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Your Opinion Counts:

Date Posted: 1999-11-19

Dear editor,

(This letter is intended as a response to the mean spirited “Your Opinion Counts” letter in last week's Update.)


Dear Ms. Amel,

I do not know Maria Howell personally and have only seen her perform once. Your letter makes me wonder if your life is so empty and vapid that you have nothing better to do than "slam" a person who attempts to bring joy and happiness to others through art. Having lived in Newark, New Jersey for many years, I know that talent abounds in the Afro-American community. The difference between "common vocalists" in the "neighborhood church" and Maria is that Maria has shown the courage to reach for a dream. It is obvious that you are not an artist, otherwise you would be aware of the sacrifices an artist makes to pursue her work. Instead of wasting our time, your time and valuable print space by making disparaging remarks about Ms. Howell and Japan Update, why don't you get out from behind your word processor and pursue a dream, ANY dream, and spare us your negativity. If you have a personal grudge against the artist, express it privately and directly instead of washing your dirty laundry in public.


Mark Aleshnick

Naha City



Do Not Trivialize M. Howell’s Accomplishments

As long as I live, 'Playa Hatin' will never cease to amaze me. Here we have a local publication giving a little praise to a local talent and there will always be at least one jealous, green with envy individual, ready to criticize its efforts.

At least we agree that Maria Howell is talented, that there may be others more talented than she is, and that maybe it is a little premature to compare her to Aretha Franklin. However, I don't agree with trivializing her accomplishments (The Color Purple included). As a member of the Black community, I love it when the media use their writing talents to shine a little positive light on a Brother/Sister who is doing good. I am tired of picking up the paper and reading about who shot who, stole what, and who is going to the slammer for whatever.

I hope my sorority sister, Maria Howell, will achieve all that she desires whether it be here or somewhere else. I would imagine that she abides here in Okinawa, because her family is here. I think she makes a valuable contribution to the morale of her fans, be they Japanese, Black, White or whatever.

I don't believe that Maria Howell is the only local talent ever featured by the Japan Update. I think it is wonderful that the paper provides this service, not only for the performer, but for the public too.

There is nothing wrong with promoting oneself. We have to promote ourselves, because no one else will. I would recommend that we all promote ourselves and support one another. We all have some sort of God given talent. We need to stop being the crab in the bottom of the bucket pulling everyone else down.


Michele LaLand,

Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan


A Marine is not a Soldier


I am a US Marine Gunnery Sergeant who does not like to refer to a Marine as a Soldier. A Marine is different from a Soldier. Soldier is a term they use for the Army. Your last Update dated Nov 11-17, on page 12 (at the top left) refers to a Marine who lost his life as a dead soldier. He is not a soldier; he is a Marine… a Marine who lost his life in the line of duty. Thanks for not referring to Marines as Soldiers in the future. Semper Fi!


austin10@hotmail.com

(Gunnery Sergeant Sends)

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