New coach maintains warmth of Hawaii
I have never written to a newspaper before in the form of a letter to the editor. The reason I'm doing this is to share with you how very happy and grateful I am that this state has Greg McMackin as the head football coach for our University of Hawaii (Rainbow) Warriors. Mac will be such an asset in projecting that real specialness of Hawaii's culture, its warmth.
I had the pleasure of knowing Mac as a fellow college student. I had not had any contact with him since 1967 until running into him at the opening of the Legislature, where he was recognized. I was amazed that this man I knew as a young boy, in all he's been through, has maintained the purity of who he is.
Let me tell you about Mac. Just look into his eyes and feel the warmth and goodness of this man. Feel the care that he has for people. Feel that very important sense of responsibility that he carries. When you allow yourself to feel this man, you will know why players love him. Mac will be such a good person in which to place the trust of young men in his care. Mac will represent Hawaii so well with the very special values of warmth and trust. Good choice, Hawaii.
P.S. Hawaii County priorities are still health care and housing!
Mayor, Hawaii County
Finally, they can't blame this on Bush
As a former longtime Hawaii resident and Rainbow sports fan (tailgate to da max), I still follow the news via the Star-Bulletin online and am very surprised that the psychotic Bush haters there haven't blamed June Jones' departure on Dubya!
Northern Luzon, Philippines
Get creative in search for new Warriors
I was disappointed, as most of us are, about losing some of our key players on the University of Hawaii Warriors football team. After much pondering I think I might have the solution to our problems. The best part is that it might generate -- yes, I said generate -- additional funds for our poor Athletics Department.
The UH Athletics Department should take the following steps:
» Hold open tryouts. Hold a news conference and let the state know that everyone who is eligible and willing to become a UH Warrior should apply. By having open tryouts you can expect a turnout of more than 5,000 people. Of course that's just pure speculation but foreseeable.
» Weed 'em out. Now screen everyone for eligibility -- proper knowledge of NCAA rules, strength in playing ability, ability to maintain a 2.0 GPA and qualified to attend the UH system.
» It's TV time! Every night we'll let people know who made the cut to the next level. It will be broadcast on a local television station. Now you've just added advertising revenue to the mix. People will tune in to see "Who wants to be the next UH Warrior."
A question that might be raised is, "Who's going to pay for the tuition of the selected students?" Revenue generated from advertising will subsidize, if not completely pay for, all related tuition expenses for the first few years. After that, fundraising and scholarships might be available.
Kakaako shelter must be kept open
Hawaii for once has done something right. The Kakaako homeless shelter works; more than 250 people, including many children, have a place to sleep that cost the state only $540,000 -- money well spent. The latest news is that $20 million is available for other "next step" shelters but none will be ready for at least three years. The lease with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs expires in June, so it must be extended until another shelter is open.
OHA has seven Hawaii offices and wants to build another one at this site. What is the rush? Maybe OHA is eager to spend some of the $200 million that will be awarded to it soon as a mix of land and cash?
Many residents feel that this area is ideal for the homeless and that the state should keep this site at least to 2010, just in time for many expired leasehold apartment owners to join the homeless ranks. Ala Moana Beach Park will be the "next step" for the homeless if this shelter is closed, and then we are going backwards. Tourists as well as residents do not like seeing homeless people sleeping on benches and in parks in Waikiki.
The Kakaako shelter must remain open! What is the plan when the shelter's lease ends?
Break the tradition of feudal landownership
The genes of my four immigrant grandparents carry an ancestral hatred of medieval Europe's and Asia's feudal systems -- and its evil echoes in Hawaii. Systems where a privileged few claim all land based on titles their ancestors wrote in the blood of others, while the many are exploited by denying them security and prosperity only enjoyed by those allowed to own the land they live on or work.
Just look at "Judge lets ranch oust leaseholders" (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 19): people forced from their homes by the equivalent of a feudal lord who even had the power to strip them of their equity. It's what also keeps so many businesses at "mom & pop" levels -- monopoly landowners who take no risk and do no work, but who feel entitled to take all the earnings from a leaseholder's business except a pittance left to keep it hanging on.
But there's a fair solution. Legally restrict landowners to these uses for land:
» do nothing with it,
» build on it and use the home or facility,
» build on it and rent the home or facility, or
» sell it.
That preserves the full legitimate value of the land. It only ends the power to impose 21st-century serfdom on others by forcing them to build on land they can never own in a monopoly that keeps them too powerless to break. It's time.
George L. Berish
If you thought you were sick before ...
Waiting rooms in doctors' offices are the most depressing places to be. There are magazines that are grossly outdated, furniture that looks like it belongs in the dumpster, other patients that might be sicker than you, and crying babies. It is a highly contagious area; if you were only a little sick upon entering, you will be really sick by the time you leave.
It's a relief when the nurse comes out and calls your name after a 45-minute wait, now you can proceed to the doctor's room and be prepared to wait another 20 minutes.
The doctor finally comes in and asks, "What's wrong?"
Now the problem I originally had is nothing compared to what I was exposed to in the waiting room. I say, "Doc, the crying babies have me stressed and now my blood pressure has rocketed, I think I got the flu from the guy next to me who was wheezing and coughing and now I am totally depressed."
The doc tells me a flu shot will do me no good since I now have the flu.
Then I remember why I came in the first place. I needed a flu shot. The doc says, "Don't worry, we can treat that high blood pressure and depression with a prescription."
James "Kimo" Rosen