Letters to the Editor
Communities make all the difference
In an Aug. 29 editorial ("Good luck to 'Ewa's Weed & Seed program"), The Honolulu Advertiser correctly focuses on the importance of community involvement in making Weed & Seed a success in Kalihi-Palama/Chinatown and Waipahu.
Not only is our success based on the generous support of volunteers and partners such as the Aloha United Way, YMCA, the state and federal judiciaries, and countless others, but in the unselfish, team spirit approach of working together toward a common goal. Through the Weed & Seed strategy, these organizations and volunteers have proven that by working together, we can accomplish anything.
Mahalo to all of our partners for their ongoing support. Their vision for stronger communities has played a critical role in the success of Weed & Seed. By helping to make some of Hawai'i's toughest, most troubled neighborhoods into positive, healthy and thriving communities for the families who live there, they are making Hawai'i a better place for all of us.
I'm proud to be part of this team to ensure the continued success of Hawai'i's Weed & Seed program, and I would like to thank The Honolulu Advertiser for its words of encouragement.
Edward H. Kubo Jr.
United States Attorney
A 'Day of Caring' leaves us thankful
The Child and Family Service West O'ahu Center has been miraculously transformed by over 30 volunteers who spent the day with us on Sept. 4 beautifying our campus.
Students from our alternative high school, individuals in our family facility, young children in our autism program and the community at large will enjoy freshly painted rooms and community center and new garden landscaping. As we all know, it feels so good to be cared about.
The Aloha United Way "Day of Caring" at our facility could not have happened without the outpouring of energy and kindness from everyday citizens. We would like to especially thank:
- The Campbell Estate group for painting the entire interior of the community center.
- The Weed & Seed program police officers of the Honolulu Police Department for painting the interior, living room and hallways of our family facility.
- The Float Training Group of the Middle Pacific (Navy), Mike and Carol Gabbard and friends, and the Hokuahi Lawns employee for the new landscaping in the courtyard area.
Child and Family Service staff
Weinberg generosity a model for estates
I would like to comment on the Weinbergs' generosity to the people of Hawai'i. It doesn't matter where you go, "Weinberg is there" and giving, with no fanfare, high-paid executors or demands for changes in the Hawai'i government to comply with their efforts.
Their giving is nondenominational and non-ethnic and is entirely focused on people who have a need.
Other estates that consider themselves the "protectors of the Hawaiians" could learn a lot if they followed the simple rules of the Weinberg estate policy of low-key giving without politics or the need for salaries that are not commensurate with the folks they purport to help.
Fritz M. Amtsberg
UH defensive team doing outstanding job
In a Sept. 4 letter to the editor, Lee Black claims he supports the UH football team "with all his heart." This after soundly criticizing defensive co-coordinator Kevin Lempa and his unit. Well, bury me with faint praise!
It is clear Mr. Black has limited knowledge of the game or he would realize that the score was 47-16 when Coach Jones removed the first-unit defense.
Additionally, the UH defense labors under somewhat different conditions than most. On average, a defensive team is on the field about 60 plays a game. Against Eastern Illinois University, the defense was on the field for 50 plays in the first half alone and totaled 94 plays for the night, which is approximately their average per game last season. This is the result of Coach June Jones' quick scoring offense, which can also go three and out just as easily.
In essence, the UH defense is called upon to play the equivalent of 1.5 games every time out, but you will never hear Coach Lempa or his players use this as an excuse. As long as the offense scores one more point than the defense allows, both units have done their jobs well.
This is the most talented and well-coached group of defenders I have seen at UH. I support them without reservation.
In picking a governor, remember history
When a major corporation is in the process of selecting a new CEO, the committee responsible for that decision talks to all candidates. They listen carefully to what the candidates have to say about their vision and plans, and they examine large bodies of supporting data.
And, when push comes to shove, the wise selection committees put the most weight on one simple and documented fact: The very best predictor of future performance is past performance.
When Hawai'i's voters go to the polls in a few weeks to decide who will best be able to address priorities like the sad state of both our economy and school system (to name just two), they would be well-advised to keep that fact in mind. Both parties' candidates for governor, for the "CEO" position in our "corporation," will make promises to fix these problems. But the fact is that the Democratic Party, and their "CEOs," have had 40 consecutive years to fix these problems. And year after year, the problems only get worse.
The very best predictor of the Democratic Party's future performance is its past performance. Isn't it time for a change?
