Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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August 04, 2010 - MidWeek
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Out Of Touch

Therese Ko’s out-of-touch views as expressed in a letter to the editor made my hair stand on end. Can anyone really be so oblivious to the real hardships many people face today? Ms. Ko’s description of the “lazy couch potatoes draining our country dry” is an insult to the many hardworking people who have lost their jobs and even their homes, through no fault of their own. Perhaps Ms. Ko does not know any of them, but I do. If she wanted to find them, which I doubt, she does-n’t need to look any further than the recent mergers of two local TV stations and two Honolulu newspapers. Ms. Ko’s next statement that “churches, legitimate nongovernmental charitable organizations and generous individuals do a fine job” reflects her pathetic denial of the state of many of these fine groups. The truth is they are struggling to stay alive because of a decline in contributions. Many of their former donors are now standing at their doors asking for help. Sometimes the help is not there. I can only hope that Ms. Ko never finds herself in that position.


As for Gov. Lingle’s position on abortion, Ms. Ko again relies on her conservative, religious views to shield her from the realities of life. In a perfect world, there would be no abortion. But the sad reality is there are times when a child should not be brought into this world. I applaud Gov. Lingle for her pro-choice stand, despite the possible political ramifications from her party. I urge Ms. Ko to take a realistic look at the world around her. It doesn’t always smell like roses.

Jo Ann C. Kocher
Hawaii Kai

Mufi’s Mess

The “B” grade given by Dan Boylan to Mufi Hannemann for his job as mayor makes me wish I had taken my college courses from him.

Surely an “incomplete” would be more appropriately earned. It’s not enough to merely start a project and claim it as a credit, usually one must show considerable course work completed in order to earn such a high grade. The incomplete work: rail EIS started but not done leaving the project in serious doubt, sewer work not even started and at great cost to rate payers, natatorium completely ignored, recycling started only after a demanding vote from the public, homeless still dominating the parks with frequent forced relocations but no solutions, ignoring soaring city costs until a budget crisis develops, and no serious road repaving schedule but potholes filled frequently.

If Mr. Boylan feels that this is what it takes to get a “B,” then what must it take to fail?

Garry P. Smith
Ewa Beach

Toxic Topic

As a Catholic, I was offended by Dan Boylan’s column “The Irony Of Lingle’s Veto,” in which he referred to the “morally toxic Roman Catholic church.” You either live by God’s word or you do not. Mr. Boylan obviously does not, toxically speaking.

Monica Mangold

Social Stereotyping

I can see from Rick Hamada’s recent column on homelessness that he could benefit from the research I have done on this subject. I hope he will verify everything I am writing. The UN recently sent an investigator to seven Mainland cities and a Native American reservation to document what she called “American human rights abuses of shameful neglect of 2.5 to 3.5 million homeless people.” I wrote this investigator, Raquel Rolnik, and invited her to Hawaii to document the disproportionate percentage of Native Hawaiians homeless - 46 percent - in their own land.

President Obama responded to the 35-page report from the UN “Special Rapporteur” by creating an inter-agency council to prevent and end homelessness, organizing a strategic plan that has yet to be implemented but which hopefully will alleviate the inhumane conditions these millions of homeless people endure while being forced to the periphery of our society.

Beyond socially stereotyping the homeless in an effort to blame them for their austere circumstances are the finances documenting the shortage of affordable housing:

In 1978 the American budget for low-cost housing was $83 billion. Under President Reagan (1981-88) it was slashed to $70 billion. In 2006 under Bush it was $29 billion. Now it is reputedly $1.3 billion. The housing funds were diverted to war, in defiance of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 which requires increasing the yearly budget for housing.

Section 11 of this law also requires that states donate land for affordable housing.

The National Housing Act of 1959 requires that the federal government also provide land for affordable housing. Subsection 1701 further requires that not only low-rent high-density urban housing be built, but also private rural energy-efficient cottages be built for the “frail elderly,” utilizing “modern technology” (solar) to lower the burden of utility costs.

Our nation has some of the most evolved housing laws in the world, but until they are honorably upheld, millions of homeless people will force society to face these inequities. Let’s give President Obama a chance to right the grievous wrong of American homelessness that he inherited from the previous administration.

Jade Emory

Civil Columnists

Thank to all of the columnists in support of civil unions. As a member of the gay community, reading and watching the news the past few weeks has been very disappointing at times. It is disappointing that the governor chose not to do as great leaders have done before her and support the civil rights of minorities. It is disappointing that some of the possible future governors may follow her down this path. It is disappointing that Hawaii has been unable to grant merely the rights of civil unions, when many other states and countries are pushing forward to grant the full benefits of marriage.

But despite all of the irrational prejudice, the support of various columnists has been a ray of hope in the seemingly bleak looking future. I think it is very brave and courageous that so many members of the majority group have publicly taken a stand for the rights of our minority group. Thank you very much for your support. We need all the help we can get.

Jamie Beavis

Patronizing Lingle

I grew up during the golden years of KGMB news when TV viewers grew to accept Bob Jones as a beloved son of Hawaii. He brought stories into our homes that would not only shock and dismay, but bring us to tears with laughter and sorrow - all with creditable relevance to Hawaii. Our family prayed specifically for his safety while he was in Vietnam reporting on the war.

So shame on Mr. Jones for his snot-nosed patronizing column about Gov. Linda Lingle: “How does a liberal Dem from Cal State Northridge (a B.A. no grad work)?” Mr. Jones can now add to his list of achievements condescension and pretentiousness. As one who didn’t receive my vote during her first run at office, I’d say her post-grad work wasn’t all that shabby.

Barry Lagondino
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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