Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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January 30, 2008 - MidWeek
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Books before balls

Thanks to Bob Jones and Dan Boylan for saying what many of us applaud, about the gross imbalance being created between UH’s sports and its academia.

UH should be, like any great university, dedicated first to creating great minds. Million-dollar salaries to small-school coaches ain’t the way to do it, and certainly not a way to inspire great minds to join our faculties.

This new coach, Greg whoever, will make more in five years than I have in my 47 years as a full professor. But I’ve had the pleasure of steering 50 M.S./Ph.D. grads during my years at UH. They’ve great minds and have fashioned great careers.

And none came here because we had a good football team!

Keep up your fine contributions to MidWeek!

Jim Brewbaker

Which Warriors?

Several recent letters to the editors of local newspapers indicate that many longtime UH fans felt alienated (“bullied” might be a better word) when the Rainbow name and logo were dropped from UH athletics. Seeing the word “Warriors” in the headlines, one does not know whether the story is about UH, Golden State of the NBA or one of the Kamehameha Schools. Maybe it referred to Waiakea HS, Kapaa HS or Lanakila Baptist.

In the hearts and minds of many UH fans, Rainbows has never really disappeared. Examples abound:

1) Many fans still chant “Go Bows”,
2) TV and radio announcers slip in an occasional Rainbows,
3) the UH logo item store is named “Rainbowtique.”

For UH, which has fumbled in the past when it came to logos and mascots, here is an opportunity to score big. Place a rainbow inside the current H logo and re-nickname the football team Rainbow Warriors. Keep the memories of the successful June Jones era and retain the spirit that is unique to Hawaii.

To eliminate a currently confusing situation, all UH men’s teams would be Rainbow Warriors and all women’s teams Rainbow Wahine. Doing so will bring instant recognition of the University of Hawaii in the same way that Nittany Lions separates Penn State from the common Lions nickname. Every sports fan in America immediately thinks Penn State when they hear Nittany Lions. In fact, far more people know what a Rainbow is than can explain what Nittany (a mountain and valley named after a legendary princess) means, giving UH the finest nickname in all of college athletics.

Go Bows!

Frank Mauz

B&Bs change us

The rich get richer and the poor poorer. Hawaii is losing Hawaii. How many times have we heard that? And how many times are regular folk part of that scenario?

Housing has been a critical issue for our residents of Hawaii for many years. There is a significant contributor of the loss of available housing at all levels. Rising cost of rentals and purchases keep people out of homes. One of the largest contributors to loss of rentals is bed and breakfasts, most of which are not licensed and have taken over residential housing for transient housing. The conversions of these thousands of resident homes is a clear loss of residences for the people of Hawaii. It causes the rental market to get more costly and clearly reduces units on the market.

But then, who would want to rent out a room for $850 per month when they can get $4,000 a month as a B&B?

It is clear that B&Bs are in no way residences for people of Hawaii. Thus, they should not be taxed as a home. They are clearly a small hotel or motel and should pay rates accordingly, if in commercial/hotel area. If they are in residential areas and not rezoned, they should be halted for the people of Hawaii.

B&Bs are great money for the owners, but a direct threat to Hawaii, which is the reason people come here in first place. We lose somewhere here and now or down the line if unlicensed B&Bs continue.

Family values means valuing families - all families.

William E. Woods-Bateman

B&Bs do no harm

I live next door to a licensed vacation rental that I own. I hope to keep it as a vacation rental, which contrary to a lot of disin-formation in the market, is generally far quieter, has less impact on the neighborhood and in many ways is less problematic than operating a long-term rental. We’ve never had a neighbor complain since the property began operating as a vacation rental in 1985.

In 1989, the C&C considered banning all short-term rentals. After many local residents signed a petition that they needed vacation rentals to accommodate visiting friends and relatives, the C&C grandfathered in 141 honest owners who could show that they had been in operation and paying taxes on their rental income for at least two years. License fees and additional taxes were levied on these owners, who have competed for the last 20 years with the many hundreds of non-licensed properties that don’t bear the extra costs of operating legally. The number of legal short-term rentals has now shrunk to only about 50, which is a good indication of the marginal economic value of the license.

Now there is a bill before the City Council to almost quadruple the property tax on these few remaining legal vacation rentals. This will add negligible revenue overall for the C&C, but further punishes the few surviving legal operators. The Council should keep its priorities in order and reduce the hundreds of illegal short-term rentals before looking for new ways to penalize the dwindling number of legal operators.

Bob Ellison

Christian ‘values’

As a follow-up to the recent letters on America being a Christian nation, Steve Klein is wrong on some points. Despite what many Christians think, Christianity does not have a lock on good values and behavior. There are probably just as many good Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and atheists as there are evil Christians. No one should need a religion to tell them how to think and act properly. Just simple common sense and logic should be enough.

What happened to the “Christian values” of our “First Christian” George Bush, and all of his Christian supporters relating to our attitudes and actions in the Middle East?

Hypocrisy to the max!

Shall we talk about the mass slaughter of the American Indians, the forcing of Mexicans out of their homelands, slavery, the bigoted, prejudiced, unequal, white-supremacist justice and culture that have ruled - and still do - America in many ways. These are also Christian values; not taught, but widely practiced in our “Christian” nation by supposed-to-be “Christians.” America became the country it is today not because of Christianity, but despite Christianity.

Bert West

Save local farms

I just wanted to say thank you to Jo McGarry for her column on Island Fresh eggs! I am not in the practice of writing letters to the media, but feel compelled to send a most sincere note of thanks for making clear the difference between Island Fresh products and those of our Mainland counterparts.

As a previous “interested party” in the now defunct local dairy business, I know firsthand the importance of maintaining an Island Fresh market - especially now that island sustainability seems to be a hot topic. I only wish that someone could have educated the local folk about the similar difference between Island vs. Mainland milk before the industry fell into the financial gutter - with the exact same issues affecting our poultry and egg industry.

Thanks again, and keep up the good work. Hopefully, someone out there is listening.

Valerie Ramirez

War = recession

Jerry Coffee is the one who “just doesn’t get it on Iraq,” not the Democrats, as he charges. I wonder if Mr. Coffee has considered that the recession his president is trying to avoid with a few last-gasp tax breaks for regular folks - instead of his rich cronies, for a change - will be due almost entirely to the billions and billions of dollars we’ve been wasting in Iraq. The country was a mess for years before we got there - as was the region. The people have spoken - we want our troops out of Iraq!

Donald Jackson
Hawaii Kai

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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