Kavanaugh Nomination

A Kanaka Maoli replies

When Brett Kavanaugh posed the question, “Are (native) Hawaiians Indians,” he forgot the basics of cross examination: a) never ask a question that you don’t know the answer to, and b) don’t ask a question that you don’t want answered. (“Brett Kavanaugh No Friend Of Special Rights For Native Hawaiians,” Sept 5)

No, I’m not a lawyer, but my na’au (instinct) tells me that Kavanaugh’s query is tied to his natural inclination toward manifest destiny — the social precursor to an ongoing sense of white, (mostly) male entitlement that pervades American society.

Like the Committee of Safety, who believed their personal interests overshadowed acts of treason against an independent nation (a nation to which these traitors had received titles and sworn allegiance to), Kavanaugh is another link in a long chain of U.S imperialism that stretches across the globe and into communities that most Americans will never see.

But, because Americans boast a “superior army,” they feel emboldened to steal an independent nation, call it “progress,” and then accuse those indigenous who have been displaced of operating a “racial spoils system.”

How rich, for the thief to accuse their victim of being the wrongdoer.
 We see the same mentality expressed by many found guilty of sexual assault, so it should come as no surprise that some kanaka maoli feel raped by the U.S.A.
 Raped of our land and our self determination.
 But Kavanaugh cannot steal our identity, nor can he or the U.S.A turn kanaka maoli into “Indians.”

— Ilima Nakapuahi, Hawaiian Acres


Is Hawaii exposed to pathogens and diseases?

Thank you for the article on RIMPAC (“Real-World Damages From RIMPAC Games,” Aug. 31).

One of my greatest concerns, that I have brought up to the Hawaii Department of Health, is what happens to all of the sewage produced by the 25,000 RIMPAC participants over the monthly long war games?

Do all of the foreign ships that dock in Pearl Harbor have the capability to hook up to the local sewage treatment plant? If not, do they discharge in to Pearl Harbor? Does the plant have the capacity to handle the extra sewage?

For ships that do not come in to the harbor but are anchored just offshore, do they discharge their wastes directly in to the ocean? Is it treated?

Even if ships go three miles offshore, should we still allow all that extra dumping?

With participants from all over the Pacific, are we being exposed to novel pathogens and diseases?

Does DOH do any special sampling in Pearl Harbor or elsewhere while RIMPAC is going on? Where are the results?

I suggest that you contact Dr. Bruce Anderson, head of the DOH for straight answers. You might not get them from other staff.

Mahalo for looking after our oceans.

— Carl J. Berg, Senior Scientist, Kauai Chapter, Surfrider Foundation

Kauai Tax

Don’t worry about mainland transplants

While I appreciate Mr. Yamachika’s perspective on Kauai property taxes, I believe his piece speaks to a minority viewpoint (“Tom Yamachika: The Truth About Property Tax On Kauai,” Sept. 2).

I, and others, fail to understand why we should be overly concerned about the high tax burden on a “couple getting on in years, tired of the hustle and bustle in New York, or San Francisco, or Silicon Valley, [who] decides to move to Kauai,” hypothetical or otherwise.

If these transplants from wealthy urban centers have the means to purchase a home on Kauai then they have the means to research what it will ultimately cost them. The citizens of Kauai have no reason to care who has enough money to move here, but if people do move here, they best not shirk their obligations to their new community.

Further, in a population bearing a 9.6 percent poverty rate, where the median property value is 725 percent of median annual income, and where about 40 percent of residents are renters, the only people concerned about excessive taxes on the landed wealthy minority are the wealthy themselves. Moneyed interests have a disproportionately loud voice in this conversation, and while that may get them print (or screen) space, it does not make them pono.

— Ramsey Ross, Kapaa

Con Con

Panel should not be Oahu-centric

What is wrong with neighbor island input (“Panel To Study Constitutional Convention Question Before Election,” Sept. 5)?

Or is it only available to the “State of Oahu”?

— Brian R. Thomas, Waimea

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