Filipinos have helped many who need it
Let's give thanks for the many benefits Hawaii has gained from its Filipino community ("Mabuhay!" Star-Bulletin, Nov. 21
). Most of its members are responsible citizens and now truly American patriots.
One of the greatest assets our Filipinos have given to Hawaii is their dedication to those who need assistance in meeting the challenges of everyday living. They have so much love and concern for those placed in their care in the many Filipino-operated residential care homes and adult foster homes in Honolulu.
A huge mahalo as we celebrate 100 years of Filipino immigration to these islands.
'Runaways' help their real-life counterparts
Our family wants to thank you for publishing an article about runaways in Hawaii (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 7
). When the article was published, our daughter, a freshman at Mid Pacific Institute, was performing in a dramatic musical called "Runaways" at the Mid Pacific School of the Arts. The show is based on real stories of runaways in New York City and was a Broadway show 25 years ago.
The show's director, Linda Johnson, framed your article and placed it next to the ticket office in the lobby. Inspired by your article as well as by the difficult roles the students were playing, the director, choreographers, teachers and cast asked the audiences at each show to support the Youth Outreach Project. Monetary donations filled the bowl at every show. Cast members and their families have collected many boxes of the items that you requested in the Youth Outreach Project's wish list and will deliver them to the project.
What started as a dramatic musical and a lesson on acting and social issues has turned into a community outreach and a lesson on helping others in need, especially during this giving time of the year. One person can always makes a difference. You have made a difference. We thank you for reminding your readers about the youth of Hawaii who are in need.
David and Sonia Franzel
How will officials react to flu pandemic?
The state is only contributing to a sense of panic by pointing out that hospitals will be overwhelmed in a flu pandemic (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 19
How about public health officials telling us specifically what they plan to do to cope with this problem? Such as school and public auditoriums being converted to temporary treatment centers with backup medical personnel (local retired doctors and nurses and medical help from the military and the mainland). The worst effect of an epidemic often comes from public panic.
Al-Qaida successful in recruiting liberals
Every time I read a letter demanding we leave Iraq, I wonder how people can be so naive. The al-Qaida in Iraq leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is willfully and skillfully fighting more than half the battle in the media, this is no secret. Al-Qaida is not trying to defeat the United States militarily, rather it is relying on liberals to convince the public we should withdraw.
Zawahiri has seen the left's success with Vietnam and he is depending on their help now. Liberals' call for surrender in Iraq is the first step in al-Qaida's long-term plan. As Zawahiri has written, "The jihad ... requires several incremental goals. ... Expel the Americans from Iraq ... establish an Islamic authority over as much territory as you can to spread its power in Iraq, extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq." But Zawahiri does not want to stop with Iraq's neighbors. He has vowed, "We will either achieve victory over the human race or we will pass to the eternal life."
Knowingly or not, the antiwar left has been recruited by al-Qaida and is now working for its goal of getting the United States out of Iraq, al-Qaida's first step in "victory over the human race." When Stalin labeled these people "useful idiots" he could not have been more right.
Fighting in Iraq centers on oil access
Democrats and Republicans in Congress seem to be at a stalemate as to how to get out of Iraq. They aren't talking about one possible solution because it might upset and/or cut off contributions from oil industry lobbyists.
One the main reasons insurgents, along with Iraqi citizens -- like dogs trying to keep their bones -- are fighting so hard to turn back American troops is that if the United States is successful in this battle, it is likely it will control Iraq's oil. Keep in mind that former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill revealed that in the spring of 2001, some six month before the 9/11 attack, that the Bush administration was planning to auction off Iraqi oil fields. So we know what the United States was after even before the discussion of WMD and ousting Saddam Hussein, which occurred after the assault on the World Trade Center.
So the exit strategy is for the United States to relinquish any and all claims to Iraqi oil, which in turn will greatly reduce Iraqi insurgent efforts, as would dogs who don't have to fight to keep their bones.
Meanwhile, the United States needs to make a concerted effort to utilize alternative energy sources.
