Case is right about withdrawal from Iraq
I'm still undecided as to who would serve Hawaii best in the Senate but I feel compelled to throw my two cents in regarding Rep. Ed Case's position on the Iraq war.
I, too, would like to see the United States out of Iraq but fully support the position that this should not occur until the Iraqi government is prepared to take over governmental functions and security. As I see it, an arbitrary departure date of U.S. forces only lays the groundwork for continued unrest, possible civil war and our re-intervention.
When the going gets rough, and it is, Americans do not cut and run. We made a commitment at the outset. Let's stand tall and stand by it.
Michael S. Chu
Case does what's best regardless of party
I love how Sen. Dan Akaka's campaign has been accusing Ed Case of being a Democrat in name only. I challenge them to take a look at Ed's voting record. One must assume that Akaka and his staff's inability to differentiate a Democrat from a Republican is quite a hindrance in their day-to-day work at the Capitol.
It's true that Ed doesn't always vote the party line, but that doesn't make him any less of a Democrat. I would rather have a senator who does what is best for the country than one who does whatever the party leadership or Sen. Inouye instructs him to do.
Matsunaga knows Hawaii, Washington
While there seems to be a sufficient lack of coverage about the congressional race to fill Ed Case's seat, I have made a few observations.
Matt Matsunaga is the only candidate I can see representing us in Washington. He spent a lot of time there when his father, the late Sparky Matsunaga, was serving in the U.S. Senate. But what I like most is that he didn't stay there. He came back to be part of the Hawaii community, to raise his family here and to go into business here.
He knows where his roots are, yet he also has an understanding about how Washington works. That is a combination that I don't see any of the other candidates having. And it means he could go to work for Hawaii from day one of his arrival, instead of having to "learn his way to the bathroom" before making an impact.
Many of the candidates in this race probably have a decent understanding of the problems facing the islands, but I think Matsunaga would be the one to actually get things done on the federal level right from the start.
Hawaiian culture should reap royalties
What does Donald Trump (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 8
) know about "true Hawaiian soul"? Will true Hawaiians live at Trump International Hotel and Tower enjoying the "finest of everything"? I know what Trump will understand: paying royalties for use of Hawaiian "soul," design elements, concepts, names, stories, legends, music, traditions, traditional designs, replicas and artwork that will be used in his tower to create that soul sans Hawaiians.
Wouldn't it be great for Hawaiians if Trump, Disney, Hilton, Sheraton, every business, developer, author, city, state or federal agency, both Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian, that wanted to use Hawaiian concepts, names, stories, legends in their profit- or nonprofit-making endeavors paid a royalty on this use? Hawaiians could actually benefit monetarily from use of their culture.
Royalties are not a new concept. Businesses, communities, actors, songwriters pay and profit from royalties every second. I bet Disney has to be paid a royalty every time someone uses the songs in "Lilo and Stitch" -- songs based on traditional mele.
Hawaiians would then benefit from all the fruits of our culture, including the fruits of profit and affluence. We could then buy a condo in Trump's tower and imbue it with Hawaiian soul. Or we could build our own tower, or not.
How to accomplish this? I truly Hawaiians need to support the Office of Hawaiian Affairs' aim to build a nation now. Good things can happen with our own entity. Without it, Trump makes a killing with "Hawaiian soul," and we reap no monetary value from what others find so profitable.
Kenneth W. Ordenstein
Superferry will bring convenience, jobs
I am writing in support of the Hawaii Superferry that is scheduled to arrive in July. I wish it were sooner.
I think it will be a great asset to our community. It would give more people the opportunity to visit neighbor islands on a regular basis, especially if you're on a tight budget. It allows you to take a minivacation with friends or family and be able to take your own vehicle. I like this benefit because I am more comfortable driving my own vehicle. It also will offer more jobs to Hawaii.
Desilee K. Santiago
Beach umbrellas take far too much space
Thank you for your Aug. 9 report
on Waikiki beach residents and visitors reclaiming the beach. We have gone to that beach for 25 years and sat in the same spot. Why there? Because of the aloha from the beach boys, whom we consider our local ohana.
This year, we had to move because it was so crowded by the new concession's big umbrellas and lounge chairs. However, as each day has passed, the "monster blue umbrellas" have crept closer to us. When they were on top of all of us, we finally said, "Enough!" The umbrellas' style and the size of the lounge chairs take up much more space than traditional umbrellas and chairs. It is impossible to see through them or walk by them.
Mahalo for bringing this to the attention of the people. I hope Beach Activities of Maui will listen and spread their aloha to residents and visitors. I would like to note the attendants have been fine; however, we are not in agreement with the philosophy of the management company.
Alden and Linda Esping
Visitors spoil beach with cigarette butts
I recently had the opportunity to visit your magnificent islands. My soul was rejuvenated by the paradise by which I was surrounded. The helpfulness I encountered from the residents was exceptional. The courtesies extended to others on the highways was a pleasant surprise from experiences in my own city. I encountered only one disappointment during my stay.
My hotel was nonsmoking, yet I saw patrons using the outdoors -- especially your beaches -- as their ashtray. I saw empty bottles, cans and trash that had been placed in crooks and crevices at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
This careless, irreverent attitude of some caused me great sorrow. Do these thoughtless ones not understand that their disrespect will lead to the eventual destruction of the paradise they seek in the first place? While I realize that not only visitors cause litter, I can't help but believe they are the majority after witnessing the care and concern of the residents for this land. For this, I am so sorry.
The above aside, I would like to say thank you, Hawaii, for one momentous vacation!
Spend on schools, not on street signs
How many school supplies or increases in teachers' pay could be paid by the cost of installing and purchasing those green poles with signs one can barely read along Punchbowl Street? How much was the cost of the study to determine that such poles and signs were needed?