Aloha, January 28, 2012
My name is Deldrine Kauinohea Kapuni Manera.
I am a life long resident of Molokai. I was born at Hoolehua and raised in Ualapue by my kupuna.
We lived a lifestyle of sustainability when it was not fashionable at all - instead of receiving government funds so we could be sustainable, we lived it as a way of life period.
The whole cruise ship kuleana is a sad one. It has been touted as a government blunder, an issue not reviewed or approved by the community, not conceived and spearheaded without consulting a group of folks or Aha Kiole o Molokai, and the list goes on. Whether or not Walter (Ritte's) protestors - is it the Aha Kiole Molokai too? -- were not consulted, or however this boat kuleana came to be, the issue should now be," WHAT NOW??"
When the boat came into dock in November 2011, I went to support the 36 passengers to Molokai. I did some research and realized the boat is small, did all of the government requirements with the DLNR, DOT, harbor kuleana -low impact on Molokai, they come - they go, dump some kala on Molokai - good thing right? WRONG!! These poor people were met with a very angry crowd who yelled at them to go home and that they were not wanted here.
A sign reading "Molokai does not welcome you " is so erroneous. The sign should have read "Some folks on Molokai do not welcome you."
One of the protestors approached our peaceful and happy camp of welcomers and began sailing into our haole friends, singling them out as not belonging to our island home and that it belonged to the Hawaiians. From one extreme to the other.
And the war ensued into a volley of meetings and tons of island conversations. The Aha Kiole o Molokai was thrown into the mix. Meetings were held in the island's moku. People in attendance got to share their mana'o and opinions. The meetings were opened to all ethnicities, not just Hawaiian. But you would have to be registered in order to have a voice and vote. Within a population 7,000 or more, a few hundred said their piece. But the remaining folks did not. Why?
Molokai has a reputation for volatile and uncontrolled meetings. Our community have been battered by the same folks shoving their agendas down the throats of mainly peaceful and non-confrontative folks. So, the beat goes on - business as usual - the media talks to the more vocal group while the quiet majority remains silent.
If the protestors are not against the boat, then why do they continue to protest? The first time they protested was because of the way the boat was introduced to the island without their input. Okay, so that was met with Walter, DLNR and the boat folks. A deal was struck between all parties - hold off until after January 17, 2012. By then the aha would have their tallies pau regarding the vote their registered subjects took on the boat issue. ( to have the boat come to Molokai or not)
A meeting was held in town two weeks ago with the Coast Guard and the DLNR. Evidently, the government was watching the negative and insinuating blogging done regarding the boat issue on Molokai.
Because the governor and politicians were bombarded by calls of concerned citizens fearing a repeat of the same scenario committed in November could happen again, the governor did what he thought was the thing to do - send in the troops.
The security zone was intense and frankly, did we need this on Molokai? I cannot recall anything like it. However, I believe it was needed. The protestors did not jump in the water. The boat came in. The folks from Peru had a great time. And left.
Some folks were upset because they could not access or had trouble accessing or leaving the harbor. And, of course, blamed the boat.
Now, was it a waste of tax payers money? I pay taxes and say not really. That is my tax monies at work for a sad but worthwhile cause. If these protestors think they can do whatever they want and get away with it, they are sadly mistaken. There are consequences for all that we do. The protestors believe they have rights to protest, yes they do. But they need to also abide by the laws of the land which is NO JUMP IN THE WATER!!!
The post 9/11 kuleana is a grim and real one.
This time, the protestors were protesting against the governor and his decision to bring in the forces at the last cruise ship's docking at Kaunakakai Harbor.
And Molokai people better wake up. Do not go by hearsay or emotions. Get the facts before you make any kind of judgment or decision regarding any issue on Molokai.
One more question for Molokai. Do you think we can have the boat of 36 people come in without the government coming in to keep people in line? Or can we come to some kind of agreement where the boat folks can come to our island home, enjoy our Molokai and leave in peace?
