Make Akaka Bill fair to everyone
When the Akaka Bill was first introduced 10 years ago, I supported it. Six years later, when I ran for OHA, I was opposed to the bill, and I remain opposed today because Sen. Daniel Akaka amended the bill to the extent that Hawaiians will receive less than other indigenous American peoples. Recent amendments made by the Obama administration to correct some of these wrongs should have gone through.
The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920 was written to define native Hawaiian as a person of at least 50 percent Hawaiian blood. This was done with the intent of splitting our people. Rather than writing new legislation, why not amend the existing HHCA to correct this and other limitations? This way we could ensure that our people receive no less than already recognized indigenous Americans, and that our people are not split any more than we already are today.
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Developers part of congestion problem
Jon McKenna, president of the West Oahu Economic Development Association, proudly talks about West Oahu being the fastest growing population and business base in Hawaii, with the number of businesses doubling in the past 10 years. Then he says: "We strongly support the city’s elevated rail plan because it will reduce traffic congestion."
You see where I’m going with this? McKenna was so busy boasting about the growth his association is responsible for that he doesn’t realize he’s part of the problem. Now he wants taxpayers to pay for the congestion his association is causing. There are repercussions behind growth and development, and like many, McKenna failed to see it coming.
Hawaii wants more soccer coverage
Thank you for the coverage of the World Cup from Africa. It’s about time our newspaper realized that there is a great interest in the world of soccer in Hawaii. It has been impossible to get background information on world-class players, let alone the players in the Major League Soccer or the women’s professional league. Numerous world-class players will be, or are, playing in the MLS.
I know there has been some coverage of local players like Natasha Kai and Brian Ching, but it would be great to see the coverage expanded. We can get information on TV sports stations but it’s nice to be able to sit down and read about them.
Vote on public, not private issues
How ironic. Gov. Linda Lingle vetoes the civil union bill because the right to marry isn’t a personal issue, it has societal impact, therefore we should let the voters decide. Yet the Akaka Bill, which will have direct fiscal and economic impacts to all Hawaii residents, is OK to go through the legislative process only? The truth: My marriage to my partner, like all marriages, is a very personal decision affecting no one else in any way, fiscally or socially, regardless of what the red-shirt crowd says.
So let’s put issues affecting all in Hawaii, like the Akaka Bill, up before a popular vote and let’s remove personal issues from the ballot box. Any other approach is extremely hypocritical.
Families support civil unions, too
Sandra Young, Walter Yoshimitsu and Francis Oda of the Hawaii Family Forum and the Hawaii Catholic Conference seem to be suffering from delusions of grandeur when they say they are speaking on behalf of all Hawaii’s families and the community in general ("Sanctity of marriage must be preserved," Star-Advertiser, July 11). I can guarantee them that there are many families, gay and straight, who support civil unions in our state. Before they start talking for everyone, they need to open their eyes to the diversity out there and understand that there is no possible way for them to speak for everyone and, most importantly, for God.
Safety rules abound, except for fireworks
I have lived in Honolulu for 44 years and I would like to thank our local government for keeping me safe from myself. Here’s a list of what keeps me out of trouble:
Fences, speed limits, seat belts, no-smoking laws, alarms, warning signs, "No Hiking" signs, breath sensors, roadblocks, bike helmets for kids, swim and paddling lanes, no phones while driving, etc.
But our city protectors still allow people young and old to throw around fire (i.e. fireworks) several times a year for hours at a time. Yes, I thank those whose duty it is to protect me!
Stream editorial gave incomplete picture
Your editorial ("City’s $1.7 million stream dump begs accountability answers," Star-Advertiser, July 11) raised some valid points but failed to provide a fair and complete picture.
City workers did neglect to secure a permit before depositing concrete material along the banks of Mailiili Channel so that heavy equipment could be safely positioned to remove vegetation as part of a flood control project.
This was obviously a terrible mistake, based on outdated practices, but we’ve seen no evidence of foul intent. Appropriate action has been taken with one of those responsible, and another has retired. To prevent such oversights in the future, we’ve strengthened training procedures and implemented new internal controls.
Your characterization of this scenario as "callous dumping" was simply wrong, and your unsupported conclusion that a permit application "would have been rejected in laughter" was unfortunate, since permits are indeed possible for work of this nature. Also, this channel is not a wild and pristine waterway, as portions have long been lined with cast concrete.
The amount of the state’s fine is excessive, based on an improper penalty formula and questionable motives; we agree that taxpayers should not be burdened by it.
We’ll carefully ensure that site remediation work does not unduly disturb endangered birds like the Hawaiian stilts in their new home, and that future flood control projects are appropriately planned and monitored.