Birth control might be a basic need, too
Regarding the Star-Bulletin's Good Neighbor Fund Christmas donation drive, why is it that what these people need most is never requested? Computers, toys and furniture are all appreciated, I'm sure, but most beneficial would be birth control, tubal ligation and vasectomy services.
Most readers realize that the endless parade of "needy" will continue to grow exponentially until intervention in their birth rate. Contributions will become less relevant and decline relative to the constantly growing number of desperate claimants.
Why don't the Star-Bulletin and the other "Christmas Tree" sponsors make published requests to the doctors and surgeons who could make a significant and relevant contribution to these people? More toys and furniture are not the solution.
Hawaii's Dizon sets the right example
Only one college football player from Hawaii was named to the Associated Press' All-American first team, or the Walter Camp and Sporting News All-America teams. Only one led the nation in solo tackles and was runner-up for the Dick Butkus Award: Kauai's Jordan Dizon.
Coach June Jones and our University of Hawaii Warriors football team deserve all the congratulations they receive, but I believe it is also important that we recognize the accomplishments of Dizon, a 2004 Waimea High School graduate who now plays for the University of Colorado.
In high school, Jordan played in a league with only two other football teams. And he has shown everyone in Hawaii that hard work and academic focus pay off.
As Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-Big 12, Jordan, an economics major, has been able to apply the knowledge and values he grew up with in Hawaii to a new and challenging environment.
Colorado Linebackers Coach Brian Cabral, a friend and former high school teammate of mine, said, "I can honestly say in my 19 years coaching linebackers at Colorado, I have never enjoyed coaching and watching someone play more than Jordan."
Jordan is expected to graduate in May. His fine accomplishments on the gridiron and in the classroom set the right example for all young people of Hawaii to see no boundaries can prohibit them from pursuing their dreams.
Congratulations to Jordan for an outstanding season, and best wishes for his continued success in the future.
Jordan has made his family, community and all of Hawaii proud.
James R. "Duke" Aiona Jr.
Athletic department should get bowl money
The University of Hawaii's Athletic Department should keep all the money received from the Sugar Bowl. This would be consistent with the goal of the department to become self-sufficient. Hopefully the influx of cash will change how the department is run.
The athletic department should suspend the premium ticket charge for renewals for the year. With such a large influx of cash this should serve as a reward for those loyal season ticket holders.
The Athletic Department should re-examine how it treats season-ticket holders. I can see why the athletic director returned 4,000 tickets to the Sugar Bowl. But I have a hard time justifying selling tickets to travel agencies before season ticket holders. If the university is unable to openly look at its procedure, I hope our elected officials do.
Is football worth more than academics?
Who gets the $4.5 million Sugar Bowl money? The answer seems simple. If the University of Hawaii is here primarily to provide a football team, the money should go mostly to the Athletic Department. Otherwise, it should go mostly for academic facilities and programs.
James M. Walling
Youth group tireless in marathon support
I am writing to thank the members of the Hawaii Youth Challenge for their hard work during the recent Honolulu Marathon. This was my first marathon and the students from the Hawaii Youth Challenge were wonderful. They were supportive, cheerful and worked very hard from predawn to late afternoon.
I first encountered them on the uphill Diamond Head climb. They were standing midway in the road with a long red tape that they held with one hand and gave us high fives with the other. I jogged up that hill effortlessly partly because of their unflagging support. I learned who they were after asking them. After Diamond Head they worked the aid stations. They served us thousands of cups of Gatorade or water and then shoveled up the thousands of cups and sponges. When we finished the marathon they were also working in the booths to hand out T-shirts, medallions, food and more.
When I was waiting for a bus to go home I saw them leaving looking more tired than I was. It is my firm opinion that the Hawaii Youth Challenge kids were ambassadors for aloha on Dec 9. They were supportive, kind, cheerful, gracious and hard working. Nui maikai hana oukou.