MAYOR HAS SHOWN TRUE LEADERSHIP SKILLS
Contrary to The Advertiser's May 16 editorial regarding homelessness, Mayor Mufi Hannemann has displayed exactly the type of leadership we should hope for in a mayor or governor.
It often seems that he is the only elected official who has steadily and effectively worked on this issue, so it's unfortunate that The Advertiser has chosen to take potshots at him for being measured and responsible, rather than callous and reactionary.
Hannemann has shown true leadership by implementing new laws that quickly resolved most issues regarding illegal tents in city parks. Though some sought to block these measures, and implied that the city was attempting to "criminalize" homelessness, the city prevailed and the laws were implemented with cooperation, compassion and immediate results.
The mayor has returned our parks to the public, while acknowledging that simply moving people around is no solution. He continues to support new programs for the homeless, and has even advocated for politically unpopular — but clearly needed — solutions such as the River Street Residences.
Treatment for chronic substance abuse and mental health issues, and affordable housing are key to alleviating homelessness. These issues are largely the responsibility of state agencies such as the health and human services departments and the housing and community development authority.
The Advertiser should be commending Mayor Hannemann's leadership and suggesting that the state learn from his approaches. Maybe then we would see real solutions.Kirk Caldwell
Debbie Kim Morikawa
director, Department of Community Services
director, Department of Parks and Recreation
MODERATE CASE IS NEEDED IN STATE NOW
So we have statements from Djou on the far right and Hanabusa on the far left. The right and the left are heaping money on them, and they are both heaping something else on Case.
The far right and the far left are in unrealistic never-never-land. They make idealistic-sounding pronouncements that only appeal to their fringe of the electorate — since their ideas only take care of their fringe.
Let's face it, the best government comes from the center, where the moderates are.
Since 2000 there haven't been enough moderates. Case is a moderate who can better represent Hawai'i and help get the country back on the moderate track.William Reese Liggett
LETTER FAILED TO MAKE CERTAIN POINTS
Mr. Nakamoto left out some very critical facts in "Abercrombie will bring back civility" (Letters, May 14):
1. To date, Mayor Hannemann is not an announced candidate for governor, so it is not surprising that polls show Abercrombie with a slight lead.
2. Abercrombie left his position as a federal lawmaker early, which is why Hawaii has been subjected to months of negative ads and this special election.
3. Nearly $1 million is what this special election caused by Abercrombie is costing us.
4. Because Abercrombie left Congress, Hawaii loses his 20 years of seniority, which is critical to Hawaii's ability to get our fair share of federal dollars.
5. This special election caused by Abercrombie is now close to being won by Charles Djou, someone who promises to obstruct President Obama in any way possible.
Those are the facts.Ken Nakamatsu
VIEWS ON ORCHESTRA WERE QUITE DIFFERENT
What a contrast between two recent "Island Voices" commenting on the symphony and its financial problems.
On May 4, Symphony Society Executive Director Majken Mechling complained about the "misinformation" that had been published about the society and its efforts to resurrect the symphony.
Then on May 10, the former principal bassist, Kirby Nunez, explained why he has left the symphony after 21 years.
Mechling asserted that the musicians were overpaid for the number of hours they worked; Nunez demolished that argument.
Mechling argued that the symphony must be reduced in size and offer fewer concerts, but gave no details. Nunez said the society's "idea of a resurrected symphony will be so reduced that I can't even consider it."
Nor, I suspect, could many symphony-goers.
Nunez isn't the only member to leave the orchestra. Others have left, and more will likely leave when they find work elsewhere. If many more go, especially those in sections with few members — the woodwinds, the brasses, the percussions — the remaining few might constitute the scaled-down orchestra the society wants to achieve, albeit one that could never perform the works that full-size symphony orchestras — and only full-size orchestras — are capable of performing. How sad.Walter Creed
STIGMATIZING WORDS SHOULD BE AVOIDED
The headline "Suspect was mental patient" (May 12) has caused me to write.
Terms such as "mental" and "mental patient" are no longer used. Those terms contribute to negative beliefs about consumers of mental health services. As a result, many individuals do not admit psychiatric problems, seek help or accept treatment. This is serious, and a great concern.
My suggestion is to avoid reference to a person's psychiatric history in news headlines. If a reference must be made, use what is called "person-first" language. Rather than "suspect was mental patient," something like "suspect has a history of psychiatric illness" is more appropriate.
The events described in the article are serious, and violence in our community is a great concern to us all. However, a headline such as this is stigmatizing to individuals who suffer from psychiatric illness.
In the article itself, the reporter, Jim Dooley, used "person-first" language, and that is much appreciated. It is the headline that caused my concern.Dr. Bill Sheehan
medical director, Department of Health, Adult Mental Health Division