homepage logo

LETTERS for April 13 issue

By Staff | Apr 13, 2017

End aquarium permitting in Hawaii

The Kumulipo – the Hawaiian Chant of Creation – teaches that life began with the coral polyp. Hawaii reefs are a public trust and vital to Native Hawaiian culture. Hawaii reefs support thousands of families through tourism and an ecosystem that can feed our children into the future. The commercial aquarium trade devastates reef life, taking countless species with no limits, including young mano (sharks), puhi (eels), hee (octopus) and many other species needed for reef health.

The aquarium trade is not sustainable. It is not about catching fish to feed Hawaii and not about the future. It is simply extraction of reef wildlife for export and entertainment.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Division of Aquatic Resources have long failed to regulate the aquarium trade, deferring instead to aquarium-collector management and Mainland interests, abdicating kuleana, ignoring official mandate and selling a public trust. The Hawaii State Constitution protects our rights to a healthful environment and Native Hawaiian practices. Please uphold our rights. DLNR has no policy or plan to protect Hawaii reefs. DLNR/DAR calls the aquarium trade “sustainable” with an unlimited number of collector permits and catch limits set by the aquarium trade that exceed any catch in history. The aquarium trade must end.

As a broad-based coalition, we urge the State Legislature to pass SB 1240, to permanently end state-issued aquarium collector permits, grandfathering in current permit holders who comply. We are Hawaiian cultural practitioners, tourism professionals, conservation groups, fishermen and individuals who cannot abide this failure of reef stewardship.

We call on Senate President Ron Kouchi, House Speaker Joe Souki, and Gov. David Ige for leadership on this long-standing issue that benefits our economy and helps our reefs. SB 1240 lets the aquarium trade fade from Hawaii without penalizing current collectors. Nobody gets hurt. Please finalize SB 1240 to end aquarium permitting in Hawaii. No transfer. No sale. No more.



Have compassion for the less fortunate

In rebuttal to the recent dry and tasteless letter by Steve Omar about not giving homeless beggars money, it sounds to me more like a man begging for attention.

First of all, if you’re not part of the solution, then you’re definitely part of the problem. Secondly, your letter starts out by stating that “we” have witnessed far too many of “them.” Who is “we?” I need facts – maybe a list of who “we” is. I’m guessing Haole Republicans.

I know I’m not on the “we” list. Who is? And “them” meaning who? The less fortunate? You have a lot of less fortunate individual human beings that have individual problems in life; trying to generalize them into a group of people that are all doing the same thing is ridiculous and lacks any kind of compassion toward your fellow man or woman.

To me, it sounds like you are passing judgment from high atop your white ivory tower somewhere, based on your life experiences, thus fulfilling your own personal expectations on the matter. You, sir, are not a conqueror! I see no effort in your weak crusade to help your fellow mankind, less fortunate or not! Your stupidity has no validity!

If you have no compassion for the less fortunate, then you surely don’t share the Aloha Spirit, and maybe Hawaii is not the place for you! I also want to point out that you contradict yourself by saying you feel sorry for these people after bashing them for receiving fines for whatever wrongs you feel they have done.

I’m told that it’s not what you achieve or accomplish in life for yourself, but what you do for others that really counts. Words to live by.



Do what’s right in Hawaii

After centuries of human sacrifices, imagine the Hawaiians’ delight to learn that Jesus, who is fully God and fully man, out of His great love, willingly laid down His life as a sacrifice for the sins of the entire world.

Jesus demonstrated the model necessary for freedom. Love for God and each other. Democracy without sacrificial love is tyranny disguised as freedom.

Believing the Bible’s authority was evident in Hawaii’s constitution: “We are aware that God must be our aid, for it is His province alone to give perfect protection and prosperity… All laws of the Islands shall be in consistency with the general spirit of God’s law… All men of every religion shall be protected in worshipping Jehovah, and serving Him, according to their own understanding, but no man shall ever be punished for neglect of God unless he injures his neighbor.”

Jesus came to conquer death. Mission accomplished! He offers eternal life to those who believe in Him for salvation.

Jesus will return to judge the nations. Will Americans be found “exercising rights” instead of doing what is right? The United States may want to rethink the misapplication of “separation of church and state.”

“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever.” – Thomas Jefferson



Block Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court

Courts are one of the strongest tools working women, families, people with disabilities, people of color, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and our native peoples have in our fight for equality. But not under Neil Gorsuch. During his ten years on the bench, Judge Gorsuch has consistently chosen to protect the interests of powerful corporations at the expense of Americans working hard to get ahead.

Right-wing groups have already spent more than $10 million to support his nomination, and now Republicans are threatening to change Senate rules to force through Gorsuch’s confirmation. It will take all of us to stop right-wing interest groups from all-but-appointing Gorsuch. Right-wing extremists are fighting tooth and nail to confirm an anti-equality, anti-women’s rights judge.

President Trump selected Judge Gorsuch to serve as his voice. If he is confirmed, Gorsuch would be the most conservative justice on the Supreme Court. His record shows no understanding of the very real impact his decisions have on the lives of millions of people across the country. We have to do whatever we can to stop him. I need your help.