Let all of Hawaii be thankful for our diversity and generosity
Living in Hawaii, we have many reasons to be thankful.
Every day, we are reminded of the diverse mix of cultures that live together in harmony and share the aloha spirit with our extended ohana as well as the many people who visit our state.
We give thanks for the unparalleled natural beauty of the islands, and those who are committed to protecting Hawaii's unique environment and resources.
We appreciate the brave men and women in uniform who defend freedom and democracy around the world, and those who serve as first responders here at home to keep our neighborhoods safe and protect us in times of emergencies.
We commend the hardworking people across the state who labor every day to keep our businesses strong, educate our children and ensure essential services are provided, while contributing to Hawaii's vibrant economy.
And we are grateful for the generosity of Hawaii's people who have extended their kokua both here at home and around the world to help those in need.
This year in particular, we saw the caring nature of Hawaii's people from the private sector, government agencies, the military, faith-based community, schools and non-profit groups who stepped forward to help the homeless find a safe place to live and the opportunity to gain self-sufficiency to make a better life for themselves and their families.
Thanks to this outpouring of aloha, 300 people at the Next Step Shelter in Kakaako and 200 people at the Onelauena transitional shelter in Kalaeloa will spend this Thanksgiving off of the beaches, as they work to gain the skills needed to move forward. And on this day of thanks, volunteers from throughout the community will serve Thanksgiving meals to our extended ohana at these shelters.
As we gather with family and friends to give thanks for the countless blessings around us, we want to take this opportunity to send a personal message of aloha to all the people of Hawaii. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as governor and lieutenant governor of the greatest state in the greatest nation. Working together with people from different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs, we have made great strides in improving the quality of life of our fellow residents. Our mission is by no means complete. We look forward to collaborating with everyone in the community to continue to improve our state economy, while protecting the things that make Hawaii special.
From our families to yours, we wish you all the best this Thanksgiving.
James R. "Duke" Aiona Jr.
Grandson's sacrifice the greatest gift
This Thanksgiving is appreciated more than ever as we just got word last week that our grandson Ryan Furomoto has just returned to American soil after deployment of six months in Afghanistan. Serving in the Army Medical Corps and doing his part for his fellow men and women speaks volumes of his commitment. We are blessed with having such a special grandson.
As grandparents, never have we been so proud and blessed with Ryan and all the men and women who give of their blood, sweat and life to give us the freedom that we enjoy. Something we should never take for granted.
Freedom is never easy or free. Let us never ever forget that all those courageous men and women who put their lives on the front line to make this happen. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice.
All our wishes are for each one to return home safe and sound and for world peace. If we can dream it, it can happen. Dreams do come true.
This Thanksgiving is more meaningful because of our deepest love of having a grandson who has remained loyal, brave and willing to go the extra mile to give all of us the freedom and peace we so cherish.
To all those men and women of the armed forces who are serving our great nation in all parts of this world, thank you for your sacrifices on this Thanksgiving. May you return home soon.
Tom and Marie Sugita
UH game attendance isn't a mystery
So University of Hawaii assistant football coach George Lumpkin doesn't understand why more fans don't come to the games (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 20
). Here's why, Coach. I went to the UH-San Jose State game with my two boys (youths, fortunately). The cheapest tickets for the kids were $22 in the end zone only. I paid $27 for the end zone as well. I also paid $5 to park, $15 for two pizza slices and sodas for the kids and yes, I splurged on myself with a Gordon Biersch Marzen for $7.50 (yes, that's one beer!) and a hot dog as well.
Yes, UH won and I'm a big fan, but I don't have more than $100 to spend every home game nor do I imagine do most people. You want more fans? Lower the prices on tickets and the concessions and maybe you'll get your wish.