to the Editor

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Sunday, November 18, 2001

Regular students neglected, too

Although I believe that the Felix decree put in place for the special needs children is good, our leaders, including judges, state senators and representatives and our governor, must remember not to put too much emphasis on the special needs children and continue to neglect other children.

Fairness for all children is what we need. Many parents feel that this issue is bordering on discrimination against our children because they are not handicapped. The regular classrooms need so many improvements, such as books, air conditioners, up-to-date computer systems and hardware. And when I say books, I don't mean library books; I mean classroom books for math, English, history and science.

Kardeen Hatsuko Wong

Special education kids can succeed

Can students who are educated through special education make a difference?

I was diagnosed with a progressive muscle disorder after birth, went to self-contained classes, took three classes at Kaimuki High School, graduated from the University of Hawaii with a 3.9-grade-point average, obtained a master's degree, worked for human service agencies for 18 years, have a position as executive director for a region-wide nonprofit organization, paid taxes, participated on numerous state and national task forces, volunteered as a board member for community nonprofit organizations, started a consulting business, am a husband and father.

Does any of this make an impact? Nah! Since I was special education student, they should have sent me to an institution and thrown away the key. Society would be a much better place without my presence in the community.

Mark Obatake


"This really felt like home. We rented other places, and it wasn't quite as perfect as this."

Bert Bustamante

EK Fernandez employee and father of 10, whose Ewa Beach townhouse was destroyed in a fire Thursday, leaving his family homeless just before the holidays

"We've had so much bad news lately so that a new retailer coming to Hawaii is good news."

Carol Pregill

Executive director of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii, on the announcement that the Seattle-based Nordstrom Inc., will open a 150,000-square-foot department store in Kakaako

Remembering our sister, Loyal Garner

Your time on earth seemed all too brief because Hawaii's people wanted you in our lives forever. And although we really miss you, in our hearts we know that you are at peace. Still, countless times throughout the day we remember you.

Although we cannot see or hear you, we know that you are with your loved ones, family and friends. We feel you in the warmth of the summer sun. We'll see you in the brilliance of autumn leaves. You'll be beside us in the peacefulness of a gentle rainfall and rejoice with the emergence of spring flowers.

Hawaii is thankful for the times we shared and the priceless memories of your precious music that you leave behind for all of us to enjoy. And those memories are a comfort now when we all lovingly remember you. Loyal Garner, we all will deeply miss you.

Arsenio Pelayo

Memorial would be a fitting gesture

Contrary to the closed-minded opinion of D.J. Henderson (Letters, Nov. 15), as a taxpayer I openly welcome the Oahu memorial for the Ehime Maru tragedy as proposed for the Kakaako waterfront development. Such a memorial would indeed be an extension of the public prayer ceremony held by the native Hawaiians for the survivors and the deceased of this accident.

It would also convey Hawaii's spirit of aloha in perpetuity for this U.S.-caused accident in Oahu waters. Japan is a staunch ally of the United States. Our economies are significantly interdependent, especially so for our local economy. The creation of such a monument will be a small but significant gesture of closure, grace and goodwill to the victims, their survivors and their nation.

Anyone in Hawaii who feels we can afford to forego such gestures of goodwill toward the Japanese should not complain about the burgeoning unemployment and business slowdown we are experiencing locally, due in no small part to the slowdown in tourism, principally from Japan.

Terumi Kanegawa

Park isn't the place for Ehime Maru memorial

Kakaako Waterfront Park was not built as a place for memorials ("State OKs Kakaako memorial for sunken ship Ehime Maru," Nov. 7). The park was built as a place for our kamaaina and malihini to leisurely enjoy the ocean and its surroundings, and as an area for our keiki to play. Put the memorial closer to where the Ehime Maru will be put to rest.

Lehua McColgan

House stimulus bill is corporate welfare

The $100 billion "economic stimulus" bill (HR 3090) proposed by the Bush administration, passed by the House and now before the Senate, is patently fraudulent on two counts:

>> The present situation of economic contraction (slowed growth rate) is due to previous overinvestment and reduced demand in the consumer market, not to lack of investment capital. The Fed has cut interest rates to a 40-year low; 30-year U.S. bonds have been discontinued, forcing rates for commercial credit still lower.

>> The bill provides outright financial gifts in the form of tax breaks and rebates to the most profitable corporations. Their share values maintain at high levels and per above, they have ample funds available to increase their activity if they choose to.

The real problem in this contraction is unemployment added to the backlog of societal needs among the poor and disenfranchised. At this time of renewed military spending and a tight federal budget, honest democratic governance would direct available resources, public and private, to foster expanded employment to meet human needs including integrated social assistance, education, urban and rural environmental improvement and health care.

Andrew Jones

Thanksgiving message to American neighbors

Going through such a painful struggle against terrorism, it is hard this year for Americans to be thankful. So perhaps this is a good time for a Canadian like me to put a new twist to your Thanksgiving. Let me share with you how thankful I am to have America as my neighbor.

