Mazie is Hawaii's woman for Congress
The campaign is in full swing for Patsy Mink's former congressional seat, lately occupied by Rep. Ed Case. So many aspiring candidates can be confusing, but in our eyes Mazie Hirono stands above the pack. Mazie served as lieutenant governor after graduating from the University of Hawaii, obtaining her JD (doctor of jurisprudence) from Georgetown University and membership in Phi Beta Kappa. Mazie was in the Hawaii Legislature from 1980 to 1994 and was named Legislator of the Year by the Hawaii Leaseholders Equity Coalition in 1984. Here is a hard-working, intelligent woman!
Congress is not a place for beginners. Emily's List, a respected national political network for Democratic women, has endorsed Mazie in recognition of her abilities as a legislator and as a candidate. We need to win Democratic seats in Congress. Hirono in that seat is a vision we hope to make reality.
Ann and Dougal Crowe
Unscripted debates are vital to the process
I couldn't agree more with your July 19 editorial, "Congressional candidates should engage in debates."
If Senator Akaka wants the people of Hawaii to reelect him for six more years, he needs to show us that he can out think and out talk his opponent. He needs to share with us his ideas on solving the enormous national and international problems facing our nation.
I'm not interested in prepared statements and TV commercials. I want to hear the candidates debate the issues without knowing the questions beforehand, and without using notes. We voters deserve the opportunity to ask questions of our candidates, up front and personal.
Congressman Ed Case has made himself readily accessible to his constituents. In the past two years, Case has held 150 "talk story" sessions and he has continued this practice during this campaign.
Helen T. Nakano
Same-sex relationships really aren't so different, after all
I just read yesterday's article by Debra Barayuga about the passing of Joseph Melillo and how he and his same-sex partner of almost 30 years lived their lives.
The article really touched home with me, for you see my partner, Mark, and I have been in a committed same-sex relationship going on 23 years. He truly is the most wonderful person I have ever known. Somehow it doesn't seem right that I can't legally marry Mark after being together for 23 years because he and I are the same sex -- but I could meet someone of the opposite sex today, not knowing her at all, and be able to jump on a plane and be married to her by this evening in Las Vegas.
I will be so glad when more people start to realize that love and devotion are between two people, not just two people of the opposite sex. When more heterosexual people start to realize that a partnership is built on love and trust and commitment, not only between a man and a woman, they will have learned there is nothing to be afraid of. If more people would start thinking about the reality of two people sharing their lives with one another (for better or worse), loving one another, caring for one another, and stop thinking about the one area that happens behind closed doors, I believe they would then realize no one is different.
A partnership is based on so much more than sex. After being together for a long time, one of the conversations of the day might be, "Hey honey, how about tonight?" The other will reply, "No, not tonight. Catch me tomorrow, maybe I'll shave my legs."
I jest a little, to bring emphasis to the fact that when two people are in a commitment relationship all aspects of their lives are shared and are important, not just one thing. Perhaps when more people do start to realize this, Mark and I can get married, because really everyone is the same -- gay or straight, no one is different.
There are better telephone choices
Regarding Glenda Chung Hinchey's July 27 letter
about Hawaiian TelCom woes: Please know that there are alternatives. Go wireless or digital. I use a cell phone for my mobile phone. I'm not in the telecommunications business, I'm speaking strictly as a satisfied consumer.
At home I have digital telephone service (via Oceanic) that works far better than the regular telephone system. I also have no problems with the billing, it's all on one bill (basic cable, premium channels, telephone). And no adamant collectors to contend with.
I'm sure many others have the same arrangement.
Lack of great teachers is hurting America
As a professor of physics visiting Oahu, I appreciated the column "Don't put down those who teach -- be one" ("Gathering Place," Star-Bulletin, July 27
). I have worked both in industry and academia and find that academia is the most challenging -- especially if you really care about helping your students.
Tragically, because teaching is not valued as it once was, America is slipping technologically and economically because there are fewer qualified teachers to train future generations of scientists and engineers, upon whom we all depend for the fruits of their labor. It's high time that we start encouraging our best minds to pursue teaching as a career by celebrating teachers in the media and making it financially worthwhile as a profession by rewarding excellent teachers and not taking them for granted.
In the words of Derek Bok, current president of Harvard University, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."
Michael Pravica, Ph.D.
Assistant professor of physics
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Government projects lag in Hawaii
I saw a documentary not too long ago that the Empire State Building was built in 13 months, quite a feat. It takes our local government years just to complete a widening of Ft. Weaver Road, which is only a short distance.
Lack of supervision a factor in teens' deaths
I watched with sadness the TV news on the automobile accident at Barbers Point and listened to one of the fathers talk about suing the state for not having up a barrier to keep cars from going into a drainage ditch. The thing that struck me was that he was ignoring the fact that the teenagers involved allegedly had been drinking, that a 14-year-old was out unsupervised at 11 p.m. and that the accident had been caused by high speeds where the posted speed limit is 15 miles per hour.
Let's get out of this victim frame of mind and put blame where the blame lies. And in this case, a lot of it belongs on the parents.
Public-private efforts make things happens
It takes many hands to build a city. So while Kapolei Property Development has pledged $15 million to build Kapolei Parkway (Star Bulletin, July 26
), it is important to note that it is Mayor Hannemann's continued commitment to Kapolei that will put this project on the fast track.
Pushing the building of new roads as well as championing mass transit alternatives are important steps toward making Kapolei a major job center and enabling more people to work closer to where they live. Public-private partnerships like this demonstrate that no task is too large when done by all.
Kapolei Property Development