Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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April 09, 2008 - MidWeek
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Fun jury duty

Bruce Cameron’s column “Helpful Tips for Your Jury Duty” - although written in jest - does a great disservice to our community. Such articles perpetuate the negative views of some of our citizens toward jury service. Indeed, jury service is a privilege and a responsibility of citizenship. Few civic activities provide such direct contact with our democracy as does jury service, which brings citizens with a variety of life experiences and backgrounds to participate actively in their justice system.

The judiciary has received a number of letters from jurors who admitted having a dreadful reaction upon receipt of a summons for jury service. Some even confessed to trying desperately to provide a reason to be excused and becoming angry when the judge refused to “let them off.” But upon completion of their service, these same jurors expressed appreciation and found the experience educational and rewarding.

Although the Judiciary recognizes one of the most fundamental freedoms recognized in our constitution, that is, freedom of the press, articles like Mr. Cameron’s will continue to jeopardize one of the bedrocks of our democracy - the right to be judged by a fair cross section of the community. Our justice system works because judges - with critical assistance from jurors - work diligently every day, considering cases in a thoughtful, impartial and fair manner.

Kimberly Lee
Public Information Officer,
State of Hawaii Judiciary

Egged on

Jade Moon may have conveniently missed an important point in her article on the subject of the Lanikai egging. We should remember that - drunk or sober - Mr. Jervis was attacked on his own property. In 1968/69 I was living in Kailua, and one night I left the top down on my convertible parked in the carport. In the morning, the inside of the windshield, the dash, seat and floor were covered with smashed eggs. I seldom drink and have never been drunk, but had I witnessed that act I probably would have made Mr. Jervis look like a Boy Scout.

Robert G. Frye

No, a weak union

This is in response to Larry Price’s column “The Power of Teachers’ Unions.”

In it Mr. Price writes, “Teachers in unions have the right ... to have the unions fight on their behalf.”

Teachers do have this right, but it isn’t always upheld. For example, Hawaii State Teacher’s Association is so powerful that they can, and do, look the other way and opt not to support a union teacher. The following is an example of their might:

In June of 2004, I informed the DOE of my intent to return from a leave. However, there were no bona fide, good-faith job offers. The following school year, I was transferred to a school in another district. This was a violation of my rights, so I declined the offer. I was terminated. From the start, the union knew about my situation but did nothing.

Mr. Price also states, “It is common knowledge that, in Hawaii, it is easier to fire an incompetent judge than a union teacher who is incompetent.”

On the contrary, I’m a local, highly qualified, competent teacher. I have 12 years in the public school system. I was a dues-paying union member. Yet, it was easy for the DOE to repeatedly violate my rights and fire me.

If powerful Goliath doesn’t do his job, teachers can’t do theirs.

Adelaide Nakamura

New hula styles

Regarding Bob Jones column on two non-traditional hula teachers: Traditions must be maintained in the name of culture, but hula provides outlets for both traditional and modern dance.

Merrie Monarch Festival’s web site says: “the major purpose of the festival is the perpetuation, preservation, and promotion of the art of hula and the Hawaiian culture through education. The festival is considered the world’s premier forum for people of all ages to display their skills and knowledge of the art of ancient and modern hula.”

There are many other competitions that Mr. Hoomalu could participate in and achieve all the accolades he pursues. I encourage him to do exhibition performances and he will gain much praise.

Demetra Pualeilani
Wakinekona Nichols

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