Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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August 01, 2007 - MidWeek
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Mana in MidWeek

I wonder if you even know what blessings MidWeek provides through its stories about local businesses. In the July 11 MidWeek you had a writeup about Mana Hawaii located in Waikiki. The story mentioned that they carry Monoi Tahitian products. For three years I have been trying to find Monoi Coconut Shampoo, which leaves my long hair softer than charmeuse silk. (It’s a girl thing).

But since I am mobility impaired, parking and hiking in Waikiki presents physical challenges for me. I called Mana Hawaii and in all I spoke to four employees, all of whom had incredible Aloha. Included in that sensitive and respectful attitude was the kindness of one gracious worker who actually brought the shampoo to me in Waimanalo.

This experience evoked memories of the spiritual integrity I learned from my kumu Auntie Edith Kanaka’ole in the late 1970s. As special as the wonderful shampoo is, the cumulative cultural attitude pervading this business was an equally blessed gift.

Many of us who have transplanted to Hawaii from other cultures and other lands bring our own traditions to the host culture, but do not always assimilate the host culture’s ways into our own lives. I wish Mana Hawaii would give classes on how to treat people.

Mana Hawaii is the perfect name for this business because they are truly carrying the spiritual mana of this sacred land, and it is a healing grace to witness the integrity of a whole group of people who genuinely “walk the talk.”

Thank you to MidWeek for being the angel which led me to both my favorite shampoo and a shining Oahu example of the real Aloha spirit.

Jade Emory


Right on twice

Larry Price’s column “New Stadium: A Political Football” article was right on the money. The taxpayers of Hawaii don’t need more debt, and the University of Hawaii needs to put the money into academic programs - as I see it, not to get UH into the PAC-10 but to train our young adults to learn and achieve all they can from life. Then again, I have blue eyes, so Larry probably doesn’t care what I say.

The big story gave away the true Rick Hamada. Under that conservative coat of arms Rick wears is some liberal compassion toward animals. Thanks, Rick, for the great story, and glad to see you love animals. American society has no place for people who want to gamble and be entertained by dog fighting and cock fighting. Both are cruel!

Mark Trexler


Kelly got Vick

The best commentary I’ve heard on the ugly Michael Vick dog cruelty case was S.Kelly’s cartoon in MidWeek. The Old Yeller” reference was perfect.

Ted Watanabe


Anniversary kudos

Congratulations to everyone at MidWeek for starting the paper’s 24th year, as editor Don Chapman wrote about last week. I’ll admit, there was a time I didn’t bother much with MidWeek other than the ads and the TV listings, but so much has improved and now I look forward to it arriving in my mail box, and I end up reading the whole thing. Keep up the good work!

Tom Murata


Bugged with KHET

In her MidWeek interview, Leslie Wilcox’s claim to high production standards for Hawaii Public Television is contradicted by her refusal to eliminate the KHET logo the station imposes throughout its entire programs. When I protested this intrusive use of the “bug” (her word), she replied that everybody does it, “it’s the industry standard.”

There are four objections to this practice. The bug distracts from the images carefully composed by professional artists, set designers and cinematographers. In my classes I still show unspoiled KHET videos from the pre-logo days, 10-20 years ago. Their pristine purity is pleasurable to watch, but recent PBS programs are unusable. Even the greatest paintings, plays and performances are sabotaged by such shoddy presentation.

Second, the intrusive bug undermines efforts to teach students appreciation for good design, and respect for the work of others. We complain about graffiti when kids scribble their names on blank walls, but the station plasters its bug everywhere, regardless of program content. What message does this convey?

Third, prolonged displaying of a stationary image can result in screen burn, permanently damaging a TV monitor.

Finally, the logo is unnecessary and counterproductive. The small minority of channel surfers who might actually donate their money to the station are smart enough to figure out which channel they are watching and could, like me, a former KHET donor for 30 years, be turned off by the intrusive bug.

The tragedy is Hawaii could benefit from a station with truly high production standards, and a niche is readily available for this. But instead of pursuing this opportunity to re-establish its former unique identity, its only hope for survival in today’s fiercely competitive media struggle, KHET tries to be like everyone else, adopting the glitzy gimmicks of commercial TV, and thereby starting down the slippery slope to extinction.

David Swift Ph.D. Sociology Department, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Intelligent justice

In his July column, Rick Hamada accepts the quadrupling of Hawaii’s inmate population without questioning its cause. Every year the Legislature creates new criminal offenses and increases prison time for preexisting offenses. Speeding, drinking in a park, or leaving your trash in the wrong place can get you sent to prison. Drinking in a park can get you a year in jail. If someone hands you a marijuana cigarette at a party and you merely hand it to someone else you have committed felony distribution punishable by up to a year in jail. Our drug policy is a mess that creates more crime than it solves. I have worked for years to stop the state from throwing prostitutes in jail for 30 days for the “crime” of having a 10 second conversation with a grown man on a public street.

The mess that our criminal justice system has become is repairable. Better prisons that process people who have committed harmful acts into those who won’t repeat them when released can be designed. Using intelligence instead of fear could lead to a system where we enjoyed less crime, fewer inmates and less taxes. To accomplish this people need to commit to making protecting of lives and property the priority of the criminal justice system instead of the political pandering that now governs policy.

Mr. Hamada’s remarks, “Don’t like it? Don’t break the law.” Those who support these sentiments should review their own slates. Have you ever jaywalked, smoked marijuana, hired a prostitute, fudged on your income taxes, or done anything else that could be illegal? If so, I respectfully ask you to turn yourself in to the proper authority so that you can take whatever consequence you so readily wish on others.

There are many countries in the world where people have more to fear from the police than they do from the criminals. Sadly many poor and minority communities in this country believe that is the situation they face now. Let’s not let this happen here.

Tracy Ryan

Chair, The Libertarian Party of Hawaii

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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Most Recent Comment(s):

I’d like to take off from David Swift’s letter abt. maintaining, locally, high TV production standards.
What’s up with the growing sensationalized local TV news reporting??A domestic shooting here, a deranged mental patient attacking hospital staff there. The focus seems to be to follow in goosestep the mainland’s media, to run one shocker after another, thus giving HI residents/visitors alike a skewed image of HI exponentially increasing in violence.
Nothing could be farther from the truth Isn’t that what reporting is supposed to be abt.,uncovering the truth?
Why aren’t the three local stations emphasizing what really is exponentially impacting HI residents, and indirectly, visitors? HOw abt. issues such as overdevelopment, how increasing population may very well be headed for a tipping point considering our fragile and very limited natural resources, the way large corporations from the mainland and Asia are making it very hard for HI’s very unique, family owned/operated businesses to fairly compete and remain successful, how people near/below the poverty line live in substandard housing, paying 1 1/2 the times the rent of new/renovated housing on most of the mainland, etc.?? Don’t all three stations have two segments of news (1 hour) an evening M-F, and it’s the same ratings-hiking rubbish both segments.
Yeah, that’s all HI needs, to be whipped into a panic so that residents demand more self- protection (guns) and we could head toward the mainland’s path in other ways as well, such as a Columbine or VA Tech.
I refuse to be made afraid, but then I’m an adult who has learned the hard way not to believe all the hype. What abt. the most impressionable among us, our kids?
Whatever happened to responsible, in-depth reporting? I guess the local media is too busy selling out to care abt. that.

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