to the Editor

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Thursday, June 21, 2001

Forfeiting games amounts to quitting

As an alumnus of Damien Memorial High School, I was shocked to hear about the decision to forfeit games to St. Louis School.

It's no secret that we Monarchs don't have a winning tradition when it comes to football, but the tradition we do have is that we don't give up. During my freshman year, we barely won two games, but in my senior year, we finished third in the state.

What I remember most and still have tremendous pride in is that, win or lose, we played like men (as our motto Viriliter Age suggests) and never quit.

I don't buy the reason that the forfeitures are for the Damien players' safety. If you want safe, join the band like I did. The problem is coaching, as it always has been. Monarchs have always had the grit and determination to win. Now we just need the guidance and training to do so.

What Herb Lloyd, the athletic director I've always respected, has to answer for is what amounts to quitting. Forget the player safety and legal liability stuff and say what it really is: quitting.

Kahuku showed us in the last Prep Bowl what happens when you don't quit.

Brandon Vega


"We are fascinated by the amount of merchandise that is here -- that is island-specific -- and frankly, we don't want to screw it up."

Jerry Sullivan,
Chairman of Macy's West, saying local merchandise will be retained when the venerable island retailer, Liberty House, becomes Macy's later this year.

"Sometimes you have to make hard decisions that somebody may not like."

Brother Gregory O'Donnell,
President of Damien Memorial High School on the uproar over his decision to forfeit the school's football games with the powerhouse St. Louis School team.

"We are trying to find out where in the Catholic parochial schools we have to write to get him removed."

Lua Tuiasosopo,
Parent whose son is a junior on the Damien football team, expressing dismay over the school president's decision to bypass games with St. Louis School.

Trustees are OHA's worst enemies

The band of bickering buffoons at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs are at it again. This time the trustees can't agree on where to hold their meetings, in secrecy or in public, how much they should pay their administrator, who their lawyer should be or how long each candidate interview should take, never mind serious policy issues or service to their constituents.

The trustees are the best argument to disband this shameful and discriminatory squandering of public funds. As constituted at present, OHA is a public agency. If the native Hawaiians want to add yet another layer of entitlement benefits to their community, let them pay for it themselves.

With the largess of Kamehameha Schools, the Hawaiian Home Lands and numerous other private and public endowments, dollar for dollar, Hawaiian for Hawaiian, the native Hawaiian population of our state is the most richly endowed and heavily subsidized ethnic minority on the planet earth. Enough already.

Stephen Lane

Racing fantasies spur unqualified drivers

The June 14 Star-Bulletin story, "Racing in the safer lane," failed to address the reason for street racing in the islands.

As a race car driver I've seen the increase in popularity of NASCAR, CART and Formula One. These three forms of racing are nothing like driving down a quarter-mile straight-away. The thrill that many race-car-driver wannabes are seeking is finding out just how fast can they take a turn.

In the NASCAR Winston Cup Series the cars are able to take turns at a 180 mph "flat out," meaning they are full throttle all the way around the track. The feeling that a driver gets when he is side by side, bumper to bumper with other cars going a 100-plus mph is intense and hard to describe.

Many car owners watching NASCAR put themselves in the drivers seat during the race, and when behind the wheel of their own cars, sometimes forget about the surroundings and their own ability to drive at high speed. Others fantasize about driving an Indy car or Formula One.

This type of driving requires a race track made for road racing, which is not offered at Hawaii Raceway Park on a regular basis like the drag strip is. When road racing events are held at the park the high entry fee keeps everyday people out.

In a state dominated by stick and ball sports, auto racing never gets any attention by the mainstream media except when something tragic happens.

And when tragedy strikes racing businesses take advantage of chance to get free advertising from the media by saying they offer a safer way to drive fast.

The bottom line is you can build a hundred race tracks on the island, but there will always be humans who take unnecessary risks and put other humans in danger.

Jerrette Kaye

Rare plants deserve preservation

David Orr has provided effective and dedicated oversight for the notable endangered plant collection at Waimea Falls Park. We are delighted and relieved that his valuable stewardship continues.

Audubon Society's recent indication of interest in being involved at the park is indicative of the widespread respect for the existing rare plant collection there. Surely, such a treasured legacy of Hawaii is deserving of preservation.

Margaret Armstrong
Conservation Chairman The Garden Club

Who's blocking whose views?

I don't understand the Waikiki condo dwellers who are complaining about the loss of their ocean views because of the new tower at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Yes, their views will be lost, but I think it's a very selfish complaint to make because their buildings are an eyesore to everyone else who lives behind them and whose views have been blocked as well.

If they wanted unrestricted views of the ocean, they should have moved to the shoreline instead. To believe that their views would stay pristine is rather naive.

Complain all they want, the building is finished. If they want the tower demolished, then that same argument can be made about their buildings for the sake of those living behind them.

Craig Watanabe

Letter guidelines

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.

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