Letters for Friday, March 9, 2007

• Recapture the aloha

• Please hurry up!

• Great role model

• Amazed at concern over Libby

Recapture the aloha

Congratulations to Kainaniokalihiwai Kahaunaele for the wonderful comments about the “Hawaiian” people (letters March 3). It’s refreshing to hear a true Hawaiian descendant point out it’s the aloha actions and not part-time hateful doublespeak that will help the Hawaiian people through their life’s journey. Those bitter individuals who hate everyone except “Kingdom claimers” should take note. The real Hawaiians I’ve met are wonderful, kind, caring people and if they’ve found it difficult to adjust to the changes that have gone on in the world around them, the world should recognize their difficulties and help. There are so many phony “Hawaiians” running around claiming to be a part of the “Kingdom” it’s hard to hear the true circumstances being experienced by the few real Hawaiians who are left.

The phony “Kingdom claimers” will have to clarify a few things before the legitimate Hawaiians and rest of the world can arrive at a point of giving away the Hawai‘i we all know and love to its “rightful” owners. Questions like “What is a real Hawaiian?” Is it one who has a drop of Hawaiian blood? Science would have a hard time with this one because if that’s the case we would all be African. Is it one who has at least 50% pure Hawaiian descendancy as defined by the U.S. Government in the early 1900s?

Can anyone regardless of race be a Hawaiian “Kingdom” citizen? I actually met a 100% haole woman who wants a free piece of Hawai‘i real estate because she claims to be a “Kingdom” citizen and worships the current “Kingdom” royalty, whoever they are. Wow, that means all of us will be able to join the “Kingdom.” If even one haole or “outsider” can join we all can, so would that mean we can take another vote and become a state again?

Other important questions like, should reparations be made by the Tahitian “Hawaiians” to the Marquesan Hawaiians for their bloody and illegal overthrow? The Tahitian “Hawaiians” of the “Kingdom” captured Hawai‘i around 1200 AD from the thousands of Marquesan Hawaiians who 700 years earlier were the first to discover and claim these beautiful islands as their home. The Marquesans welcomed the Tahitians with open arms and were thanked by the Tahitians who enslaved, impregnated, and killed them all. We’re not just talking about an illegal overthrow here, it was genocide. Someone has to pay for this! Are there any of these original Hawaiians who were descended from the Marquesans left? Were they all massacred by the ancestors of the “Kingdom?” Do the “Kingdom claimers” and Tahitian “Hawaiians” owe the ancestors of the original Hawaiians from the Marquesas islands reparations?

These are very difficult questions, and someday I hope we can get to the bottom of what would be fair for all. My biggest fear is that we decide to give Hawai‘i back to its first and only “legal” inhabitants from the islands of Marquesas. What would we all do? Would the Tahitian “Kingdom claimers” have to go back to Tahiti, or, with the rest of the residents of Hawai‘i regroup in Las Vegas? Will we find out that Las Vegas is really owned by the Indians and have to move again?

This could get quite confusing but one thing is clear, if everyone would practice the philosophy and wonderful aloha described in Kahaunaele’s letter, we may be able to stop the hateful finger-pointing, agree on the definition of a legitimate Hawaiian, provide help where it is actually deserved, and recapture the aloha concept shared with us by the real Hawaiians and their ancestors.

Gordon Oswald


Please hurry up!

Regarding David Stewart’s letter on March 5:

Yes, I totally agree with him. If I recall my letter, it ended with an unanswered question to the authorities :

“When will we be able to walk/bike again along the whole Kapa‘a shoreline at least as before?” … Really, when will all those bridges be finally finished and open for use? This never-ending story has totally ruined so many people’s daily walk for way tooo long!

Thank you, Mr. Stewart, for your letter…

And to the people in charge, please hurry up!

Lillian de Mello


Great role model

We all have role models while growing up. I think if we’re lucky, we realize who our role models are and what they contribute to our lives. If we’re really lucky, we get the chance to thank them.

When I was 13, my family moved from O‘ahu to Kaua‘i, and I was the new kid in school. My first class at Kaua‘i High and Intermediate was P.E. with Mrs. Quinones.

Mrs. Q taught so much more than the curriculum; she embodied the word teacher for me. Mrs. Q didn’t just dispense information. She listened, shared her experiences, made the lessons apply to our lives, made us laugh and she genuinely cared about what happened to us in and out of the classroom.

By the time I graduated from high school, I knew I wanted to become a teacher like Mrs. Q and other outstanding teachers who had taught me along the way. The example they set made me want to return to the community that raised me and to give back some of what I received.

When I returned to Kaua‘i High School as a teacher, I was just as excited, intimidated and uncertain as I was that first day in Mrs. Q’s class nearly 10 years before. By then Mrs. Q had moved into administration, and I found her unchanged. She was still the same warm, funny, encouraging teacher who listened when I spoke and offered good advice. Mrs. Q and other veteran teachers were instrumental in mentoring and supporting me through those challenging first years of teaching and I was honored when Mrs. Q approached me to coach sports. The example Mrs. Q set, her confidence in my abilities, and her unwavering support as athletic director inspired me to work harder to become the same type of influence for my students as she was for me.

On a recent visit to Kaua‘i, I learned Mrs. Q retired last December after 32 years of service to the Kaua‘i High School community. I think of the lives she touched, the hours of work and the effort she devoted to her students and I am thankful for all that she gave and all that she taught me. I’m sure there are others who feel the same way and join me in wishing Mrs. Q all the best in her retirement. If you run into her, be sure to tell her so.

Michelle Saito

Sunnyvale, Calif.

Amazed at concern over Libby

I find it amazing how many Republicans were concerned that Mr. Libby get an immediate pardon and not spend one day or, God forbid, one night in jail, yet his lies were part of a foundation that led us into an unnecessary war and have resulted in hundreds if not thousands of people being placed in secret prisons all over the world with no contact with their families or benefit of legal representation.

Many have been tortured and all have been denied the constitutional rights Mr. Libby now depends upon to stay out on bail pending appeal.

Lee Mentley

Los Angeles, Calif.


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