Again, thank you for telling the story about one of our families.

Sue Brown
Early Intervention Section, Department of Health




Dirty gutter talk

Those orange rolls that highway engineers have been shoving into storm drain openings -- there must be a more efficient or practical or attractive way to filter out road debris. These things are about as useful and pleasing to the eye as huge, discarded cigarette butts.

Send your ideas, drawings and solutions by Thursday, Dec. 17 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.

Letter form: Online form, click here
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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