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New law upholds the aloha spirit

On July 11, Hawaii took a step toward equality when Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed House Bill 761 into law.

We applaud the governor and the act which, along with the federal Rosa’s Law, requires the replacement of the hurtful term "mental retardation" with "intellectual disabilities" by state and federal agencies.

It is an important step in creating a community of tolerance and acceptance in a state celebrated for its warm aloha spirit.

I have experienced firsthand the devastation and pain that hurtful language, such as the "R word" can cause our athletes and individuals with intellectual disabilities. This event is a great opportunity to cultivate conversation on eliminating hurtful and derogatory language from our everyday lives.

If we continue to maintain dialogue about this issue, we can foster communities of respect and inclusion. If you haven’t already taken the pledge and would like to make a commitment of acceptance, you can do so at

Nancy Bottelo
President, Special Olympics Hawaii

How to write us

The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~150 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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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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Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

Cable service has some flaws

The only way Hawaiian Telcom can and will be able to get customers to change over is if it can provide and offer a better deal than what we Oceanic customers are getting now.

Will Hawaiian Telcom offer a better choice of channels according to the customer’s specifications, or will it have a package deal like Oceanic telling us, "We offer you 100 channels even though there are less than one-quarter of channels you care to watch. Take it or leave it."

What about repeats after repeats of the same old movies? Some of the movies I took my daughter to see when she was 6 years old, and she is now married and has children of her own.

Philip Ho

Help yourselves and then others

Feeding the homeless at the Institute for Human Services is the only way to go.

I disagree with volunteers cooking and feeding them on the sidewalks. We should encourage and assist the homeless to look for jobs.

During the 1920s and 1930s Depression years, many of us never received handouts, as we were all forced to take jobs that were available if you really looked around.

We were created to help ourselves and be responsible for ourselves and our community.

Nancy Yoshida

Teachers union should cooperate

The Hawaii Government Employees Association has agreed to a tentative 5 percent pay cut and reduction in other benefits.

It understands that Hawaii’s taxpayers are already burdened with taxes, taxes and more taxes to keep our government in operation.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie knows that the state’s budget must be kept under control and has taken a stand with the teachers union with a final offer of "last, best and final" contract.

The governor should be commended for taking this strong position. He is not against the public unions. He just supports all the people of Hawaii.

Hawaii State Teachers Association union leaders need to realize that they are not above the other public unions. Teachers need to justify their pay status by doing a better job of teaching our kids.

Hawaii’s taxpayers have sacrificed their way of living by accepting excessive tax increases in support of our state government. Now it’s time the public unions make some sacrifices, too.

Robert Hatakeyama

‘Hawaii Five-0" drifting away

The new "Hawaii Five-0" had an identity crisis during the first year.

Sometimes they portrayed the complexities of local culture and we saw the multiethnic, extended family culture that is unique to Hawaii and is one of the reasons so many of us stay in this expensive paradise.

Now, the "Five-0" team seems to lean toward satisfying mainland audiences with the additional cast members who do not reflect that in Hawaii one person can be Hawaiian, Japanese, Swedish and Filipino.

We have to hear all about Gramercy Park, Staten Island and Brooklyn on shows like "Law & Order." Why can’t the rest of the country hear about Kalihi and Waimanalo?

While there are a multitude of cultures in Los Angeles, how many people there can say that most of those cultures are represented in their neighborhoods? Show that in Hawaii the mixes mix.

Then, book ’em.

Richard Lightner

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