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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, October 24, 2004

Letters to the Editor

Sand replenishment will hurt surfing sites

Regarding Lynda Arakawa's Oct. 15 article "10-year tourism plan gets OK": The Hawai'i Tourism Authority plan outlines nine initiatives, one of which protects Hawai'i's natural resources. We hope that the HTA understands the value of protecting an important natural resource, i.e., Waikiki Beach surfing areas, especially Queen's and Canoe's surfing sites.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources with its planned sand-replenishment project at Kuhio Beach, Site 3, will damage the safe quality of these sites.

The DLNR, at its public hearing on Sept. 1, failed to justify placing sand in Site 3. It admitted that the life expectancy of sand staying on the beach was limited to two to four years. This sand would eventually end up on the wave-breaking areas of the reef, causing damage to the surfing area that is used by hundreds of locals and tourists daily.

Save Our Surf (SOS) presented proof that DLNR's claim that beach sand had eroded on Waikiki Beach over the years was false. SOS presented photographs that proved that more sand exists in Waikiki today than in the past.

If the DLNR insists on going forward with its project for Site 3, it will be threatening, not protecting, a natural resource of our state's world-renowned Waikiki Beach surfing sites.

George Downing
Spokesperson, Save Our Surf

Please stop wasting money on Natatorium

I was born and raised in Hawai'i, and although I am sad to see what has become of a favorite place that was part of my teen and young adult years, I cannot see sinking 6.2 million taxpayer dollars into what is a too-expensive and lost cause. So much money has already been sunk into this facility with, really, nothing to show for it. It's just too late.

The money would be better spent on creating a new memorial commemorating those who served, and those who were lost, in World War I, and locating it close to the present memorial — the Natatorium. I think a very nice memorial could be built for much less than $6.2 million. There are so many more worthy things that are really needed in the City & County of Honolulu, including assistance for the poor and homeless.

Mayor Harris: Please, please stop wasting money on restoring the Natatorium. It just isn't worth it!

A. Matsuda

Danger is lurking on teen Web sites

These Web sites for teenagers are the worst ("Malice lurks online," Oct. 8). They are not private because everyone can read them online. How do teenagers think it is private?

Some parents are so busy making money they do not even know that their children have these Web sites or that some sex offender could be communicating with their children. The Web sites are full of foul language, suggestive sex and hate.

These Web sites do not have telephone numbers or e-mail to communicate that you do not want your child on their sites. Most of these kids are under 18 years old. These Web site companies should be liable if there are any negative impacts on children or family.

I suggest that parents really pay attention to their children and their lives.

Julie Lopez

Substitute teachers are being treated shabbily

My wife, Annetta, retired from the DOE two years ago with over 40 years of teaching experience and a master's degree in education. At the time of her retirement, her salary was just a little bit more than the salary now being earned in Hawai'i by first-year teachers with the same education qualifications. She is in frequent demand as a substitute because of her experience, reputation and unusual skills.

Now her substitute pay rate is being cut arbitrarily because of a contract negotiation where substitute teachers were not represented even though she, like many others, was an HSTA member while employed by the DOE.

This is unbelievably outrageous and unfair. And to make matters worse, the DOE bungled the notification process. Nobody could adequately answer questions about this action from the teachers themselves or explain the situation to the news media.

If anything, the DOE should give the substitute teachers a pay raise based on experience and professional qualifications. Without dedicated and skilled substitute teachers, the system cannot function.

Phil Kinnicutt