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Letters to the Editor


Mitch Kahle’s efforts divisive

I object strenuously to the logic behind Mitch Kahle’s stripping the religious language from invocations at the Capitol.

He contends that specific religious references should be removed from opening prayers. Doing it this way neuters the special purpose of prayer — as a tool for calling out to our better natures, as a request for inspiration, as a humble recognition of our human frailty.

I am personally proud of our unique and tolerant political culture. I find the Buddhist and Muslim messages as inspiring as the Christian or Jewish ones — and I want them all to be as full-throated and faithful to the rich traditions and theologies that brought them about.

The efforts led by Mr. Kahle to silence religious voices undermine this culture and seek to drive a wedge between people of goodwill. Frankly, we need a little less of that right now.

Drew Astolfi
Faith Action for Community Equity


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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

Medical waste isn’t burned?

Why oh why would anyone bury medical waste? This stuff isn’t biodegradable and will be there for generations to come.

I was always under the impression that medical waste was burned.

Now that we see what is going into our landfills, we should all demand stricter laws and enforcement to ensure that this desecration of our waters and lands never ever happens again.

Linda Kaiser
Hawaii Kai


Rail opponents marginalized

"The city is going to argue that the amount of money they’ve expended precludes them from making any design alternatives to avoid these burials," said Moses Haia, executive director of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. ("City plan accounts for problematic burial sites," Star-Advertiser, Jan. 16).

This is the strategy that most developers employ. Is there a single instance in which they have tried it any other way?

Anyone in opposition of the current rail plan will be characterized as being anti-business, anti-environment and an impediment to a glowing future. This is, of course, untrue.

Completing a full cultural and archeological survey prior to beginning the project may well be far more fiscally responsible and environmentally sound in the creation of a better future. In short, the state and feds are saying, "We don’t care."

Paul-Kealoha Blake
Berkeley, Calif.


Let Maryland host live-fire training

In response to Al Eisner of Silver Spring, Md., who believes that live-fire exercises should continue at Makua Valley ("Army should not have capitulated over Makua," Star-Advertiser, Letters, Jan. 15): I think that the Army should consider moving its live-fire exercises to Silver Spring, Md.

I’m sure Mr. Eisner will have a different opinion when it is his own backyard that is continually being destroyed and left with live ordnance lying about.

Marvin Freitas


Dirty water bad for everyone

We are all reminded to stay out of the "brown water" for safety reasons, yet the watersports companies are taking visitors wakeboarding, rafting and for other sports where the customer is constantly in the dark brown dirty water in the Hawaii Kai Marina.

It would be great if we treated our visitors with the same respect we have for our keiki and ohana.

Greta Richardson


Let governor choose whomever he wants for Board of Education

One of the most important bills to be considered in the upcoming 2011 legislative session is the enabling legislation for the 2010 constitutional amendment that changed the procedure for selecting Board of Education members from "elected" to that of "appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate as provided by law."

The voters opted for accountability when they chose to have the governor nominate Board of Education members.

However, unless the governor takes a strong, principled stand that the public supports, the Legislature almost surely will limit the governor to selecting board members from a short list prepared by others. This would defeat the primary reason for converting to an appointed board, which is to create a governance structure in which someone finally can be held accountable for results.

The board of directors of the League of Women Voters of Hawaii unanimously supports enabling legislation that would let the governor choose whomever he wants to choose, subject only to Senate confirmation. The advice and consent of the Senate will afford the necessary checks and balances.

Valere McFarland and Pearl Johnson
League of Women Voters of Hawaii

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