I am responding to Ms. Barbara J. Ferraro of Concerned Women for America, whose recent letter opposed Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s push to pass same-sex marriage legislation.
Ferraro said it was important for legislators to hear from “the people,” whereupon she stated the need for us to preserve Biblical values in Hawaii. She proposes that this issue is too big for our elected officials to handle, it being a decision that the people should make.
Though I would oppose her basic argument as narrow and essentially limited to those who embrace Christian fundamentalism, a vote by our electorate on the same-sex marriage issue will surely reflect the fair inclusiveness of same-sex marriage. So let’s vote.
Ferraro wants us to “preserve Biblical values in Hawaii.” She proposes that we should legislate in favor of her Christian values, while ignoring other values held by Muslims, Jews, nonbelievers, Hindus, Buddhists and hundreds of other belief systems.
As Thomas Jefferson so wisely said, “Religion has no place in a democratic government.”
Returning home recently on an evening flight, we were greeted by noisy coqui that now infest Hilo International Airport. From the end of the escalator to the baggage claim and throughout parking areas, invasive frogs send out loud breeding calls from all the tropical vegetation.
Perhaps elimination of coqui from Hilo and, sadly, other parts of our island is beyond hope. But our airport should not serve as a center for spreading them to our homes, hotels and B&Bs. Visitors and returning neighbors need not be surrounded by coqui when they first set foot on Hawaii Island.
Building maintenance, trash collection and landscaping are part of keeping our airport safe and attractive. Let’s add coqui control. With routine treatment, we can greatly reduce these pests from Hilo airport’s planted areas and parking lots.
At what cost?
Several months ago the Tribune-Herald reported that one of Mayor Billy Kenoi’s concerns regarding the proposed Ka‘u bio-crop refinery was that it would increase electric bills. In other words, alternate energy endeavors should be able to make a profit without the continued financial support of the government or consumers.
It sure would be great if the County Council again used this criterion as a “game breaker” to evaluate any proposed garbage-to-energy project.