Saturday, January 20, 2001
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Posted on: Saturday, January 20, 2001

Letters to the Editor

Good dental hygiene is the only answer

According to a Jan. 10 article, "Molokai health group pushing for fluoridation," the issue of adding fluoride to the public’s drinking water will again be before the Legislature.

They are under the mistaken belief that adding a highly corrosive chemical to the drinking water will reduce cavities in children’s teeth. The proven way to reduce cavities is good dental hygiene, regular visits to the dentist, brushing before going to bed and cutting down on sweets.

Glenn Carvalho

Print more stories on Hawaii’s heroes

I agree with Beau Hodge (Letters, Jan. 8) that surfer Sunny Garcia’s ASP World Champion status was not properly cited in your "Year in 2000" article, but I disagree with the assertion that you do not cover surfers in general.

I read a wonderful full-length article about Sunny in December. Another plus to the surfing world is that some lucky surfer always gets the front-page exposure every time a large swell hits the Islands.

I also faithfully read the results from statewide surf meets (and from around the world), usually every Monday, because friends and family are usually listed in them. Unfortunately, the Triple Crown of Surfing season coincides with the mega-bucks industry of the other "ball sports," but I guess that is the nature of the news industry.

The Sunny Garcia story is huge. The message of a "local boy makes good" is far-reaching for the youth of Hawaii. You need to attend a surf meet one day and see the reaction on young surfers’ faces when a well-known surfer walks by. Only then would you understand the awe these up-and-coming younger surfers have for role models like Sunny. It’s just like getting your football or baseball signed by your all-time hero or heroine.

I suggest you give more print space to current heroes of Hawaii because we really want to know more about them. And we want to point out to our kids that they, too, can accomplish their goals, if they really want to. Hawaii needs this.

Kuumomi Ho

Set up highway tolls

I couldn’t agree more with Howard Wiig’s Jan. 12 letter on a bus fare hike being punishment for bus riders. Has anyone thought of charging tolls for cars and trucks on major throughways?

Ted La Fore

More public school teachers will leave

I have seen too many good teachers either leave the state or the profession over the years. Ten years ago, the prevailing mood among teachers was one of patience and acceptance. We accepted the fact that we would not see any decent salary increase and patiently waited.

Today, the prevailing mood is one of frustration and acceptance. We accept the fact that if the governor has his way, it will be time for many of us to move on. This is not to be construed as a threat. It is a simple fact. Teachers are educated and resilient, therefore we can enter other careers, relocate or find gainful secondary employment, which would inhibit the time we dedicate to our teaching.

The current teacher shortage is not confined to special education. There is no reason to expect the shortage to decrease. There are numerous reasons to expect it to dramatically increase.

Contact a teacher or administrator at your school and ask them what they envision at their school two years from now if teachers are only given the 9 percent raise the state is offering. The public needs to realize that the current negotiations are crucial and will affect the quality of education well beyond the length of the contract.

I have one final comment from a parental perspective. If teachers are given the 22 percent raise and the teacher shortage disappears, the state and public should stipulate that the HSTA ease its blind protection of teachers who have been properly documented for improprieties or ineffectiveness.

Robert Flemm
Kailua-Kona, Big Island

Oysters, airplanes incompatible

While the Reef Runway site might be the best location on Oahu for raising oysters, let’s not forget what we all learned as kids: "A noisy noise annoys an oyster."

Jane Thompson

Highways Division deserves praise

The Highways Division of the state Department of Transportation receives a lot of complaints, so it’s about time it received some recognition for a job well done.

Recently I addressed a letter to the Highways Division requesting that street lines be painted on Waipahu Street off Kamehameha Highway.

Although I live in Waikele, my concern was for the senior citizens at Waipahu Elderly Hall and for everyone who uses that street. I was just notified that the street lines were painted.

Here’s wishing each and every one of those people a big mahalo for a job well done.

Johanna Fergie

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