April 2008

“Why the kid-glove treatment on someone who would have faced serious criminal charges, had she lived?”

March issue

“Scrapyard” 03/08
Should there be legislation declaring a moratorium on GMO taro? Hawaiian activist Walter Ritte said yes; Stephanie Whalen, president and director of the Hawaii agriculture research center, argued no.
Yes, there is a highly visible cultural claim of creation via the story of Haloanaka, the stillborn older brother of, at least, the Hawaiian race, which seems to be universally accepted among Hawaiians today. This moolelo (story of significance) is told through the Kumulipo as composed by King Kalakaua. He composed this in answer to the American sugar barons who were attempting to discredit his claim to royal lineage. Kalakaua’s presented his royal genealogy back to the 11th century and celebrated the native cultural ways which had been denounced as sinful.

As such, this moolelo is of significant cultural value to Kalakaua’s blood line, and perhaps, to any of his subjects without a moolelo of creation of their own.  This kind of mookuauhau (chant of authorizing genealogy) was historically kept for recitation in the royal courts and only by rare, select individuals. Kalakaua had a reason for making his public. Today, those that claim their individuality and origin through the Kumulipo are blood descendants of Kalakaua, hanai through protocol of Kalakaua, have no mookuauhau of their own and adopted Kalakaua’s or presume there is only one Kumulipo. 

The real issue here is disenfranchisement and the failure of government since the beginning to ensure consensus and goodwill in governance. So, today, the Kumulipo serves as a rallying point for the disenfranchised. It could easily be many other undisputed cultural points as well.

In answering Walter Ritte, it is unrealistic to put up a Stephanie Whalen. The reverse is also true. Only a Ritte can answer a Ritte and a Whalen answer a Whalen. If you wish to opine on the virtue of legislation from Ritte’s point of view, then the consideration of the cultural aspects of the host culture cannot be diluted. If opinion is to be had on legislation with respect to socioeconomic utility in science, then that should not be diluted as well. Either one, both, or neither may be cause enough to deny or affirm a piece of legislation.


“Passive Aggressive” 02/08
In his Editor’s Page, A. Kam Napier wrote that local media went soft on the actions of local playwright Lisa Matsumoto, who was killed after she drove the wrong way on the H1 with a blood alcohol level of 0.242.

Thank god someone in the media has some decency. Give A. Kam Napier whatever media award they give out for truth in reporting. What the hell is wrong with the media here? Why the kid-glove treatment on someone who would have faced serious criminal charges had she lived? Almost to the discredit of the survivor driving the right way on the freeway.

All the smiley TV anchors lamenting the loss of the famed and talented playwright with no mention whatsoever of the impact the accident will have on the survivor. And what about the people who let her drink and drive?


What did not seem to sink in with The Advertiser or other local media is that Cassie Olaivar could have been your wife, your son, your spouse.


Finally, someone has spoken out about the media’s outrageous coverage on Lisa Matsumoto. Every time I read an article or watched the TV news about the incident, I became annoyed. How dare the media downplay the facts of this incident. Matsumoto was a drunk driver. Thank goodness she didn’t hurt or kill more people.


Ahana Koko Lele

In our March issue, the photo credit for “In My Words: Charles Strang,” should have read Mark Arbeit. In our “Best of Honolulu” story, the Best Sportscaster’s name was misspelled. It’s Kanoa Leahey. The photo of Best Spa (Splurge) should have had a photo credit credit to: Jonas Mohr/J.M.E. Contrary to what we wrote in “Dining,” the Royal Hawaiian is not turning the Monarch Room into a steakhouse as part of a renovation.

Letters to the Editor may be submitted online here, e-mailed to: letters_honmag@pacificbasin.net, faxed: 537-6455 or sent to: HONOLULU Magazine, 1000 Bishop Street, Suite 405, Honolulu, HI, 96813.