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Declaration guides our Constitution

It is fitting that Gov. Linda Lingle is deciding the fate of civil unions over the Fourth of July weekend. The opening words of the Declaration of Independence — "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" — are among the most quoted words in the English language.

It was not until the debate over slavery divided this nation that these famous words again came into the nation’s consciousness. Supporters of slavery argued that these words were either false or only applied to white males.

Abraham Lincoln argued the Declaration of Independence was a founding document of our nation. To Lincoln these words represented this nation’s moral compass. We can thank him for making the Declaration the lens through which we interpret our Constitution.

The Rev. William Albinger


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Fireworks cost seems a waste

It’s astounding how easy it is for certain individuals and businesses to come up with $50,000 for a few minutes of pretty fireworks for Kailua’s July 4 event. Just imagine the positive impact those same people would have if they mobilized their considerable resources and focused their energies on doing some real good for the community.

Pat Kamalani Hurley


Sen. Inouye gets more leverage

While I am sad for the loss of Sen. Daniel Inouye’s friend Sen. Robert Byrd, I am encouraged that our senior senator has been named president protempore of the U.S. Senate. This new position will almost certainly enhance the considerable respect Sen. Inouye commands in Washington, D.C., and assist him in continuing to deliver federal investments in Hawaii’s communities and our infrastructure.

With Hawaii’s economic recovery still far from full strength, the federal dollars that Sen. Inouye can secure for education, social services and infrastructure like rail transit are critical.

I wish Sen. Inouye success in new duties and his continued service to our islands.

Keane Oamaye


Public workers need a pay cut

Hawaii should do what Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is doing in California and cut the wages of public workers, so as not to raise bus fares and taxes that target the poor working class of Hawaii.

Maybe then those public workers will treat the public better and understand what the average resident in Hawaii who makes less than $25,000 a year is going through. I feel there is a big divide in understanding between the working class and the elites.

Skye White


Fretting over cuts misplaced

Your headline of "Oahu residents fret over city furloughs" (Star-Advertiser, June 25) is front-page news because some lady is worried that she is going to have to bring her own toilet paper to the park two days out of the month? Puh-leeeese! Your headline should have been: "Residents can rest assured, mayor and Council deliver full service on public safety and transportation."

C.Y. Watase


Schools should have PE classes

I couldn’t agree more with Stephen Bradley, M.D., ("Overall, a fit kid is a smarter kid," Letters, June 25) that physical activity is an absolute must — and not just for children but for adults, too. Our nation’s problem with obesity and the high cost of health insurance are all rooted in the fact that physical education in our schools has disappeared. Unless a child has athletic parents, how is that child going to learn how to be an athlete?

Every school should have a certified PE teacher on staff to teach every child how to run, jump, skip rope, throw ball, catch ball, etc.

Like Dr. Bradley mentioned, it is true that a fit kid is a smarter, healthier, and happier kid who will excel in all aspects of life, given the mere tool of physical fitness.

Sheila Kurosu
Director of schools tennis, USTA Hawaii Pacific


Car enthusiasts need a raceway

When I read the article on spending $175,000 to "fix" Tantalus so people can’t drift on it, I was shocked. Especially now when the state is scraping for funds with furloughs and delaying our tax refunds, they want to spend that kind of money to "fix" Tantalus? Instead of spending that kind of time and money to fix Tantalus, why not push to have a place where these car enthusiasts can legally practice?

Hawaii Raceway Park has been closed for many years, and we need a new track badly. Maybe if they made a new track, they wouldn’t have to spend money on fixing Tantalus and can even make money from the track. You won’t get any money back from laying a sandpaper-like substance on the ground.

Casey Murata


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