Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Thursday, May 06, 2010

BP wrong to call oil spill 'small'

Thank you for your coverage of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The other morning, I heard BP Hawaii present an ad on the radio characterizing the current oil spill as “;small”; and then attaching an advertisement to buy its product.

I am outraged and found myself for the first time writing a letter to the editor. There was no sincere contrition, and the arrogance of the oil company giant to even try to present a humorous, tongue-in-cheek spin on the worst ecological event in recent memory by phrasing it as “;small”; is beyond words.

I find no humor in this horrible event that grows worse by the day. Nice of the company to take care of its own shores and oceans but come to America and ruin our ocean and coastline. After fouling our waters and negatively impacting our country's economy, the company should be made to pay dearly and sent home packing to where it came from, never to grace our shores again.

To tar and feather the BP executives seems too good an end for them—but we should give it a try.

Lois Berger







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Aiona's denials about religion contradicted

Thank you for the article on Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona's involvement with Transformation Hawaii and the International Transformation Network (”;Lieutenant governor denies desire for state faith,”; Star-Bulletin, May 5).

Aiona's denial of membership in these groups is contradicted by his participation over the years.

ITN uses video of Aiona, identifying him as the lieutenant governor of Hawaii, to promote its conferences, DVDs and beliefs. Aiona is featured so prominently that one could assume he is its Hawaii spokesperson.

Aiona wrote a chapter for a book published by Transformation Hawaii and the ITN. His chapter, “;Praying at the Government Gate,”; promotes religion in government through monthly prayer sessions conducted in his state Capitol office.

City Councilman Gary Okino's chapter in the book is titled “;Bringing God to City Hall.”; He recounts his efforts as a politician to transform city government and describes a statewide prayer event that showed “;a video of the lieutenant governor leading the participants in a prayer for the schools.”;

The clear purpose of these groups is to promote God in government. Such activity violates the oath of office, taken by all elected officials, to uphold and defend the Constitution.

Holly J. Huber



Governor should veto civil unions measure

The decision by Hawaii's House Democrats to pull House Bill 444 on civil unions to the floor for a vote at the last minute betrayed the people of Hawaii, who in 1998 passed a constitutional amendment in effect ratifying traditional marriage by nearly 70 percent.

Although civil union supporters claimed people's minds have changed, a recent poll showed almost 70 percent are still opposed to same-sex marriage.

HB 444 offers all the same benefits of marriage and clearly violates the intent of the constitutional amendment. Its supporters have stated they will demand a name change to marriage after it passed. Who could now doubt they would succeed?

Gov. Linda Lingle can restore the intent of the marriage amendment and the will of Hawaii's people by vetoing HB 444.

Janice Pechauer



Reconcile ancient Bible beliefs to today's world

To Christian fundamentalists who quote the Bible in controversies involving gays and lesbians and civil unions, I offer the following statement after conferring with a retired minister, being inspired by Bishop John Shelby Spong and other prominent religious advocates, and theological schools offering the concept of the Bible being a record of man's search for God:

Scholars in colleges and universities have studied the intricacies, the wonders and the mysteries of human sexuality over many, many decades. There is still much more to learn.

I feel that parts of the Bible reflect the cultural attitudes that existed 2,000 years ago, which included beliefs that the world was flat, unequal attitudes about women, slavery and homophobia.

I urge people to reconcile their religious beliefs with the reality that people do not choose their sexual orientation.

Harold Kameya

Granada Hills, Calif., and former Maui resident


Hawaii's health law favors private sector

There is a significant difference between the health care benefits of employees of the state as compared to private industry.

In 1974, the Prepaid Health Care (PHC) Act was passed in Hawaii and covers all employers, excluding federal, state and city government and some other categories.

The PHC Act states “;... in no case shall the employee contribute more than 1.5 percent of the employee's wages; and provided that if the amount of the employee's contribution is less than one half of the premium.”;

Those working for private industry pay no more than 1.5 percent of their wages toward health care coverage. State employees have no such protection and pay a much larger percentage of their income toward health care coverage.

As a state employee, I pay over 14 percent of my wages and 50 percent of the monthly premium for health care coverage.

Because state employees are not offered the protection provided by the PHC Act, the Lingle administration was able to increase the amount we pay for health care coverage significantly in July 2009 and wants to do so again in July 2010.

I hope those in private industry appreciate the PHC Act that was passed on their behalf and keeps the cost of their health care coverage affordable.

Kim Murphy