Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Letters: Aloha Stadium’s reach goes beyond football; Give Gabbard credit for fighting Patriot Act; Welcome all who show the spirit of aloha

The importance of Aloha Stadium is revealed by its many “tentacles.” It’s not just about University of Hawaii football, not just about concerts and graduations and not just about the swap meet. Rather, it’s about the many tentacles that go beyond the obvious. For example, the revenue that UH football generates goes well beyond football. It supports all UH sports, in particular the many non-revenue-generating Title IX activities. Compound that with the numerous ancillary activities whose incomes depend on Aloha Stadium and yet more tentacles are revealed.

The tentacles of an octopus can regenerate. So can the tentacles of Aloha Stadium, in spite of all that 2020 has given us.

The first step: Stop the bleeding. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino’s proposal to use Maui’s War Memorial Stadium is excellent. It fits NCAA guidelines and compliance requirements for a football stadium. It is ESPN and media friendly. It also provides excellent opportunity for ancillary activities. Tentacle repaired!

Tentacle 2: new stadium planning. The next positive step?

Ron Reynolds



Give Gabbard credit for fighting Patriot Act

On Dec. 16, Hawaii U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was outstandingly courageous when she introduced the Protect Our Civil Liberties Act to replace the highly repressive Patriot Act, which was passed by Congress in a rush after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The original Patriot Act was said to be more than 800 pages long, and most members of Congress hadn’t even read most of the provisions before passing it. The act gave virtually unlimited authority to the federal government to spy on American citizens, even when they were not suspected of any wrongdoing.

This overreach was completely unjustified and grossly violated the privacy and civil liberties of all. For nearly 20 years, a cowardly bipartisan silence by Congress — fearful of the power of the “security” and “intelligence” communities — failed to make any substantial revisions.

Even though she’s scheduled to leave office in less than a month, Gabbard had the integrity and analytical clarity to co-sponsor a replacement bill that also would protect whistle- blowers who would expose governmental malfeasance at the highest levels. Kudos to Gabbard for her valiant stand.

Danny H.C. Li

Keaau, Hawaii island


Trump deserves credit for fulfilling promises

Regarding “Trump must be held to account for actions” (Star-Advertiser, Letters, Dec. 21), I ask, “What actions?” When he took office, President Donald Trump was a no-nonsense, pragmatic New York businessman, not a politician.

He served notice to our trading partners that the U.S. was not going to be their piggy bank anymore. He let our allies know that they would have to pay their fair share for defense, something that they had deferred for a long time.

He let our neighbors know that immigrants are and always will be welcome, as long as they come in legally.

He made it clear that the U.S. Constitution is to be respected, and law and order must prevail.

He didn’t kick the can down the road, but fulfilled the promises that he made in 2016, and more, all while fighting a determined progressive organization, a very biased media and a half-hearted GOP party.

Trump deserves credit.

Ted Kanemori



Thiessen wrong about blaming China for virus

Marc Thiessen said that Democrats won the election by claiming President Donald Trump was responsible for lies and incompetence in his response to the pandemic. Instead, we should have blamed China for everything (“Will Biden confront China over damage from COVID?” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 11).

Authoritarian governments have long lied and covered up their mistakes, so we expect this from China. Thiessen offers a conservative estimate of $14 trillion in economic damage; using a false narrative that Trump did everything right and was a victim of Chinese lies is embarrassingly laughable.

America’s lack of federal response was made worse by injecting the airwaves with false information. The strategy of blame almost worked because it left local governments to be blamed by voters for a raging crisis.

Trump’s lies are double-edged. Many are refusing vaccination because they were told the virus is a hoax. We need truth and competency going forward.

Sara Marshall



Welcome all who show the spirit of aloha

I appreciated the raw honesty and self-reflection of Nicole Lim (“‘Us versus them’ mentality has deep roots, even in Hawaii,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Dec. 21). Lim identifies her own xenophobia and is not comfortable with it.

I have seen bumper stickers that say something like, “Welcome to Hawaii; now go home.” There is a part of me that agrees with this sentiment. Tourists come for a few visits and decide they like it so much, why not make it their home? At the same time, many locals can’t afford to live in Hawaii anymore and move to the mainland.

Like Lim, I was born and raised in Hawaii. There is a special pride one seems to feel in saying that, even as a “local haole.” But there can be a smugness and, if not guarded against, a sense of superiority over those who had the misfortune of being born elsewhere.

The truth is, none of us had any choice as to where we were born. I believe the majority of people in Hawaii would be welcoming to new residents if they came humbly, and were willing to learn about and be respectful of the rich culture of these islands.

That is the spirit of aloha.

Don Booth



With a tumultuous 2020 coming to an end, wishes for a “Happy New Year!” seem more heartfelt than ever before.

What are your hopes and dreams for 2021? Let us know, in a letter (150 words max) or an essay (500-600 words). Email to letters@staradvertiser.com; or send to 500 Ala Moana Blvd. #7-210, Honolulu 96813, c/o Letters. The deadline is 5 p.m. Dec. 30, with a collection of them to run Jan. 3.

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