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Tenure is Important to Teacher Retention
Dear Editor: January 28, 2012
Over fifty percent of Hawaii's public school teachers leave within five years of being hired, a statistic the state seems to have forgotten in the face of bill HB1668. This bill presented by Roy Takumi will essentially eliminate tenure for all teachers. At a time when experienced teachers are needed to help turn around struggling schools, meet federal requirements for "highly qualified" teachers and reach ambitious school reform goals, this new bill will only drive away more teachers, who are sick and tired of a system that under pays them and abuses them. Teachers are tired of this idea that we are failing the state. The reality is the majority of Mainland teachers come out for two years after college and then head back home. It is not inconceivable for a child on the Waianae Coast to have a first year teacher in every grade in elementary school. I only bring this up, because I see it as a severe problem that is usually blamed on the teachers and the failing DOE, when it really should be blamed on the state and the lackluster pay. If HB1668 is turned into a law, we will further exacerbate a situation that is already bad. We will also scare away the best and brightest young minds, eliminating tenure might also bring back past abuses by those in power who would replace older teachers with younger ones for less pay or fill teaching jobs through nepotism.
While the majority of the public think eliminating tenure is a good idea, I really think it will just make the school system that much worse. Critics who have most likely never been in the classroom perpetuate the myth that tenure secures a job for life. What they don't realize is that our jobs are often stressful, overwhelming and at times, just down right awful and only someone that loves teaching would continue to work under these conditions. There is this image of the lazy teacher who does nothing, when the reality is teachers who don't measure up are often given more difficult lines or classes with extremely problematic students. The reality is principals, as well as teachers are under tremendous pressure under No Child Left Behind and there is little room for incompetence. Tenure merely provides the teacher with due process. Teachers are dismissed for incompetence, misconduct, or insubordination, but only after having been given the right to defend themselves. If a teacher is rated unsatisfactory under the current PEP-T evaluation they are put on probation and can be terminated. What is wrong with this current system, perhaps they should just be stricter with these evaluations rather than take away all teacher's tenure.
One of the other great risks would be to academic freedom. It is essential that teachers be allowed to practice their profession without undue interference and fear of backlash or worse termination because they spoke up about curriculum or injustices at their school.
I earned my tenure and worked hard for it, and I do not think it is in good faith that this legislature take it away. If you support education and your child's teacher, please call the local legislature and tell them to vote NO on bill HB1668.
Waianae Int School Teacher
Other letters from Joe DeMarco:
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Molokai Supports Yacht
Dear Editor, January 26, 2012
Thank you for your article. We support the yacht. It is NOT a big deal.
It sad because KITV and KGMB came to Molokai and they did not talk to us or vendors at Saturday market or 22 businesses that are involved in the tour.
The ship comes in again next Tuesday. We need jobs on this island.
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Monk Seals and NOAA's Hidden Agenda
Dear Editor, January 26, 2012
Recently, on OLELO, I was shocked to see the NOAA spokesperson Walters in front of a legislative committee presenting the NOAA move to introduce more monk seals into the MHI. I strongly oppose such!! And I suggest below numerous reasons why you should oppose this dangerous move as well.
I had attended the NOAA presentation on the move of Monk seals to the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) recently (9/12) at Central Union Church.
Some observations from that evening:
(1) The sides were divided along a white vs. color population; often referred to a local vs. outside disputes.
(2) From their slide presentation they view fisherman as simply some one with two spinning rods dunking along a sandy beach.
(3) They fail to understand the potential for interaction with traps, nets, divers; and lets not forget when the seals learn the can find tako at Ulua fishing locations still soaking on hooks at dawn.
(4) They do not foresee any interaction with surfers; boaters, etc. Imagine the uproar when a seal beaches its self with a surfers skeg cut through its back.
(5) They cautiously avoid any comparisons with California and their sea mammals and the interaction with boaters and people.
(6) The attempt at gaining sympathy by showing a Monk seal with a shark bite backfires on them. By adding more seals to the MHI, Jaws will be lured toward shore and this will endanger both surfers and swimmers.