America's generosity is unique in history. After World War ll, for example, her Marshall Plan revived a ravaged Europe, including even her former enemies Germany and Italy. (There is hope that Afghanistan will be given similar aid.)

America's steadfastness matches her generosity. Throughout half a century of Cold War, despite the costs and setbacks in Korea and Vietnam, America led the free world without faltering.

Perhaps the most important dimension for the long haul, however, is the least spectacular and least known. Practically every other developed country, from Japan to Canada to Germany, has a birthrate far below replacement.

America, however, has a birthrate much closer to replacement level, so that with immigration, she continues to grow -- with powerful long-term prospects for leadership. And there is no country I'd rather see with such power.

A heartfelt thanks for all that America has so generously given the world. I join you in saying, "God bless America."

Tom Wonnacott
Professor Emeritus
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario

Opinions pour forth
on Iolani flag

Flying American flag was insensitive

With all due respect for the symbol of U.S. prominence, I congratulate Friends of Iolani Palace director Alice Guild for removing the flag; recognizing the clear ring of truth expressed by those Hawaiians passionate in awareness of their national identity as symbolized by Iolani Palace, bought and paid for by ancestral blood, sweat and aloha.

Not looking to discredit America, we, who in the 20th century had our heritage virtually erased in the name of economic/political expediency, demand that our symbols remain untainted.

Fair-minded Americans, Hawaiian sovereignty and international law ordain that we express ourselves in dignity, as an independent nation which mourns your loss. The Hawaiian flag in its rightful place of honor bespeaks Hawaiian national support for your pursuit of justice.

Michael Locey
Anahola, Hawaii

Activists don't speak for all Hawaiians

Alice Guild does not need to apologize to anyone. The Friends of Iolani Palace did the right thing by flying our country's flag. The sovereignty activists do not speak for the rest of us native Hawaiians.

Jim Mee

Don't be intimidated by America-bashers

Alice Guild was right to fly the Stars & Stripes at Iolani Palace in the wake of Sept.11. She was wrong to apologize following the predictable backlash from so-called Hawaiian nationalists, many of whom are neither Hawaiian nor speak for the Hawaiian community. The comical histrionics and venom spewed forth in the name of Hawaiian sovereignty cannot be allowed to intimidate public servants and policies affecting the tax-paying community at large.

J.P. Muntal

Patriotic Americans will cancel Hawaii trips

Hawaii's tourism board shouldn't let the fact that Hawaii is both unpatriotic and un-American get out to the rest of the country. I'm sure many people would rethink their plans and divert their summer vacations to Miami or Palm Springs if they knew either of these facts.

The decision to remove the American flag, the one raised over Iolani Palace to show solidarity and compassion for victims of a national tragedy, has to be the biggest black eye the state of Hawaii has ever received. Only in Hawaii would people object to flying the flag of the United States over a state building.

My advice to domestic travelers this holiday season: Don't come to Hawaii and spend your hard-earned money here, for you would only support un-American activities and practices. There are real Americans to be found on the beaches of California and Florida.

Joel Mark

Guild's remarks were offensive to Americans

While the Friends of Iolani Palace may be friends of the palace, they certainly cannot be considered friends of America.

When the American flag was raised over the palace, Alice Guild couldn't resist the snide and arrogant remark that it was done as a "courtesy to the American people." (It makes one wonder if she and the other "friends" are aliens).

Now Guild has apologized for raising the American flag with the comment that she is "so, so sorry for the pain that has been caused," and mentioned the "hurt mail" from people who were feeling a deep sense of pain and betrayal after the flag was raised.

Apparently she is unconcerned about the pain that Americans have felt since the attack in New York by other anti-American groups.

Guild and the "Friends" have insulted and betrayed the United States of America, patriotic citizens and veterans like myself who have risked our lives under enemy fire to protect the very flag she apologizes for flying. Her disrespect and pathetic excuses are a disgrace to Hawaii and all Americans.

I am sure that the Star-Bulletin's report will be received with equal disgust when it is circulated to civic and veteran organizations throughout the nation.

Roger D. Van Cleve

Showing flag was an act of compassion

The central issue in the flag-raising debacle that prompted an apology by Alice Guild, executive director of the Friends of Iolani Palace, to offended Hawaiians and sovereignty advocates alike has been lost in what could be deemed as exaggerated righteous indignation.

While I am an avid supporter of Hawaiian rights and culture, I feel it is an emotional waste of time to be caught up in the myopic viewpoints of those who demand apologies from people or groups seeking to practice compassion and genuine concern. The central issue regarding Guild's decision to fly Old Glory over Iolani Palace is summed up in one word: compassion. It was an appropriate response, genuinely American, and her intent to show compassion or aloha for victims of the World Trade Center attack is very Hawaiian.

Those who cannot come to terms with seeing the haole flag flown over Iolani Palace in a patriotic gesture that unites Americans and, furthermore, expresses aloha are haplessly stuck in a crevice of the past.

