Letters to the Editor – 5/13/15

Sacred ground?
I keep reading and hearing about people saying we can’t put a telescope on Mauna Kea because the ground is sacred, or build the rail in certain places because the site is a sacred burial ground.

So I was wondering, what makes ground sacred and who gets to determine that it is?

After all, if you believe, as I do, that God created everything, isn’t all ground sacred anyway?

In that case, we wouldn’t have any roads or buildings anywhere, if we followed the logic of not building on sacred ground. I know some people would like that, but where would we put our cell phone towers if that were true?

Peter Junker,

Welcome help
Re: the Newsmaker feature “To Save The Sexually Exploited.” We at Harm Reduction Coalition are happy to see someone new entering the area of providing services for youths in Hawaii. Good luck to Jessica Munoz and her efforts to help victims of child sex trafficking.

Longtime outreach worker Pam Vessels met with a representative from this group a year ago. We shared some of our decades of knowledge from working with persons in the sex industry. Pam provided insights into running a residential facility. (She ran the Home for the Rebirth of Women for five years.) We also expressed our hope that this new effort will attempt to have good relations with the various professional agencies that work in the harm-reduction area. Many have years of firsthand street knowledge, not to mention routine and ongoing outreach in Waikiki, Chinatown and elsewhere. The Youth Outreach Program and CHOW project are just two of the wonderful agencies doing work now.

Our concerns are ground- ed in the problems we have seen to date with anti-trafficking oriented groups. In our experience, these groups tend to deal in moral absolutes, overly rely on faith-based paradigms, and ignore or dismiss evidence that may contradict their world view.

Tracy Ryan Executive Director,
Harm Reduction Hawaii

Honor Marcus
Hawaii should honor Saint Louis High School graduate Marcus Mariota for winning the Heisman Trophy — and for his perseverance and hard work — by establishing an island monument in his honor. It would remind our children of what can be accomplished by a person coming from a small island. We could name Aloha Stadium, a street and/or even the rail transit system after him.

Mahalo, Mr. Marcus Mariota, for being an inspiration to many!

Tony Gonzalez,

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