Letters: Positive action will benefit many students; Constitution forbids establishment of religion; The Hawaii-Israel Pact Will Benefit Both Parties

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Mahalo for publishing Sally Chen’s commentary on affirmative action (“I graduated from Harvard. Affirmative action helped me succeed,” Star-Advertiser, Oct. 27).

Like them, 40 years ago, affirmative action helped me gain admission to undergraduate and law schools. Despite graduating with honors and having a good GPA during my last two years in college, I was told by some counselors that my LSAT score was too low to be accepted. I decided to take the exam a second time and greatly improved my score.

I had always believed that those college aptitude exams aren’t real indications of one’s potential. That said, I was accepted into six law schools and rejected by one. I chose to attend the Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii because I wanted to be here in Hawaii and be with a diverse student group. I was not disappointed.

It was also about this time that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld affirmative action programs in Bakke v. California Board of Regents, which ruled that one’s racial and cultural background may be taken into account when reviewing a student’s application. We still need affirmative action programs today, given the under-representation of a large minority population, even in our own state (Filipinos and Native Hawaiians).

Wilfred Tungol, Esq.

Pearl City

Constitution prohibits establishment of religion

Kari Lake, who is running for governor of Arizona, said we should have a Christian government. When asked if she would give in if she lost the election, she said (twice) that she would win. What if she is elected? Will children be forced to pray in school? Will the Arizona government only hire Christians?

The First Amendment grants freedom of religion and has two clauses, establishment and free exercise: “Congress shall make no law regarding an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof…”

If there is no settlement, every citizen has the right to pray to any god. Or don’t pray at all! The pilgrims came to our continent to escape the establishment of a religion they did not adhere to. And the founders made it clear that the government would not dictate religion by passing the First Amendment establishment clause.

Nancy Grekin

Makiki Heights

Price per kWh must be included in reporting

I was more than a little surprised that Andrew Gomes’ “The price of power” article missed the true price of our electricity per kWh.

The rate we pay is important for many reasons, starting with how much I pay per 100 miles for my electric car. PV system design uses cost per kWh to calculate how long it will take to pay back your investment. On Oahu we pay about 46 cents per kWh. On Lanai and Molokai it costs much more. The article would have been much more informative with this information.

Kevin Connelly


The Hawaii-Israel Pact Will Benefit Both Parties

Clearly, Robert H. Stiver has a different agenda by declaring Israel a “Zionist regime” (“Ige must withdraw from the agreement with Israel,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Oct. 27). The government of Hawaii has entered into an agreement that benefits both states. Government David Ige can see that as a shining moment in his reign. History teaches us that trust between sworn enemies must have a place in modern times.

Throwing in Jesus was a nice gesture of sympathy, but nothing like the monarchy of the Hawaiian nation selling its birthright. The people here in Hawaii have the power to do anything. They can vote and have had that right for over 100 years.

Allen Canter

Hawaii Sea

Brewbaker wrong about effect of STR restrictions

Where does economist Paul Brewbaker live? Under a rock?

His claim that those providing illegal short-term rentals would be forced to leave Hawaii if they didn’t have that business is pure speculation, as they’re not in that position right now (“Short-term rentals law can hurt the economy,” Star- Advertiser, October 24).

What is happening now is that the locals are leaving Hawaii in large numbers because there are no affordable rental housing. This has happened to several people I know.

Brewbaker ignores the facts. And then he dramatically says that Hawaii could become the new Detroit. An economist’s fear mongering?

I just paid property tax of $22,836.08 on a one bedroom condo destined for short term rental.

Tear hard on all those mockers, Mister Mayor!

Dan Aregger


Russian attacks are nothing like atomic bombs

Gilbert Horita is another misguided historian in his letter (“Russian Drones Used to Destroy Civilians,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Oct. 25). He tried to link the current Russian atrocities of bombing civilians in Ukraine with the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.

He completely missed the point of answering his own question: “…were the bombs dropped to shorten the war by killing or maiming as many innocent civilians as possible to pressure Japan to surrender?”

Unfortunately they were.

Should the Americans invade Japan’s home islands, President Harry Truman’s think tank predicted shocking losses of 1.7 to 4 million American casualties, along with 5-10 million Japanese dead. Japanese civilians were expected to defend as well. And the war would have lasted at least another year.

Chip Davey

Downtown Honolulu


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