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“Best of Honolulu,” March 2011
HONOLULU Magazine’s annual roundup of the city’s best products, services, food and entertainment.
Aloha. I was very surprised to see Whole Foods Market receive the Best Health Food Store honor [as a winner in the Readers Poll], when their own managers and marketing people will be the first to tell you it is not a health-food store but rather a natural-food store. Saying Whole Foods is “healthy” when they sell cakes baked with white flour, butter and loads of sugar, carry items with corn syrup and GMO soybeans, and have prepared foods that are deep fried or cooked in canola oil, when Hawaiians and Americans in general are suffering from obesity, diabetes and heart disease, is irresponsible. While it’s true Whole Foods offers a wider selection of healthy items than most grocers, its premium prices make being “healthy” a unique privilege reserved only for the wealthy. I’m not denying it’s a fun store to visit and shop, but let’s not perpetuate the false notion that it is a health-food store.
—PASCALE WAJDE, HAWAII KAI
“The Military State,” February 2011
In an Afterthoughts column, contributing editor Victoria Wiseman mused on her experiences moving to Hawaii as a member of the military.
C’mon, HONOLULU Magazine, another article on how haoles have it difficult in Hawaii? We were just subjected to Kathryn Drury Wagner’s article on this subject a year or so ago. This article is not about a military family in Hawaii; it’s about being a haole who happens to be in a military family in Hawaii. I should know, I spent my childhood in the military here and recently moved here as an adult after many years away. The article reeks of the haole malihini who come clueless to the fact that they have preferential treatment in the other 49 states of the U.S. When they get here, they mistakenly perceive that there is prejudice against them, when, in fact, they are treated like everyone else who comes to this island. That’s the beauty of Hawaii: People are treated based on their actions, not the color of their skin, how much money they have or what type of car they own.
If this island “full of aunties and uncles” didn’t reach out to her, was it because she was haole, or was it because she talks fast and ends conversations abruptly? Does she think that brown-skinned malihini do not get the “What brought you to the island?” question or get corrected when mispronouncing Hawaiian words? She’s proud to be a haole’s haole? What does that mean? Does that mean she doesn’t have to be sensitive to how kamaaina are? My wife is haole and, even when alone here, she doesn’t feel like she has to “apologize for being haole,” and has integrated as well as any Asian newcomer has.
I’m grateful for the sacrifice her family endures serving our country. But, please, no more articles on how difficult it is to be a haole in Hawaii. It’s no longer interesting or entertaining.
—RAY SEBASTIAN, WAIALAE IKI
“The Day the Honolulu Symphony Died,” February 2011
Associate editor Tiffany Hill took a look at the dissolution of the 110-year-old Honolulu Symphony.
Your article fails to place adequate blame on the greedy musicians and their union. Not only did they demand full-time pay for a part-time gig, they refused to compromise on benefits and season length. Your article should have investigated the hidden income of the musicians from teaching private lessons during time off from playing a few tired concerts with the symphony. Yeah, I’m bitter, because I did attend the symphony, I am under the age of 40 and every year I waited for stellar guest artists (Yo-Yo Ma anyone? Or how about Yuja Wang?) or at least a visionary program. I hope Hawaii does get the treat of visiting symphonies. At least then locals will be able to hear real professional musicians and not a bunch of second-rate, greedy ones. Aloha oe to the Honolulu Symphony.
—AN ONLINE COMMENT
Ahana koko lele
In the March 2011 Best of Honolulu feature, the correct phone number for the AIA Honolulu architectural walking tour is 628-7243.
In the March 2011 “63 Merchant Reborn” story, contractor Mitch Kysar’s name was misspelled.