Akaka's shortcomings apparent on the stump
Senator Akaka's handlers are doing the right thing: no debates, no talk stories and no press conferences. If you attended the recent joint appearance of Akaka and Congressman Ed Case you would have seen Akaka has lost his ability to think on his feet. He stumbled and fumbled on the majority of questions the audience asked. Akaka can read prepared remarks, and he told an interesting story, but when it comes to important questions like the Jones Act or when Hawaii should transition to a younger generation he rambles and forgets his main points -- it was quite an embarrassing performance.
Hawaii needs a senator who can vigorously debate and think on his feet. We need someone who can speak for himself. Our elected leaders owe it to the people not to endorse Akaka because they know he is way past his prime and cannot ably represent Hawaii now and the future.
Case needs an update on situation in Iraq
On Sunday night, there was a TV news report showing Rep. Ed Case speaking to people in Manoa. He made a statement calling into question whether there was a civil war in Iraq. This seems to contradict people who are more closely tuned to the military or who are on the ground there in Iraq.
For example, within the past month, also on the TV news, a retired Army general stated that there had been a low level civil war ongoing in Iraq for the past three years. The Aug. 14 issue of Time magazine contains a story subtitled "A Baghdad Diary" wherein the reporter writes "the time to debate if and when civil war will start is past: It is already under way."
Park users should help keep bathrooms clean
We appreciated the 375 volunteers from all over the island who assisted with the valuable community cleanup of the parks along the Leeward Coast ("It's big news when restrooms are cleaned," Letters, Aug. 10
). With 294 city parks on Oahu that include 2,795 toilets, urinals and sinks, open 16 to 24 hours a day, it is challenging to maintain them all. Rest assured that every comfort station in our city parks is cleaned at least once a day, seven days a week, including holidays.
We would like to clean each one more than once a day, but with limited taxpayer dollars available, the additional assistance given by the volunteers on Saturday, Aug. 5, went a very long way toward improving Leeward Coast parks. To us, this kind of selfless work is newsworthy. We would hope that the general public would be as cooperative, take personal ownership of the comfort stations, and leave them as clean, or a little cleaner, than they found them.
Director, Department of Parks and Recreation
City and County of Honolulu
Respect the dead and dress appropriately
I attended a wake on Saturday and was very disturbed how people can be disrespectful and dress inappropriately. Out of respect to the family of the departed, people should not wear T-shirts with offensive or political messages, nor should they be in shorts or wearing slippers.
The family was dressed in aloha attire and shoes.
Also, people using their cell phones in the church or walking out during the services just irked me. Should we give these people a break because maybe they could not afford at least a nice plain T-shirt, a nice pair of slacks and shoes?
Give me a break. No class. Or is it "Eh Brah, choke class."
Idaho DJ's on-air joke insulted all Hawaiians
On Friday, July 7, the disc jockey on KCLX in Moscow, Idaho, mentioned that on this date in 1887, the United States was looking to secure a "possession" in the Pacific and so forced the kingdom of Hawaii to surrender. (Editor's note: The date refers to the signing of the Bayonet Constitution.) He said it was obviously easy to force a nation such as this, since it was hard to defend itself armed with nothing more than hula hoops and ukuleles.
How tasteless! I believe a public apology is necessary to all Hawaiian people everywhere. We were a nation long before there was a United States. My ancestors did not discover lands in large ships, but by outriggers with no navigational aids, except those created by God. This DJ needs to get educated on the history of a people who existed for thousands of years. I like country and western music, but I will never listen to that station again.
All Hawaiians should know that if they should come to the mainland and be anywhere near Moscow, Idaho, to make sure they bring their hula hoops, ukuleles and possibly grass skirts so that we can live up to the image this ignorant DJ has of us. Stupidity such as this does not belong on the air.
Lee Keo Keo-A'Malu