Hawaii bikers have no safety course to take
Since Hawaii doesn't have a motorcycle safety program that is recognized by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation ("Maui bikers take fatalities hard," Star-Bulletin, Nov. 21
), how will any motorcyclist get a discount from the insurance company? It's really interesting that Sen. Ron Menor backed Morgan Keene on her program but didn't back the Navy Military Service Motorcycle Program.
How ironic that the state motorcycle program is not recognized by MSF, and that MSF recognizes only the Navy motorcycle program in Hawaii.
U.S. Navy member,
stationed in Naples, Italy
Governor should step in for Waimea Valley
was the only place on Oahu where we felt completely at peace. The gentle falls over the pool fed a stream, which ran through a beautiful valley filled with fruit trees, birds and flowers and met the ocean at Waimea beach. For 40 generations, Waimea Valley was inhabited by Hawaii's religious elite Kahuna Nui. The village ruins and kapuu burial grounds are a reminder of this. People say this is the last such place on Oahu. But sadly, it too will soon be paved and developed like the rest of the island, unless something is done now.
I am generally against the use of eminent domain rules, but in this case, it is more than justified.
I call on Governor Lingle to immediately remedy this travesty. If it takes money, then so be it. If it takes an executive order, then do it. Protect Hawaii and our heritage. Leave something for our children.
Turtle Bay workers deserve sympathy
Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus artistic director Nola Nahulu lamented that the hotel workers' union representatives aren't treating her the way they want to be treated ("Union harassing would-be Turtle Bay guests, suit says," Star-Bulletin, Nov. 24
I don't feel too sorry for Nahulu and the other customer of the hotel who filed a restraining order to prevent the union from contacting them. It's unfortunate that Nahulu doesn't like it when union members "approach people on a social basis and ... raise (their) voices."
But it's more unfortunate that local people continue crossing Turtle Bay workers' boycott line to patronize an employer that federal labor officials believe to be breaking the law.
My sympathies aren't with Nahulu and the others whose legal actions are being bankrolled by Turtle Bay. My sympathies are with the Turtle Bay workers who are just trying to get what the rest of the union hotels already have -- job security and secure retirement benefits.
Angel helped family after car flipped over
While driving on the infamous, deadly stretch of Kaukonahua Road on Nov. 1, my mom lost control of her car and, in an attempt to get back on the road, she overcorrected and the car flipped over on its roof, crossing and then landing on the opposite side of the road. My mom unbuckled herself from the driver's seat and rendered aid to my 21-month-old daughter, who, securely fastened in her car seat, was literally hanging upside down.
A Caucasian woman stopped and got my mom and my daughter out of the car and called 911. As soon as help arrived, she left the scene. I just wanted to thank this angel for helping the two most important females in my life.
Even if I may never get to meet her, or ever see her, she will always be special to our family.
Let's feel free to say Merry Christmas
I am not religious. I am an agnostic. I respect others on their beliefs and expect the same respect for mine. Christmas has always been a festive and joyous time of the year. I don't look at it as a religious affair but as a time to share what goes with that day. I'd rather say Merry Christmas than Happy Holidays. It gives me more spirit by saying Merry Christmas. What bothers me is that those "righteous" want to change the entire spirit of Christmas. Let's not let Grinch do that! Store employees should not be kept from saying Merry Christmas, either.
Another thing that is bothering me is the person trying to eliminate "In God We Trust" from everything, especially money. It's been on for years and no one has complained, including me, who is not religious. And if the majority of the people want to say it in a solemn oath, so be it. Let's keep life happy as it's been all these years.
Francis K. Ibara
Faculty did right thing in vote against UARC
Regarding Andrew Walden's Nov. 22 "Gathering Place" column
praising the 18 faculty members who voted to support the establishment of a university affiliated research center at the University of Hawaii-Manoa:
I suggest Mr. Walden and the 18 faculty members read President Eisenhower's speech warning of the growing military-industrial complex and how the research and building of weapons and warships takes away from those living in poverty. Nearly 20 percent of Americans live in poverty, more than 35,000 human beings across the planet die of starvation or malnutrition every day, yet the United States continues to spend as much on its military as almost all the other nations combined.
At the start of the 21st century, UH does not need to chart a new path of taking Pentagon funding to research new methods of ways to make war and kill people. Mahalo to the principled 31 faculty members who did not abandon the vision of aloha and voted against UARC.