Letters

March 2004



Published:

 

“ISLANDER OF THE YEAR: MEL KAHELE,”
January 2004

Ronna Bolante’s feature on the Teamsters leader who led the bus drivers in their strike last year.

I enjoyed Ronna Bolante’s article, but would offer one important clarification. On the eve of the strike, at 10:30 p.m., Mr. Kahele most certainly “looked me in the eye,” but he did not say “take back the layoffs.” He demanded that we take the “cutbacks” off the table. The Teamsters’ position on the eve of the strike was that the company must jettison all of its cost-cutting proposals as a condition of receiving an offer from the union and continuing negotiations. This was consistent with Mr. Kahele’s Aug. 22, 2003, letter to me, which stated: “The Union is maintaining its position as stated on the bargaining table that the Company must retract the remainder of its proposed take-backs and provide for fair and just increases in wages and benefits.” Had the union hinged the strike solely on layoffs, there likely would have been no strike, since the company had already offered two written proposals to avoid layoffs.

Perry W. Confalone, Esq.
Torkildson, Katz, Fonseca, Moore & Hetherington
Chief negotiator for Oahu Transit Services

 

“18 QUESTIONS WHILE YOU’RE IN THE DENTIST’S CHAIR,” February 2004

Dr. Robert Y. Shaw’s guide to dental health.

I enjoyed Dr. Robert Shaw’s article. I wish it had been written by a dentist instead of a physician, but Dr. Shaw’s obvious concern about the periodontal (gum) diseases made up for this. There have always been plenty of good reasons to keep one’s gums healthy, but in recent years it’s been discovered that gum diseases are related to higher incidences of heart attack, institutional pneumonia/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and premature births. Therefore, if your gums bleed when you brush or floss, the 19th question should be: “Are you sure, doctor, that I don’t need to be evaluated by a gum specialist?” By the way, I’m not trying to “drum up” business here on Oahu; I don’t practice here.

Mike Rethman, DDS, MS, diplomate, American Board of Periodontology;
president, American Academy of Periodontology
Chicago, Ill. and Ka-ne’ohe

AHANA KOKO LELE

Contrary to our house style on such things, we titled a February, 2004, article about Hawaii drivers in general “The Psychology of Hawaiian Drivers.” The title should have been “The Psychology of Hawaii Drivers.”

“THE BATTLE OF PAPAA BAY,”
February 2004

Joan Conrow’s look at a beach access controversy involving the Kauai home of Hollywood producer Peter Guber.

In Ms. Joan Conrow’s article, there is a quote, “Workmen building Guber’s lavish oceanfront home, meanwhile, complained they couldn’t even eat lunch on the beach when he was onsite.” Canaan Construction Ltd. was the general contractor for the Gubers’ oceanfront home. With firsthand knowledge of the project, and being onsite every time Peter Guber visited during the home construction, [I can say] the above statement is absolute poppycock. On the contrary, Peter took the time to invite Canaan employees to use his beach and enjoy his property. Unlike many clients of his stature, Peter also took the time and effort to greet every person on our crew, from the sweepers to the journeymen carpenters, and expressed sincere gratitude for the work that we performed at his house. Being somewhat familiar with the use of beach access to Papaa Bay, I think Peter Guber is being unfairly characterized in Joan Conrow’s article.

Max B. Suiter, general manager,
Canaan Construction Ltd.

 

“THE GHOSTS OF ADVERTISING PAST,”
February 2004

A. Kam Napier’s Afterthoughts about a published collection of advertisements from the 1930s.

You’re showing your (lack of) age by not knowing who Red Ryder was. He was the subject of a comic strip from 1938 to 1964, and four different actors portrayed him on film. One of them, Jim Bannon, was the brother of my history professor at St. Louis University, Rev. John F. Bannon, SJ. Father Bannon was a family friend, and when Jim visited him in St. Louis, we invited both of them for dinner. Jim drove up in a convertible, dressed as Red Ryder. His gear shift was a pistol. Don’t think that didn’t impress the neighborhood kids!

Emily Bott, via e-mail

 

“KAILUA,” December 2003

HONOLULU Magazine’s special issue devoted to Kailua.

Your December issue was received with enthusiasm in Kailua! It’s a fine rendition of Kailua history and culture. However, with all the talk of Kailua’s beautiful environment, we were a little surprised that no mention was made of the Lani-Kailua Outdoor Circle.

Founded in 1948 as one of the largest (500 members) of the 12 branches of The Outdoor Circle, LKOC works with the government and community groups, advocating for a “clean, green and beautiful” Kailua. For more than a decade it has sponsored the I Love Kailua Town Party, which brings in revenue for beautification projects. And for several years, LKOC has worked with the Women’s Community Correctional Center in Kailua, providing learning opportunities for the women and beautification work crews for the community.

Hopefully, we’ll still be around in 40 years, when you do the next Kailua issue!

Betsy Conners, president,
Lani-Kailua Outdoor Circle 

 
 

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