The First Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights.
All Americans are protected with freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, and right to petition.
Practicing these American rights means protesting and expressing one’s opinion as an American. The Thirty Meter Telescope and Kahuku wind farm protesters are not following American law. The TMT project was allowed by the Hawaii Supreme Court to proceed. The human blockade on Mauna Kea and at Kawailoa is not the exercising of First Amendment rights. It is civil disobedience.
The protesters and activists refused to comply with state law. This type of action hurts Native Hawaiians and teaches the wrong lesson to the keiki. The right message is sent at the ballot box. Native Hawaiians have to vote. Please stop following protest leaders on the mauna and at the Kahuku wind farm project.
Politicians influenced by money, not public
Thank you for the excellent photo of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents as it listened to witnesses regarding its decision concerning Mauna Kea (“Controversial rules passed to protect natural resources,” Star-Advertiser, Nov. 7). It clearly showed — as did the later vote — how little the regents cared to hear criticism of their doings.
A similar situation is true of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s handling of his various park “improvements.” The citizens don’t want them, and the City Council voted against him; but he plows on.
Money speaks — and politicians listen. Democracy at work.
Vote for extreme change in political leadership
It is obvious that change is absolutely necessary with all levels of Oahu’s political leadership. Start with our governor and the mayor of Honolulu, whom we need to move out of political office. We need an extreme change in many of our elected positions.
This culture of focusing on outside money and a greedy way of thinking must end. This leadership is turning Oahu into a giant city or playground for the rich, destroying our home and people.
Use the momentum of the protectors and protests to vote for extreme change. Vote for people who are not like most of the present politicians. Vote for those speaking up for the real concerns people have. Vote to stop these termites that force things upon us and tear at the foundation of Hawaii.
Jalousie windows don’t mix with air conditioning
Jalousie windows are relics of the old days, and we still see them on a lot of residential buildings. If you don’t have air conditioning, this makes sense.
Many office buildings today have installed air conditioning, and I think this is good. I work in a government office with computers and papers that need to stay in a cool, dry place. Too many government office buildings still have jalousie windows in tandem with the air conditioning. When I stand outside the jalousie windows during the day, I can feel my tax dollars pouring out the windows. It makes no sense.
Additionally, I notice that many of these government buildings run the air conditioning so high that everyone is bundled up like they’re on top of Mauna Kea. It seems totally unnecessary. We can save money and reduce our contributions to climate change if we address this.
Justin Mark Hideaki Salisbury
Minimum wage bill should be top priority
After blocking a final vote on a bill to raise the minimum wage during the 2019 legislative session, it’s absolutely necessary that House Speaker Scott Saiki put a bill up for a vote first thing in January.
Seven states already have passed a $15 minimum wage and so workers here should get at least that much. We work full-time jobs and yet still don’t have enough to provide for ourselves, let alone our families.
It’s well past time for this bill to leave its final committee and make it to the floor. Please make this a priority now.
Trump should campaign on making Russia great
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent comment that all of President Donald Trump’s roads lead to Russia should cause Trump to consider modifying his 2016 campaign slogan for 2020 to read: “Make Russia Great Again.”
Carl L. Hanson
Criticizing president is a ‘right to expression’
Vicki Puou claimed Kurt Suzuki is catching flak because “liberals don’t believe in the right to expression” (“Suzuki’s White House appearance praised,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Nov. 11).
What she apparently fails to realize is that criticism also is a right of expression. She (or Suzuki) can openly support a criminal president all she wants, just as others can criticize her for it.