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"Hawaii at the Movies," August 2009

As a teacher of Hawaiian history and culture, I was appalled to note your evaluation of Lilo & Stitch as meriting a 10 for “Hawaiian Authenticity.” My students and I look at that film and do a “hostile reading” of it. If you actually believe that such racist stereotypes as a welfare family headed by an older sister, with no extended family present, said sister being continuously late for her service job, with a surfer boyfriend who is lazy and “laid-back” and irresponsible, being harassed by a social worker who appears to have come from some military training facility on the continent, are being “authentic,” then perhaps you need to acquaint yourself with some mainstream Hawaiian ohana (since you utilize that idea as the main value of the film).

Surely, the predominant characteristics of contemporary Hawaiians are hard-working, dedicated and forming a solid workforce, people with stable home environments and extended families that practice Hawaiian values (generosity, thoughtfulness, care-giving, honesty, etc.) because they have been raised that way. You state that the dysfunctional, broken family to which Lilo belongs and the way it acts are “as close to the real Hawaii as a cartoon can get.” I don’t think we saw the same movie.



"Best Lawyers in Hawaii," July 2009

July’s HONOLULU offered a look at people who frequent the state’s biggest collectibles show in a story called “The Passion of Collecting.” It also featured “The Best Lawyers in Hawaii,” compiled by research firm Woodward/White and offering lawyers in 43 specialties. 

Although unable to make the list of the top 249 stellar and accomplished Best Lawyers in Hawaii, I nevertheless undauntedly read the July 2009 edition of your fine publication cover to cover, and more than the detailed list of lawyers, I truly enjoyed Charles Memminger’s piece, “The Passion of Collecting.” Memminger did a wonderful job of climbing inside the head of the fanatic, driven and devoted collector.  

As a rabid collector of animation art, watches and clocks, pinball machines and Gilligan’s Island memorabilia, I am “Exhibit A” of the type of mindset and single-minded loyalty possessed by collectors. Bravo, Mr. Memminger, for portraying us collectors for what we truly are: unique, interesting, knowledgeable and devoted, both to our “passion of collecting” and to our fantastically understanding significant others!


There were so many lawyer advertisements in your July 2009 issue I misread the caption [in your Dining column] as "There are lawyers upon lawyers of flavor in Uncle Bo's wokked clams with oyster sauce."


"Q&A: Healing Touch," July 2009

Contributing editor Sheila Sarhangi’s story, “Healing Touch,” also in our July issue, profiled Oahu psychologist Caroline Sakai, who travels yearly to bring mental-health services to Rwanda.
I met a Rwandan ex-pat via a Habitat for Humanity team leader and I decided I wanted to have a connection to one place rather than going someplace new every year. I have adopted a family and now pay school fees for two secondary-school students and one university student, and I am applying for a matching grant from the Rotary Foundation to install a water-catchment system at the primary school. See for the full story. As a result of your article, Caroline and I have met via e-mail, and she will be speaking to my Rotary Club in late August.



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