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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Letters to the Editor

Disruptive students need understanding

I am writing in regard to all the letters about how the Department of Education should kick out disruptive students.

Yeah, guys, that will solve the problem. While we're at it, why don't we just send them to a deserted island so they really won't be able to bother anyone?

Why would we want to know the cause of their behaviors? Why would we want to know about abuse, neglect, drugs, depression or problems at home? Why would we want to show that we care?

Because obviously you people don't. If you think you're perfect, then maybe you need the help.

I don't know about you guys, but I am trying to raise my child in a compassionate and understanding world. If you are teaching your children intolerance and ignorance, then it's your children who will someday be "those kids" whom you right now want to dispose of. I pity your children. I am sorry we all can't live in your perfect little universe.

Amelia Woods

Different standard exists for politicians

As I was reading David Waite's article on the state's Child Support Enforcement Agency's massive accounting problems ("Suit says child support agency failing parents," Aug. 27), I just couldn't help but reflect on the enormous irony that exists:

When accountants and CEOs of major companies like WorldCom, Enron and Arthur Andersen misplace investors' money, they are arrested, summoned before a congressional committee and (for the most part) sent to prison.

We feel sorry for the victims but glad that justice was served.

When government leaders allow agencies like the Child Support Enforcement Agency to misplace "about $100,000" of taxpayer money, what happens?

We re-elect them.

Funny, huh?

Marino M. Regalado

'Traffic calming' is a waste of tax dollars

"Traffic calming" is the euphemism used to describe speed bumps, which were chosen by the Andy Mirikitani crowd at the City Council to slow speeders. In my opinion, it is a senseless waste of your tax dollars. Millions of dollars have been spent islandwide on planning and contracting for humps and bumps and hideous signs.

Several city workers, department heads, contractors and planners have been testifying before a grand jury investigating alleged campaign contribution violations of the Harris campaign.

In the "traffic calming" context, it's for putting an unnecessary, ugly, noisy speed bump in front of your house when you don't even want it.

The city has hired Mainland consultants, such as Walkable Communities, with your money. These consultants are merely hired to suggest more contracting jobs. Speed problems could be solved with much less money and much more support from the community.

Many have asked for more police presence to patrol neighborhoods that not only have speeders, but thieves and people who are driving under the influence. This request always gets answered with the mantra, "We can't afford more police." Yet we can afford to render our roads useless and ugly with "traffic calming."

Don't let the personal ambitions and agendas of the few override your collective concerns. It's your money, not theirs.

Lila Marantz

Younger generation should get the jobs

What are these city officials doing by rehiring retirees to fill vacancies in the city offices? Unbelievable! If that's not double-dipping, what would you call it? This burns me up.

One city official was quoted as saying that these retirees have the expertise. We have a lot of kids out of college, looking for jobs, but are not hired because they don't have the experience. They need to get the experience by working in positions like these. Give them a break.

Come on, you retirees, move out, and give the younger generation a break in these jobs. No one is indispensable. We retirees got our jobs by learning on the job.

You wonder what is happening to our younger folks leaving the Islands for the Mainland seeking jobs and better opportunities. There are jobs here in Hawai'i, if given a chance. Our younger generation is a future asset to our state.

Lehua McColgan
Retired government worker

Jury questionnaire has major mistake

I received a jury qualification questionnaire from the state jury pool office. The first question reads: "Are you a citizen of the United States and of the State of Hawai'i?" Do they really believe that citizenship applies to the individual states of our country?

Because the second question asks about state residency, that first question shouldn't mention the state of Hawai'i at all.

I feel embarrassed for the judiciary that it would make such a terrible error and not even notice it. Citizenship applies only to countries; residency applies to states within our country.

Jeff Herman

Kapolei principal put his foot in mouth

Shame on Kapolei High School Principal Al Nagasako for making the comment: "They came home with their tails between their legs." He was commenting on the first-year varsity football team and its game against Wai'anae.

As a former football coach and a resident of Kapolei, I was saddened to read such a foolish statement from someone in his position. Those kids need to be supported, not humiliated. Maybe he should go to another school if he doesn't believe or have pride in his football team and students.

Good luck to the coaches, players and students of Kapolei. Play hard, stand tall and keep you heads high.

M.E. DeRego

Many would take dockworkers' place

I cannot believe that I am reading about a dockworker slowdown yet again. What is it with these people? Don't they realize the economy is sluggish?

To make matters worse, the local workers say they will support whatever the West Coast workers decide to do. I would love for them all just to get sacked; there are plenty of unemployed people on the West Coast and O'ahu who would just love to do their job for half the pay and would probably work twice as hard.

Come on, isn't it about time you took pride in your job instead of how much you can get out of your job?