(7) They claim no new fishing regulations will appear. But that’s not their job! All they need is a few seals crawling up on to the beaches of Oahu with Ulua hooks in their lip, barbless or not, and the seal hugging public will pressure DLNR, not NOAA, to restrict fishing.
(8) It would be of value to understand if seals would go after a struggling fish or Tako on the end of a divers spear.
(9) Divers tether their catch on a line behind them. More likely than not seals would be lured to these fish resulting in a conflicting interaction.
(10) Adding wild animals to an urban population of a million people is foolish. Imagine parents having to watch keiki in the surf for fear of a seal attack!
(11) The cultural impacts of this Monk seal move is never considered. Tako (octopus) is a celebratory food in Hawaii which is served at weddings, parties, and graduations over the course of the year. Therefore, Hawaii divers hunt Tako all year long. Yet NOAA never did the simple math that there would be less Tako in the MHI for Monk seals than in the NWHI due to this cultural demand for Tako. Or was NOAA planning on having DLNR reduce the divers take of Tako?
(12) And FYI, Tako divers put their Tako catch in a mesh bag which is tethered very close to their bodies. A seal attacking the mesh bag would clearly endanger the diver and force the diver to defend himself with the spear.
(13) Auwe! The Feds kicked fishermen out of the NWHI and now they want to expand their over sight and regulations to the MHI coast and waters.
Lastly, the hidden agenda of NOAA might be: that more the public sees of the seals basking on sandy beaches the more likely they will support funding for additional NOAA staff in the long run. This subliminal move may be the justification for not 'fishing down' the Ulua and Shark stock in the NWHI.
Thus, I vote NO to adding wild animals into a population of a million people and giving NOAA the authority over both our coast and waters within the three mile state limit.
Mahalo for your attention.
Wm J King, fishermen, member of several fishing clubs and numerous ones long gone.
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Village Atheist Loves the Sound of His Own Voice
Village Atheist Mitch Kahle loves the sound of his own voice, but it seems that consistency is not his strong suit. In the following "open letter" to Peter Carlisle around Christmas time, Kahle pointed out that the Supreme Court ruling in Marsh v. Chambers only allows for legislative prayer: http://www.hcssc.net/HCL_PrayerComplaint.pdf.
Kahle's goal was to warn Carlisle off regarding prayer at the Christmas City Lights events, but isn't legislative prayer exactly what Kahle was protesting when he was carried out of the Capitol building braying like a jackass a while back? Well, based on that SCOTUS ruling, he had no valid complaint!
AG Louie's opinion stating that after 200 plus years of prayer in all 50 states he somehow would be unable to defend prayer in the Hawaii senate was negligent. If you disagree, see for yourself:
Marsh v. Chambers: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=463&invol=783
A 6-3 majority, led by Chief Justice Warren Burger, relied on the “unique history” of legislative prayer, pointing out that only three days before Congress adopted the Bill of Rights in 1789, it authorized the appointment of a paid chaplain to lead prayers, a policy that has continued ever since.
“In light of the unambiguous and unbroken history of more than 200 years, there can be no doubt that the practice of opening legislative sessions with prayer has become part of the fabric of our society,” the Marsh majority found. “To invoke Divine guidance on a public body entrusted with making the laws is not, in these circumstances, an ‘establishment’ of religion or a step toward establishment; it is simply a tolerable acknowledgment of beliefs widely held among the people of this country.”
In Hawaii we are accustomed to routinely seeing The First Amendment in action in government-sanctioned blessings performed at a wide variety of events. Per the Supreme Court, deliberative bodies are no less free to pursue divine sanction, and if Kahle wants to disrupt these events, he should be arrested.
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Christians Not Welcome
Thank you SO much for your Jan. 16 article about atheists waging war against the church. I don't know how closely you follow things being printed in the Maui News (if you have time to do so at all), but I recently (Dec. 28) had a letter to the editor in there, pointing out some glaring hypocrisies being touted by the pro-"civil unions" crowd, as well as a few other supporting remarks from the Christian standpoint. To put it mildly, I got blasted -- and most of the half-dozen or so letters were very, very vicious and hateful. One writer (Jan. 9) went so far as to state that the Hawaiian culture worships many gods (practices paganism), other cultures here worship other gods, and my kind of "Christian conservatism" is not welcome in this state.
