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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 22, 2010

Great Aloha Run

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

The 26th Great Aloha Run moved along Nimitz Highway last Monday. Some race entrants didn't get to the starting line in time because of traffic at Aloha Stadium.

BRUCE ASATO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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One of the greatest untold stories of the Great Aloha Run are the many registered runners who were turned away from participating.

This year, for whatever reason, traffic gridlock entering Aloha Stadium was staggering — so much so, that even though my parents and I left home at 5 a.m., we were one of the last cars to find a parking space at the stadium. There were more than 150 cars behind us waiting to get into the stadium.

It took us 30 minutes to get to Hälawa (from Mo'ili'ili) and then 70 minutes to travel the last mile into our parking stall.

Run coordinators told us we were "lucky" that we were just in time to catch the last bus to Aloha Tower.

Lucky for us, but unfortunate for my co-worker, Jessica, who was one of more than 100 runners who paid their registration fee, showed up with their race number at Aloha Stadium, but were denied the chance to run because of the "other" race — the auto race into Aloha Stadium.

Matthew lum | Mo'ili'ili



I am a proud 1977 graduate of the University of Hawai'i School of Travel Industry Management and I am a past president, director, treasurer and international chairman of its alumni association, keeping me in close contact with more than 1,000 alumni.

The autonomy of the school enables it to be one of the most efficient of the schools and colleges that comprise the University of Hawai'i-Mänoa. Such autonomy also enables the school to remain competitive with its peer institutions in both the nation and around the world.

The TIM School is one of the best-known brands of the UH system. It has provided quality education, not only for residents, but also students paying higher out-of-state tuition. As such, it is one of the most cost-effective programs.

The TIM School has served the state's largest industry well for a half-century, especially under the leadership of Chuck Gee from the 1970s to 2000. He helped shape Hawai'i's travel industry policies in development, marketing and human resources development.

I strongly endorse keeping the TIM School autonomous.

Johnson W. K. Choi | Honolulu



Perhaps Rodney Nishimoto's letter (Letters, Feb. 16) should have begun, "Where will all the homeless go when they are no longer able to live illegally in tents or illegally store their belongings in stolen shopping carts in our city parks?"

Yes, homelessness is a serious problem in Honolulu, but the individuals who set up tents illegally in our parks and store their belongings in stolen shopping carts are not the victims. Law-abiding, tax-paying citizens are the victims.

I disagree with Mr. Nishimoto's call for a plan to provide funding for more shelters when the shelters we already have are far from full because the homeless refuse to go to them. You can't take your drugs or alcohol into a shelter.

The parks in most places are for everyone, residents and visitors alike, except in Honolulu.

Our illustrious police force does nothing about this blatant disregard of the laws. Who do you suppose ultimately pays for the stolen shopping carts? Look in the mirror, tax-paying citizens.

I was on the Mainland for three weeks last fall, in Venice, Fla., San Leandro, Calif., and Dallas. At no time did I see even one filthy, shabbily dressed individual pushing a stolen shopping cart.

Ann James | Waikíkí




Three miles of bright silver fences have been erected along the center of the Kamehameha Highway through 'Aiea, Pearl City, and toward the edge of Waipahu. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The fences remind me of President Reagan who said, "Tear down this wall." The purpose of the fence is supposedly to stop jaywalkers. But you can't prevent the stupid from being stupid.

In turn, you can't erect fences around the beach to prevent snorkelers from being swept away by the current, or around the forest to prevent hikers from slipping down a cliff.

Fences will never wind their way down the center streets of Hale'iwa, Kailua, Hawai'i Kai, or Chinatown, because they will be objected to before the idea has a chance to sprout.

If the fences must remain, paint them dark green so they are easier on the eyes and sprinkle thousands of vine seeds in the soil directly underneath so that vines will cover the fences like magic.

Or, should we "tear down this wall?"

John A. Burns | 'Aiea




I just read the letter by self-admitted serious downhill thrill skateboarder Kenny Bergstrom (Letters, Feb. 10) and just shook my head.

What is he thinking? He says he takes his sport and his safety seriously, yet he admonishes motor vehicles as the real threat? What reality is he living in? He also says he and others like him accept full responsibility for their own safety.

What about others (motorists, motorcyclists) who are on the road for its legal intended purpose? Suppose he causes a fatal accident because someone ran off the road trying to avoid running him over. Whose fault is that — and will he even care? Downhill skating on narrow, winding, blind-turn public roads is careless if not stupid. Kenny, your self-serving arrogance will not gain you any sympathy or support for your reckless sport.

In addition, you said only the strongest survive and get back up to try again. I wonder how tough you will be when the coroner has to peel you out from under the flatbed you just rolled under.

Stephen Shioi | Kapa'a, Kaua'i