The Star-Bulletin chooses a monthly Golden Letter winner. The award is given to the letter writer who has best expressed his or her views in an informative, entertaining or persuasive manner. Here is January's Golden Letter winner.
Enough about pedestrian safety!
Devin Moody's letter
was published on Jan. 29, but it might be just as relevant today.
"It would appear from reading the Star Bulletin's letters to the editor that the biggest issue facing Hawaii's people is how to properly cross the street," Devin wrote, adding that Hawaii has bigger problems to solve, including poor education, violence and thievery. "Aloha is going the way of the dodo," he wrote.
When Devin saw someone riding his moped a few days after it was stolen, "I immediately called 911 ... but the police never came. I did, however, gather no less than five police officers and a $75 fine when I was caught jaywalking a few weeks later."
Star-Bulletin assistant editorial page editor
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Akaka Bill opponents belong on committee
The Star-Bulletin reported the alarm expressed in some quarters that strong opponents of the Akaka Bill have been nominated to the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Where was the outrage during the past 10 years when that committee was chaired by Hawaiian activist, Akaka Bill supporter, anti-statehood Charles Maxwell? The whole committee marched in lockstep with him.
The biggest civil rights issue in Hawaii is the attempt to create a race-based government, to preserve racial segregation at the $8 billion-$15 billion Kamehameha Schools, to maintain two race-based state government agencies, and so on.
Civil rights activists often struggle against an oppressively dominant viewpoint. We need them to be our canary in the mineshaft. Was it wrong to put Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court -- an outspoken chief counsel for the highly partisan NAACP? A reconstituted civil rights committee might even investigate anti-haole racism. Imagine that!
Kenneth R. Conklin
Remember Don Ho for serving his country
In the wake of Don Ho's passing
, much has been written about his life as Hawaii's beloved entertainer. I'd like to share Don's contribution to our nation as a member of the U.S. Air Force. Don was a member of the Transport Squadron, Military Airlift Command at Travis Air Force Base, Calif.
In 1956, he was selected to the Pilot's Transition C-97 (Strato-Cruiser) Program with the 1740th Heavy Transport Training Unit at West Palm Beach Air Force Base, Fla. He successfully completed the extensive program and later was upgraded to aircraft commander status at his home base.
During one of his missions, the crew consisted of Capt. Don Ho, aircraft commander, of Kaneohe; Lt. Tsubaki, co-pilot, of Maui; Lt. George Shimabuku, navigator, of Kahuku; and Sgts. Rod Higashi and Tommy Lau, flight engineers, both of Pearl City. This was the first time in U.S. Air Force history that an all-Hawaii flight crew completed an Air Force mission.
The U.S. Air Force lost an outstanding person when Don left the service. During his active duty, Don accumulated thousands of flight hours throughout the Pacific basin, supporting the U.S. Air Force's mission.
As a fellow U.S. Air Force serviceman, my acquaintance with Don went beyond friendship -- it was of the utmost appreciation and trust.
Don's contribution in maintaining the peace and security during the Cold War years was immeasurable. I hope his legacy as a dedicated member of our nation's military will be remembered alongside his life as Hawaii's prolific entertainer and beloved son.
I salute you, my friend.
U.S. Air Force, MSGT (Ret.)
Hawaii lost one of its best in Don Ho
To "Tiny Bubbles" from "Cheryl Moana Marie:"
This is a sad moment for me and my family. Unfortunately I could not be there for Don Ho's funeral services, however my spirit is with the King. I have wonderful memories of a most unique entertainer. Hawaii has lost the best.
No ka oi.
Kia ora and aloha.
Another GOP president would be step back
Showcasing the Reagan Library, along with former First Lady Nancy Reagan thrown in for remembrance of the good old days under Ronnie, the GOP debate has all 10 Republican presidential hopefuls calling for a continued U.S. presence in Iraq past 2012 and the repeal of Roe v. Wade abortion legislation. The Twilight Zone? No, Simi Valley -- but with the California Governator as an escort service, darn close.
Contrast this position to the Democrats, who all eight call for timelines and a structured troop withdrawal, along with a kick in the pants for the Al-Maliki government that just announced a two-month-long summer recess before they asked for all their debt to be forgiven.
After eight years under Bush & Co., 2008 offers itself as a new beginning if Americans vote Democrat.
If the 85 percent "red" states stubbornly refuse to see reality and blindly vote Republican, this country will commit itself to repeating the horrific and scared Vietnam era, and underline and define the slogan "history repeats itself."
Society's problems all found in Hawaii
I have to wonder just what is going on out there in "paradise." Between Hawaiians beating on whites (which is never a "hate crime," of course) and rich white folks acting like the sky is falling because they might have to live within half a mile of low-income Hawaiians, it seems that your Pacific paradise is no better than (probably worse than) most mainland communities.
Gated communities, major income disparity, hatred, resentment, fear, no sense of giving back to the community, racism, violence, the middle class afraid of everybody ... does this sound like a place you'd want to live? Does it sound like a fun place to take your family on vacation? Sure, the beaches are nice when they're not full of drunken sailors or gangbanger locals, but there are lots of nice beaches on the mainland.
You wonder why tourism is down? Maybe it's because no one wants to go on vacation and see the same stuff they can see at home. If we didn't have friends in Ewa Beach, I don't think we'd have a reason to visit Oahu at all.
St. Paul, Minn.
Don't punish lawful gun owners
Those of us who have grandchildren or children in college can readily visualize the anguish of relatives awaiting word whether or not their child or grandchild survived the deadly April 16 episode of violence at Blacksburg, Va. ("Graduates from isles survive Virginia shooting,"
April 17). In the days immediately following this tragedy, many unanswered questions will linger.
One thing, however, can be predicted with absolute certainty: Gun control fanatics will now emerge from the woodwork like cockroaches. And what will they demand? Better law enforcement? A tougher attitude toward criminals? Increasingly harsh sentences for those who commit crimes?
The correct answer is "none of the above." Their attitude toward criminals will continue to be what it has always been -- benign neglect.
What gun-control extremists will demand is that responsible, law-abiding gun owners be treated as criminals and their legally owned firearms confiscated (as was done in New Orleans). To this end they will cynically use this tragedy to promote hysteria in which reason is swept aside so that intemperate, feel-good, gun- confiscation laws can be passed in the heat of the moment.
As we pray for grieving families of the victims, let us not lose sight of reason or abandon sober judgment.
Thomas E. Stuart
Public school teacher