Letters to the Editor may
be sent to: Honolulu Magazine, P.O. Box 913, Honolulu, HI, 96808-0913, faxed:
537-6455 or e-mailed: letters_honmag@pacificbasin.net

Lee Tonouchi’s winning short story in
the 21st annual HONOLULU Magazine Starbucks Coffee Hawai’i Fiction Contest

Congratulations to the author and to the judges for having selected Mr. Tonouchi’s
short story. Normally I don’t enjoy reading anything that is done in any sort
of patois. However, in this case, it’s eloquent.

I don’t agree that someone
in another state would understand it, especially if she or he has not lived in
Hawai’i and experienced the “local” culture.

What had me “rolling in the
aisles” was the mention of the unfortunate Mainland deaths of some transplanted
locals due to a lack of real kine rice. How many of us have had friends or relatives
move to the East Coast, for example, and the first cry for help was for Hinode
rice and Aloha brand shoyu? Do you know how much it costs to send a 25-pound bag
of rice via Priority mail?

Great pick! Insightful author! Riotous sense
of humor.

Lillian Lubag, via e-mail

I was delighted to see
Lee Tonouchi’s masterful and hilarious pidgin work win first place in your contest.
But I was quite taken aback to read that he won despite his story being written
in pidgin. As HONOLULU Magazine states, “a couple of our judges do not in general
like reading pidgin prose.” I say, throw those judges out! How can HONOLULU Magazine
run a fiction contest, where the stories are required to be about Hawai’i, and
then purposefully use judges who are biased against the predominant and most expressive
language of Hawai’i? I urge you to select only judges for this contest who are
equally open to English and pidgin. This ain’t New York, y’know, and thank heavens
for it!

Joel Fischer, Honolulu

I tried to read the winner’s
entry but couldn’t. It was written in pidgin, so is destined to a tiny and vanishing
audience. It’s too bad that one can’t write pidgin and make it intelligible to
a general English audience. But it will probably never happen unless it is introduced
by a continuing character or characters and captivates the reader. Written pidgin
always sounds phony to me; worse than a haole who speaks really bad affected pidgin.

McCullough, via e-mail

Ronna Bolante
and Michael Keany’s roundup of Hawai’i salaries

I have just
read “Who Makes What” and am quite offended. Why did you compare the salary of
American Savings Bank president] Constance Lau (a female executive) to that of
45 tellers? Why did you not compare it to that of Walter Dods? Does he not make
more than 45 tellers? I am a female working in a man’s realm and I find it reprehensible
that you should make her seem like the “greedy woman” by personifying her to 45
positions that are mostly held by women.

Joan Greco Hiranaka, maxillofacial
surgeon, Big Island

note: Our intent was to compare a bank CEO salary to that of tellers in the trenches,
just as we compared the salary of Roger Drue, president of the healthcare group
that includes Straub, Wilcox and Kapi’olani hospitals, to the salaries of 13 nurses.
American Savings Bank was simply the only bank to release teller salaries. We’re
grateful for ASB’s openness.

A. Kam Napier’s Afterthoughts on President George Bush’s attempt to ban
gay marriage through a constitutional amendment.

Abuse” was an excellent example of good, balanced, socially conscious journalism.
The manner in which Napier educated readers about the purpose and spirit of the
Constitution and Bill of Rights and how that was juxtaposed over the issue of
same-sex marriage was well written, thought provoking and accessible. Most people
can understand female suffrage, and using that as a means to shed some light on
the issue of defining “marriage” will hopefully open up some readers’ eyes.

really too bad that a few moral elitists in positions of influence and power have
the ability to create policy that limits the civil liberties and freedoms that
everyone is entitled to enjoy.

Aina Akamu, via e-mail

Napier is] presenting an argument that under the Bill of Rights, “we are literally
born free,” then why do we have laws that restrict behavior? The answer is because
the behavior is believed by society to be morally wrong. Just as laws prevent
an adult from marrying a minor (regardless if the minor loves the adult), having
sex with someone below 14 (regardless if the act is consensual), marrying more
than one person, marrying your sister, etc. The point is, we don’t believe that
a man should be allowed to marry another man simply because we believe it is morally
wrong. It’s not an issue of not being free. If [Napier is] not going to talk about
the moral and social aspect of allowing two men to marry, then he will only interest
those who share his point of view. He won’t be changing anyone’s mind on the issue
as he will be missing the key ingredient of the issue … morality.

Gary Wayne,
via e-mail

A. Kam Napier’s article
on what Honolulu’s next mayor needs to accomplish

Your comprehensive
“Help Wanted” message to our next mayor sent a clear message to me: Government
of the people in the City and County of Honolulu and the state of Hawai’i will
continue to benefit our governing elite so long as their actions are not governed
by the people. Honolulu Hale sugarcoats the decay of paradise lost with million-dollar
traffic roundabouts, at T-intersections, where three stop signs will do, while
the mayor threatens further reduction of services if we do not urge the City Council
to endorse the spending spree, unabated.

This “go along and get along” code
is rooted in our contract laborer history, and is especially frightening to the
1-in-3 unionized Hawai’i residents who work in the public sector. These voters,
who traditionally accept the slate of candidates endorsed by the Democrat and
Republican Parties, because they fear the personal consequences, will ask all
of us to tolerate: mounds of trash dumped on our curbs, potholes in our streets
and sidewalks, leaky water mains and sewers, dirty public park bathrooms, homeless
people on parade, unenforceable laws that encourage the police to look the other
way, illegal vehicles that occupy our limited supply of on-street parking spaces
and assault our ears with their loud noises and graffiti, graffiti, graffiti.

can] call the shots; [yet] almost 55 percent stayed at home on Election Day in
2000. Rather than “abstain” this year, I believe we should support well-known
insurgent candidates in our neighborhoods, and urge them to replace the party

Dennis Egge, Salt Lake


salary range for public school librarians in our April “Who Makes What” story
was incorrect. That range, $34,632 to $53,376, applies to public library librarians.
Public school librarians are on the same salary schedule as public school teachers.

failed to credit photographer Rae Huo for the April 2004 cover shot. For our May
2004 issue, the correct spelling for one of our public schools package photographers
is Mark Nomura.