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Ghana much different than depicted in article

I was disappointed to read Michael Story’s remarks regarding Ghana, in which he refers to the African nation as "third-world" and "a country that’s in civil war" ("Selling Hawaii as a sports paradise," Star-Advertiser, Jan. 2). I would like to correct those perceptions.

I was born and raised in Ghana, and many of my friends and family members still reside there. Granted, a glance at Ghana’s history reveals that it has not escaped the coups and conflict that have ravished much of Africa, but, for nearly two decades, Ghana has been a flourishing, peaceful country that is regarded as one of the most economically sound nations on the entire continent.

Ghana is a multi-party republic, and, unlike its neighbor to the west (the Ivory Coast), when Ghana’s citizens elect a new leader, that person actually gets to take office.

In addition to its political and economic stability, Ghana is admired for its low crime rate, friendly people and reputable educational system that has produced world leaders such as Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations.

Incidentally, I would still be living in Ghana, but I found another country I loved when I joined the U.S. Navy 28 years ago.

John Andoh
Pearl Harbor


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The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Advertiser reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813


New zoo director reckless with ‘haole’?

I enjoyed reading about Manuel Mollinedo, the new director of the Honolulu Zoo, but was a bit taken aback with his retelling of the incident in Los Angeles in which he describes a Komodo monitor biting the toe of Phil Bronstein: "So you’ve got this haole from the mainland that lives in San Francisco who has this pasty white foot…"

I found this depiction patronizing and perhaps bit pejorative as well. Mollinedo, a Latino raised in California, should know better. Perhaps he’s just trying to appear local, but in his home state, these sorts of subtle race stereotypes are quite out of fashion.

Eleanor Thurber


Kudos for publicizing danger of laser beams

Congratulations to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser for the front-page article on the dangers handheld lasers pose to flying, and to radio KINE-FM 105 for echoing this warning in its broadcasts ("Lasers a danger to pilots," Star-Advertiser, Jan. 6).

The Star-Advertiser and KINE showed how the media can play a strategic role in the prevention stage of crisis management by helping to reduce the chances of a disaster occurring.

Lauren Kahea Moriarty
Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies


Encourage super-rich to finance symphony

The letter from Beverly Kai points the way to a solution of the symphony problem ("Pride of place demands that we have a symphony," Star-Advertiser, Letters, Jan. 5).

The next step is to get the super-rich to pay for it out of their cushy tax breaks. What time better than the present with the zillionaires protected by the new Congress for another two years?

A little guilt money to the symphony would salve uneasy consciences caused by their friends in the credit game from 2000 to 2008.

My guess is that there are at least 100 people in Hawaii who could give $1 million each to the symphony endowment. A reliable $100 million endowment would be a good start for a viable symphony.

George Simson


Lottery is better alternative than fees

A winning lottery ticket bought at Safeway in Washington state? That’s why Hawaii will be in an economic mess. We can’t raise enough money to fix education, homelessness, roads, etc. Kamaaina have to pay higher user fees, taxes and school bus fares, and the list goes on.

Have a lottery like other states and raise some needed revenue.

People against a lottery will say it will bring more crime to Hawaii.

How? Will criminals put pressure on Safeway or whatever business that sells lottery tickets to give them a cut? Is there any evidence that establishments that sell lottery tickets have problems with crime?

We need a way to bring money into the state besides raising fees or charging us for things that once were free.

Winston Olaso


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