Letters for Wednesday, August 13, 2008

• Them against us

• I’ll pay your fine

• Praise for saving


Them against us

For a haole to try and understand how a Native Hawaiian thinks and feels is very difficult.

There are so many mixed messages, Hawaiians themselves are torn between what they really feel, aloha or warrior, or both.

Hawaiian culture is steeped in ceremony and traditions which legend can trace back to the mythical land of mu.

For 1,500 years before white intrusion Hawaiian society as a whole acted in the power of the moment, (meaning what felt right at the time).

As a very smart race of people they knew that the past was for sacred memory, the future was for planning, and present was for immediate action. Today it is very different. Over the past 200 years the haole freight train has railroaded the Hawaiian Nation to the point that most but not all now live in their past memory where there is respect and tradition but no power of the present. The Hawaiian option has been to complain just about everything and the past shows complaining only works if someone is prepared to listen, and they don’t.

Another major problem is some of the Hawaiians that are vocal are totally divided, most in it for what they get for themselves. Overcoming those past differences and acting united right now will make the difference. At this very moment there is someone who is listening. Possibily the first Hawaiian-born president of the United States, who has seen first-hand the plight of the Native people. In fact in yesterday’s The Garden Island paper Democratic nominee Barack Obama stated — and I quote — “Hawai‘i is paradise but we have been divided so long, we’ve been arguing for so long, a lot of times about things that aren’t worth arguing about and ignoring the things that we should be doing to make the next generation have a better life.”

There it is in black and white. First, no matter what your political persuasion, get him into power. Second, create a totally united squeaky wheel and it will get oiled. As I see it, as a totally unbiased observer, the most important priority is appeasement to the Hawaiian people in the form of land rights. The sacredness of this land and these islands can be shared, and honor given back to the people. It is no easy task but it can be done as long as the movers and shakers are realistic.

The point is it has to be done now. If Obama gets the top job, these matters must be near the top of his list because in four years it will be all over.

If this sounds a bit fanciful it’s not. Countries like Australia have given back many millions of acres back to the original indigenous owners and in New Zealand the Maori who are a part of Polynesia have a well-established land right system in place.

The past is what it is. History proves it has no power in the present, otherwise things would be different. Precise action taken now, if this Obama window opens, will affect your future and the future of generations to come. To finish, remember the old saying, “United we stand, divided we fall.”

Jim Uttleymoore

Kapa‘a


I’ll pay your fine

My wife and I are Californians who have been visiting Kaua‘i since the mid-80s. I have to say that the Aug. 9 letter from David in Berkeley (“Ticketing tourists unfair,” Letters, Aug. 9) complaining that he was ticketed for going 42 mph in a 25-mph zone, is outrageous.

I don’t know what self-serving state David lives in, but here in California, 15 mph over the speed limit is a guaranteed bust and a big fine.

But what really made me lose my lunch is his claim that he was targeted because he’s a tourist.

Got news for you, David … Kaua‘i isn’t some Las Vegas where you are special because you whip out your wallet and wave your money around. It is a peoples home and has been so for many centuries and you and your family have an obligation to respect it as such.

Obligation and respect, David. I suspect those are foreign words to you. Look them up.

Better yet, send me your mailing address and I’ll pay your $142 fine — if from now on you’ll take your vacations in Las Vegas.

Frank Dawson

Frazier Park, Calif.


Praise for saving

junior varsity sports

I have two grandsons ages 14 and 15, who will play junior varsity football this year for Kapaa High School. This training has been such a positive experience for both of them. It gives them something to do after school everyday and increases their self esteem and confidence. They are at a vulnerable period in their lives and need some positive influences and reinforcement. My daughter and I were devastated when we heard the Department of Education was thinking of eliminating junior varsity sports at all public schools in the state. It was the talk on sports radio for a week. Nobody who called in to the show supported this cut in the athletic programs. We were elated to read in Saturday’s sport’s page that the Board of Education voted not to eliminate the junior varsity programs. Our thanks go out to Greg McMackin, Mufi Hanneman and our own James Tokioka for providing testimony to spare the sports programs that were on the chopping block.

My grandsons also had the opportunity to attend Winner’s Camp Leadership academy in Hawaii Kai in O‘ahu in July. This is a week-long camp designed to help teenagers with social skills, personal goals and academic activities. The boys had such a great time and both of them want to go back again next spring and summer. I would like to thank Rosemary Smith, Vicky and Wayne Thrift, Herman Ferreira, John and Bobbie Love, Dr. Brian Flourney and Ron and Bernie Seliski for their contributions toward my grandson’s tuition to camp. We would not have been able to send them without their help. In the past Winners Camp was held on Kaua‘i, but they lost the site and it would be great to bring it back here. Our teens could really benefit from this amazing experience. They go from attitude to gratitude. If anyone has any ideas on a permanent site for Kaua‘i, please contact Rosemary Smith at 822-5216. There are so may teens on Kaua‘i who could benefit from this positive experience.

Mary Terheggen

Lihu‘e

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