Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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July 12, 2006 - MidWeek
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Jones was wrong

Bob Jones comes out of nowhere with an off-the-wall remark about me in the July 5 MidWeek, saying I’ve benefitted from “handed-down family money.” He says that’s nice.

Only trouble: It’s not true. When Bob was an Advertiser reporter, he didn’t lead the force in accuracy, but at least he didn’t make snide remarks for no visible reason. Just for the record, here’s my early family financial picture in a nutshell:

No money, family or otherwise, got handed down to me by any prior generation. At the peak of the depression in Hawaii in the early 1930s, my dad along with everyone else at the Hawaii Sugar Planters Association, where he worked, was given a one-third pay cut. His $450 monthly pay went down to $300, with a wife and three kids. So we kept rabbits and planted vegetables in the back yard, and survived rather well.

I started at Lincoln School, jumped a grade to go to third grade at Kapalama School, back to Lincoln for grades 5-6 and on to Roosevelt for 7-9. In the 10th grade I got a three-year working scholarship at Punahou, which carried me through to graduation.

I was lucky enough to get a full scholarship for four years at Yale covering tuition. All my other expenses, including clothes, room and board, one trip home in the four years I was there, etc., I earned through various jobs during the school year and during the summers, including the summer I came home, 1941. My family sent me no money.

I graduated in 1942, went into the Army that November as a second lieutenant, and 18 months later, by mid-1944 when we landed at Normandy, I was a field artillery captain earning, as I recall, about $450. We went through five campaigns, ending up just outside Berlin.

Back to Honolulu in early 1946, I went to work at the Advertiser while I was still on terminal leave, at the princely salary of $180 a month, a major wage decrease. By the time I became managing editor eight years later, I was up to $700 a month, with a wife and five kids. I had two outside jobs to make ends meet, one being the Hawaii National Guard for nearly 10 years as a lieutenant colonel.

Eight years later I became publisher and jumped up to $2,100. After 15 years of 10-12-hour days, I had finally reached what I felt was a nice living wage with no additional jobs required.

That’s why I consider “handed down family money” an unnecessary snide remark.

Thurston Twigg-Smith


Why we’re targets

So Bob Jones thinks it’s OK to “take land from other people and keep it,” and imperialism is good for him. I wonder if he’d feel that way if he were one of those who was dispossessed of his land and culture. How about looking at it from the eyes of at least one Hawaiian nationalist?

The military spends a lot of money in Hawaii while it trains for its mission to kill people and destroy or take their property. At the same time, it ruins the land and environment with explosives and heavy armored vehicles. It makes Hawaii a target for attack by America’s enemies.

Hawaii was never a party to war with any other nation. No nation in today’s world would wage war on Hawaii. America’s enemies have attacked not Hawaii but the U.S. warships that were anchored here and other military targets. America has made many enemies and its military presence in Hawaii makes us a target.

With or without the U.S. military in Hawaii, we shall survive!

Mervyn Chang


Whales or people?

The courts are wrong and the environmentalists’ thinking is flawed.

We are living in a very dangerous age. Countries all around us are gaining nuclear capabilities and are already testing long-range missiles capable of reaching the United States, and most certainly, Hawaii - yet a federal judge in Los Angeles decided in favor of a complaint filed by National Resources Defense Council that our Navy and its allies can not use new sonar technology in tests to detect enemy submarines and other enemy devices.

The court decided that the safety of whales and fish came first.

First of all, I do not think the judiciary has any business dictating national defense policy.

Second, although I am all for enacting policies that protect endangered species, I do not favor those policies if I am the one endangered as a result of the policy.

I would much rather risk the possible injury to a whale or two then see Honolulu vaporized because National Resources

Defense Council was unhappy with the Navy’s RIMPAC plan for sonar testing.

Dave Reed


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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