October 2007

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

“Finding Beretania” 08/07

The best food, architecture, people, shopping and history the area has to offer.

It wasn’t until I read the article featuring Beretania Street that I realized the impact that street had on my life.

Growing up in Honolulu in the ’30s and ’40s, school trips included visits to the Board of Water Supply and the Honolulu Academy of Arts. When I graduated from Roosevelt High School in June of 1943, our graduation dance was held at the Mormon Tabernacle.

My fondest recollection of Beretania Street is the night in September 1943, when my now-deceased Navy husband of 61 years of marriage proposed to me at Trader Vic’s famous restaurant. (At that time it was located opposite Thomas Square.) I remember that we walked around the square while waiting for the restaurant to open. It was only our third date.

Last, but not least, we were married on July 19, 1944, at the original Methodist Church on Beretania.

Trader Vic’s Restaurant has long been gone from its original location, but it will always be my favorite spot.
—Virginia Melville Cowart,
Danville, Calif.

On page 84, it read [that the Sears on Beretania St. was in 1947 home to] Hawaii’s first two-way escalator. In 1940 or 1941 the House of Mitsukoshi had an escalator. Of course, being a Japanese corporation it closed shortly after we entered the war.

—H.M. “Monty” Richards, Jr., Kamuela, Big Island

“Scrap Yard” 08/07

The state Board of Education is considering a program that would use dogs to sniff out contraband on public school campuses. Mary Cochran, a Board of Education member for the Maui district, supported the idea.

A 2003 study of 30,000 Hawaii students by our own Department of Health found drug use at historically low levels, and decreasing. Use of methamphetamine, marijuana, sedatives and other drugs in our schools is not only much lower than on the Mainland, but at historically low levels for our state. This puts Mary Cochran’s arguments on extremely shaky ground. With no drug problem in evidence, the loss of civil liberties ought to be her main concern.

The dog-sniffing service, like any vendor in that position, has a clear interest in maximizing the threat that their service addresses. So does an “enforcement cabal” that opposes the community’s preference for education, prevention and, where necessary, treatment.

Teachers and principals have remarked that the dog is cute. Good reason for keeping a puppy at school, perhaps, but one that has learned to mind its own business.

—Larry Geller, Honolulu

“On the Tube” 08/07

A roundup of the best Honolulu-centric videos on YouTube included a clip of the city’s power coming back on after the October 2006 earthquake.

Thanks for putting my time-lapse video on your list. It took a lot of motivation to make, as it took hours for the electricity to come on. In fact, I fell asleep on my 11th-floor lanai on Date Street while I was making it. I was awakened in the middle of the night by a rain shower as the final area, including my apartment, regained power.

I have other Hawaii-related videos on my channel if you’re interested at www.youtube.com/bwlfp.

—Christopher Robert Chambers,Honolulu


In our September issue, our Hawaii Guide to Private Schools chart contained some errors. The Academy of the Pacific’s contact should have listed Mollie Sperry as the head of school, and the school’s phone number as 595-6359.

The correct phone number for St. Andrew’s Priory School is 536-6102.