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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, February 4, 2006

Letters to the Editor

VISITORS

STATE MUST MAINTAIN FREEWAY GRASSY AREAS

Why is it that with the state surplus, much of it provided by visitors, the state does not maintain grassy areas along much of our freeways? People come to Hawai'i to enjoy the sights and tropical vistas, but much of what they see is not that great.

Oftentimes we hear or read that some contractor had his contract canceled and a new one is being negotiated with another one. The surplus did not happen overnight. Let's give our visitors something to remember so they continue to return to paradise.

Roy M. Chee
Honolulu

BUSH'S MAN

CASE SHOULD RUN IN REPUBLICAN PRIMARY

Ed Case wants to be a U.S. senator very badly. That is fine. But why is he running in the Democratic primary?

Case's congressional record tells us he is a Republican. After all, he supports occupying Iraq for years into the future, the Patriot Act's snooping provisions and limiting the bankruptcy protection ordinary citizens have against banks and financial institutions.

If Case is going to be George W. Bush's man in Washington, he should be running as a Republican.

Noel Jacob Kent
Honolulu

UTAH STATE LOSS

COACH WALLACE SHOULD USE THE ZONE DEFENSE

Just got through watching the men's basketball game with Utah State and was sorry to see them lose. It seems to me that coach Riley Wallace should have more confidence in his team to defend with a zone defense. It certainly worked for Utah State!

It seems to me that coach Wallace should be a little more flexible in using all the tools in basketball to try to win. There is no shame in using the zone, as many teams across the country can attest to. After all, the college game is not the NBA. If you need it to win, why not?

Patrick Umalla
'Aiea

GAY RIGHTS

KINGS WERE AGAINST ALL DISCRIMINATIONS

As our nation mourns the passing of another mother of the civil rights movement Coretta Scott King it is appropriate to honor her legacy and that of her husband, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by recommitting ourselves to understanding the forces of discrimination and fighting against injustice.

At the Gay & Lesbian Community Center in Honolulu, we are mindful that the struggle against racism has been a long, perilous and continuing journey. It is a struggle we know well, and it is one that Mrs. King called "a common struggle."

In a keynote speech to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force on Nov. 9, 2000, Mrs. King said: "Freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation is surely a fundamental human right in any great democracy, as much as freedom from racial, religious, gender or ethnic discrimination."

And it was her husband who famously said: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

In the coming year, the center will be recommitting itself to these ideals of Dr. and Mrs. King, and we welcome the support of our brothers and sisters fighting for civil rights.

Eduardo Hernandez
Executive director, Gay & Lesbian Community Center

TESTING

SCOPE OF EDUCATION STANDARDS IS TOO GREAT

In a Jan. 27 letter, John Kawamoto says that we must not retreat from our educational standards. He then admonishes Gov. Lingle for observing that the standards are set at unreasonably high levels.

The DOE has studies that show it would take three years to teach the third-grade standards. Second-grade math standards call for students to find the volume of a regular prism even though they are just learning multiplication. I have seen eighth-grade math teachers struggle with test questions. There are trigonometry problems on the 10th-grade math test even though most 10th-graders only have had algebra and geometry.

Still, our students consistently score around the national averages in English and math on the SATs. Yet they are perceived as failing by our state assessments.

The scope of the standards is too great. What is needed is a set of specific objectives that can be done in the time allotted. That would be a common curriculum by grade level and subject. Then the tests could be more accurate and appropriate, not necessarily easier.

E. Hauge
20-year teacher, Wai'anae

ISLAND COLOR

LEAVE UGLY FASHION FOR THE COLD MAINLAND

After I fortuitously discovered and settled into these Islands three decades ago, I went home to Milwaukee during a cold fall there and noted grimly that everyone on the street dressed in whatever color he or she wanted as long as it was dull-dark gray, near-black, dark blue or way-too-black black, with a flash of listless brown tossed in for variety and spirit.

Thank God for the Islands, I thought, where folks dress with care and flair, mirroring Hawai'i's intense colors.

But over this past sweep of years, I found that Hawai'i unthinkingly chose to emulate much about life already suspect in North America. Embracing freeway pretzel designs, Planets from Hollywood and Styles by San Francisco.

The "No Slobs on the Job" feature in the Jan. 20 Island Life section offers ample evidence that we still can't shake our ugly stepsister complex. We don't think it's any good unless it looks or acts like them, our brothers and sisters in the real Metropolises-Over-There.

The newspaper story, as illustrated with two attractive people one all beautified in black 'n' gray and the other spiffed up in the alternative gray 'n' black confuses plainness with purposefulness, lifeless tones with sophistication, and lack of adornment with amplitude.

What dreary and false commentary!

Forget the Mainland! You live in paradise and you ought to start dressing like it.

A. Edward Fyffe Jr.
Honolulu