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Traditional marriage must be preserved

Your Nov. 20 editorial supporting the Massachusetts Supreme Court's decision that forces their legislature to rewrite marriage laws to include homosexuals ignores the balance of powers between the three branches of government as established by our Founding Fathers.

The responsibility of the judiciary is to interpret the law, not to mandate new laws or to change old ones. This decision is another example of raw judicial activism with four unelected judges substituting their judgment for the judgment of the people of Massachusetts, and ultimately imposing their radical agenda on our entire country.

The latest polls show that 66 percent of Americans oppose homosexual marriage. In Hawaii, nearly 70 percent voted in 1998 to amend our state's Constitution affirming traditional marriage between one man and one woman.

The institution of marriage is too important to be altered to satisfy the whim of the moment. It was not created by law; the law merely recognizes it.

Janice Pechauer
Past president
Save Traditional Marriage '98

DOE has history of bullying reformers

Department of Education Communications Director Greg Knudsen's attempt to intimidate internationally renowned researcher Bill Ouchi by e-mailing his dean at UCLA, highlights a tactic that is often used to silence anyone who challenges the DOE status quo ("Education report sparks squabble," Dec. 6).

I was harassed when trying to obtain the Grant Thornton audit of the DOE. One would expect a level of professionalism from the DOE communications director, not attempts to discredit those who are trying to shed light on the black hole of DOE finances. What does the DOE have to hide?

Writing to the Board of Education is not going resolve the issue, since Knudsen's wife heads the board's Budget and Finance Committee. It is schools Superintendent Pat Hamamoto's responsibility to oversee the hiring and firing of those under her jurisdiction. If she allows this type of behavior to continue, she will have the black eye, not Ouchi and UCLA.

Laura Brown
SOS -- Support Our Schools
Citizens for Accountability in Education

Prosecutors ignore the real crimes

With city Prosecutor Peter Carlisle's office up for grabs in 2004, I understand spokesman Jim Fulton's tough talk when it comes to newspaper theft and jaywalking ("Waikiki spat wastes time and taxpayers' money," Raising Cane, Nov. 23).

I'm baffled prosecutors didn't pursue the man I caught stealing my car, or the young man my Neighborhood Watch caught with a stolen shotgun, or the youths who justified their assault on my daughter by saying they were shooting at cars.

There appears to be more substance for prosecuting the latter than someone bending over a newspaper, but it's an election year and every vote counts.

Kevin J. Mulkern

Musicians bailed out of Nabors' holiday fest

I was thrilled to attend the Annual Jim Nabors Christmas Show, "Friends and Nabors," at the Hawaii Theatre on Dec. 5. Nabors' show always focuses on the real meaning of Christmas and gets the season off to a good start for me.

The show was delightful; however, the lights went off about 9:30 during the finale. Nabors stayed on stage and told stories and answered questions while the theater manager arranged for HECO to get the lights back on. We were told that the lights would be on in about 10 minutes. As we waited, the Honolulu Symphony musicians packed up and departed the theater. Mat Catingub had the theater staff bring in a piano. As predicted, the lights were on in about 10 minutes, but alas, only Mat, a guitarist and a drummer remained on the stage.

The Honolulu Symphony musicians will not receive my support in the future. What a poor example they presented to all the young people and children who performed in the show.

Marilyn Gilbert

Let's get serious about developers' runoff

Developers are fouling our shorelines. The recent muddy runoff from Andy Anderson's North Shore development and the One Palauea Bay luxury development in South Maui are examples. Hokulia in 2000, Pilaa in 2001, and Palauea in 2001 and 2003 are other examples.

We expect the state and the county to enforce our clean water laws -- swiftly and strictly -- to protect our resources. The state must send a strong message to developers: Muddy runoff will not be tolerated.

Randy Ching

Magoon's generosity helped Hawaii Theatre

Remembering the late John H. "Jack" Magoon Jr. takes on additional meaning for the Hawaii Theatre Center, which owes its early success to Jack's generosity ("Kamaaina led Hawaiian Airlines into jet age and profits," Nov. 25).

In late 1986, when we learned that Jack's father and three uncles were among the corporate officers who built the theatre in 1922, three of us went to see Jack to tell him of our plans to restore it. His eyes lit up when we mentioned the Sept. 6, 1922, opening night.

"I was there," he said. "I was 6 years old, and it was the grandest place I'd ever seen."

He became our friend and benefactor. A few months later, on July 9, 1987, standing in the right box down front in the dingy, unrestored theatre, he announced a very large gift of his personal funds, the first major contribution that launched the community effort. Then-President Norman Goldstein also announced that the box in which they stood would be named "The John H. Magoon Box," in honor of both father and son.

From that beginning, our nonprofit organization was able to acquire the property and raise more than $3 million for the restoration project. Jack Magoon also helped us obtain neighboring property, and later donated works of art that now hang in the lobby.

If your readers are among the more than 750,000 people who have attended events at the Hawaii Theatre since its 1996 re-opening, they might like to know of the generosity of our late benefactor.

