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May 2005



A. Kam Napier’s Afterthoughts questioning whether Mayor Mufi Hannemann should have “visions” for the city of Honolulu, or stick to the nuts and bolts of city management.

After I read Napier’s column, I took the liberty of asking 10 friends each for the top five wishes they wanted from the mayor over his four-year term. To qualify their answers and my reality check to avoid bias, I also asked who they had voted for. All 10 [replied]. Five voted for Mufi and the other five for Duke Bainum. A pretty good cross-section of the community. If you totaled up all 50 answers, 11 answers were duplicates and represented a combined 79 percent of the total wish list. They ranged from fixing potholes to a balanced budget (no surprises here) to specifics in creating a better community for future generations. What was interesting, everyone stressed things that were connected to a “vision” for Honolulu. They all said they cared about the city’s infrastructure, but they also said those were “givens” and they expected them to be taken care of as part of the mayor’s day-to-day operations in running the city.

When you do your report card three-and-a-half years from now, Mayor Hannemann’s litmus test will be, “What did he bring to the table, above and beyond his call to duty?” It goes without saying, our mayor needs to surround himself with competent, capable people to get the city’s daily work done, at ground level. That being said, our mayor must fly at 35,000 feet, overseeing our Island paradise with a vision of what his city should be, tomorrow and into the future. It must go beyond fixing sewer lines and potholes.

We elect (hopefully) our public servants for their intellect and ability to see beyond today to make the necessary changes needed for a better community and quality of life. This vision will also need to include our mayor’s ability to bring together the private and public sectors, to help shape his vision to make Honolulu a community we’ll all be proud of and enjoy living in. With all due respect, as to what our mayor needs to do and does not need to do, I just don’t see him opening his attache case in the morning and taking out a “Things to Do List.”

Martin D. Schiller,
The Schiller Agency LLC, Honolulu



HONOLULU Magazine’s annual guide to the best products and services in the city.

This is in response to a comment written in your magazine. [“It’s tempting to save a little money by furnishing the new pad with pressboard furniture from City Mill. But for the love of style, don’t do it.”]

Have you been to City Mill lately? If you had, you would have seen that it carries a variety of solid wood furniture. It carries ready-to-finish solid alder furniture, as well as a wide selection of solid wood furniture.

The statement about the pressboard furniture that you made in your article “Best of Honolulu 2005,” that it would chip and warp within a month, is not factual. City Mill does carry a selection of furniture that is produced with furniture-grade particle board and carries a five-year warranty.

I just thought I should set the record straight.

William C. Jenks, via email



A. Kam Napier’s Afterthoughts rebutting accounts of the growing gap between the rich and the poor as a proof of economic inequality.

It sure was good news that you wrote about this good news! Lord knows we won’t hear anything positive from the leftist media. Thanks for saying what really needed to be said. Great op-ed!

Incidentally, appreciated your previous recommendation of The Design of Everyday Things [by Donald A. Norman, a cognitive scientist who studies how the design of things limit how successfully people interact with them]. Another winner!

Much obliged on both counts.

John Corboy, via email



We neglected to credit photographer Jimmy Forrest for his portrait of Ann Wright, our April 2005 Q&A subject, page 26.




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