Letters to the Editor

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Are we forgetting the reason for the season?

The Honolulu Police Department on Beretania Street has a sign erected that reads "Happy Holidays" instead of Mele Kalikimaka or Merry Christmas to celebrate the time of the season. Was this done for political correctness?

The Hawaiian Electric Co. power plant on Kamehameha Highway displayed the true sign of the season, Merry Christmas.

What's Christmas about anyway? Wasn't there a death, an emptiness, a need? Wasn't there a love somewhere -- infinite, eternal, unchangeable -- a love that gave his only son away?

That's what Christmas is all about: God coming to Earth in the person of the Christ child to give us the free gift of eternal salvation. After all, Christmas season is a time for giving and receiving gifts.

Melvin Partido Sr.
Pearl City

Christmas meaning lost in shopping daze

I don't know how old Linda Campbell ("Remove the chip from your spiritual shoulder," Dec. 12) is, but I can remember the secularists starting to transform Christian holy days from the mid-'50s, and they have been chipping away (no pun intended) until this day. I don't think Christians today have a chip on their shoulder; it's more like a log (as in yule).

The secularists can say or do what they can get away with; but the fact is that Christ was born on Christmas Day and baptized on Jan. 6, which is called the Epiphany.

What I can't understand is, where have our Christian leaders been all these years? They have seen the secularist turn these holy days into nothing more than spending days. Well, this cat hasn't shopped at all since my kids were born. I put money into their bank account for their college education; I'm doing the same for my grandkids. If more people would do this, we Christians could send a strong message to retailers to start changing their ways.

I would like to wish my Christian friends a "Merry Christmas" and my non-Christian friends a "Happy Holiday."

Fred Cavaiuolo

Consumers may need a refund of the refund

The new bottle bill is a great idea, but have you seen these new stickers on the containers that you return for a refund? Some of them read "DEPOSIT HI .05 cents." Are the local stores overcharging us at 5 cents a can? Does this mean we are only getting back $.0005 on each container?

Can I legally refuse to pay this extra 6 cents when I buy these containers with these labels?

Alvin Wong
Pearl City

As city's tax take rises, fees should go down

So, the real estate tax valuations are up an average 26 percent and the politicians are rolling in the dough. Does this all mean that some of the city fee hikes -- such as for vehicle registration -- will be repealed? Or is that too much to ask?

Phil Robertson

Letter writer carries venomous message

George Berish's letter of Dec. 12, "Without Hawaiians we would still have aloha," is confusing. He starts with praise for his "Creator" for the blessings of sun, sky, mountains, seas and climate of Hawaii, but quickly segues into his agenda of animus toward Hawaiians who offend him with their "preachiness" in pursuit of native rights. He sees the social and economic ills of Hawaiians as self-imposed and therefore irretrievable.

His enmity also extends to the Bishop Estate, which he sees as fruitlessly attempting to educate the uneducable, when instead they should be funding Department of Education teacher pay raises.

He sees "vibrant and vital art and culture" of Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Tahiti in the Hawaiian landscape, but acknowledges no likewise contribution from the Hawaiian community.

Berish speaks of the "neighborliness" of his youth, with equivalence to "aloha spirit," embodying a "wonderful spirit of mutual respect," yet his personal gas tank of respect for Hawaiians runs on empty.

His message is venomous; there is no aloha spirit. It clearly illustrates the Berish version of a Hawaii without Hawaiians. I suggest that Berish leave Hawaii now to enjoy the neighborliness of his birthplace, and stay there.

Phyllis Zerbe

Anti-abortion truck puts end to visits

After many visits to your great city and beaches with my wife and two young children, we will no longer travel to Honolulu.

The reason? The abominable practice of the anti-abortion crusaders in your city of showing the unspeakable blown-up pictures of bloody aborted fetuses posted on a truck that circulates along Kuhio and Kalakaua avenues.

Having complained during previous visits by telephone to city officials, I received various reactions ranging from "We can't do anything due to freedom of speech" to "The matter in now being dealt with and the truck will no longer be on the streets." We were disappointed and disgusted when on Dec. 12, while lining up outside a popular restaurant on our last vacation day, the same truck appeared again, resulting in our appetites being lost and having to field our children's questions as to the meaning of those pictures.

Regardless of one's views on abortion and freedom of speech, there are limits. Proponents of public nudism would not be allowed to showcase pictures of naked men, women and children posted on a truck in public. Then why are these "crusaders" allowed to?

W.P. Muller
Vancouver, B.C., Canada

U.S. should learn from other conquerors

It's time we learn from history. American reaction to those reports of atrocities committed by our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are seriously interfering with the expansion of the American empire.

The Mongols knew better. There were no embedded reporters among the conquering horde that besieged Baghdad in the 13th century, no Amnesty International reporting how the inhabitants were being treated, no dewy-eyed liberals back in Mongolia to criticize the onward march of civilization.

Conquest is what counts. Let's forget everything else.

John A. Broussard
Kamuela, Hawaii

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