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Coach Wallace among the best in the U.S.

The University of Hawaii / Butler Rainbow Classic Final was the finest game I've ever seen the Rainbows play.

Their attitude and determination to play their kind of game under unbelievable stress is due to one main factor -- Riley Wallace and his coaching staff. The game ball belongs to him.

When the game seemed out of reach, he kept his players focused on their defense and movement offense. The players trust in Coach Wallace and his staff paid off big time. They now know that any game is never out of reach.

Whatever it takes to keep Riley Wallace here in Hawaii, do it. He's as good a coach as anyone in the U.S. of A.

Go 'Bows!

Jimmy Borges

Get your nasty butts off those beaches

I spent a wonderful afternoon with my family at Hanauma Bay enjoying the beauty of our island with thousands of other residents and tourists. But something was missing; my eyes couldn't see any and my fingers and toes couldn't feel any. Something was definitely missing from my beach experience. There were no cigarette butts in the sand; nobody was smoking and using the sand as an ashtray.

You can't walk on our other magnificent beaches without being visually stimulated by the thousands of colorful butts that populate them. All other beaches allow smoking the discarding of butts in the sand. Why can't Hanauma Bay mirror this policy? Why should Hanauma Bay have a clean, buttless beach? Smokers have a right to throw their butts from their car windows and to drop them in our parks, to use Mother Earth as an ashtray. Smokers need to rise up and protest this policy that doesn't allow smoking at Hanauma Bay.

Or maybe it's time that we address smoking and littering on our beaches and pass legislation that respects the integrity of our limited natural resources. In case we haven't noticed, we live on an exquisite island and if we don't all take responsibility for caring for it, it will end up being only an island.

Chuck Cohen

Give picketing nurses time to get out of way

After reading the letter to the editor "Nurses shouldn't block hospital entrance" (Star-Bulletin Dec. 29) I felt the need to respond. The title alone caused my blood pressure to go up.

Where does the letter writer think they should picket? I may not always agree with the reason for striking but I will always defend their right to picket. This is America and that is their right.

Someone would have to be living in a cave for the last month not to be aware of the picketers. If you are concerned about being delayed by picketers, just go a few minutes earlier. I have been to both Queen's and St. Francis a few times during the past month. There are always police officers there who time the picketers and move them to the side to allow the cars to enter and exit without causing patients and family members unnecessary anxiety.

The writer says she supports the nurses, yet she isn't willing to wait five minutes. They don't want to be there, they have to be there!

Nan Nishihara

Matsunaga knows about fair trade issues

In Saturday's 2nd Congressional District special election, one key issue exists that the media and candidates have not discussed: fair trade. Congress has the responsibility to ensure treaties and agreements on international trade negotiated by the president's administration meet U.S. standards for treatment of workers and protection of the environment.

Hawaii's citizens can be proud that our congressional delegation was united in 2002 against the effort to weaken human rights, safety and environmental regulations through granting "fast track" trade-negotiating authority to the president. Now, however, that unity could be threatened by the outcome of the election. Of the three leading candidates, Senators Colleen Hanabusa and Matt Matsunaga join Rep. Neil Abercrombie and U.S. Senators Akaka and Inouye in the fight to maintain strong environmental and labor standards. Only incumbent Rep. Ed Case joins with Washington special interests in backing fast track, while viewing these protections as unnecessary restraints on trade.

But while Hanabusa expressed only rudimentary understanding of the issue in questionnaires, Matsunaga was thoroughly knowledgeable.

Fair trade is the most important economic, environmental and social justice issue in our world today. Knowing the candidates' positions, I strongly endorse Matsunaga for Congress.

Richard Weigel
Hawaii Sustainable Lifestyle Network

Bush's fear of N. Korea make U.S. look wimpy

Bush wimped out on North Korea. He just proved to Kim Jong Il that America isn't the only superpower in the world.

Now the rest of the world sees America as a weak nation. Bush has dishonored our country in the worst way. He will be the butt of jokes worldwide.

Our allies now know that they cannot depend on Bush if an enemy has a viable army. This will make the world even more unstable.

Ronald Edmiston

Old Kapiolani Park comes to life in book

The announcement that "Kapiolani Park: A History," written by Robert Weyeneth and published by the Kapiolani Park Preservation Society, would be available at the bookstores got me fairly excited. My fascination with the Kapiolani Park of old was mainly focused on a particular island in one of the ponds on the western, or Makee Road side, of that park. That was called "Makee Ailana" or "Makee Island," named after James Makee, a well-known businessman of that period.

After looking through the book, I was content with seeing many photographs of that island, which gave me a good idea of the vegetation, the first bandstand and the crude wooden bridges on it.

The approximately 700-by-100-foot oblong-shaped island, which was the largest in the ponds, was a favorite place for the kamaaina and malihini to visit. The melodious music of the Royal Hawaiian Band, led by Henry Berger, must have captivated many an audience during the Sunday afternoons and the evening concerts after electric arc lights were introduced.

If you haven't read the book, please do. It's a terrific one.

Roy E. Shigemura

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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). 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 and include a daytime telephone number.

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