Letters for April 9, 2015

• Take pride in Kauai veteran • On a mission for a solution • Labor movement must protect Hawaiian culture

Take pride in Kauai veteran

Kinichi Ishikawa is someone we should know and now we do with Pam Brown’s informative piece on a Hawaiian patriot (Sunday, TGI, April 5). Freedom is lucky and thank you, Kinichi, for your service.  

Sandra J. Abrajano, Chicago

On a mission for a solution

On Saturday, March 28, I sat in on a meeting at the Kapaa library put on by the Wailua-Kapaa Neighborhood Association. Their guest speaker was Ray McCormick for the Department of Transportation and he came to address our traffic woes. I guess I might have been kidding myself to think that he might have spoke about a solution to ease traffic problems in key locations without spending hundreds of millions of dollars to do it. He showed us graphs as well as renderings of the proposed improvements. 

On one hand, he promised some relief and on the other, not necessarily the answer to our traffic woes. The cost for those improvements was in the  neighborhood of $400 to $600 million and on the time frame anywhere from five to 10 years. 

So much for the immediate relief the state has planned for solutions to our traffic woes.

When I count four out of six cars traveling in the “Kapaa crawl” as tourists, it tells me a lot about what is adding to so much traffic. My vision is that a shuttle service at key hub locations that’s linked and equipped for tourists and their needs be created. Thousands of rental cars are helping to create our traffic woes. Let’s keep an eye on the fairly new shuttle service on the North Shore, “Experience Kauai.” I hope they are successful and can visualize a pilot program to help alleviate the congestion.

Steve Martin, Kapaa

Labor movement must protect Hawaiian culture

The peaceful actions taken by hundreds to blockade the Thirty Meter Telescope to be built on sacred Mauna Kea should be supported by everyone who says they love Hawaii and respects the culture of the Kanaka Maoli people.

Without the Kanaka culture, Hawaii has no moral foundation or soul. Mahalo to the Kauai folks who went there last week, April 2, to show support and with some, like Dustin Barca, even getting arrested. 

There is a proud history in Hawaii’s unionized “labor movement” of openly standing up to cultural and racial biases and inequalities, but what about today? Outside of Local 5, organized labor has largely ignored the cultural, resource and land-based concerns of the Kanaka community. The building of this concrete and glass monstrosity is not a “good union jobs” promotion issue.

Our unions can no longer be insensitive to the cultural concerns of the Kanaka. The Kanaka movement for justice is growing — it will not go away. Just remember the recent mass rejection by Kanaka of Washington’s latest moves through its Department of Interior to contain their national aspirations and control over their lands and resources.

If we need to build things to keep us employed why don’t we start with more housing for Hawaii’s homeless and the many thousands on the lower end of the working class? In Hanalei, the median price for a home is more than a million bucks. That’s shameful. Let’s not be fooled by phoney arguments of “science” and “unlocking the secrets of the universe,” these are talking points that are only meant to line the pockets of a few in the astronomy and space exploration industries.

Raymond Catania, Puhi

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