to the Editor

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Thursday, March 22, 2001


Bud Smyser 1920-2001

So long, Bud

It is sad to know that the Star-Bulletin's contributing editor A.A. "Bud" Smyser is gone, yet good to know that he left the way he would have wanted.

Bud was one of a rare breed. He was passionate about what he believed in and worked hard for many causes. But he never attacked people personally. He embodied the best of what we all should strive for -- integrity, hard work, respect for others no matter what their beliefs or persuasions. And he thoroughly enjoyed the journey.

Its a shame that people like Bud are so rare. We would all do well to try to be more like him. Hawaii would be a better place, and it would be a wonderful legacy to a wonderful man. All I can say is, "So long, neighbor! The block parties will never be the same!"

Joel Kennedy

As the executive director of the Japan-America Society of Hawaii and, later, as a candidate for the Hawaii state House, I had the opportunity to know Bud Smyser.

During my period of acquaintance, I was always moved by how much he advocated a greater sense of openness to prevail in Hawaii. He wanted Hawaii to play an active, meaningful role in international affairs and for a lively, viable two-party system to emerge in our state. His vision merits everyone's attention and can be of great benefit to all.

Bill Sharp

I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Bud Smyser. Bud was a close friend of my grandfather's back in York, Pa., where I grew up.

Many years later, when my husband and I moved to Honolulu, Bud and his wife Dee took us under their wings. They went out of their way to make us feel at home, showing us parts of the islands we would never have discovered on our own.

More importantly, Bud showed us the true spirit of aloha. He was one of a kind and he will be missed. Our thoughts are with his family and all whose lives he touched.

Lisa Sawaya
Seattle, Wash.

Don't bash writers

Richard Halloran's "Editor's Scratchpad" of March 16, was an misuse of editorial space. His commentary attacks Hawaii's teachers based on the grammar and spelling errors of one student's letter.

Would Halloran actually have us believe that letters to the editor normally arrive without errors, filled with clear thinking and supporting facts?

Newspaper editors routinely correct spelling and grammatical errors before publication. They correct not only the errors of letter writers, but also those of their own reporters. In many cases, errors appear in print anyway.

Jason George

The student was negligent in proofreading his or her letter. But we know very little about him or her. To expect that teachers turn out students who can write a Shakespearean play on demand is unrealistic.

I'm a Punahou graduate, but I know that I certainly wasn't the best writer in the world in ninth grade. Plus, it's unfair to put all the blame on the teachers, when there are many other variables as well, such as parent involvement.

Keith Higa

Very kindly please add the following sentence to the letter under suggestions for parents to avoid more "Dear Governer" letters: "Oh, and don't forget reading to your children. No matter how young they are."

Nandarani Evans

Halloran's article was just a bit too biting about the precise sentence structure, etc., in the student's letter.

I am very supportive of the new Star-Bulletin, and want it to succeed. But articles that criticize precise sentence structure and supporting information do not support a mission that your publication should be fostering, which in my opinion is true investigative reporting.

Richard Heaton

Waddle did "his level best and it
may have fallen short, but it
was not criminal."

Charles Gittins,
Cmdr. Scott Waddle's attorney arguing that the commander of USS Greeneville bears responsibility for the collision and sinking of the Ehime Maru, but should not be charged with criminal negligence

"It's a slap in the face.
We supported Ben throughout his
political career. He vowed to
be there for educators."

Dana Shishido-Leonillo,
Teacher at Wheeler Elementary School saying teachers feel betrayed by Gov. Ben Cayetano in their dispute over pay raises

Keeping professors

No one denies that the state has many pressing needs, and that we must work to get more from our resources. At the University of Hawaii, we are doing just that.

In my department (Economics), as the number of faculty has declined, the rest of us have taken on more student advising, research supervision and administrative tasks. We have become more entrepreneurial, attracting more contract and grant research to support our programs. You may say that we deserve a pay increase to reward these accomplishments.

But that is not why the public should support a reasonable contract. Recruiting and retaining faculty is essential to the university's future, and we simply cannot do that without competitive salaries. Associate and full professors in my department now earn nearly 20 percent less than our mainland counterparts, even without considering our higher cost of living. It has become extremely difficult to attract new assistant professors.

We cannot wait any longer to begin rebuilding UH.

Byron Gangnes
Department of Economics
University of Hawaii-Manoa

Textbooks, not raises

I support a pay increase for public school teachers. However, this is not the time to demand such a lofty raise. The state government lacks the money to repair school facilities, or even provide students with adequate textbooks.

The state economy is ailing, and the country seems to be headed for a recession. There is simply is not enough money to fully furnish the demands of the teachers. I strongly advise the teachers not to be selfish, and accept the state offer to increase their pay by 12 percent in the last two years of a four-year deal, and a 20 percent increase for beginning teachers.

Moreland J. Nagal
Farrington High School senior

User-friendly worship

Mary Adamski wrote a fine article about Central Union Church March 17. As a longtime member of Central Union, I can relate to everything she said.

More info could have been included about community and spiritual work that the church is involved in, but such a long list would have stretched space constraints. The article did mention the feeding of the homeless at Ala Moana Park.

I was quick to pick up the bit of irony in the comment that "a newcomer can feel alone in the crowd."

She correctly identified a problem that is a continuing subject of discussion at the church. That is, we greet the newcomer at the door, give them a nametag, invite them them to join in post-service fellowship activities, hold their hand at the end of the service and then possibly ignore them as we talk with our friends.

I acknowledge this deficiency and say we are working on it. So thanks, Mary, and please come back again.

Connie Burlingame

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