Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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June 04, 2008 - MidWeek
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Jones as Biff

Bob Jones’commentary on UH politics in MidWeek‘s May 14 issue reminds me of the behavior of the bully Biff in the Back to the Future film trilogy. Biff was always trying to goad the protagonist, Marty (Michael J. Fox), into a fight by calling him “chicken.” Using similar tactics, Mr. Jones wants me to speak out on the recent vote of the state Senate not to confirm regent Kitty Lagareta for another term.

Now that our academic year is complete and we’ve held graduations on all our campuses celebrating our students’achievements, I will be addressing this matter at a time, place and manner of my own choosing. Mr. Jones’ assertion that I lack the fortitude to do so is offensive, simplistic and simply wrong.

Mr. Jones may recall that, in the Back to the Future films, Marty learned to keep his temper under control and got the girl, while Biff got a load of manure in his convertible for his trouble. I like Marty’s example.

David McClain
President, University of Hawai’i


Sugar Bowl secrecy

I totally and absolutely agree with Steve Murray’s “Hot Air” column concerning UH’s total lack of openness regarding the Sugar Bowl ticket list.

New athletics director Jim Donovan has had a chance of coming clean and being independent of Frazier and his clique, but appears he is part of them also. If he continues in the mode, people will be sorely disappointed in his leadership.

Hawaii has not grown up from the good ol’ boy plantation mentality. There are benefits in being part of an aloha society, but closing down discussion and secrecy in view of the public funds and interest has no place in a public university setting.

Unless changed, the university will continue to be second-rate and will not benefit the state or its residents in a larger sense. The economy and the people’s welfare depend on outstanding education from the bottom up.

We talk about being the gateway to Asia and eventually being a high tech industrial state (e.g., Singapore, Ireland), but have no will to make it happen with the entrenched leadership. Scientists, entrepreneurs and monied interests look first to a community that has a first-rate university and public-school system.

Athletics is part of the equation and if we can’t be open and ethical for even part of the university function, the state is doomed to the backwaters.

Paul Mizue
Aiea

Hamada hypocrisy

Am I the only one who finds hypocrisy in Rick Hamada’s column “A Case For Character?” Mr. Hamada consistently bashes public schools. While Cindy Ta is a shining example of all that is right with public education, instead of crediting some of her success to her public education, Mr. Hamada seemingly gives all the credit to her parents. Yet, when discussing public school test scores in MidWeek and on the air, he throws stones at the DOE. I believe the many positive relationships Ms. Ta cultivated while attending public schools are nearly as important as the belief system instilled at home.

Once again, Mr. Hamada has shown his agenda. Blame public education when things go bad, heap praise on parents when success is achieved. Public schools are obligated to take all comers. Some children come from excellent homes and some don’t. Public school teachers often make all the difference.

Scott Gruzinsky
Mililani


Off street free

Regarding Bob Jones’ column on Waikiki street performers and artists: I say make them register with the city and pay a fee - and make sure they’re paying taxes. Why should I, as a small-business person, have to get a license and pay taxes when these characters are getting off scot-free?

Ted Ryan
Palolo

Praising America

Loved Jade Moon’s column “Reclaiming America’s Best Aspects.“Yes, even with all of our problems, this is a great country. The shame is that the positives of our history and our Constitution are not taught better in our schools. Maybe that’s why so few people in Hawaii vote.

Jackie Lee
Hawaii Kai

Misuse of column

I understand that Susan Page is a right-winger.

But to use her column to urge people to become Republicans and run for office? That is a misuse of ink and paper, and of her role as a columnist.

I can only assume that she prefers speaking to a minority of Hawaii’s people.

Janice Choi
Honolulu

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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