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Letters to the editor – 4/15/15

Cash well spent

I enjoyed reading Dan Boylan’s commentary “The Mayor of Punchbowl Street” (April 8, 2015), consisting mostly of statements made by Mayor Kirk Caldwell and his support of the over-budget Honolulu rail system.

All I can say is that Pacific Resource Partnerships made the best $3 million investment of its campaigning career. For that investment in defaming former Gov. Ben Cayetano and his anti-rail campaign for mayor in 2014 (which they have settled out of court), it got the best mayor money could buy. Caldwell is devout in his support of rail, refusing to allow a mere $900 million cost overrun to detract from his support of PRP’s objective of “rail at any cost” to provide jobs for its union members.

The one thing that Boylan should have discussed but didn’t is that once rail is built, who is going to pay the $80 million per year cost to maintain and operate the rail system? It’s a sure bet it won’t be PRP, and Caldwell already will be on his way to his next political job.

Earl Arakaki
Ewa Beach

A pattern here

For the record, Mauna Kea is the ancestral home of Wakea and Papahanaumoku, the mythical ancestors of the Hawaiian people. Even so, in 1968, against the wishes of the indigenous population, the Hawaii Land Board issued a general lease to the University of Hawaii to build one observatory upon its peak. Still, over the next 20 years, developers built several more without permission, so that the land board was inspired to issue “after-the-fact permits” for all the unauthorized activity.

More importantly, this scenario rings familiar. In 1868, the Fort Laramie Treaty exempted the Black Hills from all white settlement forever. Historically, the Black Hills held sacred significance to the Lakota Indians. Even so, in 1874, with the discovery of gold, the Lakota were reassigned against their wishes to other reservations in western South Dakota. Essentially, it took the U.S. Supreme Court more than a century to declare that the Black Hills were taken illegally.

How long, then, before cultural concerns take precedence on Mauna Kea? Moreover, there are other mountains on this planet that are above the temperature inversion zone and are suitable for observatories — namely, Mount Everest!

Wayne Hinano Brumaghim

Keep religion out

Whether it’s Indiana’s ill-thought-out “religious freedom” law or Hawaiians protesting about Mauna Kea, it is ridiculous to base public action or policy on a particular theology/mythology.

Jon Lee

Pumping record

I am writing in response to the Business Roundtable story in MidWeek (April 1, 2015). For the record, my company, American Standard Concrete Pumping Hawaii, holds the record for the largest single mat pour at 1100 Alakea St. at 9,017 cubic yards, then Hawaiki at 6,451 cubic yards, then three pours well over 3,000 cubic yards at the First Hawaiian Bank building. Contrary to what was stated, First Hawaiian Bank still will be the tallest at 429 feet, for which American Standard pumped the concrete. The Symphony building will be 400 feet, leaving First Hawaiian Bank building still the tallest in Hawaii.

Gregory L. Perrin

Free Palestine

After scanning a reminder of the Nazi-era Holocaust, I had one of those “that was then; this is now” moments. Because the very same mail delivery brought me an urgent appeal from the United Nations agency responsible for providing some measure of relief to the millions of persecuted Palestinians subjected to their very own holocaust-cum-genocide for nearly 70 years.

The appeal began “Since the start of winter, five babies have frozen to death in Gaza, and an additional 11 people have frozen to death in Syria.”

The real-time horror of the illegally occupied people of Gaza and other open-air prisons of Palestine, and of those in diaspora, is brought to poignant reality by those 16 precious lives lost.

The Jewish people, in thrall to the military/political ideology Zionism and its arguably psychotic leaders, should remind themselves “Never again!” and repeat after their God: “Do not mis-treat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.” (Exodus 22:21)

I, American patriot and Vietnam War veteran, do not want my tax dollars used endlessly for aiding and abetting the perpetuation of the endless oppression of the suffering, steadfast Christians and Muslims of occupied Palestine. May Palestine be liberated!

Robert H. Stiver
Pearl City

Thanks, Benjy

Say what you want about former UH basketball coach Benjy Taylor — and people have said plenty — but he was not part of the cheating under Gib Arnold that has landed UH in trouble with the NCAA.

He and his team brought a lot of fun back to the Stan Sheriff Arena, and for that I say mahalo. I wish him nothing but the best in his future career.

Ed Takizawa

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