Letters for Sunday, October 19, 2008

• This candidate and the Superferry

• Article tarnishes Congregationalist missionaries

• Vote ‘yes’ on General Plan

• I’m OK, you’re OK

This candidate and the Superferry

The operation of the Hawaii Superferry has been a divisive issue in our community for the past two years and it is important that residents be absolutely clear as to the positions of candidates on this issue.

While I support expanding our interisland transportation options, I do not support the manner in which the Hawaii Superferry attempted to enter the Hawai‘i marketplace nearly two years ago. 

The evidence is clear that, from the beginning, their intent was to circumvent Chapter 343, the primary law governing environmental protection, and in effect, with assistance from the state, they were able to do so.

It is my understanding that unless the Hawaii Supreme Court should rule otherwise, the Hawaii Superferry is at the present time legally entitled to come to Kaua‘i, and it is likely that at some point in the future it will eventually do so.

If elected to the Kaua‘i County Council I would do everything within my power and authority to ensure that when that date does come, that it be done in a manner that maximizes the benefits and minimizes potential negative impacts to our community.

• Lani Kawahara, County Council candidate, Wailua

Article tarnishes Congregationalist missionaries

Michael Levine’s Oct. 6 story, “Hawaiian congregation given church, land, apology,” about the transfer of lands to the ‘Ohana Ni‘ihau o Waimea Church, captured the spirit, but not the facts. The actions by the Hawai‘i Conference of the United Church of Christ follow the 1993 apology by the church to the Hawaiian people for the complicity of some of its members in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy in 1893. The published story, however, wrongly implies that the apology was for the role of missionaries in the overthrow.

The United Church of Christ has never made that assertion, and such a characterization tarnishes the legacy and reputation of our Congregationalist missionaries who first came to the islands in 1820.

For more information, your readers may want to visit our Web site, www.hcucc.org

• Charles Buck, Honolulu

Vote ‘yes’ on General Plan

Please vote “Yes” on the big one to keep Kaua‘i the Garden Island.

Way down in the lower right corner of the ballot, right at the end, is where you must vote “Yes” for our beaches, “Yes” for our ‘aina, and “Yes” for a county government that follows the General Plan. The county made the only citizen-initiated amendment long and confusing to make it harder to pass; a blank is a no vote.

It has been years since we insisted that our government behave. The last citizen initiated amendment to the Charter passed by more than 60 percent. It takes a lot to get people mad enough to collect 3,000 petition signatures.

Now we can vote for a better Kaua‘i. I didn’t collect signatures, but I will vote “Yes” on the big one. You should too. Or move to Waikiki or Miami or Maui or anyplace where foreign investors have “developed” what was beautiful. Keep Kaua‘i the Garden Island. Please urge everyone to vote “Yes” on the big one.

• Steve Perry, Lihu‘e

I’m OK, you’re OK

With all the negative press, political attacks, economic turmoil, arguments over ferries and dogs and everything else we’ve been hit with, I had a couple of things happen around me lately that I’d like to share with our island community.

Both of the events changed my thinking and, hopefully, reminded me of what’s really important. First, during that big swell last week, I saw a local surfer paddle into the lineup who I hadn’t seen in a long time. Other surfers noticed him, too, and many gave him a “welcome back.” I heard him say it had been over two years since he’d been in the water.

For those who don’t know it, surfers are a competitive bunch. They scrap and hustle for every good wave, and the top guys don’t let anything get by. Well, I was astounded to see that when the biggest wave came in, all those tough guys looked the other way and let the returning fellow take the best wave of the day.

It may not seem like much, but it really restored my aloha.

 Then, yesterday, as I drove through Lawa‘i, I saw three gals on the side of the road holding a sign. In this political season, I assumed they were touting some candidate. But, no, the sign they were holding said simply, “Aloha.” Three beautiful smiles, waving, sitting in the grass on the side of the road, just spreading aloha.

I think maybe, despite all, we may just be OK.

• James Thompson, Kalaheo

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