I'm not suggesting Hawaiians lose their self-determination or erase ugly parts of history that distort the truth but, rather, that we all put politics aside and face the true enemies -- equal opportunity murderers who would have gladly killed Hawaiians in a heartbeat.

Auwe, I say, to those who forget this. In another nightmarish scenario, the terrorists that despise America so much could have brought down many buildings so familiar to us on downtown Bishop Street. Or what about Aloha Tower? Why not Pearl Harbor II? Prior to Sept. 11, these viable targets would have been viewed as implausible scenes scripted from a novel. We know now that anything is possible.

Subscribing to the principles of compassion and love for anyone who suffers demands no apology, detailed explanation, or second thoughts. Alice Guild should be praised for her humanity and decision to apologize despite external pressures which are truly un-Hawaiian.

Charles LeRoy

Flag controversy may have repercussions

As a frequent visitor to Hawaii, I have loved the people, the weather, the beauty. In fact it is my hope to one day live in Hawaii. However, it was with great dismay that I read of the controversy surrounding the flying of the flag over the Iolani Palace.

Unless I missed something, Hawaii is still a part of the United States. The United States flag belongs over any building in the United States. It is my belief that a loss of tourism since Sept. 11 has hurt the economy of Hawaii. If news like this gets to be common knowledge on the mainland you can believe that you will lose more. If all of the tourists go home you will still be a state, only a poor one.

Richard Hoyt Jr.
Chico, Calif.

Above all, we are Americans

Alice Guild has nothing to apologize for in allowing the flying the American flag over Iolani Palace to honor those killed in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11th. We in Hawaii are Americans first.

J.D. Nielsen

A new chapter of
American history in verse

The misery caused by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, involving the felling of four commercial airliners and costing 4,500 lives, and the subsequent effort to find the suspected mastermind of the plot, Osama bin Laden, moved several readers to set down their thoughts and feelings in verse.

An unforgettable date

Nine one one, two thousand and one, I will never forget that date.
When the land of the free and brave learned the awesome meaning of hate!
I watched as in a frightening dream, I could not pull myself away.
But stared with total disbelief at what happened on that day.
A slow rumbling noise, filled the air. The sky flamed red with clouds of smoke.
I heard the cries, they shook my soul. The mountains fell, with clouds that choke.
My eyes were soared by darkness black, the murder of thousands by score.
Innocent of a hatred born and nourished for decades or more.
I understand the voice oud crying for justice, undaunted.
But, in our eagerness to sow, we may reap more than we wanted.
I hear the sounds of dig, dig, dig. I see the faces filled with love.
My heart has nothing more to say, my eyes look up to God above.
Will we in anger and in grief, continue the hate we now know.
Or, will we try just one more time, in the eyes of the word to glow?

D.R. Doo

Dead Twin Towers

The World Trade Center is dead.
The Trade Center is gone.
The rubble is being cleared,
Four airplanes were the bomb.

There still might be some survivors,
Airlines have been cut down.
Many people are panicking
In New York City town.
Everyone is helping
As much as they can.
Every single television is being
Watched by woman and man.

Sports have just resumed,
People are sharing their lands.
May God bless all those
Very hard-working hands.

Jordan Moore
Age 9


September 11, a day of sorrow, I only wonder what would happen tomorrow.
Planes flying through the sky. Planes flying, trying to land on the red, the white and the blue.
Soils of the land of the free, freedom of which we all must see.
People coming together at once, at last. Helping each other, doing as much as another.
This tragic incident will be remembered. In our hearts three months before December.
People have died! Children have cried! Terrorists have lied!
But still our lives will go on. Like a singing of a sad, sad song.
Americans with the thick blood of pride running through our veins. Our anger which cannot be contained.
No, we will not be silent! All that will be shown is our anger and our violence.
To the end, justice will be done, with all of us coming together as one!

Chad Akizaki
Age 17

Osama Dirge

Sung to the tune of Dance of the Hours ("Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah")

Hey Osama, Intifada
I'm holed up at Kabul Plaza
Guys are fleeing, guys are screaming,
Hey al-Qaida, won't you please give up Osama?

Hey Osama, Intifada,
I moved into the Ramada
It's no better, guys are deader,
It's so hot out, you don't even need a sweatah

Give him up now, you just gotta,
I'm sick of your, yatta, yatta
There's no time for melodrama,
There's a bunker buster chasing Ali Baba

You can offer, no resistance,
So give up at, my insistence,
I'm so sick of eating llama,
Don't prolong my painful, agonizing trauma

All the millions of the dollahs,
You'll be getting if you hollah
How about it, there, Abdullah?
We might let you be Afghanistan's new rullah

Stanley Weems

A Sept. 11 prayer

In the long hours of trying circumstances, when it seems the very fiber of ourselves is being tested.

Grant us sufficient grace to understand.

To see beyond the trials, to know and to remember that at the end of every burden and sorrow is a strengthened faith-wisdom-growth and peace.

Build in us a deep knowledge that long suffering and endurance grow best in the worst of times.

May God's peace and blessings be with us all.

Karin Louise Koso

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