Thursday, January 25, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, January 25, 2001

Letters to the Editor

Faculty aren’t looking for immense riches’

Regarding undergraduate Tom Park’s Jan. 17 letter asking UH faculty to forgo "immense riches" so as not to hurt students: I appreciate your concern, but few faculty can hope for immense riches.

The real issue here is the value of education to the public. It hurts students far more to undervalue education by paying teachers and professors less than their labor merits. In the long run, it hurts everyone more.

I say this both as a parent and citizen, for whom higher pay for teachers may mean higher taxes and tuition costs to me, and as a professor, for whom higher pay means a salary that edges closer to the standards of my profession.

Education is undervalued for many reasons in our society by the fact that most of the people who do it are women, by the lack of a political voice for or about children and the future, and, in part, by arguments such as Park’s.

Kathy E. Ferguson, Ph.D.
Department of Political Science and Women’s Studies Program, University of Hawai

Teachers aren’t only ones who do a lot

I’m tired of hearing that teachers do a lot.

I am an HGEA member, and I also do a lot. We sacrifice our personal time when there are storms, fallen trees, plugged drains or dead animals. We remove the hazards and make it safe for the public. We go out there and get the job done.

My job starts at 6:30 a.m., but I am usually at work by 5:30 a.m. with no extra compensation. I also plan jobs, counsel employees and pursue professional development and opportunities using personal funds.

I’m so tired of hearing what the teachers have sacrificed. What about the other government unions? If the teachers are so unhappy, find another type of profession or go to the Mainland and see what teaching is all about.

When I attended school, I never heard any teacher crying about pay raises or striking, and I feel they taught me well enough to survive.

Yes, we all need more money, but we still have a job to get done.

Raymond August

Schools should have priority over museum

The Democrats have been in power for 40 years. Our schools are falling apart due to little or no maintenance. The Democrats say "there is no money." However, we can dip into the general fund for $1 million for a museum.

I am sure the queen would prefer the money be spent on our schools. Visit the schools, Vicky, then tell us where the money should really be spent.

Bob Anderson

Why do coaches allow opposition massacres?

Two high school basketball players score 100 points on the same night. Great, what an accomplishment. Wilt Chamberlain did it in the NBA, why not a high school player also?

As a high school teacher and coach myself, I have to wonder what lesson the coaches of these young athletes were trying to teach their athletes. Better yet, how about the lessons for the players on the opposing teams? Neither game was even remotely close, a 90-point blowout in one game and a 150-point massacre in the other.

We should no longer be surprised at the state of professional athletics in this age of the spoiled, self-centered, pampered athlete when lessons of sportsmanship are thrown out the door even at levels where athletes are still impressionable and able to be molded.

Even here in our Island paradise, we are not immune. Every year, high school football games reach spreads of 70 to 80 points, and the starting quarterback is in long enough to throw for six TDs. Soccer games reach double-digit margins as well, with the star player in long enough to score five goals.

So once again, I ask these coaches who throw sportsmanship out the window, what’s the point?

Dean Miyama

Environmental issues argue against military

I oppose the military use of Makua.

Marines out of California were the last troops to use Makua. They stopped the live-fire training in California, so the Marines came to Hawaii to practice. The Army stopped the live-fire practice at Fort Benning, Ga., and other places without closing the bases.

Only in Hawaii do they ask to use the live-fire range to train the troops from out of state, but express the horror at the cost to send our troops elsewhere to shoot. Continued use of the live-fire ranges on the Mainland was unacceptable because of the lead content in the training area. Environmental issues closed the live-fire range at Fort Benning. The Army understands the environmental issues and must stop the live-fire training in Makua.

Benjamin T. Toyama

Children’s Division budget can’t be cut

Larry Geller’s Jan. 12 comments suggesting the Department of Health should be able to cut its Children’s Division budget and staff indicated a misunderstanding of the state’s approach to providing mental health services to Hawaii’s children.

The DOH coordinates care for children requiring the most intensive services outside the schools, while the Department of Education coordinates all "school-based" services for children with less intensive needs.

