Tuesday, January 23, 2001
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Posted on: Tuesday, January 23, 2001

Letters to the Editor

Fireworks continue to destroy our peace

Fireworks ought to be banned except for those professionals who know what they are doing and or for those with special permits.

I was in Palolo on New Year’s Eve. I saw lots of illegal aerial fireworks, and lots of other fireworks exploding all around. The fireworks started long before the time set by law to explode such arsenals. I said at the time that with all of the illegal aerials going off, there was a potential for some serious damage. I left the valley fairly early, as I was having trouble breathing and was concerned by so many illegal aerials. Makiki was a little better, but still very offensive to me and my animals.

The present law gives a time period in which people can shoot off fireworks, but that is meaningless. Fireworks in Makiki were being exploded way before New Year’s Eve, and some were set off just recently. It appears that people hold on to some and continue long after New Year’s to destroy the peace as they wish, with no regard for anyone else. Doing so shows arrogance and selfishness.

The only thing that can be done to stop this insanity is to ban them altogether. It is unfortunate that some people make it bad for others, but that seems to be the norm. I just hope our legislators show some backbone and tackle this problem.

A. Vinton

Special section gave only one-sided view

The Advertiser’s "State of the Hawaiian" special section (Jan. 7) missed the crucial message of the Rice and Arakaki decisions and the U.S. Senate’s refusal to pass the Akaka Bill: The ritual complaints of "lost sovereignty," "stolen lands" and "oppressed peoples," long accepted uncritically here and in Washington, may now face repeated skeptical and scholarly challenges.

These complaints do not stand up well to such challenges, as the Rice decision illustrates. So the supporters of a special legal status for Hawaiians may see not just rejections of their demands, but the collapse of the whole belief system on which those demands are based.

Having one’s complaints ignored is frustrating, but having them proved baseless, after years of being assured they were legitimate can cause great pain and sadness. Thousands of Hawaii’s citizens, believing all their lives that their history and ancestry justify special privileges, face this prospect. Will demagogues turn this to mischief, or are community institutions and leaders prepared to intervene and ease the transition in a spirit of l¯kahi (harmony) and aloha?

Those questions are unavoidable after Rice. They should have been addressed, for the benefit of all the state’s citizens, in The Advertiser special section.

Paul M. Sullivan

Hawaiian movement must not be divided

In the Bible it says: "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined and every city or household divided against itself will not stand" (Matt. 12:25). I write this plea to all Hawaiians throughout the world. Let us take these words of Jesus to heart.

As I read the newspaper and watch the daily news, it breaks my heart to see what is happening to the Hawaiian people. I will be the first to tell you that what is happening to the Hawaiians is wrong. The saddest part of this is not what is being done, but rather the way we choose to fight back.

There are sections of the Hawaiian community who continue to argue with each other. Should we have complete sovereignty, or should we try for federal recognition? Unless we stop fighting with each other, these arguments will be pointless. We will lose all that we already have unless we, as a community of Hawaiians, fight together. We must find a way to put aside our differences today for the sake of a better tomorrow.

Manu Naeole

Teachers do a lot for students’ sake’

Shame on you, Tom Park (Letters, Jan. 17), for asking UH faculty not to strike for their students’ sake. What a truly selfish plea. You should be asking our government to fund their pay raises so they do not have to consider striking.

"For your students’ sake," you plead. Well, let me tell you what educators do for our students’ sake:

For our students’ sake, we often sacrifice time with our own families to make lesson plans and grade assignments. Teaching does take planning.

For our students’ sake, we will meet outside of compensated time to counsel and offer assistance. Teachers want their students to be successful.

For our students’ sake, we will either pay for classroom supplies out of our own pockets or donate our time to write grants to cover the costs of a quality education.

For our students’ sake, we continually pursue professional development opportunities on our own time and with our personal funds.

For our students’ sake, we have not gone on strike yet, despite not having contracts for quite some time.

Like Hawaii’s public school teachers, UH faculty are tired of being expected to sacrifice personal lives and go into debt for their students’ sake.

For your sake, if you don’t want your teachers to strike, you should be writing the governor and our legislators to appropriately compensate Hawaii’s professional educators.

Victoria Pescaia
Teacher, Kaimuki High School

Phonics is essential in balanced teaching

Your Dec. 23 article "New reading strategy bears fruit," about the trend to use phonics for teaching reading, reinforced what we have found to be true for years at Navy Hale Keiki School.

Phonics has been the core of the language arts program at the school for over 30 years because of its effectiveness in helping students become confident readers and writers. Children of all skill levels experience greater success having mastered the use of phonics as a tool for learning.

The school invests in teacher training in the Spalding Phonics Method, referenced in your article, with Phonics Plus. Phonics Plus director Ernellen Lui has remained committed to promoting the method since the ’80s. She has worked diligently to keep Romalda Spalding’s text, "The Writing Road to Reading," from going out of print and ensures that the method remains current with the needs of students through research and program modifications.

I am encouraged that teachers are finding that the key to effective instruction is in providing a balance in what children are taught and that phonics is recognized as an essential part of that balance. As a teacher of the method for 24 years, I believe strongly that phonics must be taught systematically, and that one will not find a system that is more efficient and effective than the Spalding/Phonics Plus Method.

Three cheers to Ernellen Lui for her tireless efforts in keeping the method alive through teacher training, parent consultation and tutorials.

Diane N.H. Tabangay
Director, Navy Hale Keiki School

Archery accusations are without foundation

Regarding Robert Loera’s Jan. 13 letter, "Kapiolani Park archery range is a danger to the public": Contrary to Loera’s assertion that the mayor has ignored the safety issue, the mayor ignored all of the other city business for several hours last month to conduct a site inspection of the range in the company of several of his senior aides. As a result of this site inspection, recommendations were developed to enhance both the real and perceived safety of the range and are under review. When the recommendations are implemented, the range will exceed the safety standards recommended by both of the national archery organizations.

Contrary to Loera’s assertion, there was no recommendation or intent to "double" the size of the archery area. The recommendation was merely to clearly delineate the boundaries of the area that have been in effect for a very long time.

The bulk of the archery area consists of an open, grassy field and a shaded but very uneven area toward the tennis center end. With so many even, shaded areas that are so much closer to any parking, it is not clear that any part of the archery area could reasonably be considered the "best" picnic spots in the park by Loera or anyone else.

Some of the archery tackle in use at the range undoubtedly was intended for use in hunting, as indicated by muted colors or camouflage patterns. With the exception of color, most of this tackle is indistinguishable from tackle used in almost all target competitions, including the Olympics. The broad-head arrows required to turn this tackle into hunting equipment have never been allowed for use at the range.

There seem to be no recorded instances, ever, that an arrow from the range has caused injury or property damage of any kind.

Jerry Hucks

Here’s how to save on electricity usage

Just a couple of suggestions that could go a long way toward saving electricity:

Turn off the lights.

Sounds like something my mother would say. If you’re not in the room, if you are not using them, turn off the lights. Well, not all the lights, but in many areas, half could be safely turned off.

Cut down on the air-conditioning.

By raising the legal maximum ambient temperature of office buildings from 72 degrees to 74 or 76 degrees, millions of dollars could be saved. Similar to setting the maximum heating level to 68 degrees that saved millions during the 1970s oil crisis.

Myron Berney

Air tragedy reprise wasn’t appreciated

Shame on you. Front page with old news. Wounds opened, for what? Aloha Air is a great company. Hawaiian Air is receiving new airplanes soon, and I am sure its family does not appreciate this type of third-party marketing.

Pat Keegan

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