Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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May 03, 2006 - MidWeek
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Out of context

I want to set the record straight on the comments Rick Hamada attributed to me in his April 19 column. The quote he attributed to me is inaccurate and taken completely out of context. He did not attend the April 8 news conference where Mayor Hannemann and other city officials, including myself, explained all the actions taken during the Ala Wai sewage spill.

To clarify, I was responding to a reporter who asked whether or not we should post specific signs to warn people that Vibrio vulnificus was found in the waters of the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. My response was that such signs would not be helpful to the public, and it would unreasonable or “silly” to have a separate sign for every genus or species of bacteria in the water.

The main point was that there was no delay in posting signs or notifying the media and the public. One hundred and sixty-nine warning signs were posted by the city’s Environmental Services Department on the first day of the spill alone. There was tremendous effort by the city, state and private sector to warn people using signs and verbal explanations during the spill and for many days afterwards. City lifeguards also did their best to educate beach-goers and keep people safe even as they were being barraged with hundreds and thousands of questions daily.

For Mr. Hamada to use an outof-context, partial quote is not only irresponsible, but does a great disservice to everyone who worked so hard to deal with an incredibly difficult situation.

Elizabeth A. Char, MD

Director, Honolulu Emergency Services Dept.

Defending Akaka

Thanks to Dan Boylan for standing up for our good Senator Akaka. Isn’t Ed Case’s cousin, millionaire Steve Case, an owner of Time, which just happened to publish such a negative view of the senator, whose seat Case covets?

Dan Akaka is a fine human being and a credit to Hawaii, which puts him far ahead of some in Congress. Just because Mr. Case is in a hurry is not a reason to change.

Nancy Bey Little


Look at the record

Dan Boylan’s article praising Senator Akaka’s record lacks substance. He simply touts liberal Democrat dogma, criticizes conservatives and describes Dan Akaka as “humble, kind and decent.” What exactly is Boylan’s point? Time placed Akaka on the “worst” list for his lack of senatorial accomplishments (but crediting him for a few insignificant bills and acknowledged his kind character). It takes more than a humble personality to make a successful senator, both by Mainland and Hawaiian standards.

Greg Reinking


Akaka right on Iraq

Dan Boylan’s take on Time‘s assessment of Senator Akaka was right on. Akaka’s minority vote not to go to war in Iraq is looking progressively good as Americans who once supported the war are fast changing their minds. By fall, they may become the majority. Should this turn out to be the case, such a momentum can only help Akaka retain his seat.

Larry Hayashida


Not a slap at Caz

I’d like to preface this letter by saying that my statements are my own and not on behalf of the mayor, the City and County of Honolulu Department of Parks & Recreation, or our sponsors.

With no disrespect to Tom Moffatt and the Brothers Cazimero - people I have admired for years - I take issue with Uncle Tom’s suggesting that this year’s Lei Day Celebration organizers (or “brainiacs”) are giving the Brothers a “slap in the face.”

I am a huge fan of the Brothers Caz and even plan to go to the concert after Lei Day since the timing is perfect to go from one to the other. I sincerely hope many other Lei Day attendees will, as well. As a matter of fact, early on in the planning, a suggestion was made to extend the Lei Day Celebration this year to continue with Sunset on the Beach and a huge event there. It was decided not to do that out of respect for the Brothers Caz event. We hoped our event might even enhance theirs, by entertaining the people waiting in line, and encouraging people who may not have wanted to make the trip into Waikiki to now decide to come because there would be two neat things and well worth the parking hunt.

It would be totally unfair if we took Mr. Moffatt’s suggestion of “buying a block of (Brothers Caz concert) tickets (to) introduce tourists to a true local tradition going on for three decades” in lieu of making our Lei Day Celebration a bigger and better event for the masses. And by the way, the City’s Lei Day tradition is going on eight decades! Also, the City did not put one extra dime into the budget this year. Presenting sponsors Hawaiian Electric Co., the Hawaii Tourism Authority and ResortQuest Hawaii came through with funds to make this centennial year event special for more of Hawaii’s people to enjoy.

I also need to clarify a few statements in Tom’s item. This event is a City and County event, and not a state event “with support from the City.” Secondly, the free May Day concert is not only geared to visitors, but welcomes our kama’aina, who make up at least half of our audience each year.

We have added headliner entertainment - Ho’onu’a, Kapena and the Makaha Sons - to kick things up a notch in celebration of the City’s Centennial. With so many local entertainers looking for fair-paying gigs, we are happy we can contribute this year to our headliners, community groups and halau.

We hope people who love Hawaiian music will spend the day and night in Waikiki to get their fill with Lei Day and the Brothers Cazimero. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to spend May 1!

Mona K. Wood

Committee Member,

Honolulu Lei Day Celebration

Expats love us too

My son lives near Tacoma, Wash. He loves Hawaii, so I send him a subscription to MidWeek.

Recently he wrote that a plate lunch restaurant had opened in his area. When he went there, he was quite emotional just looking at the menu - “mac salad” and all the rest. The shop was filled with other displaced Hawaiians.

Now whenever he goes there he takes along his recent copy of MidWeek and leaves it there. It is enjoyed by everyone.

So I guess that proves you can take a person out of Hawaii, but you can’t take Hawaii out of that person.

Dorothy Turnbull


Editor’s note: Our new, spiffed up and expanded website is also a great source of local news for expats: http://www.midweek.com

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Letters may be edited for clarity and space.

Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by email to dchapman@midweek.com. Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
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