Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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July 14, 2010 - MidWeek
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Honouliuli help

Mahalo nui loa for publishing Carol Chang’s terrific June 30 Newsmaker feature on our organization, preservation of Honouliuli Forest Reserve and, of course, shining a much-deserved spotlight on our inspired leader Lea Hong. As a result, we have received a number of calls from readers wishing to learn more/volunteer/donate or otherwise embrace our mission. On behalf of TPL’s Hawaiian Islands Program, we are grateful for your continued support.

Keith Kraughto
Director of Philanthropy
The Trust for Public Land Hawaiian Islands Program

Buchanan gets it

Most of the conservative pundits who appear in your pages write ideological drivel and are a waste of space. A noticeable exception is Pat Buchanan and his column From The Right. His most recent column, “We’re Letting China’s Economy Win,” is one of many he has written that I think address important issues in a mature and thoughtful way. Please find more columnists like him to fill your pages. Let the others blog their brains out.

J.B. Young

Stockdale a true hero

The MidWeek cover story on Carole Hickerson and how she and other POW and MIA wives worked to effect political change was excellent. It’s wonderful that Mrs. Hickerson’s significant role in those efforts, and designing the black MIA/POW flag, has been recognized.

But there was one error which I must point out. The article refers to “Cmdr. John Stockdale.” In fact it was Cmdr. James Stockdale, who as the article correctly described, “would become one of the most decorated servicemen in U.S history.” As a result of his courageous acts and inspirational leadership during imprisonment, the United States Navy later established the Vice Admiral Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership. The U.S. Naval Academy also has the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership.

Ken MacDowell
CDR, USN(Retired)


Unflagging support

As a Vietnam veteran and member of the American Legion, I was particularly interested in the excellent story about Carole Hickerson. At the American Legion meetings that I have attended, an empty chair and the POW/MIA flag are displayed to remember the POWs and MIAs along with words of remembrance and honor. Until reading the story, I didn’t know who designed the logo on the flag or her personal connection to the symbol.

I surely hope that Carole and Jim Hickerson do write a book about their lives, not just for their children, but for the rest of us who are interested in a story of courage, patriotism, endurance and love. Mahalo for this example of excellent journalism.

Connie Smith Gonzalez
Ewa Beach

Fireworks idiots

This is an open letter to the person or persons who set off the illegal aerial fireworks that started a huge fire in Kalama Valley.

Did you know that whole families with little children were frightened that they would lose their homes, terrorized by the flames covering the mountain right outside their front doors?

Parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles risked life and limb to climb to the tops of their homes to water down their roofs and even their neighbors’ roofs.

Our camp for teens was put in grave danger of being totally destroyed. The fire stopped a mere 20 feet from a shed that housed all our lawn equipment filled with tools that use gasoline.

The explosion would have set off a chain reaction.

Hundreds of ohana have worked diligently for years volunteering their time and talents to provide this setting to give local teens tools for a productive, sustainable life - nearly ruined by you.

What were you thinking? You had your fun, but at what cost?

And think about all those firefighters who risked their lives for two days and a long, scary night fighting back the harrowing flames. They came down the mountain, faces covered with soot, eyes red, throats parched, voices hoarse, hair on their arms and faces singed, their yellow fire suits turned black and clinging to their tired bodies.

Were you gloating with pride and patting yourselves on the back for the havoc you created? Just so you know, your dastardly deed was countered by hundreds of good people who live their lives pono.

Remember, we get what we give, so give yourselves a chance to make things right and never do this again, ever.

Delorese Gregoire
Winners’ Camp Foundation Hawaii Leadership Academy

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