One of my husband's (homosexual) clients even called his cell phone late one evening and told him that he was going to take his business elsewhere, because of my "misguided" opinions. He got pretty nasty, in fact. Brett wished him a good evening and a very happy new year. We'll be interested to see where "else" this guy goes to get his piano serviced, since Brett is the ONLY full-time, full-service piano tech on the island. And he treats all of his clients with the utmost in respect and good service, regardless of who they are. There have also been a couple of other such backlashes from others in the homosexual community since then. Very sad indeed.
Anyway, thanks again for a great article and all the other links you have attached to it. Excellent info.
Related: The Atheist Declaration of War on Hawaii Churches
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Why is HSTA Contract Kept From Public?
Dear Editor, January 8, 2012
I find it strange that a teachers union contract that will affect the lives of so many of our citizens is not available to the public. I keep hearing the word "transparency" when all of these political candidates are running, but they never seem to remember it once they get elected. As for the RTTT grant, I guarantee that the Obama administration will not pull the plug on Hawaii. Now that the juicy contract is in place, Obama will say all is well. It's the Chicago way. I lived there for sixty years and things haven't changed. Why anyone would want Chicago politicians to run our country is beyond me. I'm afraid that we're going to be stuck with him for another four years and things will get worse.
Keep the flow of information coming. It's good to see that free speech is still alive.
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Origins of Division
Dear Editor, January 2, 2012
It is habitual for Americans to feel that our country as a whole represents an historically unique cultural attitude that we show to the world. In some very general aspects that may be true. In spite of our diverse opinions supported by our Constitutional individual liberties, we have in times of sufficient national crisis shown the ability to temporarily set aside stubborn individualism for the sake of survival as a sovereign United States. This was the case in two great World Wars.
However, there is evidence our contentious spirit that aided our revolution in the first place, was destined to survive temporary abeyance and emerge ever stronger to hamper our union to this day. Recognizing the ever-present smaller minorities of outright Communists and other groups that advocate extreme changes in our system, the remaining majority populace seems now divided into those who think economic equality enforced by big government is the more humane and“fair” way to live, and those who feel that it is enough to have constitutionally protected “equal opportunity” and the individual freedom to pursue individual accomplishment so that only those certifiably handicapped through no fault of their own should receive government aid if private charities fall short.
Some historians have proposed an interesting reason for this strong philosophical divide between so-called “Liberals” and so-called “Conservatives”. A 2011 book, “American Nations” by historian Colin Woodard portrays America evolving from culturally diverse philosophies carried by the first landings and continuing by clannish gathering to emphasize such differences to this day. Mr. Woodard divides the North American continent into 11 diverse cultural “nations” within and over-spilling our national and state boundaries. He maintains that these cultural influences under-laid our civil war and continue to disrupt our national government and foreign policy. This confuses both our own populace and other nations of the world who think of us as inconsistent and unpredictable.
The failure of our citizenry to reconcile major differences is reflected in our governmental policies which have currently reached a point of real danger. The collapse or near collapse of many European economies clearly due to fiscal irresponsibility and denial of reality does not as yet seem to have seriously affected the attitudes of our populace nor our politicians. Based on world historical evidence it is not hard to predict one of two outcomes for the current American crisis. The worst outcome is that we follow Europe into a collapse that could even break up the U.S. into several smaller sovereign nations or at the very least weaken us enough to make us vulnerable to economic and eventually political takeover by stronger nations such as China. The best outcome is that we arrive at our senses soon enough to reverse our path by not allowing our philosophical differences to completely destroy those qualities of our nation worth saving, which took over 200 years to build. We all know what those qualities are, or rather we all should know.
Take it or leave it. There it is, and I personally believe it bears thinking about. There is not much more time to waste.