Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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June 24, 2009 - MidWeek
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The 70 percenters

The line in Bob Jones’column “This Race Looks Like A Doozy” hit me in the face like a slap: 70 percent of the state of Hawaii’s budget goes to public worker salaries. Seventy percent!

Something is wrong here. I’m sorry for the discomfort furloughs or layoffs may cause those workers, but we are all in this together. And as one of those public workers’ “employers,” as all we taxpayers are, I agree with Mr. Jones: “Something should be downsized.”

Edith Lee
Honolulu


 

Civil rights vote

Last week in a news report about the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, I noted that the vote was 73-27, and that after a long filibuster. Yes, 27 U.S. senators voted against allowing African Americans the same rights as whites, just 45 years ago. Hard to imagine such a thing today, but it’s true.

One day, not so far away, I hope, we’ll view people who are opposed to allowing gays and lesbians the same rights as heterosexuals in the same way we view those 27 senators - repressive bigots on the wrong side of history who should be ashamed of themselves.

In both cases, prejudice is based simply on how people are born. Nothing could be more un-American than that.

Marla Watanabe
Salt Lake

Living on myths

Jerry Coffee’s anti-Islam rant, the guest column from a local Muslim leader that followed, and recent letters on the topic remind me that the root of so many of the world’s problems today is religion and the narrow, small-minded world view it inevitably breeds.

All religions are based on myths, their holy books written thousands of years ago by people with political agendas, for very specific audiences.

Humans are humans, so perhaps we’d still find things to fight about. But without the house of mirrors that is religion, we’d have a lot less to fight about.

Stuart Ray
Honolulu


Just his cup

I’ve noticed Jerry Coffee has been getting big hits (below the belt) in MidWeek letters recently. Well, I want to thank Mr. Coffee for speaking out for us in the silent majority. Why do we need an Islam day except to appease the PC crowd?

Where do Republicans get their “marching orders”? How about the Constitution, that includes a couple things like free speech and warnings against things like treason.

My opinion, Mr. Coffee’s opinion, is not hateful speech. This is America, and not an Islamic-dominated country that prohibits free speech, rigs elections, denies your mother, wife, sister or daughter basic rights, or stones any one of them if they get raped.

My opinion, his opinion, is not hateful rhetoric. People are freely allowed to disagree with you without you labeling them hateful.

John L. Busekrus
Kailua

Wailupe plan

Regarding Dan Boylan’s column on the closure of Wailupe Valley Elementary School, the state’s budget woes and subsequent funding cuts to public schools may prevent the Department of Education from embarking on an exciting initiative in East Oahu.

The Education Department’s proposed conversion of the now-closed Wailupe Valley Elementary School into a science center is in jeopardy after a study found that it would cost some $2 million to retrofit and equip the campus.

Faced with the daunting task of slashing $468 million from public schools over the next two fiscal years, a Board of Education Committee on Administrative Services earlier this month was forced to recommend the return of the Wailupe Valley campus to its owner, the City and County of Honolulu.

Unless an outside donor were to step in and help support the center’s creation, it is likely - and unfortunate - that the school board will have to approve the committee’s decision and postpone indefinitely any plans for the envisioned science center.

Karen Knudsen
First Vice-Chairwoman
Hawaii Board of Education

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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