Letters for Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013

Festival remains a true treasure • Let reps know your stance on marriageKeep digging on cemetery work

Festival remains a true treasure

I was happy to see the lovely photos and article (TGI, Oct. 13) after the Eo Emalani Festival in Kokee last Saturday.

This is a one of a kind festival. Our Institute, Ka`Imi Na`auao O Hawai`i Nei, participates every year with dancers from Europe, California, Maui, Oahu, Kauai and even Samoa!

Auwe that the Garden Island did not list this event in the calendar the week before.

The Hui O Laka staff submitted the information. Sad to think some might have missed it because it was not listed.

Savitri Kumaran


Let reps know your stance on marriage

We recently had a friendly and cordial conversation with Rep. James Tokioka regarding his intention to vote against marriage equality in the upcoming special session.  

Rep. Tokioka stated that he believed it was his responsibility to vote the wishes of his constituents.

He added that, according to the informal research he has done and the comments received by his office, somewhere around 70 percent of the people in his district oppose extending equal marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples.  

We find this striking, because if it is actually the case, it would make his district here on Kauai more conservative than places like Georgia and Texas (according to recent polls in those notoriously ultra-conservative states).

Our own experience with the people of Kauai couldn’t be further from the narrow perspective Mr. Tokioka assigns to his constituents.

Kauai is the most welcoming place we have ever called home. The people of this island, to a person, have never treated our marriage any differently than they would a straight marriage.

Our marriage, legal in 13 states and the District of Columbia and recognized by the federal government, is already equal in the eyes of our friends and neighbors.

In fact, it’s only the law, not the people of Kauai that treats us any differently.  

Many of our friends recognize that the law needs to change to match reality, and have already begun to reach out to Mr. Tokioka to share their concerns about his plan to vote no.

So we are asking all of you who live in his district (Lihue, Omao, Hanamaulu and Wailua) to call Mr. Tokioka’s office at (808) 856-6270 and let him know that he is wrong about the people of Kauai, and on the wrong side of history.

Tell him that you are calling to let him know that you believe all families should be treated equally, and that you will be watching how he votes on this issue.  

David Schwartz & Chris Spinosa


Keep digging on cemetery work

I commend Debrah Davis for all the hard work she is doing recording the graveyard by Glass Beach. I urge her to take pictures of each headstone and submit them together with the deceased’s information to “Find a Grave” on the Internet. If I can be of assistance, I would be happy if she would call me.

Speaking from years of experience, I recommend that to complete her work, she gather friends, KCC students and others in the community who are interested in archaeology to work with her, as outside financial assistance to record graveyards is extremely rare, if it exists at all.

ABC Channel 4 News has been reporting today that this is a never-before-found graveyard.

This is not true, as many residents are aware of it. In 1986 my husband, archaeologist Dr. Pila Kikuchi, and Susan Remoaldo recorded and described the gravestones in that cemetery.

Unfortunately, Pila died before he was able to publish the second half (the west side burials) of “Cemeteries on Kauai.” However, his unpublished notes are available to Ms. Davis at the Kikuchi Center at Kauai Community College.

That information together with Ms. Davis’s data should provide an extremely valuable source for use by descendants, genealogists, archaeologists and historians. Good luck, Ms. Davis.

Dolly Kikuchi



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