Karen Wilson

UH Warrior buses got a police escort

My husband and I stopped at the corner of Kina'u and Pi'ikoi Saturday at 3:20 p.m. when we heard sirens. Here came a motorcycle officer into the intersection and stopped traffic while a second officer in a car, with his lights flashing, led two Roberts Hawai'i "UH Warrior" buses through, followed by a third officer in a car, with lights flashing and siren going.

Why do UH Warrior buses need a police escort to the freeway on-ramp? Who is paying for this police escort? Is it my tax dollars?

I think our police officers could be better used for, say, the many cars I see run red lights every day, the cars that block the intersections at King and Pi'ikoi or Lunalilo and Pi'ikoi, or even the cars parked in the no-parking zone in front of my apartment building.

Mrs. Frankie Quinabo

Hope Rex Johnson spelling is improved

Is the Rex Johnson who is going to be paid a quarter of a million dollars to help boost tourism the same one who misspelled Hawaiian names on city street signs some years ago because he said non-Hawaiians don't understand and nobody cares about Hawaiian language words and names? Wasn't he the city director of transportation at that time?

I seem to remember that, after being prodded by Hawaiians, the Honorable Mayor Frank F. Fasi finally ordered him to spell the Hawaiian names correctly.

I think you should have one of your reporters ask Mr. Johnson about it to see if he has changed his mind. If not, he certainly should not be involved in tourism.

Ken Kiura

A lament for Ozzie in three languages

The announcement on Aug. 24 of O.A. "Ozzie" Bushnell's passing saddened me. Here is my lament for Ozzie is three languages — Hawaiian, pidgin and standard English — after the old Hawaiian chant style of lamentation:

Poulika lewa

    'Ano 'e, ua ao
    Ua hala 'o Ozzie, he hoaloha
    He kanaka kaulana 'ike loa
    He kumu, kakau mo'olelo,
    he mea 'imi na'auao

    Noho malie, 'o'ili ke anuenue
    Ua kaumaha au, a halo'ilo'i
    Good-bye e kanaka maika'i
    aloha, e ke keiki hunau o ka'aina.

Pidgin English

    Da sky stay dahk
    Eh, how come, get daylight
    Fren, Ozzie, wen die
    Da buggah famous
    One teecha, writah, one science

    Try wait goin get rainbow
    I feel sad, I like cry
    So long, good guy, aloha
    keiki o ka'aina.

Standard English

    Dark skies
    How strange, it is daylight
    Friend, Ozzie, has departed
    A wise and well-known man
    Teacher, author, scientist

    Be still, a rainbow appears
    I am sad, eyes well with tears
    Farewell, dear and good man,
    aloha, beloved native son of Hawai'i.

Ka'upena Wong

Pidgin holding children back

The kids of Hawai'i have shown in their SAT scores a rising competence in mathematics. That means they have intelligence and can learn things. Feigned ignorance by Hawai'i children can no longer be used as an excuse. So why did the "language" part of the SAT sag this year? I blame pidgin.

Pidgin is supposed to be the Chinese corruption of the American word "business." It was a language of bits and pieces of English and any other words that might help the various workers from different parts of the world understand one another on the old plantations of Hawai'i.

Pidgin was promoted by the plantation masters because they generally refused to school the plantation workers. It is similar to the situation with the black slaves in the South, except that their patois came mostly from Africa, added to a French/English creole.

For some reason I do not understand, pidgin is looked on by many locals as a symbol of Hawai'i pride. It is promoted as inside humor on most local TV news shows and local TV ads. But plantation life was not a good time for the plantation workers and was another ugly chapter in the history of white people. What pride can be taken in that?

Pidgin is passed from generation to generation and ensures that those limited to this form of expression are restricted to the lower rungs of the corporate ladder. A pidgin speaker may flip hamburgers or clean the tables of those who don't bother to clean up after themselves, but without English, the pidgin speaker will probably not be trusted to take orders. Taking orders takes more than just mathematical prowess. It also takes communication skills.

In the United States, the language of business is English. The better one writes and speaks English, the higher one can scale the corporate ladder, which means more respect and more money. It is not a guarantee of wealth and respect, but unless a pidgin speaker is 6-foot-10 and can dunk a basketball from the free throw line, not speaking English well virtually precludes success.

Parents who speak pidgin around the house should insist that their children speak English. They should have their children watch national newscasters, since these people speak the "high" English of corporate America. Restricting pidgin and emphasizing English can only help a child advance in his career, no matter which field he may choose.

For the benefit of Hawai'i children, pidgin should slowly become a thing of the past. And good riddance to a language that harkens back to an era of upper and lower classes in America. There are some things that deserve to die.

David Childs