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Response to fire deserves mahalo

As residents of Kamehame Ridge, we would like to express our appreciation to the Honolulu Police and Fire Departments for their prompt response and effective management of the July 4 brush fire in Kalama Valley. Many, many thanks to these dedicated professionals who worked through the night to serve and protect the homeowners whose homes were in danger.

Bill and Mary Ann Madauss


Voters don’t craft all laws of land

In her veto message for House Bill 444, Gov. Linda Lingle stated: "I am vetoing this bill because I have become convinced that this issue is of such significant societal importance that it deserves to be decided directly by all the people of Hawaii."

Gov. Lingle, which of the following monumental acts should be overturned because the voters did not have the right to vote on them?

» The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave blacks the right to vote in 1870.

» The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote in 1920.

» The Supreme Court’s 9-0 ruling, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, in 1954, which ruled that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."

» The Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which provided monetary compensation and a formal apology to the victims of the World War II internment.

» Public Law 103-150, ("Apology Resolution") which apologized to native Hawaiians in 1993 for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

Henry Curtis
Executive director, Life of the Land

How to write us

The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

Alas, better rights exist elsewhere

I am not a Hawaii resident but I do travel to Hawaii as often as I can. I also had hopes of one day retiring to Hawaii with my partner (who is of the same sex).

I was deeply disappointed that Gov. Linda Lingle chose to veto the civil unions bill.

But I do not share the desire of many in my community to boycott the Aloha State. I do not fault the entire state for the actions of one misguided woman. I will admit, I probably will no longer harbor dreams of retiring to Hawaii. My marriage is not recognized by the federal government, but it is by the state of California. I would lose a great deal of rights (tax-based, inheritance, visitation, adoption, etc.) if I were to move to Oahu as I had planned.

So I relinquish the dream of living there.

Staci Blevins
Pasadena, Calif.


Lingle offers a non-solution

The governor’s veto message for the civil unions bill reeks of disingenuousness. She leads citizens to believe that some type of "people’s vote" is feasible, when she and her advisers know full well that in our state, ballot measures other than constitutional amendments are not possible. She also knows full well that the state Constitution was already amended precisely to say that marriage, and by extension marriage-related issues, are explicitly and exclusively matters of legislative purview. The governor’s veto message proposes an unconstitutional non-remedy, and she should be ashamed of herself for intentionally misleading the public into believing otherwise.

James Nelson


What would God do? Who’s to say?

In the aftermath of Gov. Lingle’s veto of HB 444, we witnessed Christian opponents of civil unions outside her office offering prayers of thanksgiving with hands raised high and singing "How Great Thou Art" as spokespersons declared that the governor had acted righteously. The truth is that Christians can never fully know the will of God. They can look only to Jesus in order to partially discern the will of God, and, as far as we know, Jesus had nothing to say either about civil unions or same-gender sexual orientation.

So it would behoove all the Christians who are so sure about God’s opposition to civil unions to draw back from their certainty and embrace instead the words of the hymn, which reads, "The love of God is beyond the measure of our minds."

The Rev. Neal MacPherson


View skewed on symphony jobs

Your story on plentiful job openings in major symphonies sounded an interesting wry note in the current economic malaise ("Help wanted," Star-Advertiser, July 6). But it may have given some readers the impression that all is well in the world of classical music performance, which is hardly the case.

Surely most readers know that the Honolulu Symphony is in dire straits with its concert season canceled and no clear prospects for resumption of performances. Many other orchestras are in similar troubled circumstances if they have not already gone out of business.

It would be helpful if the Star-Advertiser printed a national survey of the bleak conditions facing these organizations to balance what seemed an inappropriately cheery picture at a handful of top orchestras.

Carl H. Zimmerman


Independent audits are valuable

I read with dismay Lee Cataluna’s column disparaging the idea of regular independent audits for Hawaii’s Department of Education ("Aiona’s fiscal accountability is not the answer for schools," Star-Advertiser, July 6). Every publicly held, multibillion-dollar corporation must have an independent audit every year. Virtually no responsible investor would consider investing in a corporation without that basic safeguard.

She thinks self-auditing is enough, even though the results of the organization are less than adequate.

Independence and another perspective can locate problems an internal auditor might miss. If I won’t invest in a company that won’t submit to annual independent audits, why shouldn’t we, as parents, taxpayers and investors in our public schools, have a similar assurance?

William Frank Georgi, MBA, CISA

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