Politicians should help everybody
After spending a weekend of watching political ads on television, they all said the same thing, which has me confused.
In the ads, the people running for office all said that they were ALL going to be working for the MIDDLE CLASS people.
Teacher Rebecca Wimmer helped student Armani Vidal in the last school year.
My question is, why isn't anyone talking about helping EVERYONE, including retirees, people on fixed incomes, and all those who have to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet?
ROBERT P. POTTER, Lahaina
Land must be bought to establish a park
I have very much enjoyed all the letters on the Kahoma Village development. I have to say that most everyone enjoys a park.
It is interesting how historic this land is, now that the owner wants to develop it. Where was all the great concern when the lot was used as a dump and homeless camp?
I am not fully aware of how the land got from Kamehameha III to David Malo to the present owner. It seems there is a lot of historic land that somehow got sold.
Maybe all of the concerned people should try to purchase these lands; they could set them aside for everyone to enjoy. I sometimes wonder how the concerned people would feel if they owned the land, and found others telling them what they could do.
It is easy to fix: buy the land... pay the taxes every year... leave for everyone to enjoy.
Lawmakers must listen to Hawaii citizens
What was the price to the taxpayers for the special session of our legislators regarding same sex marriage? It was $76,800; could that money have been put to better use?
The governor shouldn't be able to call for a special session unless it is an emergency. After all, those in favor of this legislation have waited a lifetime for this result. Just a few more months of waiting could have saved us all not just money, but also heartbreak.
There is, however, a much greater cost: the loss of faith in our government. Instead, fear has been installed in the hearts of the people everywhere. Fear to speak their minds regarding controversial issues (because no one wants to be labeled anything negative). We who cherish our freedom believe our Constitution provides us the pursuit of religious liberties, truth and happiness. The greatest of these virtues is truth. Should truth be bent to appease those who seek justification? What is worse - to be politically wrong, or compromise principles and standards?
The issue I want to point out is not same sex marriage; the issue is that our legislators denied us a fundamental right to be heard. People on the Neighbor Islands were not offered an opportunity to address the committee hearing without going to Oahu. The special session of our legislators was televised. Many of us witnessed the heartfelt testimonies before our House of Representatives.
We were moved with compassion by the multitude of people asking, pleading and praying to allow the people the opportunity to vote on this monumental legislation - certainly, the most important legislation in any of our lives.
Over 23,000 people offered written testimony. Over 5,000 people signed up to speak, and just over 1,000 people actually did speak. The majority of testimony was against same sex marriage. The legislators listened but few heard their words, because they had already hardened their hearts to the people.
Many had already decided this issue long before testimony began. No words would soften their hearts; their minds were made up. It really didn't matter what the people wanted. Our legislators were determined to follow their leader - our governor - and his advice and agenda.
The Senate voted on this bill, totally discounting the will of the people. Our Senator, Roz Baker, supported SB1 as originally written, without offering any amendments or protections for churches and businesses that cater to the wedding industry. No option to opt out? That was certainly shortsighted at least.
The goal was to rush it through ASAP, with a promise to revisit it later during regular session. HB 1624 was to restore religious liberties lost through SB1. This bill was rejected by both houses; so much for promises!
Regardless of where you stand on this issue, everyone should be alarmed at our leaders refusing to yield to the people. Their attitude was simply: you elected us, so we will decide this issue, like it or not. Legislators are hoping you will soon forget SB1, just like you forgot Act 55. Do not be fooled as leaders try to divert attention to other concerns. The bottom line is our leaders were arrogant - discounting us and railroading us into submission.
The good news is the heavy cloud of disappointment is lifting. The sleeping giant has been rudely awakened. Now hope will stir the hearts of everyone, knowing it's an election year. Our votes have the power to create the change we so desperately need.
CHAYNE MARTEN, Candidate for State House, West Maui
No end to madness in the Middle East
Iraq... now we know where hell is. Hell is supposed to be a place of torment reserved for some people after death.
Unfortunately, too many have ended up there before they died. Is there no end to the turmoil in Iraq and Afghanistan?
We will never see peace and quiet in either of these two countries. The religious factions of these countries hate each other. They want to kill each other. These factions are crazy.
America is killing itself, and our troops, trying to fix crazy religious people. The only thing worse than a crazy person is a religious crazy person, because they invoke the name of God or Allah or somebody during every crucifixion or beheading they perform.
As they torture, murder and rape, they move on in the name of their religion.
Some Americans thought we were finished in Iraq.
When it comes to Iraq or the Middle East, there is never a period but always a comma. Craziness does not end - it only grows.
The only way to have some civility in Iraq or Afghanistan is to station 30,000 soldiers in five or six bases throughout each country.
We can be assured if we do, there will never be a time that our soldiers will not be in danger of ambush, bombs or the native soldiers turning on us, as has happened numerous times. I think this is a bad idea.
Most Americans did not want us to go to Iraq or Afghanistan, but we did. Over 4,000 troops have died fighting the Iraqi cause.
Where did all of that death get us? What do Iraq or America have to show for it?
The same scenario will happen in Afghanistan. Thugs sometimes called the Taliban will band together to steal, kill and retake any part of the country that surrenders to them - as played out in Iraq recently.
Do we keep 30,000 troops in Afghanistan to help them police their country and continue to lose our American troops?
Physically, emotionally and financially, we can't keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan or send thousands back to Iraq.
There is no ending to this boiling pot of the world. Turbulence in the Middle East will never stop.
In recent months, we could have justified sending troops to Syria as well. Then we could be in three countries.
How thin can we spread our soldiers, as well as stretch our American dollars?
Hell is a hot place; we will never extinguish the fire.
Fabulous teacher helped special Lahaina student
We want to give special recognition to a fabulous teacher at King Kamehameha III School, Rebecca Wimmer.
We are the guardians of a special first grade student, Armani Vidal. We have had him visiting with us from California for this past semester. He had some difficulties in California, so his mother sent him out to see if the great Maui atmosphere could help him out. It turned out that it did - to great success.
But the primary heroes were not my wife and I; it was the group of teachers and counselors at the school spearheaded, in no small part, by fantastic first grade teacher Rebecca Wimmer.
Rebecca and the surrounding group of teachers and counselors, Mrs. Ferguson, Miss Gina and Mr. Silva, went above and beyond to accommodate our fine Special Needs little man.
The first day of school was a disaster. We were immediately called in by the teacher, Rebecca, for a visit. Our little prince had apparently created one of the most difficult days of her career. Not that he caused trouble; he just would not respond to anything at all the entire day - just sitting in his chair, unresponsive to anything. He wouldn't even talk.
At our meeting, we were told that regardless of what happened that day, Mrs. Wimmer was dedicated to the proposition of a child never being left behind. She was determined to try and reach the boy and get to the bottom of his problems. And they did it!
Mrs. Wimmer enlisted all the resources of the entire school to work with Armani. By the school year's end, they had completely turned him around. He finished up the semester with improvement beyond anyone's expectations.
So, our hats are off to you, Mrs. Wimmer, and the entire gang at King Kamehameha III Elementary for your exceptional efforts on Armani's behalf.
TONY & REBECCA GEISEN, West Maui