Letters 5-3-13


Staff change

Flickinger made a difference on island

I would like to share a few thoughts on former West Hawaii Today editor Reed Flickinger.

Due, perhaps, in no small part to Reed’s brand of editorial activism, the political/governmental climate on the island has changed quite a bit since when I served on the Hawaii County Council 10 years ago. West Hawaii has seen its share of government-backed improvements come to fruition (incidentally, Reed was vitally important to the development of the West Hawaii Civic Center), you have a greater county administrative presence and a mayor that devotes at least a day of his work week in Kona, and there just doesn’t seem to be the intense level of East-West friction that existed in the past.

But back then, if you can recall, each and every Hilo-based politician was in Reed’s crosshairs (or so it seemed) and I was on the receiving end of more than my share of not-so-flattering editorials spewing from his pen. Still, while I may not have always have agreed with such editorials, I could always expect that each would be reasoned, relevant, supported by a responsible presentation of the facts (not distortions of the truth), and generally reflective of the sentiments of West Hawaii residents.

Reed may have gotten under my skin more often than I would have cared for, but he was doing his job and, in my opinion, he did it well. He was a true professional. He also believed that dialogue was an essential tool toward understanding, and in that vein had an open door policy to any politician who might have wanted to discuss matters with him (new editor David Bock has this same approach, I might add). I appreciated that and learned much from the opportunity.

Aaron Chung

Hilo

Staff change

Paper has always been owned by mainland company

To all of those who are crying about Reed being replaced as editor, and who think it may be because West Hawaii Today having been sold to a mainland company. The WHT is now, and always has been owned by the Stephens Media Group. Formerly known as the Donrey Media Group, they have always been a mainland company with headquarters in Arkansas.

I do not know why Reed lost his job but he is hardly the first editor to have done so in the paper’s history. For better or worse, they are clearly looking for a new editorial viewpoint. I for one, will miss him not at all.

Gregory Miller

Kalaoa

Staff change

What a sad state of affairs

Reed Flickinger has been an outstanding citizen and contributor to this community for decades. He has been accessible to anybody any time. It would seem an explanation from the owners of the publication is in order, since the reading public is in an uproar.

What a sad state of affairs. Reed is sorely missed.

Christa Wagner

Kona

Home price uptick

Soft market, not increased sales are source of change

Regarding your article on real estate prices:

I suggest the reduction in inventory since January is more because sellers are removing their homes from a soft market than it does with increased sales.

I took mine off a month ago after 371 days and three price reductions.

If you want a clear picture of the situation, talk to the homeowners, not the agents and appraiser who stand to benefit from somewhat exaggerated claims.

Kelly Mastell

Kona