For Wednesday, December 22, 2010
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 22, 2010
When something is one-of-a-kind, it's something to be treasured and preserved.
Our beloved state is about to lose one of its most endearing and meaningful treasures: Kumu Kahua Theatre. Due to the financial crisis, our Legislature has cut the grants that Kumu Kahua receives by 60 percent. Now the theater, which has entertained and educated us for 40 years, needs our help to stay alive.
Kumu Kahua has been giving a voice to many Hawaiian storytellers, thus ensuring that the history and important social issues of native Hawaiians are not forgotten.
During this special time of year where we all have giving in our hearts, please consider sending the gift of aloha to Kumu Kahua by visiting www.kumukahua.org.
Don't diminish the voices of native Hawaiians -- donate today. Any amount helps.
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The "rightness" or "wrongness" of rail transportation on Oahu aside, the commentary by Kioni Dudley and others on Dec. 13 completely ignored the fact that the remaining portion of the Oahu Railway and Land Company right-of-way (ROW) is totally unsuitable for use by a modern commuter rail system ("Current rail plans rife with problems," Island Voices, Star-Advertiser).
The existing ROW consists of a strip of land about 13 miles long and 40 feet wide between Lualualei Naval Road and Fort Weaver Road. In many places it is much narrower than 40 feet due to encroachment and construction.
This 1890s-designed and -built ROW was to support a single-track, 3-foot narrow gauge railroad, not a standard gauge (4 feet, 8 1/2 inch) double-track system.
Also, the ROW is listed on both the state and national registers of historic places.
That portion of the old ROW between Fort Weaver Road and Pearl City is used as a bike path and transits an environmentally sensitive wetlands area. There is no usable ROW east of Pearl City.
Attempting to use the existing ROW between Nanakuli and Ewa is akin to building Hawaii's version of Alaska's "bridge to nowhere."
Mr. Dudley was made aware of these and other facts well prior to publication of his letter.
Legislation repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy has turned the U.S. military into a new front for social and cultural experimentation.
This is not in the public interest.
Stealing the language of the civil rights movement, homosexual activists have succeeded in making a comparison between racial discrimination and homosexual sexual acts, though it is a comparison without merit.
Membership in a racial category is a status; homosexual sexual practices are voluntary sexual actions. These actions have been defined and condemned as immoral by every society in history up until the present because they close the sex act to the gift of life.
No one with any moral foundation who accepts the existence of fundamental human rights supports discrimination against any human persons, including those with same-sex attraction.
That is not the issue here.
The intent of this legislation is to enforce a societal acceptance of homosexual and bisexual relationships as morally equivalent to opposite-sex marriage -- or face the police power of The State.
This is legally and socially dangerous, as marriage can be defined only as the union of one man and one woman.
The "don't ask, don't tell" repeal is not a civil rights breakthrough but a moral catastrophe foisted on the American public.
Three cheers for Congress repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" rule. This adds muscle to an America draining itself dry on two wars and Wall Street hucksters while China and India invest in infrastructure, education and new industries.
America is strong because we empower all members of society.
America is a meritocracy where the best and the brightest rise to the top.
It is said that America is the only nation where immigrants are welcomed into the fold within two years when they embrace the values of hard work, education and grassroots democracy.
The repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" brings into the mainstream one of the last outcasts from American society -- gays.
Most of the gays I know are highly educated, hard-working, creative and giving -- exactly the traits needed to keep America strong. The repeal portends a greater, all-inclusive America.
Several days ago, in the midst of the holiday rush, I stopped by the Kahala Post Office to deliver a package. I patiently waited my turn in a line that circled past the entry/exit door.
Relieved to finally be in front of the clerk, I was surprised to find out that I had forgotten my wallet.
After several attempts to figure out a solution to my dilemma, a kind-hearted, wonderful woman insisted on paying the charge and happily said, "Merry Christmas!"
Although I tried to ask her for her address to repay her kindness, she would not accept anything for her selfless generosity.
I wanted to write in hopes that she will read this letter: Thank you very much, and just wanted to let you know that I paid it forward by donating a gift to the Angel Tree at the Kahala Mall.