Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Letters to the Editor

Akaka Bill would promote peace

When the revered kupuna and master educator, Gladys Kamakakuokalani Ainoa Brandt, gave her name to the UH-Manoa Center for Hawaiian Studies, she did so with the proviso that we Hawaiian academic activists needed to find a peaceful resolution to the political conflict between the American government and the Hawaiian people.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka’s Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act is one step in that peaceful direction, and I ask all people of America to support its passage.

Yes, we had hoped that the Akaka Bill would follow the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which gave Alaska natives both money and land in compensation for taking their homeland, and it does not.

However, our federal recognition bill allows native Hawaiians to form their own government and negotiate for lands and monies over time, and in harmony with our neighbors.

Alaska natives have amended their bill more than 30 times; no doubt we will do so, too. So let’s support equity for Hawaiians and pass the Akaka Bill.

Lilikala Kameeleihiwa
Professor, Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies


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Best safety rule is to buckle up

If you look at the auto fatality records, you will find that most deaths happened to people not wearing their seat belts.

Rather than spending money to make roads more constricted and less safe in the hopes of lowering speeds, let’s all just fasten our seatbelts and save lives at no cost to the taxpayers.

We must take some responsibility for our own lives and the lives of our friends and family.

Do not move your car until everyone is belted in, and if someone unhooks their seatbelt, just pull over and stop until they refasten it.

Bob Gould


Racing motorists are a menace

I can’t drive a single day without a racer or speeder almost clipping me or a vehicle in my vicinity as they swerve in and out of traffic.

These imbeciles should be treated like a DUI on the first offense (minimum of one year suspended license and possible jail time), and on a second offense forfeit the vehicle (regardless of owner) and go to prison for an extended stay. Once released, their licenses should be suspended for several years—no exceptions.

I urge everyone to ask every candidate running for office to pledge support for strong zero-tolerance racing laws in our community.

Matthew S. LoPresti


Kioni Dudley speaking truth

I have been aware of the problems on the Makakilo/ Kapolei Neighborhood Board for some time ( "2 neighborhood boards undergo discipline," Star-Advertiser, July 25).

Contrary to the way this article has rather slyly portrayed him, Kioni Dudley has been a strong voice for the people and for the aina. In the cases that I have observed, he was provoked beyond endurance.

But beyond this, it seems to me that Dudley has been the target of a concerted attack by others who are puppets of the powers that be. It’s happened before.

These powers at their most basic are money-hungry developers and their minions who want to keep the status quo. Their aim is to keep the people of Hawaii dependent on imported oil, imported food, federal dollars from the military and anything else so as not to jeopardize the lucrative flow of money into pockets already well-lined.

Stand firm, Kioni, and keep speaking the truth in the face of falsehood.

Kawika Marcks


Town hall events weren’t covered

Hawaii residents in U.S. Rep. Charles Djou’s district have a great representative in their newly elected congressman.

He has held eight town-hall meetings in the district since taking office in May. Critics who think he won’t win in November may be surprised.

I’m surprised that a sitting congressman didn’t get a lot of attention when he came home to hold public meetings for his constituents. President-elect Barack Obama was covered nearly every day throughout his December vacation here in 2008. Former Rep. Neil Abercrombie got constant coverage for leaving office.

Is it too much to ask the local media to promote public events held by a current congressman and report on the contents of those events?

Marcia Tagavilla


Judge Leonard eminently qualified

Having practiced law for 36 years and personally knowing and arguing cases before every Hawaii Supreme Court chief justice since William S. Richardson, I give my strongest support for Judge Katherine Leonard’s nomination as chief justice. She has all the necessary qualifications—integrity, honesty, temperament and experience.

I take issue with attorney Eric Seitz’s flawed premise that lack of administrative experience disqualifies her ("Chief justice appointee ‘unqualified,’ lawyer says," Star-Advertiser, July 27). First, he is incorrect. Judge Leonard’s long experience as a civil litigator provides her with a wealth of knowledge about the management and administration of the judiciary. More importantly, Mr. Seitz’s view would have disqualified such superb jurists as Hawaii chief justices Richardson, Lum and Moon and most of the chief justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Leonard is eminently qualified and her nomination should be confirmed without delay.

Michael A. Lilly
Former Hawaii attorney general
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