Letters for Saturday — December 24, 2005

• Happy Holy Days

• Forget ‘Desperate Housewives’

• Don’t forget these special guys

Happy Holy Days

All this fuss about Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays doesn’t make any sense to anyone who knows the history and meaning of the words.

Look at the words. A Holiday is a contraction for Holy Day. Originally, all holidays derived from the Holy Days on the church calendar. So, some people’s good wishes are for a Happy Holy Day.

Now, let’s look at Christmas. The holiday itself is largely a secular construct. No one has any idea at all as to which day in the year was Christ born. The early Christian church was very clever. The Persian, and later Celtic god Mithras’ day was December 25. The Roman god Saturn’s day was December 26. In order to overshadow those pagan feast days and to replace them with a religious day, the church chose Dec. 25 as the Christ’s birthday. When the Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian calendar, and the dates were shifted by ten days, the Christmas date shifted to follow the number.

The Druids worshipped trees. They decorated them at the time of the winter solstice. The German tribes adopted the decorated tree and Prince Albert (a German) brought the custom to England.

African Americans who wanted a spiritual holiday of their own, revived the celebration of Kwanza. They followed the practice of the early Christian church and placed Kwanza in the Holy Day season.

Holy Days are observed by most people, many at the time of the winter solstice. Happy Holy Days can include all peoples, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, Animists, Druids, Jainists, Christian Scientists, Scientologists, and many others. So, it is in the very best Christian tradition to wish all people of all faiths Happy Holy Days.

  • Theodore H. Drews

Forget ‘Desperate Housewives’

Is it just me or are there others out there that glean a hint of “desperation” in the words and actions of our Council members as we near another election year? I refer to the most recent, sudden demand for action and answers from the County Council concerning Kaua’i’s notorious solid waste / landfill dilemma. After all it has been a neglected subject for the past three administrations according to Councilman Mel Rapozo, who in all fairness has worked under but one of those administrations: the present one.

The past two Council meetings have been anything but positive or effective. Kaua’i’s current administration sent before the Council two dedicated and well-meaning department heads that admit that they are “in over their heads” in resolving the solid waste dilemma on Kaua’i. One must give these professionals credit to admit their limitations and in truth I do not place the onus of failure upon them. The blame and “the buck stops” in the Mayor’s office. But not the total blame. It is the Council’s job to continually “nudge loose” issues that get stuck. Persistence is the remedy for success.

During these past three administrations our Council has been made up of the same people over these past “failed years” of Kaua’i’s solid waste, landfill dilemma. You, the voters, keep electing these same public servants back into office. They do not solve large problems so they become large dilemmas that pass from administration to administration. To be fair, we’re all aware the Council needs the support of the administration, and vice versa, to solve problems. When things become stagnant, then one body has to get up and kick the other to get solutions moving. It is time for someone to stand up and start kicking.

Just take a look at our present group of “career officials” that controls the council. Prior to the last election a group of citizens worked hard to provide property tax relief. Their efforts were accomplished with the knowledge, aid and legal advice from County departments during a year long effort to get a Charter Amendment placed upon the ballot. The Ohana Kaua’i group followed the law as outlined in the County Charter and won the battle to provide real property tax relief for owner-occupied resident home-owners via a winning plebiscite resulting in a 13,000+ ayes vs. 8,000 nays, a 60voters victory.

Immediately, the Council refused to accept the will of the people and refused to initiate the victorious Ohana Kaua’i Property Tax Relief Amendment, as required by the County Charter. Instead, they filed a lawuit against the County’s “body politic”: the People. Their refusal to accept the people’s will was based solely on an interpretation.

To this voter who worked to get the Charter Amendment on the ballot and voted for its passage, I disagree with the County’s legal action. It is very evident that the leadership in our Council does not understand that: “Policy springs from the People and they have the Right to change their living documents.” This is the basis of Democracy and I am not the only individual in this State that believes those words. Hawai’i’s Attorney General Mark Bennett also shares this sentiment in as much as I quote his very words he stated on Dec. 14, 2005 on the Rich Hamada Show on Radio.

Refusal to accept the Will of the People will be a major issue in this upcoming election year. I urge our council members and administration to reconsider their adversarial policy and drop the lawsuit. It is time to correct an old, threatening and negative tax policy and practice that taxes homeowners out of their homes. It is time for professionalism to glitter in the sun. A true professional will admit his or her mistakes and move on to positive accomplishments.

  • John Hoff

Don’t forget these special guys

Every year we enjoy putting out something for our guys who pick up our trash. These are special guys no matter the weather or the holiday always are there doing their job. Hats off to you all who make our lives better. Merry Xmas and happiest New Year to you all. Don’t forget to give to these guys for all they do!

  • Steve Martin
    Wailua Homesteads

The problem with unions

At one time in recent history, unions were very necessary. But they got greedy and now often want more money for less work performed using more workers.

What they should have done was to bargain with management for better pay, better benefits and better pensions, BUT, and this is a big factor, they should have guaranteed the employer that their members would work harder, faster and smarter so that the employer would not need to raise prices in order to make a reasonable profit.

Don’t come back with that old comment that the “CEO’s” are making too much money, ’cause if one were to divide that bonus by the number of workers created by that “CEO” it would amount to very little per employee.

An example of the problems Unions have caused is the ever-increasing cost of products. And the necessity for manufacturers to “go offshore” to have things made. If you don’t believe this then just go to a Wal-Mart or other discount store. There you will see union members and non-union members shopping in hoards. Why? Because they are looking for the best price they can find. For the union members, in spite of the raises their union has bargained for they still need to buy things as in-expensively as they can. Union-earned wage increases don’t help if the price of everything just goes up.

  • Gordon “Doc” Smith
    Wailua Homesteads

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