Letters to the Editor

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New mayor gets out and meets the people

Many events that I perform at, I see our new Mayor Mufi Hannemann, showing up and personally greeting everyone and addressing the community. No matter if it's a Chinese event, Filipino event, Vietnamese event, Japanese event and so on, Hannemann seems to always find time to personally meet with many of our citizens.

His commitment to excellence is an inspiration to our community. This shows that Hannemann has the dedication and leadership that he truly cares about all the citizens of Hawaii in making Hawaii better, economically and socially. People of Hawaii have chosen the right person to lead Hawaii for the next four years.

Arsenio Pelayo

New mayor is off to a dubious start

What a way to start off a new city administration. It should prove interesting to see how Mayor Mufi Hannemann saves face, now that he's got egg all over it. Only 24 hours after the heralded announcement of a top aide, the guy quits; 10 days or so earlier, the inexplicable dismissal of internationally recognized and respected bandmaster Aaron Mahi, the soul of the Royal Hawaiian Band. From this observer's perspective Hizzonner the Mayor has made two less than sterling judgment calls. Three strikes and he's out? There's a biblical passage that goes (paraphrased): "If a trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who will join the battle?" I shudder to think what the next Mufi muff will be -- and the year is less than two weeks old even as I write.

Richard Lum

Mahi is right leader for great band

I read about the Royal Hawaiian Band members' attempt to discredit band director Aaron Mahi. I have attended the band concerts at Iolani Palace for more than four years. I drive over the Pali just about every Friday to support the band by my attendance. I am also a fellow musician, a music teacher and a former band director.

Over the years, I have gotten to know Aaron and have found him to be a great band director and musician. His Hawaiian heritage and culture is just what is needed to bring back to the islands the sounds that made Hawaiian music the reason so many tourists and locals flock to the palace grounds every week. The band's music is varied and sophisticated and is a challenge to all the band members. It is quite unfair to say that they play the same tunes over and over.

Without the guidance and direction of Mahi, the band would not have progressed to the point that it has. He is the glue that holds the band in place. As a musician for more than 57 years, I found that certain disciplines are necessary to mold a band into a team of great musicians. It is their duty to follow and play under the director's baton. I can't imagine anyone else but Mahi leading the Royal Hawaiian Band.

Ron Thompson

Repealing conversion now would be unfair

City Council Bill 53 will repeal leasehold conversion immediately, even though more than 5,000 owner-occupied condos still haven't been converted under Chapter 38. These are the homes of more than 10,000 owners who desire the same right to convert as more than 20,000 condos before them. To repeal that right now is unconscionable. All that is asked is to have a reasonable period of time in which to do so. Why must leasehold conversion be repealed immediately without any reasonable extension of time to enable owners to qualify?

Such an extension could also benefit the small individual landowners of leasehold land in that it would afford them the eligibility to defer their capital gains under the involuntary conversion rules of the income tax code. This would provide an opportunity for them to reinvest their fair market value sale proceeds in other income-producing property without incurring income tax on their capital gains. This would be the only fair way to do it.

The City Council should consider the problems and consequences that Bill 53 will cause.

William H. Cooper

Quality of life worse after Harris' tenure

Mayor Harris' farewell speech and his book saying that the quality of life of the people of Honolulu have improved as a result of his administration are not true. In fact, the basic needs of and services to the people of Honolulu were neglected, which make our lives worse than when he became mayor. I hope he wakes up to reality.

Gene A. Albano

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