Kids Vote 2002 is well-launched here
Since election season started, it seems all we've heard is what's wrong with Hawai'i. Here's an example of one of the many things that's right. Due to Hawai'i's unique centralized public education system, the national Kids Vote 2002 project was able to get up and running in our state faster than just about anyplace else in the nation. As a result, more of our keiki get to learn about democracy and why it's every citizen's responsibility to vote.
I'm told that many public schools on the Mainland, which are run at the county level with individual school board bureaucracies that hamper these kinds of national educational efforts, are still struggling to get Kids Vote 2002 under way. Score one for Hawai'i.
It's good to be reminded that we too often discount the positive advantages of what we have. I hope this year's voters will critically examine the rhetoric of politicians who advocate radical change.
Waimanalo reached its decision reluctantly
Thank you for your coverage making public our intention to close the beach park camping grounds for an interim period. As a community, we felt that the activities at this campground have deteriorated to a point that community action had to be taken.
The closing of the campsite and the plight of the campers were discussed in our last four monthly meetings with the board, so this action was not an "overnight" decision.
A lot of the discussion was centered on what would happen to those living at the park. We were concerned because we are a predominately Hawaiian community and many of them are kanaka maoli. We knew that many were unemployed, that they had been there for a long time and that there were children involved. We were worried because some of them were blood relatives to current Waimanalo residents.
With those thoughts in mind, we are trying to find alternate places for them to live. Several sites were suggested. Our problem is that when you move the group, there will be other residents, close to where they move, who may be affected.
As a community, Waimanalo worries that we might be victims of our own concern for the homeless. We have many outlets for free food, almost weekly, where they are given generous portions of either hot meals or groceries, or both. We have outlets that donate free clothing to those in need. We pass out free school supplies for the children. Our Waimanalo Health Center offers free medical care to those who cannot afford it.
So naturally, we are concerned that with all of these free items of support, why would they want to move from Waimanalo? Have we become victims of our heartfelt concern for our brothers and sisters?
We hope that your coverage will bring action and serious efforts from our government agencies to provide the homeless with shelter, education and social support to help them return to a more abundant form of living.
Wilson Kekoa Ho
Chairman, Waimanalo Neighborhood Board
Internet Radio must be saved
Most people here in New England believed that Hawaiian music was limited to "Tiny Bubbles" by Don Ho. Internet Radio Hawai'i reaches all corners of the world. IRH is, single-handedly, wiping out this pathetic myth everywhere.
This worldwide exposure of Hawaiian music and the individual artists (most of whom have to hold down other jobs to make ends meet) is the beginning of well-deserved international recognition.
Internet Radio must be saved, despite the Big Five Mainland record companies, whose only goal is to ruin small labels. After all, there is only so much money we will spend on CDs. The Big Five want those CD dollars.
My passion for Hawaiian music began with Alfred Apaka and "Hawai'i Calls" albums played daily by my mother. Almost 30 years later, my Kailua cousins introduced me to Keali'i Reichel, Hapa and Iz, who reignited my passion for great Hawaiian music.
Seventeen short months ago, I discovered Internet Radio Hawaii. I could not believe my luck. With a library of over 6,000 songs, IRH introduced me to hundreds of fine Hawaiian musicians, including the Makaha Sons, Ku'uipo Kumukahi, the Brothers Cazimero, Sistah Robi, Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom, Shawn Ishimoto, Kapono Beamer, Led & Ned Kaapana, all of the Pahinuis, Ernie Cruz, Wiki Waki Woo, Ray Sowders and many, many more.
I listen to IRH about five times each week, for two to four hours at a time. Each time I listen, I hear a great Hawaiian music artist who is new to me.
IRH has a playlist, so when I hear something I would like to own, I jot down the artist's name, album or CD title, and the title of the song playing. In the short time I have listened to IRH, my Hawaiian music collection has grown from 10 CDs to 30-plus. I have also purchased more than a dozen Hawaiian music CDs to give as welcome gifts. Multiply my purchases by the 1,000 to 1,500 daily IRH listeners.
The impact of Internet Radio Hawai'i is more far-reaching than CD purchases. I made a trip to O'ahu and Maui in the dark shadow of Sept. 11 last October. Each night for two weeks, I attended shows and concerts featuring my favorite Hawaiian music artists.
The story does not end with CD purchases, visitor dollars and musician income generated by shows. Through the efforts of Robert "Rabbett" Abbett of Internet Radio Hawai'i, many Hawaiian music artists have donated their CDs to public television fundraisers here in Boston. The exposure for these artists has been tremendous. Exposure leads to more fans, which lead to CD purchases, visitor dollars and attendance at shows and concerts.
Please write U.S. Congress members to save Internet Radio. Artists, please give IRH permission to play your music. You have fans all over the world.