Letters for Sunday — December 08, 2006

• Plea to Kaua’i residents

• Good idea gone bad

• Agrees with Michael Wells

• Googling PLF

• Answers for William Rusher

Plea to Kaua’i residents

In light of the high incidence of brush fires we’ve experienced lately, I feel the need, on behalf of Mayor Baptiste, to turn to Kaua’i’s citizens and ask for help with protecting our island home.

During the month of December, we had 21 brush fires. Since the start of this year, we have had nine brush fires. Most are believed to have been maliciously set. Not only are these fires costly, but they are also extremely dangerous and destructive. Sadly, the life of a young pilot was lost while assisting with putting out a fire that broke out on Christmas Day. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

While most fires are preventable, it is both disappointing and troubling to know that individuals would intentionally engage in this type of senseless activity. We ask you to be vigilant and let us know if you notice any suspicious behavior by calling police dispatch at 241-1711, or Crime Stoppers at 241-1887.

On behalf of Mayor Baptiste, I would like to thank all the county-, state-, federal- and private-agency employees who have assisted in fighting the numerous fires we have had to contend with. As a community, we must send a message that we will not tolerate these acts of destruction.

Mahalo for your care and cooperation.

  • Gary Heu
    Administrative Assistant to the Mayor

Good idea gone bad

Kaua’i must take note, as O’ahu’s new building codes require event facilities to provide twice as many toilets for women as for men, which is a good idea, but if Kaua’i is going to adopt a similar law, hopefully our county council will learn from previous laws gone bad.

Like Title IX, which was created to ensure equal opportunities in college athletics, inherent gender differences are ignored, and equality is achieved, by eliminating over 20,000 men’s positions, several college football programs, 350 wrestling programs, and out of the 250 gymnastics programs offered in 1970, only 19 remain. A bill in Congress to extend Title IX to high schools will eliminate athletic positions for boys in the hundreds of thousands.

State law requires only seven stalls at the Blaisdell, but, due to long lines, accommodations were increased to 34, so during the next renovations, eliminating 17 toilets for men would be seriously considered if Djou’s law is implemented in the same manner as Title IX has been implemented to college sports. Guys better get used to the idea of “peeing” in the planters and hope that there’s no need for large bushes outside.

  • Ryan Anakalea

Agrees with Michael Wells

All of Mr. Michael Wells’ proposed solutions to our island’s problems are good ones. This kind of forward thinking is just what is needed. Addressing these issues is something he’s good at. This shows progressive leadership, and I will be very happy to volunteer in his election campaign. Let’s move forward, Kaua’i!

  • Laurie Ross

Googling PLF

Mr. Thomas, of the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), Hawai’i branch, claims it to be a nonpolitical, locally-funded group, representing “local” folks (The Garden Island, 1/5/2006).

Aw shucks, now, don’t listen to me, pay a visit to their Web site at www.pacificlegal.org/HawaiiCenter.asp. Under “headquarters,” you will see that they are a national organization based in Sacramento, Calif. Under “cases,” you will see the Kaua’i Charter Amendment case listed next to one from Texas, where PLF is representing an anti-abortionist who drove his van through the front door of a Planned Parenthood Clinic. Under “OpEd,” you can read the right-wing political agenda of the PLF.

If you enter Pacific Legal Foundation in “Google,” you can read about their history since 1973. They are, and have been, a politically-right-wing, legal-advocacy group that undertakes litigation, both directly and as “friends of the court,” in support of attempts to undermine civil rights and regulatory powers. Their main activity has been fighting environmental laws in support of corporate interests in big oil, nuclear power, agribusiness and lumber industries. That once included supporting the use of DDT. The Hawai’i branch is working for Chevron right now in trying to overturn a Hawai’i law that favored their service-station operators. You can also read how the PLF is funded by corporate right-wingers, like Joseph Coors, who then deduct their legal expenses from their taxes. When the right wing frames its arguments, their opposition in the courts is always referred to as “activist judges” or lawyers, whereas their boys are always referred to as well-qualified defenders of the Constitution. In his letter, and on the PLF Web site, Mr. Thomas doesn’t disappoint. The work of the PLF and the charter amendment are well matched. They are both conservative political initiatives posing as apolitical local efforts.

  • Peter Antonson

Answers for William Rusher

Mr. Rusher, scientists are not afraid of intelligent design. The Pennsylvania court was angry, justifiably, in the deceit of the defendants. Their attempt was, in truth, to introduce religion, their religion, to the public schools. It may surprise you to learn that many scientists believe in God. But, as intelligent human beings, they know it is a belief, One cannot know there is a supreme being, just as one cannot know there is not a supreme being. It is all a matter of faith.

Religion, except for a study of comparative religion, must NOT be taught in the public schools, certainly not in the science classes. We have in this country not only the right of religious freedom but the precious concept of separation of church and state, and, if you believe in God, any God, or no God at all, pray to a tree, go to a church, a temple, a synagogue or a mosque and thank him/her/it/them or nada that this is so and that it stays so. To start with: which religion would you teach? Which God would reign supreme? Think of the fight that would start. Think!

In this Forum I have been called an atheist and a great many other nasty … if I may say so … things, but then I am an adult, I can take it. I can also assure you … those of you who have indulged in these childish pursuits … you have taken a shot at me with every weapon in your arsenal and missed with everyone. I have no deep concern, but don’t put the children who must attend a public school, and their parents, through it.

How I would love to see some brave minister, rabbi, imam, priest, whoever, preach a sermon about this one Sunday. Trade off. Let the Catholic priest speak to the Baptist. Let the Baptist minister speak to the Catholic. Let the rabbi speak to the Muslim, The imam to the Jew. Let the Hindus with their incredible panoply speak. The Buddhist voice his thoughts. Let it all hang out. Be thankful we are a free nation, that we live on Kaua’i, and still have a few reasoning voices among us.

  • Bettejo Dux

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