Letters for Saturday, February 24, 2007

• Jordan Libre snub apology

• History of water

• Support HB234

• Numbers, hard living

• Slaves serve middle class


Jordan Libre snub apology

At a recent Kauai High School football banquet, one of our senior student athletes was not called up to receive his letter with the rest of the defensive line. “Nacho” Libre was called up later to receive recognition.

Understandably, the oversight caused feelings of disappointment and frustration for Jordan and his friends and family. For that, we sincerely apologize.

Jordan Libre’s accomplishments this year transcend the game of football. He worked hard and was at practice every day. He set a goal for himself and achieved it by losing 50 pounds. For a teenager in today’s society, surrounded by fast-food temptations, losing that amount of weight is nothing short of incredible.

Jordan Libre won his own championship, along with being a part of a championship team.

Our inadvertent error can never take that away from him.

Kelii Morgado, head coach

Kauai High School football


History of water

I have just read in The Garden Island newspaper, Feb. 14, that the Planning Commission has turned down the right of Mr. Satterfield to use the water from the Eric A. Knudsen Trust lands for his bottling of pure water.

This water flows from tunnels that were constructed by Koloa Plantation, and are located on the Ahupua‘a of Koloa, which extends from Kahili Mountain to the sea, and from Weliweli to Lawa‘i. This area is not ceded land. It was purchased from the Hawaiians.

King Lot Kamehameha sold the Ahupua‘a of Koloa on May 1, 1863, to Mr. Robert C. Wyllie. After Mr. Wyllie passed away, his estate sold the land in 1867 to Mr. Ira Richardson. My grandmother, Mrs. Anne Knudsen, purchased the land from Mr. Richardson on March 1, 1872.

I would like to refer you to pages 63 and 64 of the book Koloa Plantation, 1835-1935, by Mr. Arthur C. Alexander. This historical account is available at the Kaua‘i Museum. The details of these transactions are recorded on pages 63 and 64.

The tunnels were dug back in 1898 by Anton Krupp, a manager of Koloa Plantation, for irrigation. When not enough water flowed, they were abandoned until about 1920, when the Department of Health charged that better water was needed for the plantation employees. So a pipe was installed and the water supplied to the plantation employees, as well as Koloa town and Po‘ipu, until the county had wells of its own.

Mr. Satterfields right to operate his small business should be reinstalled.

Knudsen Toulon

Koloa


Support HB234

Because Hawai‘i usually votes Democrat in presidential elections, neither party bothers to poll, visit, organize, advertise, or worry about the state’s concerns.

Instead, candidates concentrate on a handful of closely divided battleground states, where active campaigning can swing a wavering bloc of electoral votes.

This problem may be corrected by state-level action. The U.S. Constitution grants the states the exclusive and plenary power to award their electoral votes in any manner “as the Legislature thereof may direct.”

Under HB 234 currently pending in the state Legislature, the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states would be guaranteed enough electoral votes to become President. This legislation would only go into effect when states representing a majority of the people of the country pass identical laws. This bill enables the states to create a system in which every vote is equally important throughout the United States.

John Kozo

Los Altos, Calif.


Numbers, hard living

This letter is in response to “Media Voices” (“$7.25? A truly bad idea,” Forum, Jan. 25) by Donald Lambro.

“The average family income of a minimum wage earner is almost $50,000.”

What?

For a standard 40-hour work week and current U.S. minimum wage of $5.25 per hour, the worker would earn $10,920 per year. If there are two members in the family working at minimum wage, their family income would be only $21,840, not even half the $50,000 family income claimed by Lambro.

To achieve Lambro’s $50,000 “family income” (assuming two wage earners) with one minimum wage earner making $10,920, the other wage earner would have to make $39,080, or about $18.79 per hour.

Articles like this make you doubt any of the numbers from: “Employment Policies Institute”; “Dr.David Neumark, U.C. Irvine”; “James Chirk, Heritage Foundation”; or “Donald Lambro, The Washington Times.”

One of the goals of the newly elected Democratic majority in Congress is a $7.25 per hour minimum wage. For a family with two wage earners making the new minimum wage of $7.25 per hour would be $30,160, still far from Lambro’s $50,000.

For a single wage earner in the family, even the new $7.25 (in two years) minimum wage hovers around the poverty level at $15,080.

Charles Trembath

Lihu‘e


Slaves serve middle class

There is a fact of life that many people seem not to understand. The fact is that slavery is alive and well. As it should be. If everything we buy was made by union members/workers, the middle class, including the union members, would not be able to afford to buy anything but the absolute necessities. Even the old manuscripts like the Bible talk about slaves. The Bible says to “Treat one’s slaves well.” Currently our slaves are the illegals from south of our border and other peoples like the Chinese.

Would I want to be a slave? “No way.”

Am I glad there are slaves? “You bet.”

So if the middle class of the world is going to enjoy the benefits of wealth without having wealth, slaves are necessary.

Good or bad, right or wrong is not the question. That’s just the way it is. Stop to think about what things, everything, would cost if all things were produced by union members, unless robots were used to replace the “slaves.” Generally the unions’ fight against the replacement of union members by robotics.

Oh, and by the way, Wal-Mart employees are not slaves. They applied for the job, and with 2 percent unemployment, there are plenty of places that would hire them if they were unhappy with the pay or working conditions at Wal-Mart. I would love to see a side-by-side comparison of the wages and benefits of a Wal-Mart employee versus a Safeway or any other unionized store employee.

Gordon “Doc” Smith

Kapa‘a

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