Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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October 21, 2009 - MidWeek
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Park facts

Coach Larry Price’s call for support of our public parks was much appreciated, and we share his concerns about vandalism and abuse of these valuable community assets. We invite him to learn more about what we’re doing to preserve, protect and maintain these important resources, and suggest he attend some of the many recreation programs conducted at our city parks. Based on his assertions, we’d also like to offer a few clarifications.

Coach Price’s statement that “We don’t have many, if any, park programs because we don’t have resources to finance them” overlooks the many fine and ongoing programs such as Summer Fun, and special events such as Lei Day, Senior’s Valentine Dance and Na Hula Festival. In fact, more than 55,000 people participate in registered programs throughout the year.


Similarly, his statement that “Recreation professionals, if there are any left, are responsible for meeting the challenges ...” seemed to slight the dedication and of hundreds of park and recreation professionals who are indeed on the job, serving our community every day. Mayor Hannemann and I are extremely proud of their hard work keeping the City parks great places to play, recreate and enjoy.

Finally, Mr. Price’s lamentation that “Most of our famous parks are closed at sunset because of security concerns” is both inaccurate and confusing. Some parks are indeed closed after 10 p.m. (long after sunset) in response to community concerns, but there are few legitimate reasons for anyone to be in most parks that late.

We hope Coach Price will continue to champion support for our parks, and we’ll be happy to assist him with accurate and updated information about our hard work and proud achievements.

Lester K.C. Chang
Director, Department of Parks and Recreation

Evolving science

Regarding Bob Jones’ comments: If America was founded as a Christian nation, we would be a theocracy instead of a democracy - much like Islamic countries in the Middle East. Christianity is the predominant religion and undoubtedly influenced the creation of our country, but the founding fathers firmly established freedom of belief and separation of church and state to ensure that freedom.

“Creationism” and “intelligent design” are Christian religious beliefs, and America should not allow public schools to be the venue for promoting any one religion’s agenda over all others. In the spirit of equality and fairness, how could we only teach Christianity’s creation story without including the thousands of others? What about Pele from our own Hawaiian history?

Religions have remained virtually unchanged over the centuries, while science has changed exponentially and continues to do so. Science is objective and dynamic in stimulating natural human curiosity, inquiry and imagination. The polarity between science and religion at this stage of human evolution and consciousness renders them incompatible. No one can dispute anyone’s personal religious or spiritual experience, yet creationists have no compunction about preaching that 99 percent of all the scientists on earth are wrong about evolution.

Schools should include an objective non-promotional study of all world religions and philosophies in a separate curriculum, but not in the sphere of science. Hopefully this would lead students who were raised strictly under one belief system to an expanded understanding and respect for others who embrace Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Monism, Deism, Pantheism, Agnosticism, Atheism, Wicca or whatever.

With an ever-deepening understanding of quantum physics and the biology of belief, science and God may someday meet in perfect harmony, but religion may never see that day.

Science and religion do share something equally: They could both be wrong. But science will survive by changing and evolving while religion fossilizes.

Meanwhile, I have faith in the miraculous mystery of life and existence as more than enough to keep young hearts and minds open with eternal gratitude, wonder and awe.

Bruce Lee
Hawaii Kai

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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