Claire W. Engle
Board of Directors member and former vice president
Hawaii Theatre Center

Mamas, don't let your kids grow up to be cops

Why would parents encourage their child to become a Honolulu police officer? Everyone knows the good stuff about being a HPD officer; now let's look at some of the not-so-good stuff.

>> The profession of police officer is increasingly the most dangerous on this island.
>> They see the ugliest of human carnage and cruelty.
>> People they arrest hate them; motorists they ticket curse them.
>> An officer must make split-second, life-and-death decisions, yet can be held personally liable for a mistake.
>> Officers have high rates of divorce, alcoholism and suicide.
>> Depending on the type of police work they do, their own families may be placed in danger.

Any parent who encourages his or her child to become a Honolulu police officer should be reported to the police immediately.

Bob Iinuma

Spread the message about street racing

Clark Himeda's Dec. 11 letter about street-racers really sends a message: "Think before you do." Think of the burden you can cause to your family and friends, even to our community.

People like Himeda and me are writing to the newspaper, hoping to make an impact. But how many street-racers read the editorial section of the newspaper? Not many, I suppose. In fact, how many young people care about anyone besides themselves?

Many of these young racers are in college or working at jobs with no future. They want to party and enjoy life. Believe me, I've been there and done that. Don't you older people remember the days when you did all those reckless things?

So what can we do to stop illegal racing? In reality, there is nothing we can do. There will always be that one person who will do the unthinkable. We don't live in a perfect world. Things like this will happen even if we try to prevent them. We can only hope that people will spread verbal warnings.

So all you teachers, counselors and everyone else out there, preach to those youngsters! Let's pass on our wisdom about street-racing.

Raena Tong

Give Lingle credit for reaching out

So the Democrats think Governor Lingle's first year in office was more public relations than substance. The governor's response to these petty comments was right on -- such criticisms are really compliments to what she has achieved.

Unlike her predecessors, Lingle understands that she works for the people of the state and makes every effort to go out into the community to interact with the public and listen to their concerns.

Rather than dictate bureaucratic policy, Lingle takes the time to solicit input from all sectors, including the many who have felt disenfranchised in years past. She looks at all sides of an issue, and isn't afraid to modify her position when new information comes to light that would result in a better outcome for the state.

It's clear that the governor's genuine efforts to communicate with the public have struck a nerve among the old-boy network. That's likely because they never believed in keeping the public informed of their backroom antics, and as a result, they're realizing that no one's listening to them.

Rhonda Funn

Before casting blame, let the families grieve

This is in reference to Corky's Dec. 11 cartoon captioned "Did I win?" about last week's deadly car accident in Waianae. Even though I don't condone speeding or racing, I strongly felt that it was an inappropriate time to paint an unsympathetic picture of the accident. The cause has not been established yet.

Please, let's all be compassionate to the grieving families. Let them grieve slowly! Hawaiian say "pau already," nothing can bring them back. Nothing! Let's get to the real matter (cause of the crash) later.

Even though I don't know the victims or the families, I'm grieving, too. I was really hurt to see that happen, and I'm sorry for the families that have to endure that kind of torture.

Lisa Moniz

Makakilo makes quick work of road fixes

I commend Campbell Estate for its no-excuses approach to solving our traffic problems. After the Makakilo Community Association meeting on Oct. 8, where more than 300 people voiced their concerns, our association immediately went to work with City Councilman Nestor Garcia and Campbell Estate to resolve those concerns.

Garcia has been responsive and diligent in searching for solutions. Campbell Estate's move to build new roads is proof that we can accomplish much in the spirit of cooperation.

Roy Wickramaratna
Makakilo Community Association

Ewa Beach could use friends like Makakilo's

I have to congratulate the Friends of Makakilo. In little more than two months they were able to change the roadwork plan in their community so that it would be completed in a year instead of five or 10 years.

Unfortunately, in Ewa Beach we don't have a Campbell Estate or competent legislators. The state Department of Transportation plans to take three years to widen Fort Weaver Road from four to six lanes.

Traffic already backs up so it takes up to an hour to get to or from H1. With construction, we can expect hour-long or longer delays. The smart thing to do was to build the promised north-south road to divert traffic from Fort Weaver Road during the construction.

Or the state could make the project its top priority and get it done in one year. Or, heaven forbid, we could stop building homes until the infrastructure is in place. Instead, our legislators, with their developer campaign donations in hand, are allowing a three-year project that will make horrible traffic into unbearable traffic. Can the Friends of Makakilo please come to Ewa Beach to help us?

Garry P. Smith
Ewa Beach




What should the city do with
the elegant old sewage pump station?

It's empty and fading, and now it's taking a beating from all the construction going on around it. The O.G. Traphagen-designed sewage pump station on Ala Moana Boulevard, more than a century old, is a monument to the glory days of municipal architecture, when city fathers took such pride in their community that even a humble sewage station became a landmark structure. Millions of tourists drive by it every year, and it's an embarrassing reminder of how poorly Honolulu treats its historic landmarks. Over the years, dozens of uses and excuses and blue-sky speculations have been suggested for the striking structure. Now we're asking you, Mr. and Mrs. Kimo Q. Publique, what should the city do with the elegant old pump building?

Send your ideas and solutions by Jan. 15 to:

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

c/o Nancy Christenson


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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