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Your Views for December 28

A great loss

The resignation of UH-Hilo’s athletic director, Dexter Irvin, is definitely a loss for the school and the larger community.

His hard work and positive attitude were detailed in the excellent article written by your sports writer Kevin Jakahi.

One aspect of Dexter’s UH-Hilo career not mentioned was his willingness to support a proposal to add a Men’s Division II volleyball team to the school’s athletic program.

Those of us who have pushed for this move for so many years were excited by the prospect of having the backing and leadership of the school’s athletic director. With his support, he acknowledged our formation of an ad hoc committee from Hilo that met regularly to develop a Senate and House concurrent resolution to support a men’s volleyball program for our university here in Hilo. That resolution was unanimously approved and called for the formation of a special committee for that purpose.

AD Irvin was appointed by UH-Hilo’s chancellor to lead that legislative committee.

Obviously, his departure will be a setback for this proposal.

Recently, however, Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s appointment of his lieutenant governor, Shan Tsutsui, to “spearhead a sports development initiative for the State of Hawaii” could not be more timely.

We can only hope whoever replaces Dexter will not drop the ball.

Elroy Osorio Sr.

Assistant regional commissioner for Moku O Keawe Region, U.S. Volleyball Association

Wave for aloha

To usher in the new year and promote aloha on our island, the Hawaii Plantation Museum is initiating “Wave Day” on the first of every month, starting Jan. 1, 2014.

Life was hard in the plantation days, but there was fellowship and camaraderie in the camps and communities.

We invite you to join us in celebrating friendship and aloha by waving.

Wayne Subica

Hawaii Plantation Museum

Learn from Mandela

The passing of Nelson Mandela marks the turning of a page in the struggle for human dignity and equality. People of goodwill celebrate the life of this courageous, dignified human being. In Mandela, we have an example of one who, after years of being oppressed, openly preached and practiced forgiveness of his oppressors. His life, along with the lives of his enlightened comrades, is a lofty example for a tragically confused world. Can his example be emulated?

Unfortunately, the United States was too frequently on the wrong side of the struggle for the liberation of South Africa. What might Mandela like to see in terms of America making amends for her years of a wrong-headed policy?

Perhaps America should recognize and appreciate why Mandela kept a close relationship to Fidel Castro and the people of Cuba. It was the Cuban forces that turned back the South African army and made possible the present advances of freedom and racial equality in that part of the world.

Undoubtedly, numerous past U.S. administrations would have been delighted had Mandela turned against Fidel Castro, but he never did, and he repeatedly proclaimed his appreciation for Cuba’s international perspective and solidarity — and his personal friend.

Mandela was a man a cut above politics, but he was made the essential player in making his South African homeland “a rainbow nation.”

Tomas Belsky


Paid to protest

Mel Holden recently made a good point that the union workers complaining about the lack of aloha next to Walgreens might themselves lack aloha (Your Views, Tribune-Herald).

On the other side of the coin, the freedom to protest, assemble and demonstrate is part of what makes America America. (Provided, of course, you have the proper permits and police permission.)

But look on the bright side. A union friend recently told me the union compensates members who stand by the “Got Aloha” sign. (Is this true, unions?)

So, perhaps the union’s aloha sign says more than intended, and the people who drive by the protesters are actually catching a glimpse of the new America at work.

Fred Fogel



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