The decision-making process for these "school-based" services is at the school level, and DOH staff does not participate. Therefore, we do not have any staff to cut or transfer to the DOE. The cost of "school-based" services is also entirely decided by the DOE. However, these services are still paid for out of the Health Department’s mental health services budget.

The DOH is proposing to transfer this entire amount, about $21 million, to the DOE budget for better coordination of services.

We continue to improve our services, just as the DOE continues toward the full implementation of its program of "school-based" services. Both our programs follow "best practice" guidelines to assure that high-quality, effective services are provided in the most appropriate and conducive settings. This approach gives our children the best chance at meeting their educational needs. And our children certainly deserve the best.

Bruce S. Anderson
Director of Health, State Department of Health

Irony is just waiting for Cayetano to drive by

I heard recently that the Cayetanos have purchased a vacant lot on Waialae Iki Ridge. I presume that’s where they will be moving after they leave Washington Place.

Wouldn’t it be funny if the water-main and gas-line work scheduled for Kalanianaole Highway was delayed until they’ve built and moved into their new home? If I saw them stuck in the traffic, I would wind down the window of my 12-year-old "shoyu burner" and say, "Have you any Grey Poupon?"

John H. Mayer
i Kai

Why was Hula Bowl blacked out in Hawaii?

It is great that we have the opportunity to live in the greatest state in the Union. However, there is a downside to this: the blackout of the Hula Bowl here on Oahu and I assume throughout the state.

It is great that the game is played on Maui. However, most people can’t just get on an airplane and spend $200 to $300 to attend the game. Therefore, we are penalized further by not being able to see the game.

It was advertised throughout the week and in The Honolulu Advertiser that the game would be televised and we read about how the players with University of Hawaii ties would be showcased. But we here in the 50th state were not able to see them.

Why wasn’t this game offered on pay-per-view? Why wasn’t there sufficient reporting to let people know in advance that this game would be blacked out? Then expectations would not have been so high.

I guess we will look forward to the same treatment when the Warriors play on Maui.

James Grimes

Palmyra is still part of Hawaiian Kingdom

In 1898, the United States "illegally" annexed the Hawaiian Islands. On April 15, 1862, Capt. Zenas Bent proclaimed Palmyra Island as "Hawaiian Kingdom" territory under the "doctrine of discovery."

Since Palmyra Island was inadvertently left off that "illegal annexation" by the United States, it still remains firmly under the jurisdiction of the Hawaiian Kingdom. And yet The Advertiser reported Jan. 19 that Palmyra was later annexed to the United States by the Fullard-Leo family.

Is this yet another "illegal" annexation?

S. Keneke Tamanaha

Big Island’s Pahoa has undeserved reputation

My wife and I have been fans of the Hilo side of the Big Island ever since I was stationed at Kunia Tunnel in early 1956. Hilo is a marvelous place to relax and enjoy the state.

We treated ourselves to a helicopter trip over the volcano, hiked in the national park and enjoyed local foods at Verna’s Drive-In and the excellent cuisine at Cafe Pesto. We stayed at Kilauea Military Camp for seven glorious days as we explored the changes brought about by economics and the powerful influences of Madame Pele.

The one thing we found distressing was the information we received about Pahoa. We were advised by a local person in the tourist industry to avoid Pahoa because of various problems.

We decided to ignore the dire warnings and check it out for ourselves. My wife, a good friend and I had a wonderful afternoon exploring the shops offered by this quaint little town. We had an enjoyable "last meal" in the islands at Sawasdee Thai restaurant. The food was excellent, the ambiance was historical and the hostess was hospitable. She obviously takes great pride in her restaurant, assisted by various members of her extended family.

In my opinion, it is unfortunate Pahoa is getting a bad rap. It is a delightful, unique, historical town. It and its people deserve better publicity than they are getting. Pahoa entrepreneurs depend on the tourist trade just as most of the state does.

This letter is in support of Sawasdee and other small businesses that depend on tourists to make a living. We enjoyed Pahoa. The few hours we spent there were fun, and the people were friendly. At no time did we feel threatened or in harm’s way.

Please give the old town of Pahoa a break and see to it the information being disseminated is factual and not based on rumor and personal prejudices.

Ernest Novey Jr.

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