Help the needy
This is in response to Steve Omar's letter to the editor in the Volume 37, #12 Edition.
As I read your lengthy letter, I see your points clearly; and as a resident of Lahaina for many years, the homeless situation has escalated immensely. There have been attempts by many local organizations, churches, even institutions trying to rectify this large epidemic we face every day.
King Kamehameha III Elementary School students recently cleaned the beach by their campus.
Yes, we see the incapability of certain people who are homeless, and rightfully so, we have thoughts of what they could do to help themselves - what they could do to get out of the situation and "status" they are currently in. Yes, they probably know there are resources; however, they are not willing to abide by the rules engaged. I also see your point that when money is given to them, they are being enabled by the giver. and all the giver wants to do is help. Education is a major key in finding a solution, but it's not the only one. Healthcare has changed and has had a great part that affects largely the incapacitated, mentally challenged and even physically challenged homeless persons. These are the homeless that we see - that are not afraid of being seen.
Then we have the homeless families and couples who cannot afford to rent or buy a home or even purchase food. In some cases, they cannot live with family for their own personal reasons. They don't qualify for services such as the EBT cards or the facilities of sleep, for some odd reason. Families with children who attend our local elementary schools - yes, right here in Lahaina - and, believe it or not, the adults really go to work. The funny thing is that you don't see these homeless families or people. They are ashamed; they are trying hard to not be a burden to the community or their families or friends. They are trying hard to not fall into the category of our clichs such as "go get a job," "go to the food bank," or "ah, you only going buy drugs or alcohol or cigarettes"... just as you described in your letter.
This is the real concern; this is where we need to kokua in any way we can - financially, with food, with clothing, housing, just about all that a person or family would need to survive.
As frustrating as it is (and I read the frustration in your letter), I would understand if the people who use their own judgment to kokua should just be mindful of their actions and where it would lead. I believe the outcome of the giving, if done to produce good, is done with the right reasons. Let's encourage the good and never let go of that enthusiasm.
Thank you to Mr. Omar for your passion and your education.
ANELA ROSA, Lahaina
Redeem the lands from closed plantations
The prophecy of Queen Lili'uokalani is relevant to today's land issues of quiet title/quit-claims. She compares the U.S. overthrow to treacherous people who acquire land through wicked ways, which God avenges in due time.
"Oh, honest Americans, hear me for my downtrodden people! With all your goodly possessions, covering a territory so immense, do not covet the little vineyard of Naboth's, so far from your shores, lest the punishment of Ahab fall upon you, if not in your day, in that of your children, for 'be not deceived, God is not mocked.' The people to whom your fathers told of the living God, and taught to call 'Father,' and now whom the sons now seek to despoil and destroy, are crying aloud to Him in their time of trouble; and He will keep His promise, and will listen to the voices of His Hawaiian children lamenting for their homes."
Naboth refused to sell his rural/agricultural land to Ahab. "God forbid I sell the inheritance of my ancestors." (I Kings 21)
Hawaii's allodial/kuleana land practices mirror that Levitical law.
Reclaiming land would have had no chance if Hawaiian rulers continued adopting American ways. The overthrow kept the majority of land in safekeeping, controlled by few entities. Redeem that land in perpetuity.
Plantation closures of the past 20 years afford opportunities to take action in "consistency with the general spirit of God's law." (1840, Hawaiian Constitution)
"For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of recompense for the cause of Zion." (Isaiah)
MICHELE LINCOLN, Lahaina
State nullification is back
It is an acknowledged fact, though too often ignored, that the U.S. Constitution assigns certain functions to the national government and leaves many others in the hands of the states. Neither has any right to cross those boundaries and interfere with the other in carrying out its constitutional responsibilities.
However, some states have chosen to ignore this and have filed suit against the President's executive orders, which briefly suspend immigration from a few nations with an especially large terrorist presence while reviewing how to better screen out likely terrorists. The states are now claiming the right to determine who shall be allowed to enter the United States, nullifying restrictive immigration laws passed by Congress and enforced by the President.
Federal law is clear. Not only does it declare the conditions under which foreigners may legally enter the United States, it also gives the President broad authority to prohibit entry by those who would otherwise be eligible for legal immigration. "Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens, or any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens."
The Supreme Court has recognized federal supremacy in this area, declaring: "That the government of the United States, through the action of the legislative department, can exclude aliens from its territory is a proposition which we do not think open to controversy."
Hawaii, in its lawsuit, claims that its judgment on immigration should prevail over that of the federal government. The state has decided that family visits, international students and the hiring of foreign workers should take precedence over protection from terrorists such as Abdul Razak Ali Artan (who is from Somalia, one of the nations listed in the temporary travel suspension). By "damaging Hawaii's institutions" and "harming its economy," federal law has become null and void, claims the state's attorney general. Hawaii calls on the federal courts to set aside the law and allow Hawaii to decide on its own who ought to be allowed to enter its territory.
Likewise, the State of Washington claims that relatives, students and prospective employees must be allowed to come to the United States without delay, and claims that its own opinion should be given preference over that of Congress and the President.
The Constitution gives to the federal government, not the states, the responsibility of weighing the tradeoffs between the danger of terrorism and the benefits of travel and immigration. That was a wise decision by the framers, since only the national government can be expected to approach the question with a national perspective. This dispute can be expected to eventually reach the Supreme Court, and the court will surely rule in favor of the President's power to issue a temporary travel suspension.
PETER J. THOMAS, Americans for Constitutional Liberty
Students earn whale watch trip
There is nothing better than attending an amazing school located right on the ocean. For the past few years, my students and I have been enjoying a day along the beach starting in front of our school to 505 Front Street picking up trash. It is a lesson on how to be a good community member and to care for our beaches, ocean and our marine life. It also involves math such as multiplication and graphing.
This year, we were so excited that we could enter a beach trash art contest hosted by Pacific Whale Foundation.
We are proud to say we won second place and enjoyed the prize of a free whale watch. Thank you PWF and congratulations to my students! You rock!
KAREN TWITCHELL, King Kamehameha III School
Where is global warming when we need it? I do look forward to the first day of spring, balmy weather and flowers in bloom.
The first day of spring is actually a perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf in our personal habits - to clean house, to jog outdoors and to replace animal foods with healthy, delicious vegetables, legumes, grains and fruits.
The shift toward healthy eating is everywhere. Fast-food chains like Chipotle, Quiznos, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell, and Wendy's offer plant-based options. Parade, Better Homes and Gardens, and Eating Well are touting vegan recipes.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt views replacement of meat by plant protein as the world's #1 technical trend. The financial investment community is betting on innovative start-ups like Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods, while warning clients about "death of meat." Even Tyson Foods' new CEO sees plant protein as the meat industry's future.
Indeed, Global Meat News reports that nearly half of consumers are reducing meat intake. Beef consumption has dropped by 43 percent in the past 40 years.
Each of us can celebrate spring by checking out the rich collection of plant-based dinners and desserts in our supermarket's frozen food, dairy and produce sections.
LESTER NAITO, Lahaina