Letters to the Editor

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Why did Hamamoto go to the media first?

Schools Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto's concern about Governor Lingle's budget affecting special education is a fine example of the challenges our governor faces (Star-Bulletin, Dec. 10). Rather than taking the issue directly to the governor, Hamamoto prefers to broadcast it over the media first. If Hamamoto's preference is to play politics rather than teamwork, perhaps her true ambition should be questioned.

Fred Valmoja

Does the 'E' stand for 'empty'?

The new "E" bus route appears to be another waste of tax dollars. I have traveled this new route several times only to find that these new articulated buses seem to carry no more than a handful of passengers, which leaves me wonder why extended buses are used in the first place, and off the beaten path to boot.

We are in fact losing money on this boondoggle, but what the heck, we have millions to throw away, don't we?

Timothy A. Cook

Bottle deposit is just another tax

I just looked at the bottle redemption centers posted on www.hi5deposit.com. Since I live near Punchbowl and I walk, I am supposed to lug all my empties to Kalihi? This is nothing more than an additional tax that is going to have little or no effect on solid waste.

I support a redemption center at the state Capitol and would like to see all concerned citizens drop off their bottles and cans at the Capitol building. Forget the refund ... the money would go back to the general fund (where it already is accumulating), and all the officials would have a view from their koa offices of how effective their blatant revenue-generating legislation is. How do you spell "May the life of the land be buried in bottles and cans" in Hawaiian?

Steve A. Ishol

Hawaii animal lovers make a difference

Ken Ige's heartwarming story in the Dec. 5 Star-Bulletin about the plight of the kittens was a perfect example of how one family can make a huge difference in the lives of animals.

The Hawaiian Humane Society is a membership organization made up of thousands of island residents like the Iges who care about animals in our city and have joined together to make a difference. At the Hawaiian Humane Society, more than 30,000 animals arrived at our doorstep during the past year and volunteers provided foster care to more than 700 animals.

We thank the Iges and encourage all animal lovers to play a role in making a difference in the lives of the animals in our community.

Pamela Burns
President and CEO
Hawaiian Humane Society

Holiday display misses meaning of Christmas

This past week I had the privilege of spending my vacation in your beautiful city and was fortunate to be able to spend some time enjoying the sights and sounds of the Honolulu City Lights at Honolulu Hale. I was not so pleased to come across the inappropriate, gloating and irrelevant display by the Alliance for Traditional Marriage and Values. There are many forums for debating and discussing the divisive issue of gay marriage, but the City Lights festival is not one of them.

I am aware that the City and County of Honolulu has nothing to do with the display's funding or placement in the vicinity of the festival. Still, I do wish that Mike Gabbard and his organization would, in this season of good will, manifest a greater understanding of the real meaning of Christmas and, most importantly, the meaning of aloha.

Richard Rovatti
San Francisco, Calif.

Without Hawaiians we would still have aloha

Proponents of government preferences for natives of Hawaii often challenge the people of Hawaii to "imagine Hawaii without Hawaiians." So what would the people of Hawaii -- descendants of people who gave their lives building and protecting Hawaii -- find if they found no "Hawaiians"?

A glorious sun, nurturing climate, striking mountains and an enchanting ocean. These are gifts from the Creator to all humanity.

A wonderful spirit of cooperation and mutual respect called "aloha spirit" here (and neighborliness where I was born). That is a gift here (as it was in my birthplace) from varied immigrants whose harsh and unjust lives forced them to cooperate with, respect and mutually support one another, and to find a common means to communicate.

Vibrant and vital art and culture of islands such as Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Tahiti. Even today tourism depends more on the vitality and variety of these cultures than on the recent preachiness of proponents for natives of Hawaii.

Relief from the massive government and tax expenditures dedicated to a minority that by its own claim is characterized by below-average health, accomplishment and education, and above-average violence toward those they should love. The Bishop Estate tax exemption alone costs the people of Hawaii more than twice the cost of raises that teachers deserve.

In short, the people of Hawaii would find the same Hawaii blessed with the Creator's gifts and the aloha spirit of all Hawaii's people.

George L. Berish

We have bigger worries than steroids

I wish the politicians would concentrate on the threat of terrorism rather than the threat of performance-enhancing drugs. But maybe al-Qaida uses steroids. They apparently like cocaine, like the Nazi SS. And our War Against Some Drugs has propped up a black market in opium poppies in Afghanistan, assuring the Taliban of a lot of black market cash. Some young Americans have died for "freedom" there, including former NFL player Pat Tillman. A scenario like this was once described as an absurd policy of self-defeat.

Politicians desperately need some kind of intelligence- enhancing drug.

George Mason

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