Letters for Monday, November 3, 2008

• Keep ‘Forum’ balanced

• Yukimura for mayor

• Do you want change?

• Don’t drop West column

Keep ‘Forum’ balanced

I had always thought that liberals were in favor of free speech, one of the basic tenets of our constitution. But it seems I was wrong.

Sunday’s “hate-filled” letter from Jonathan Jay about Diana West was just the latest in a string of letters demanding that various right wing columnists be banned from The Garden Island — with the implied threat of subscription cancellation.

I am sure that Mr. Jay eats up every word of such left wing columnists as Gene Lyons. His columns blame every woe in the universe on G.W. Bush and the Republicans. But you never hear a conservative writing in to say that he should be censored or banned.

Some of the columnists at least try to be fair while others are totally biased. It is not hard to identify which is which.

The Forum does a good job of keeping these Media Voices columns well balanced.

Contrary to popular belief, not every resident of Kaua‘i is a dyed in the wool Democrat. There are some of us conservatives floating around. While I might take offense at Gene Lyons’ columns (and often don’t bother to read them) he has as much right to appear in print as anyone else. Sometimes it is fun (and useful) to read the enemy’s propaganda.

If I may make a suggestion to Mr. Jay, it would be to simply not read columns written by Diana West or Donna Brazile or even Morton Kondracke. You might even skip over letters written by conservatives — like this one.

• Stan Godes, Hanalei

Yukimura for mayor

As a recent candidate for County Council, I was quickly educated on how truly difficult it is to run for public office.

While making the decision to throw my bonnet into the ring, I asked someone I respected about the idea of running and they responded, “Be prepared to lose your privacy.”

Such truth in those words. In running for office, you expose yourself to all types of criticism and scrutiny. That is part of the process because as a candidate you are asking people to trust you and to allow you to make decisions on their behalf.

Kaua‘i has been more than forgiving of many of its leaders in the past. Many mistakes and bad calls have been made by more than a few elected leader. Many who have never run for office have perpetuated criticism of some of our leaders and have held on to old resentments that may not have any real substance to them.

Where is the Ho‘oponopono spirit of our island when we need it the most?

This election season is crucial to our nation and to our island. Your choices must be well thought out and not a popularity contest. Our island is in need of real repair and real leadership.

That is why, after careful consideration, I am voting for JoAnn Yukimura.

I have worked with JoAnn on community issues and have found her knowledgeable, accessible and able to give responsible and well thought out advice. She is a wealth of knowledge and experience. This is just the type of person that Kaua‘i needs now.

I recently attended a rally for Barack Obama and JoAnn was one of the key note speakers. As I watched her I kept thinking about how qualified she is to run for Senate. She has the experience, the education and she has never supported a bridge to nowhere or put lipstick on a pig.

She could have chosen a bigger goal which would have taken her to Washington, but JoAnn has chosen to stay on her beloved Kaua‘i and has continued to work diligently and passionately for the things she believes in.

She has never wavered, despite some harsh criticism during her tenure as mayor. She faced an impossible task post-Iniki and guided the island through a tough time. She made tough decisions because that is what real leaders do.

I was in Florida immediately after Hurricane Andrew and the devastation and government response was appalling on both counts. Shortly after I relocated to Kaua‘i and found a functioning, organized response to a disaster equally as intense and just a few weeks after the Florida hurricane. That was a credit to then-Mayor JoAnn Yukimura who again asks for your support and vote.

Well, I for one am most happy to support a candidate with such resilience, confidence and experience. Kaua‘i needs your leadership JoAnn. Thank you for serving your community all of these years.

• Linda Pasadava, Kilauea

Do you want change?

Our federal Congress was wisely organized into two houses by our founding fathers. It has representatives from each state, the number depending upon the population in that state. But to avoid the “Tyranny of the Crowd” our Senate has equal representation: two senators from each state.

Our state Congress also has a legislature with representation from each island based upon population. But our Senate does not have an equal number of senators from each county or island. No, it is also based upon population. Since O‘ahu is by far the most populous island, we in the Neighbor Islands are cheated and often overlooked.

This is only one of many problems that need to be addressed in a Constitutional Convention, something we the people only have access to every 10 years.

Why every 10 years? Why the expensive TV ads telling you to vote down a Con-Con? Why the rigged voting system, which counts each blank vote as a “No” vote?

Because the powers that be do not want change. They do not want their power eroded.

A Con Con will be an investment, not an expense. A Con Con will not threaten unions.

Do not be frightened by the propoganda from the powers that be. If you want “Change,” vote for Barack Obama, and also vote “yes” on the Con Con.

• Richard Olson, Kekaha

Don’t drop West column

A recent letter demanded dropping the column of Diane West with terms like “hate-filled” and “caustic ranting” (“No more Diana West,” Letters, Nov. 2).

My view is TGI has a fairly balanced selection of columnists reflecting the political spectrum.

Many papers have moved the Doonesbury cartoon from the funnies section to the editorial page as a political cartoon. Donnesbury has not been funny for a long time now.

The terms “caustic ranting” and “hate-filled” more than describe the cartoon. I would add terms like “mean-spirited” and “vicious.”

• Suzanne Woodruff, Kapa‘au, Hawai‘i

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