Letters for Saturday, March 3, 2007

• A true ali‘i acts like one

• Contrades sets record straight

• Boynton will be remembered

• Take a break tomorrow

A true ali‘i acts like one

This is in response to Kenneth Kaumuali‘i Hodges and his view on present day ali‘i (Feb. 28, 2007).

What a strange way to get to know my ali‘i — go to a website. I was hoping to know my ali‘i through his or her proactive efforts to heal and lead our nation while being a full time resident.

There is a traditional Hawaiian saying “I ali‘i ke ali‘i i ke kanaka” which means an ali‘i is an ali‘i because of the people. No matter what the ali‘i’s genealogy is, if he or she doesn’t take care of his or her people, as demonstrated in our history, our people moved ahupua‘a, rebelled, and/or killed them (Hala‘ea, Ko‘ihala, and Kohaikalani of Ka‘u, Hawai‘i).

There were beloved ali‘i, such as Manokalanipo, Kaumuali‘i and Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana‘ole, who all lived in Hawai‘i, so honored because of their leadership, vision, and genuine care for the homeland and for their beloved Hawaiian people. The ali‘i worked with the maka‘ainana and reciprocation was key. What is the function or the need for an ali‘i who doesn’t actually live in Hawai‘i and who doesn’t tackle the tough issues that continue to face our people?

The term “rightful heir” or “legal heirs” to our “Hawaiian/Kauaiian kingdom’s exiled throne” paints a twisted picture stuck in the 1800s. There need not be a throne to be an ali‘i. The throne is the last place a present day ali‘i should sit anyway. You will be a true ali‘i if you act like one, not like the pompous dollar wealthy “royal” descendants who surround themselves with non-Hawaiian aristocrats that feed their “royal” status, who visit to be honored, who attend fund-raisers or vacation in Hawai‘i. Our ali‘i is the one who actually lives in the community and works for the welfare and benefit of the Hawaiian.

The truth is that the Kawananakoa ‘ohana has an illustrious genealogy but the legacy that some of the current descendants are leaving lacks the luster that most Hawaiians would even want to serve which is why many Hawaiians don’t recognize the Kawananakoas as our ali‘i. Documents do not make righteous ali‘i, their actions do.

I ali‘i ke ali‘i i ke kanaka.

Kainaniokalihiwai Kahaunaele

Kaumuali‘i descendant and resident of Hawai‘i Nei

Contrades sets record straight

Michael Mann (“There must be some confusion here”, Letters, Feb 27) said I claimed my own constitutional rights were being violated. Again, he gets the facts wrong. I never said my rights were being violated, I questioned the constitutionality of the arrangement. Furthermore, I never questioned the intervention to save the starving dogs, but whether the Humane Society should be able to dictate exacting parameters of what constitutes proper dog care.

As to Mr. Mann’s question of the H.S position on the “lifestyle of a hunting dog,” refer to their Web site under the Steve Cummings case, where it says they were “disappointed” that the dogs were being released to a hunter and that, “The dogs deserve better than this after nearly dying from starvation under the care of known pig hunter, Steve Cummings … We were hoping to immediately be able to adopt them into loving companion homes. But instead, they will return to the lifestyle of a hunting dog throughout the criminal trial process.”

Exactly what is wrong with the lifestyle of a hunting dog, and what connection does starving dogs necessarily have to do with someone’s being a hunter? Or why are suspected hunters not allowed to get dogs from the H.S.? Clearly the position of the H.S. is against the hunting lifestyle.

The fact is that there are hunters and non-hunters alike who abuse animals. No one is arguing for animal abuse. But there are hunters who go back many generations on this island, as does my family, who have fed their families this way. Many take great care of their dogs who are ecstatic to often do what they’re bred to do — run through the hills chasing an environmental nuisance and food source for their owners. Those who come here to destroy our culture should remain where they are and keep their own. Using half a million bucks a year of county money to do so is immoral.

Regarding Mr. Chaquette’s letter, his usual juvenile name-calling doesn’t move me to answer. However, his one lucid point about the extent of the H.S. intervention is answered above. 

Craig Contrades


Boynton will be remembered

I felt so sad when I heard that David Boynton was no longer with us, that he’d fallen to his death from a cliff in his beloved Koke‘e. 

I knew David well enough to know that he was a bright, dedicated man, with a sense of humor and a tremendous store of knowledge. He was a pleasure to work with when we were both reporters at The Garden Island newspaper; he for a summer or two and me, much, much longer. He was a fine writer, articulate, and he cared about what was happening all around our little island. 

David was a superb photographer who obviously appreciated the beauty of his subjects and was willing to wait until he could show them at their best before pressing the shutter. He captured amazing shots of those who make the trees and fields of Koke‘e their home, and gorgeous photos of the beauty of Kauai.

He shared these talents in articles and books, some of which are just a “taste” of the garden island, and others that are “coffee table books” with portraits for all of us to enjoy forever.

But I guess his greatest talent of all was the awakening of hundreds, thousands, of children and adults to the beauty of plants, the birds, the mountains, the beaches, all things natural — and the need to nurture and protect these precious gifts.

I found him to be a delightful person, whom I, and I gather many, many others, treasured. And, David, as Kui Lee said, “I’ll remember you, long after the summer is through …”

Georgia Mossman


Take a break tomorrow

In the middle of all the daily opining in this section, I would like to invite writers and readers alike to take a brief break tomorrow and enjoy a delicious breakfast prepared for the East Kaua‘i Lions Club.

Pancakes, sausage, rice, miso soup, eggs, fruit, beverage — it’s all there for just $6. And take-out is available, so if you prefer you can take breakfast home and read the opinion page.

Time is 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Wilcox Elementary School cafeteria.

Readers and writers alike care about your community. Your support of this breakfast helps enable the East Kaua’i Lions do many things for the people of our community in the area of sight, hearing, diabetes screening and supplies; youth; elderly; beautification, etc.

Come join us.

Paul Steinfort



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