UH jazz group thrills visiting performer
On Nov. 19 I had the distinct honor of appearing in concert with the University of Hawaii Jazz Ensemble during its fall concert. I want everyone to know what a tremendous band this is and what a great group of young people you have in your midst. I have performed all over the world, and this was one of the most rewarding experiences that I have ever had.
The band was not only one of the most musical ensembles that I have ever played with but also one of the most exciting. Another great honor was to share the stage with a true living legend, Gabe Baltazar. To the standing-room-only crowd in attendance, thanks for supporting these superb young musicians. To those of you who missed it, you must put attending one of these concerts on your "must do" list.
My congratulations and thanks to Patrick Hennessey for the dedication and leadership he has shown to these students. I welcome the opportunity to perform with them any time, any where.
Bassist/coordinator of Jazz Studies,
University of Missouri at St. Louis
Sign language also belongs in the dugout
I am outraged at Pony League officials who denied a young man the right to have a sign language interpreter
in the dugout during the games in Hilo five months ago. While this is obviously illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act, my primary concern is the harm that this decision has done to the player and his teammates.
This child has excelled in overcoming what everybody except himself believes is a disadvantage. He has worked hard with his family to learn the game, play and participate in the fellowship of America's pastime.
I hope that the courts will assess such proper discipline as not to harm the game or the league, but as is appropiate to reaffirm that this young man should not only be applauded for his participation in the game, but for the home run he hit by standing up for all disabled Americans wrongfully treated.
Patrick J. "Korky" Gallagher
Military should leave Makua Valley alone
The military very clearly has alternatives to using live fire in Makua Valley (Star-Bulletin, Dec. 1
). And it already owns or controls enough of Hawaii. For the Hawaiians, there are no alternative places. Please, enough is enough! Leave Makua Valley in peace and intact.
Djou is doing taxpayers a service
The editorial "Squabbles could endanger transit funds" (Star-Bulletin, Dec. 5
) seems to condone the old "pay to play" system used by former Mayor Jeremy Harris for so many years. To chastize City Councilman Charles Djou for questioning the beginning of a new pay-to-play system before it can waste millions of taxpayer dollars is not in the best interests of the community. The first foot of rail has not even been laid, yet politicians are already rewarding their campaign supporters and contributors with nonbid contracts.
For the last four years, the Campaign Spending Commission successsfully pursued construction and engineering companies that were given nonbid contracts and, not so coincidentally, gave large contributions to Harris' campaign. Now there appears to have been a nonbid contract given to Joe Pickard, a campaign supporter and donor not only to Mayor Hannemann but also to Rep. Neil Abercrombie.
It would be wise for the Star-Bulletin to be on the side of the taxpayers in ensuring that contracts are awarded fairly and without favoritism. Councilman Djou should be commended.
Garry P. Smith
Hawaii's liberals cause for concern, humor
One would think a state whose economy is as dependent on travel as Hawaii's would support our president's effort to combat terrorism somewhere other than in the United States, but Hawaii has been a liberal welfare state for so long they don't know any other way.
I feel sorry for Hawaii, because if we did not have a courageous president and we had another terrorist attack, Hawaii's economy would suffer the most. What a shame for such a beautiful state as Hawaii to be such a haven for the poor misguided liberals. I hope your editorial staff keeps writing liberal articles, because I get a good laugh reading them.
Sunset Beach, N.C.
Former Hawaii resident
Bush spending might prompt party shift
I do believe that after 50 years of voting a straight Republican ticket I am going to be forced to change my party allegiance. It has come to my attention that this president and this Congress have outspent any previous administration of the past 40 years, surpassing even Lyndon Johnson's term.
"W" has increased the the rate of spending by 8 percent (even LBJ only rated 4.6 percent). President Bush's tenure "has so far been a return to the Johnson and Carter philosophy of budgeting that gives increases to all categories of spending," according to the Cato report. Members of the Bush administration say much of the spending growth is due to outlays for the war on terrorism. But Cato found that this expense amounts to only 16 percent of defense spending for the past four fiscal years and therefore "cannot explain most of the Bush budget bloat."
I hope that the Democrats take control of Congress in 2006 and the presidency in 2008. It would be interesting to see how that Congress and, perhaps, President H. Clinton would be able to do even more for their constituents and all Americans than "W" has been doing.
Gordon "Doc" Smith