Letters | 5-9-14

Climbers, hikers must take responsibility

I think the Hawaii House lawmakers should have every right to protect our state from lawsuits. If rock climbers and hikers want to go and enjoy themselves, by all means they should, but they also should sign a waiver so they take full responsibility for their enjoyment. They are the ones out there taking chances, so they should carry the burden if anything happens to go wrong.

Everyone should take responsibility for their own actions. Why should the state pay for their hospital bill if they fall and get hurt? That’s the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. These outdoors groups should grow up and stand on their own two feet.

Colleen Wallis


Aloha spirit prevails in Kailua-Kona

April 26, while talking to a person outside of Matsuyama’s Market located on Queen Kaahumanu Highway, I foolishly laid my wallet on the trunk of my car. I left without noticing it and traveled north on the highway and turned on to Kaiminani Drive. Unknown to me, the wallet fell off my trunk before I got to the Crosson Pavilion in Kona Palisades. It was a miracle that it stayed on that long. A young man came along, and saw the wallet that had been run over by many cars. He got out of his truck, picked up the wallet, looked through it to find my name and phone number, then called to let me know he had found the wallet. I couldn’t believe it at first, as I had no idea I left it on the trunk.

He delivered it to me with the contents it had when he found it and refused to take reward money. Upon looking through the wallet I noticed that my medical cards had blown out. He went back to the area and found two credit cards and other papers I didn’t realize were missing. As my medical cards were still missing, I asked him to take me to the location where he found the wallet. We both looked and I continued to walk up and down Kaiminani for two hours looking for the medical cards before I gave up. Several motorists showed aloha by stopping to ask if I needed help.

On the following Wednesday my medical cards appeared in my home mailbox. I was shocked but gratefully surprised to see the cards. An anonymous Good Samaritan had put the cards in my home mailbox with no name on the envelope.

The aloha spirit, honesty and kokua still prevails in Kona.

Virginia Lawson Halliday


Class warfare, PTA worries unreasonable

Reading the Letters to the Editor published in Friday’s edition was jarring to say the least. Who would have thought that we could be looking at class warfare over raises for Hawaii County managerial personnel, and that a small upgrade to the Pohakuloa Training Area infrastructure would create the ultimate target for terrorists. If ever there was a confluence of unreasonable outlooks, this was it.

First, as much as a civil service could ever mimic the private sector, raises are both rewards for performance and enticements to remain in current positions and not look for new employers. Flattening incomes comes with a huge price, even in public service. Suggesting that Hawaii County could be ground zero for class warfare is laughable and naive. One should not blind themselves to the possible downstream exodus that could result when Hawaii County management is no longer competitive income-wise. The whole issue of income equality is not going anywhere as it will be decided by the market.

Second, the area contained within PTA is not being enlarged. A new, slightly longer airstrip, replacement of WWII-style huts and an upgrade to the infrastructure is what’s being discussed by the federal government, not the “representatives” who live on Oahu, Congress and the Department of Defense. This is an old series of proposals and frankly is long overdue. It will still be a small, dusty outpost, used as always as a training base for Pacific ground forces stationed on Oahu. To intimate that these upgrades will make it a target for terrorists, or for that matter, to compare it to Pearl Harbor in terms of strategic or tactical significance is irresponsible and completely unfounded.

If you want to avoid the upcoming class warfare and you are concerned that terrorists will target PTA, you do have an option, right?

Pete Webber


Response to PTA letter was unwarranted

I find it interesting that the author of a May 5 West Hawaii Today letter commenting about my “not in my backyard” position toward expansion of Pohakoloa Training Area published May 2 chose to assume that I hold some sort of unpatriotic position. The respondent, a person whom I do not even know, proceeded to make assumptions about how I may have earned my living and what my military record might be without any factual material. Next, that author placed me in a category of people whom he apparently feels hold extremist positions.

The fact of the matter is that I am middle-of-the-road American who merely points out the fact that there are no federally elected officials living on this island. Elections of both congressional districts can be won or lost solely on Oahu, effectively creating a taxation-without-representation issue. Aside from that, the subject of my editorial comment was that I do not relish Coleen Hanabusa’s idea in which she proposes significant expansion of the military training facility on the Island of Hawaii. That is my opinion, and I respect other points of view that are properly focused on the subject at hand.

