Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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June 06, 2007 - MidWeek
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Espero’s priorities

In the letter “Espero responds,” I believe Sen. Wil Espero is defending the wrong issues. Everyone knows he supports rail regardless of the cost to his constituents, and is even supportive of raising the GET from the .5 percent to a full 1 percent if that’s what it takes to get a rail system constructed.

The complaints from his constituents is that if we all have to pay $400 per family (or $800 if Sen. Espero helps raise the GET to 1 percent) for rail, and Sen. Espero’s district is designated as one of the worst for traffic congestion, we should at least have a rail station in Ewa Beach.


According to Sen. Espero, the nearest station to Ewa Beach will be up to three miles away through expected heavy traffic outside of his district in Kapolei. According to Mayor Hannemann’s midterm report, no rail spur is planned in the future to come any closer to Ewa Beach than the one in Kapolei, yet there will be a station in the Hoopili development in Waipahu, which D.R. Horton is building with the help of employee Sen. Espero.

Why does Sen. Espero work so diligently for his employer/developer to make millions on the value of their property by supporting a train station being built there, while his constituents will not see the benefit of the train unless they drive 45 minutes to get to it?

Keith Steadman

Ewa Beach

Not brainwashing

Bob Jones slyly sets up his argument against what he labels religious “brainwashing” by proposing that religion and reason are oppositional. They are not. Most practicing Christians would say that they live by faith and reason. Religion and reason are not diametrically opposed as Mr. Jones suggests. Faith and reason are companions, not adversaries.

Teaching Christian religious concepts at an early age is no more in the category of “brainwashing” than is teaching young children health protecting practices such as washing hands and covering a cough. Good habits are best taught early and teaching them is not considered an unfair imposition on young minds.

Ben Franklin said, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” That sounds reasonable and gasp - slightly religious.

P. Kowal

Aiea


Hopi teachings

It made my heart soar to read Don Chapman’s Editor’s Desk column about meeting with Grampa Martin of the Hopi Nation. He will remember another Hopi elder, Grampa David Monongye, from Hotevilla, who also spoke to the United Nations and to the World Conference on Native Peoples in Geneva Switzerland back in the 1970s.

Grampa David taught about the Hopi Prophecies, which were believed to have been “breathed into the rocks by the Great Spirit” 6,000 years ago. Mr. Chapman’s story quoted part of that prophecy as written in the rocks at one of Hopiland’s sacred places.

The picture he described as the figure with the head severed from the body was what Grampa David referred to as the two-hearted people, those who separate from the truth within nature and the spirit of truth within their own hearts, and who will not join the one-hearted people in the forthcoming “fifth world,” a golden age where there will be “a lot of corn” and the sacred presence of the Great Spirit here on earth.

The name “Hopi” means people of peace, so it was especially interesting that after writing about Grampa Martin, Mr. Chapman wrote about the Dalai Lama, a wonderful example and exponent of peace.

I just want to thank Mr. Chapman for this story. There is a wonderful and diverse Native American community here in Hawaii.

There are also many “Indian Hearts,” people who cannot prove Native American blood, but who resonate on a soul level to the Indian ways, and who privately live by Indian teachings. Mr. Chapman’s story brought joy to many of us, no matter what ethnic bodies we are wearing this time around.

Jade Emory

Honolulu

Editor’s note: Grandfather Martin Gashweseoma and the Hopi woman named Rowena mentioned in that column will be coming to Honolulu for the annual pow-wow at Thomas Square in October. Local friends will be doing fund-raising to pay for their trip. Watch the editor’s column for details.

Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by email to dchapman@midweek.com. Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
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