Arts academy's gain was New York's loss
John Heckathorn's column in the Sunday Star-Bulletin
discussed the reasons why the noted author James Michener donated his extensive collection of Japanese woodblock prints to the Honolulu Academy of Arts. That was only part of the story.
When Michener was ready to donate his collection, he chose the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He attempted to park in the museum's parking garage for an appointment with the director but made a maneuver that a parking guard didn't like, and had to sit there while the guard dressed him down. After the harangue Michener turned his car around, left the building, and never looked back.
Hawaii was Plan B.
This information about the donation was associated with a major showing of the Michener collection at the Academy of Arts a few years ago. It illustrates the importance of proper training for low level employees who are in first contact with the public.
Don't fight drugs -- regulate them
I'm writing about Rich Figel's outstanding column "The verdict is in: Drug policy needs overhaul" ("Addicted to Life," Star-Bulletin, Aug. 5
If we re-legalized all our illegal drugs so that they could be sold by licensed and regulated businesses for pennies per dose, would this eliminate our drug problems? No. However, doing so would substantially reduce the crime rate and dramatically increase public safety.
Will we ever be able to eliminate our drug problems? No. However, we can substantially reduce the harm caused by our illegal drugs.
Regulated and controlled drugs would be of known purity, known potency and known quality -- which would make them very much safer than today's black-market drugs.
But what message would we send to children if we legalized all illegal drugs so they could be sold in licensed, regulated and taxed business establishments?
The same message we send to children today when we allow products such as alcohol and tobacco to be sold in licensed, regulated and taxed business establishments.
A free country's government cannot protect its adult citizens from themselves. A free country's government has no right to attempt to do so.
Frequent Hawaii visitor
Find someone smart to outwit bin Laden
We need someone in Washington, D.C., who can outsmart Osama bin Laden. If he was able to penetrate our airports and train his pilots to do what he did on 9/11, why can't we use our various human intelligence resources to penetrate his hideout? Use our Muslim-speaking intelligence specialists to recruit local agents and assassinate him. As long as he is alive and calling the shots against the United States and our allies, this war will never end.
The rules of war have changed with the terroristic type of engagement. There is no excuse to allow bin Laden to survive this long.
Hawaii's being driven back to the kingdom
Some activists are clamoring for a return to the kingdom of Hawaii. Judging by the dismal condition of most roads, we might be closer to it than we think!
Economic outlook focused on status quo
The rosy picture Ted Liu, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, paints about the future of Hawaii's economy suggests that the governor's innovation initiative has run out of steam despite his rhetoric ("State Matters," Star-Bulletin, July 22
). Relying on construction data and low unemployment derived from tourism, he projects a future linked to the status quo. While he invokes the innovation buzzword, he ignores reality.
Hawaii ranks dead last in technology exports, even behind Puerto Rico, reflecting how little this administration has done during the last several years to change that. The governor's actions speak louder than her words. Remember her State of the State address when she said, "We must create an environment in which innovation, entrepreneurship, and risk-taking are encouraged, nurtured, and rewarded." I guess she did not mean the entrepreneurs eligible for follow-on funding from the Hawaii Technology Development Venture when she refused to implement House Bill 1083.
Remember when the governor said, "We need to ensure that our workforce has the skills and knowledge required to compete effectively in the 21st century." I guess she did not mean the hundreds of students who want to attend the Academy for Creative Media, when she refused to implement Senate Bill 1922, even after the Legislature overrode her veto. These are extraordinary contradictions.
The governor is ignoring the intent of the Legislature, dismissing the innovation economy stakeholders she has pledged to support and disrespecting the people of Hawaii by trying to fool them with mixed messages. This should leave us with increasing concern about the sincerity of this administration's commitment to an innovation economy.