Fortunately, free speech allows editorial comments to be made without factual verification. However, I do want to thank the author for one fact: my name was spelled correctly four times in your personal attack against me.

Now, I think I will go open up my safe, pull out the Purple Heart medal, and pray that war never comes our way.

James Donovan


Donald Sterling’s predicament entirely of his own making

Regarding Alain Schiller’s letter stating we owe Donald Sterling an apology, I couldn’t disagree more. First off, Sterling was not “criminalized” for stating his beliefs. He is not being charged with any crime. However, NBA owners have a clause that states if any of the owners behaves in such a way that is bad for business or embarrasses the league as a whole, the owner can be fined, suspended, or forced to sell his team.

Secondly, I do agree with Mr. Schiller that we have a right to privacy. In this particular instance however, you have a very public figure representing a huge organization, the National Basketball Association, and apparently knew he was being recorded. If he assumed his racist comments would not go public, then he was naive.

Finally, Mr Schiller is upset that we cannot express our “religious and moral convictions” without being persecuted. I find his Christian based argument very strange as Sterling obviously has no moral or religious convictions. Sterling has admitted in court he regularly paid prostitutes for sex, despite being married. Additionally, he recently settled out of court for refusing to rent apartments he owns to African-Americans, Latinos, and couples with children, feeling that doing so would lower the value of his properties. I’m not a religious scholar, but aren’t systematic infidelity and judging fellow humans based upon their skin color the exact behaviors that the Christian church despises?

Mr. Schiller, if you feel we owe an apology to someone, I would suggest we owe an apology to the working class African- Americans, Latinos, and, yes, parents, who were refused housing based upon their ethnicity, or simply having children. Indeed, the fact that such extreme bigotry, or as Mr. Schiller calls it, “nonpolitical correctness,” still exists in our country in this day and age is the real story here. Sad.

Eric Garrett


A quick lesson on Keahou Bay

The true story about Keauhou Bay in the 1940s and the things that happened during my mom’s time with Bishop Estate.

During the days of King Kamehameha, the king had great love for his people. Knowing he needed help with the food supply for his military and ohana, he created the Mahele lands.

Many of these lands were lost during the times when taxation was imposed on the Hawaiian people. Not all Hawaiians spoke English or understood what money was or why they had to pay taxes on land that was given to them by the king.

King Kamehameha also gave his people places for ohana burials. One such place is located in Keauhou. Growing up, I knew this place as the “Land of Ka‘u.” This area is now where Keauhou Country Club is located.

The Kahaleoumi Ohana had tombs. The Hina ohana and my family, the Haanio ohana, had burials in this area. My dad passed away in 1941. He was buried in our ohana burial at Ka‘u.

Without approval or knowledge, the Bishop Estate had removed remains from all the ohana burials and placed them in Primo Beer boxes without regard to the bones belonging to each ohana.

When I returned home from Honolulu, I could not believe that the Bishop Estate could be so heartless. My mom cried and cried. Her heart was broken. We carried the boxes containing our ohana back to our beach house and my brothers made koa boxes for what remains there were of our ohana.

The Catholic Church gave my mom an area in the church cemetery to bury our ohana at St. Paul Kaawanui Church.

Mom sued the Bishop Estate for this wrongdoing to our ohana. When she won the suit, she gave the money to the church for showing their aloha.

When the Bishop Estate started to bulldoze the “Land of Ka‘u” she predicted in Hawaiian:

Hiki mai ana kala

Pilikia ana oukou

Holo ana keia lepo

Iloko o Keauhou, kohu koko.

Translation: The day will come. Trouble will come when the heavy rain comes. This dirty rainwater will run into Keauhou Bay and the water will look like blood.

Mom’s prediction came true. She also said even if you think you have removed all the bones, you only remove what you see. There will be bits and pieces of hair, brittle bones and blood in the ground. These things will never be completely found or removed.

All these are considered our most cherished possessions. The bones of our ohana, the bones of our ancestors.

What happened in Keauhou can also happen to Kahaluu: The total disregard of our Hawaiian heritage.

So like I told the trustees: Stop, make correction and evaluate everything and make pono on the aina.

Lily Makuahine Namakaokaia Haanio Kong