Wednesday, September 26, 2001
Don't give in to gloomy economic forecastsAs a resident and small business owner for about 30 years in Hawaii there is one thing that I have noticed about our economy. Newspapers love to stress doom and gloom. I suppose it does sell newspapers, but the truth is this: There is no such thing as doom and gloom unless we believe it.
As small business people, we never got any support from our government anyway. So to us life is what we make it. Just get up, get out and do it. We can and we will by our selves !
Previous efforts to boost economy failedIf Gov. Ben Cayetano comes up with some innovative and realistic ways to buoy Hawaii's economy, we should give him our total support. We need to be working together.
But working together starts at the top, and the group the governor met with to discuss our state's new woes looks suspiciously like the same "blue ribbon panel" of business and labor who came up with Cayetano's off-balance Economic Recovery Plan, three years ago. That plan was an evil stew of supply-side incentives, plus new taxes on the working class to pay for them.
New taxes on families will not bail us out of this situation. Nor can we afford to mortgage our future with additional heavy debt, whether through bonds or other borrowing. Cayetano's new plan must recognize that. It must be bold, compassionate and fiscally sound.
If our governor can produce such a plan, he has my absolute support.
Attack stirs patriotism in new AmericansI am a new American who has been a citizen of the Philippines for most of my life. I have always been proud about being Filipino and I sought to teach my Scots-Irish-Filipino children to take pride in their Filipino heritage.
When I decided to become an American, I did it more out of convenience rather than out of allegiance to the country I now call home. I would often say, "You Americans are like that," and my husband would always counter with, "Don't forget: you're an American now."
I swore allegiance to America in 1993, but I became a true American on Sept. 11. Since that day, you will often find me flying the American flag, singing "America, the Beautiful" and shedding tears for American souls -- my fellow American souls.
I imagine that all new Americans feel the same way I do. We are no longer Filipino Americans, Japanese Americans or Arab Americans. We are simply Americans. Don't let the difference in our skins or accents fool you. Underneath, our hearts bleed red, white and blue.
To those Americans who have taken their anger out on Arab-looking Americans or feel "uncomfortable" being around them, ask yourselves if you would like others to judge you by the atrocity committed by the "typical-looking" American Timothy McViegh.
Don't forget that being an American means that most of us are descendants of new Americans. Don't forget that being an American means that we don't persecute others for the color of their skin or the God they worship. Don't forget you're an American. I, for one, will never forget.
Muslim Americans should join militaryIf Arab or Muslim Americans want to show their loyalty they should "Go Fo Broke" like the Japanese American.
Isaac W. Choy
"It's worse than when we had the Gulf War." Dickie Chongkee
Waikiki Beach surf board rental employee, on the slowdown in tourism since terrorists in hijacked airliners crashed into the Pentagon and brought down the World Trade Center two weeks ago
"We won't see ball gowns again for at least three years. I thought they were boring beforehand, but now it's so 'not the moment.'" Craig Natiello
Head designer for Halston, on how the terrorist attack will affect future fashion designs
Donate tax rebate to disaster victimsOn Sept. 5, I returned from a family visit in New York. This week, my wife and I received our tax return. We had planned to spend it in stimulating the economy; instead, we forwarded it to a fund set up for the families of those brave rescue workers who were lost attempting to save lives on Sept. 11. The hundreds of millions of dollars that will be collected through such funds will stand in stark contrast to the shabby treatment afforded Palestinian refugees since 1948 by their Arab brethren and neighboring Middle Eastern countries. We take care of our people, not use them for political purposes.
There have been calls for a memorial on the site of the World Trade Center. Let the memorial be a portion of the facade that eerily stood over the ruined site; a plaque with the names of all who were lost; a very large version of the photograph of the three firefighters who raised an American flag early in the rescue effort; and the flag itself.
Place those items in the enormous lobby of a new World Trade Center that will be under construction while the United States and its allies, and any other country that chooses to help, remove the scourge of terrorism from the earth -- using whatever means are deemed appropriate.
Tragedy erased doubt about patriotismMany times I have wondered how America would respond if there was ever another event like Pearl Harbor. I was greatly concerned that our selfishness, destructive drug addiction and other weaknesses widely seen in recent times would hamper the ability of the people to respond when they were really needed.
Well, now we know. It is indeed a terrible tragedy that we had to find out. But it's also immensely gratifying to know that Americans can and will respond as one when called upon in a time of need. I am proud to be a member of such a great society.
I am also delighted with the response from around the world. The sight of London residents packed into St. Paul's Cathedral standing and singing "The Star Spangled Banner" was a scene of great joy despite the sadness of the event which had brought it about. I'm still experiencing chicken skin just writing about it.
James V. Pollock
Oil exploration takes on new importThe friends of the Alaskan caribou kept us from drilling on the North Slope for 10 years. The Prudhoe Bay oil field has served us well since it opened and there are just as many caribou as ever. The environment has not been degraded. Even the dire predictions of disaster following the grounding of the Exxon Valdez have proved negligible. There are just as many otters and eagles as ever. Natural forces have consumed the spill from what is really an organic substance.
Once again we are hearing the laments of these folks who are making us more dependent than ever on Middle Eastern oil. It is time they took a back seat to reality and let the country get on with its own welfare.
We do not know how much oil, if any, is in the Arctic preserve, but we should be allowed to do exploratory drilling. We may be dependent on our own resources in the near future, so let's take an inventory and soon.
Youth conductor deserves to be notedCongratulations to Henry Miyamura, conductor of the Hawaii Youth Symphony, on receiving the Alfred Preis Award for Excellence in Arts Education from the Alliance for the Arts. I'm glad his many years of dedication to the field of music education and his love for the children of Hawaii is being recognized on such a grand scale.
Mr. Miyamura has been an inspirational teacher, mentor and friend for many years and is largely responsible for the success of my band program at Kawananakoa Middle School. I'm sure many other band and music teachers around the state share my excitement and happiness for him.
Congratulations, Henry, and thank you for all you do.
Kawanankoa Middle School Band
Newspaper makes impression on kidsThank you for the daily copies of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin received by our school.
They are useful in my classroom. Recently, the editorial, "Police should respond to car-racing danger," fit perfectly in a journal-writing experience for my sophomores, who are studying the "Catcher in the Rye." Your cartoon, "B.C." often reaches the bottom of my quizzes as vocabulary words are investigated in a humorous fashion. For an English teacher who tries to build life-long readers, my copy of the Star-Bulletin is a valued tool.
I am now beginning each day by setting out the paper for my ninth-grade homeroom students to peruse. As we know, not enough families subscribe to newspapers in this MTV generation and the girls looked at it strangely the first day.
"What's this for?" one asked.
"To read," I answered.
"For fun?" she asked.
"Of course!" I answered.
Since then, they pick it up quickly and pass it around. "Did you see this?" one will ask.
"Oh this picture is really cool!" another one shares.
This morning one of the girls said, "You know, this newspaper is NOT BAD!"
"Oh!" I said.
Thank you again for your Newspaper in Education Program for our students.
Sacred Hearts Academy
Cross should be worn by Christians onlyI am writing about an Aug. 23 fashion story regarding crucifix jewelry. As a Christian, I am offended that non-Christians wear a symbol that is very sacred to me, and many others.
To those non-Christians who wear a cross around your necks: either receive Christ as your lord and savior, and all that the cross stands for or take them off. There's a T-shirt that says, "The cross, it's about Jesus, not jewelry."
Ivan K. Nishimura
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