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Thursday, June 26, 2003

New leadership just what EWC needs

The East-West Center has to be pleased with the recognition Richard Borreca's June 12 article gave to its mission and to its Board of Governors. The new board members are an outstanding group that collectively reaches deep into Asia and the mainland U.S. Two -- Eddie Flores and Puongpun Sananikone -- are from Asia, and Sananikone is the first East-West Center grantee from Asia named to the board. Flores is well known here, but also has business interests on the mainland and was U.S. Small Businessman of the Year.

Roland Lagareta has been actively involved with the center and the Pacific Asian Affairs Council for more than 30 years and now is PAAC Board vice president. Miriam Hellreich has close ties to the Washington decision-makers who oversee the East-West Center, having worked closely for years with Patricia Harrison, the State Department assistant secretary directly responsible for the center.

These Lingle appointees will keep the center moving forward along the recovery path laid out by former Gov. George Ariyoshi, who contributed so much to the center as board chairman. More specifically, they will help the center find new revenue sources, a mission vital to the center's continued growth.

Galen Fox
Ex-Alumni Board member

Isle ohana shared aloha with storyteller

The family of Glen Grant thanks the Star-Bulletin and its staff for the beautiful articles written about Glen at the time of his death ("Storyteller upheld spirit of Moiliili," Star-Bulletin, June 20). We also thank the television news, the wonderful doctors and nurses at Kaiser, Glen's friends who kept us in cookies and prayers at the hospital, the Bamboo Hotel, and Glen's co-workers and students at Tokai University.

Glen will live on in all our hearts. He loved his adopted home and it was gratifying to us to see how much he was loved in return. Thank you again for your kindness to us.

Phil and Judy Grant
Brawley, Calif.

Bus still provides fine, courteous service

I grew up riding buses in Honolulu and on our return visit last week, we again had the opportunity to ride TheBus. It was nice to see how polite bus riders are in Honolulu! Not to mention the bus drivers, who were very helpful. It was very easy to get around to see the sights.

Christina Waldeck
Torrance, Calif.

North Korea really is a nuclear threat

North Korean threats of Armageddon don't convince J. J. Kaufman (Letters, June 20). Quite the contrary, Kaufman suspects it is a ruse on the part of the United States to expand influence in Asia. In April, Pyongang admitted it has several nuclear weapons and has completed the reprocessing of nuclear fuel rods.

What does Kaufman make of the United States, in September 2001, easing off on the sanctions against India and Pakistan because of their nuclear weapons? This happened two days after the U.S. ultimatum to the Taliban. Simultaneously, President Musharraf of Pakistan announced his support for "Operation Enduring Freedom."

There are robust implications to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the demilitarized zone on the Korean peninsula. China doesn't want the Pyongang regime to collapse. Yet Chinese relations with the United States cooled after the Bush administration notified Russia of its withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in December 2001. Any formal response will include U.S. National Missile Defense.

The United States now believes that Pyongang may have several nuclear warheads that can be loaded onto ballistic missiles. A draft U.N. Security Council resolution is being circulated that would condemn North Korea for reviving its nuclear-arms program.

Richard Thompson

Local airlines' prices are killing their aloha

Where have our "local" airlines gone? Are customers and loyal airline employees being used, abused, confused and refused because of the Enron and Wall Street attitude? Where is the management with the real flower leis, and the real spirit of aloha? Terror alerts, 9/11 and bankruptcy are not good excuses to hold airline and union employees hostage.

How can you fly 500 to 1,000 miles on the mainland for $49 to $139 round trip, and from Molokai to Oahu or Maui -- less than 100 miles -- for $175 to $195 round trip? Go figa!

Soon, our local people will not be able to afford to fly inter-island and will have to go back to paddling canoes. Let's get back the public-relations attitude of those who promoted Hawaii's airlines, like George Helm and Andy Cummings, who enticed hundreds of thousands of happy visitors. Maybe there is a "Southwest" Hawaiian Airlines with true aloha and a fare of $49.95 round trip between the islands lurking on the horizon!

Larry Helm

Idiotic TV antics don't reflect well on Hawaii

Another reality TV show and another chance for a Hawaii contestant to embarrass the entire state with his or her antics.

First it was Ruthie with her alcohol binges on MTV's "The Real World." Then it was Ikaika with his egotistic ramblings on ABC's "The Real World." And now it's anger management candidate Sunny Garcia on WB's "Boarding House: North Shore."

Rather than being ambassadors of aloha, these characters revel in their juvenile behavior and make local people look like a bunch of idiots to a nationwide audience.

You can't blame them entirely. The reality show producers are always looking to create drama and contrive controversial personas for the contestants. It just seems local people are an easy target for this treatment, hurting the state's reputation in the process.

John Eames


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