Letters to the editor


POSTED: Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Businesses must help symphony

As a professional orchestra musician, I've long known about the trials of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra musicians. Back in the 1990s, I listened to many reports of financial hardship and less than wonderful relationships with management and board. At the time, I thought that things couldn't get much worse, but now I see that they have.

I cannot imagine a more devoted group than those musicians who have remained in Honolulu in order to bring their musical expertise to their community. At 109 years old, the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra is one of the nation's oldest, and something for the city and state to be proud of. I can only beg and implore the business leaders of this wealthy community to take seriously the stewardship of this organization, and set the organization on its path to properly serve Honolulu and Hawaii: as a vibrant musical performing institution, a resource that everybody can go to for inspiration, enjoyment and education.

Helen Reich



UH budget cuts threaten future

Your Dec. 27 editorial “;UH faculty needs to grasp reality”; has most regrettably ignored the realities that now govern our lives and the futures of our children here in Hawaii.

The elements that will most directly affect our lives in the future — economic competitiveness, security and climate change — now depend on our ability to master the scientific, technical and economic tools needed to address these challenges. The only foreseeable way in which these tools can be provided to our citizens and children is through our educational system, including at all levels from K-12 through the associates, bachelors, masters and Ph.D. degree programs offered by Hawaii's schools.

Your editorial staff might well prefer a world in which Hawaii did not have to compete for the resources — human and financial — needed to operate this now-essential system at the level needed to reasonably ensure our individuals and common futures. But the realities of the highly competitive world of education are very different, as the many University of Hawaii faculty members competing to maintain their research and training programs at the forefront of worldwide progress can readily attest.

So the argument offered in your editorial endorsing the imposition of the cuts proposed by the UH's administration without mention or consideration of the implications of those cuts for Hawaii's future comes as close to irresponsible as anything I have read in your otherwise admirable newspaper during the 11 years I have lived in Hawaii.

John M.J. Madey



Honor should be posthumous

There is a very sound and logical reason that buildings, monuments, etc., are not named after living dignitaries. How many golf course managers are happy they didn't name their golf courses after Tiger Woods?

The city of Honolulu should stick to its own rules.


Duke Matzen


Pigs at trough have company

Question: What's the difference between Wall Street bankers, Hawaii government and education unions, and pigs at a trough?

Answer: Other than the size of the trough, not a damn thing!

Ron Kienitz





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