Letters for Tuesday, May 20, 2014

• KCC promoting academic freedom • One man’s story of overcoming mental illness  • Harris, coalition don’t have valid opinion

KCC promoting academic freedom

In response to Kip Goodwin’s Garden Island newspaper letter to the editor “Don’t promote apathy” posted on Wednesday, May 7.

The core value of universities and colleges are to nurture critical thinking skills through inspiring thought and developing the skills to express those ideas in efficient and effective manners. Higher education institutions are traditionally the breeding grounds of free thought and a haven for expression of socially relevant issues.

Chancellor Cox is proactively incorporating administration, faculty and student representatives on a comprehensive plan to protect first amendment rights while providing a safe learning environment. We are currently in the process of amending and rewording the proposed guideline document to better serve the students in our pursuit of higher education.

Students are actively ensuring KCC nurtures academic freedom. Aloha.


Makoto Lane 


One man’s story of overcoming mental illness 

People with mental illness are just like the rest of us. They need to feel accepted and valued. They need a sense of purpose. They have the same dreams to have a job and make money to buy things that most of us have. We are all so similar and yet there is so much distance put between us because of ignorance! Many of these things that are important in so called “normal” peoples’ lives are denied them due to stigma and prejudice the public holds against them. It is hard enough that people with mental illness have to struggle with their difficult disabilities but to pile on top of that with the unfair ways many people treat them; this is unacceptable. This must change. So my outlook on individuals who live with mental illness is that they will probably always struggle with stigmas and prejudice towards them. Education of the truths about mental illness will improve the situation. The world has come a long way on how the mentally ill are received but has a very long way to go. There is a lot of work to do. 

Everyone should know that mental illness does not discriminate. Some famous people with mental illness are: Beethoven, Brook Shields, Helen Keller, Tipper Gore and Mike Wallace. Just by looking at them or what they have achieved you wouldn’t think that they have this mental disability. I am a member of Friendship House and I believe I am a good example that living with mental illness is just like any other person living normally in the community. I was hospitalized for two years in a mental institution called Mahelona hospital. However ill and sick I was, I still chose to attend community college for two years and graduated with an associate in science degree, business administration (general business). Two days later, with the recommendation of the college, I was hired at a world famous hotel called Coco Palms. And I was still a patient in the hospital. l am very thankful to the office manager who hired me and gave me a chance in spite of my illness. I worked for Coco Palms for 23 years consecutively until Hurricane lniki closed down the hotel. I started out as a revenue auditor/payroll auditor. In succession, I worked next as a front desk clerk, front desk cashier, then promoted to cashier supervisor. I was a night auditor and in addition was the manager on duty. I worked full time for 40 years consecutively. I attribute my success by taking my medications daily without fail as prescribed by the doctors. My most important accomplishment was persevering in getting my college education even though it was for only two years. It opened the doors toward succeeding in my career.

In spite of my disability, I have lived a productive life and found my appropriate place in society.

Thank you for listening to my story. People know me as a person with the mildest manner and gentlest heart. But don’t let that fool you. Everything I do in my life, I do it with passion and always to the best of my ability. Dedicated to all Kauaians. Special thanks to all my fellow staff and members of Friendship House.

Dennis Alpeche


Harris, coalition don’t have valid opinion

I couldn’t believe TGI chose Tom Harris of The International Science Coalition for the guest commentary on the editorial page of Sunday’s paper. Did you check him and his organization out before printing this? This group has no credibility — check out desmogblog.com for information on just how unreliable this group of climate change deniers is.

While we need all the information we can get to make informed choices, the decision to give Tom Harris a platform seems a very poor one. We would have been much better served if you had spotlighted Chris D’Angelo’s article (which was on page A10) entitled “Hawaii vulnerable to climate change.”

Ann Luckett



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