Letters for Thursday, May 10, 2007

• Drug tests too high a price for loss of freedom

• Not thinking Big Box stores

• Say no to the Superferry, Malama Kaua‘

• Paradise’s ugly theme


Drug tests too high a price for loss of freedom

Sorry, but random drug testing is not “a small price to pay” (Letters, May 9.)

Often, in our quest to curb crime, we find that we confront a rather significant stumbling block: the Constitution of the United States. With regularity, citizens and politicians attempt to skirt it in order to address what seems to be a pressing need. In this case, the actions of a small handful of Hawai‘i teachers have somehow been interpreted as a crisis of such urgency that the basic privacy rights of all teachers need to be sacrificed.

When we violate our basic constitutional principles to crack down on one segment of our society, we diminish ourselves as a nation, and we all lose some of our freedom. Our justice system is based on the idea that most people are innocent, and should not be presumed guilty. When we trample the privacy of all members of a group to ferret out a small number of “guilty” parties, we are behaving like a police state.

Random drug testing does not prove that a teacher is a danger to students during school hours. It does not prove that a teacher is incompetent. It does not prove that the teacher is a drug addict who needs help.

In fact, with the likelihood of false positives, it appears that random drug testing does not prove anything at all, except that we are willing to sacrifice our most precious liberties at the drop of a hat.

Katy Rose

Hanalei


Not thinking Big Box stores

I can honestly say I have never read such a hollow argument for a cause yet. You would ask a young couple working two jobs trying to feed their three kids on a tight budget to be concerned about fossil fuel shortages over the next 100 years or Richard Heinberg’s theories on it? That is nonsense.

You say if we can get affordable housing, if we can get transportation, if we can get energy and health care . . . did it take a Wal-Mart store expanding to get these problems addressed? You are asking this young couple and all the people on fixed incomes. Social Security and pensions to wait around for your pie in the sky when they need help now.

You talk about the community’s general planning goal and rural character of Kaua‘i, one only needs to go to the South Shore (Koloa — Po‘ipu). If this is what you mean by keeping Kaua‘i as Kaua‘i, then I guess rural character is something I don’t understand.

Bill Murphy

Koloa


Say no to the Superferry, Malama Kaua‘i

We live on an island far across the sea, peaceful in its own being, filled with people so connected to our ancestors, our lifestyles, and most importantly, to our land. Wouldn’t you want to live this lifestyle forever?

This could all come to a tragic end in July 2007. Despite the dangers that it poses to our natural marine life, there is a lot more at stake than what is actually being considered. What about the cultural impact that this will have on the people and land? What about our legacy of our kupuna who lived on this land? What will Kaua‘i’s future be in the next five or 10 years? Who will be living on this land that we call home? Will the ‘aina receive the respect it deserves?

How will we ensure that Kaua‘i will forever be loved by those people who come aboard the Superferry? What would happen to the lifestyle that at one time seemed to be so calm and relaxing? Is the Hawai‘i Superferry in the best interest of the Kaua‘i people or is it in the best interest of those who will use and abuse our natural resources? What will happen to Kaua‘i?

This is what will happen to our island. The special places that we have grown up with will be exploited, increase in traffic, increase in drug trafficking, increase of population, increase of invasive species, exploitation of island resources (over fishing, hunting, and gathering of plants).

As residents of Kaua‘i, it is our kuleana to care for the ‘aina. This land on which we live has continuously provided its people with captivating beauty, unlimited resources, and a place that we call home. For many generations we have all managed to maintain a sense of balance between our ‘aina and the lives we live. We continue to maintain the natural resources that have been passed on from generations.

However, in order to preserve and protect the ‘aina for the younger generations we need to make the well-being of the ‘aina our number one priority. Please ask yourself, “Will this benefit my children? Grandchildren? What about my great-grandchildren?” It is our responsibility to voice our opinion about stopping the docking of the Superferry. Why did the government decide to have a Superferry without speaking to the people? Do we really need the Superferry? Why are we told what we need for our island? Shouldn’t that decision be made by everyone on the island?

We need to speak up!

U‘ilani Smith Albarado

Hanapepe


Paradise’s ugly theme

So Marion Meckelburg thinks visitors are less deserving to eat when on Kaua‘i than she is.

This seems to be a variation on a rather consistent, ugly theme over there in “paradise.” First, the blue-eyed, white-skinned Europeans stole Hawai‘i. Next, statehood was foisted on a bunch of ignorant voters. Now, anyone with white skin is dishonest. That theme is in the letters to your paper and exploded last week with the racist, rude handling of Sen. Hooser by a Honolulu radio jockey who makes Don Imus look like a saint by comparison. (The only difference, shamefully, no one is really rising up against disc jockey Price.)

From her surname perhaps Ms. Meckelburg isn’t of the “grandfathered” ethnic groups. If not, she is one of those who perhaps lived there long enough to feel she had more rights to the turf than those repulsive visitors.

The crime wave isn’t far behind.

Wally Roberts

San Clemente, Calif.

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