Beach boy's aloha made trip worthwhile
On a recent trip to Oahu, I got more than a postcard-perfect vacation because one person with aloha spirit gave me, a disabled tourist, the outrigger ride of my life. It was an experience no photo could capture.
I had searched the Web for accessible beach activities and found Waikiki's lifeguard service and Ralph Goto. He referred me to "a fellow named Clyde," and gave me his home number. I called to make arrangements at his C&K Beach Services, having no idea the easygoing voice on the line belonged to surfing royalty -- Clyde Aikau -- whose Waimea Bay surf experience is legendary.
On the day of my ride, Clyde met my wife and me on the beach where he had his crew carried me to the outrigger. Out we went for three great waves.
For a crutch-bound haole, the experience doesn't show up in the travel brochures, but this generous and gracious act of aloha will be part of me longer than all those pictures of Hawaiian sunsets.
I express my thanks and gratitude for all they have done.
Lake Oswego, Ore.
Senators lend energy to study of renewables
Continued investment in renewable fuels is deeply important to all of us in Hawaii. It's a good thing that Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka are working for us in Washington. Both are great champions of renewable energy, and their tireless work on behalf of hydrogen fuel research and development represents an ongoing legacy that should make all Hawaii residents proud.
Hawaii is a national leader in hydrogen fuel research, with the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute as our crown jewel. The important work being done in the state benefits not only the university, but all Hawaii and America. This research is helping to make the dream of renewable energy -- and the related goal of decreased dependency on foreign oil -- more of a reality every day.
Fortunately, the balanced energy bill that lawmakers nearly passed last year, and which is still under consideration, would invest heavily in hydrogen fuel research. For Hawaii -- and the nation -- to truly realize the many promises of hydrogen research, it is vital that Hawaii's lawmakers in Washington support this landmark energy bill.
9/11 panel's work is crucial to the nation
I really take offense at thoughts like those expressed by Doug Thomas (Letters, April 20), who thinks that it is pointless to criticize and examine the events leading up to 9/11.
Have they been to Ground Zero? If they had, didn't they see the banner saying "We Will Never Forget"? The work of the 9/11 Commission is crucial to our efforts to learn from the past. If Thomas had his way, we would simply cry out "Yep, you got us" and forget about it.
It is true that many of us were naive about the possibility of attacks on our soil, but that is no longer the case. To prevent future attacks, we must start by asking "What went wrong?"
We need to increase production of babies
What better time than now to promote the "make love, not war" mantra? With Social Security facing a precarious future at best, all those worried baby boomers ought to get busy making more babies. For the Baby Boom generation as well as the one that will follow, it is critical to infuse productive labor into the economy and if the 35- to 40-year-olds wait until they are 65 to 70, it'll be way too late. We need a massive baby-making explosion now, so that in 25 to 30 years when we get ready to retire, we'll have an ample group of 25- to 30-year-olds entering the work force to make it possible. Go home and make love to your wife, and ask your neighbor to make love to his wife as well. It's all for a good cause.
OHA is strong influence for education reform
Both Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians should be encouraged to read the commentary on education reform by Haunani Apoliona (Star-Bulletin, April 13). As chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, she is concerned about improving public education for Hawaiian children in particular. However, her rationale for reform applies to children of all ancestries.
Recognizing that more local control of schools is needed, Apoliona says that although a change in governance by itself will not improve the quality of education, it will delegate more authority to principals. As a result, principals will be able to make the decisions that directly affect student performance, such as purchasing more books and hiring more teachers to reduce class size.
The governance issue is not addressed in the watered-down version of education reform that the Legislature is expected to pass. Predictably, the bill is backed by the leadership of the Department of Education. This is the same DOE leadership that is responsible for a school system that delivers such poor quality education that the test scores of Hawaii's students are among the lowest in the nation. Things are getting worse, and the DOE leadership has no valid explanation for it. Their dismal track record casts serious doubts on the bill they support.
Dems' petty behavior turns off voters
Since moving back to Hawaii in the mid-'80s, our family has usually voted for the incumbents in our district.
However, with this session of the Legislature that is coming to a screeching halt. The childishness and pettiness exhibited by the Democratic representatives and senators in this session leave no doubt in the minds of my family members that we have gone along with the flow too long.
My effort for the remainder of the year is to convince my neighbors that Hawaii deserves better for their dollar spent for people in the square building.
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Hawaii is popularly known as "The Aloha State." What might be a better slogan?
To get started, think about what you might see around the islands -- rainbows, waves, sand, traffic jams, homeless orangutans ...
Send your ideas by April 21 to:
Or by mail:
c/o Nancy Christenson
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Or by fax:
c/o Nancy Christenson