Letters to the Editor
THROWING MONEY AT PRESCHOOL WON'T WORK
It is obvious that early childhood education is a great asset to social and academic development. But we have to ask ourselves if we can afford it.
As the state is learning, throwing more money and positions at the Department of Education isn't reinventing our public schools. Can we expect to provide an adequate preschool foundation for Hawai'i's keiki if we cannot care for the essential, core public education system?Kristi Sue-Ako
STREET PERFORMERS SHOULD BE LEFT ALONE
I am appalled at the fact that some see street performers as a nuisance. They are artists using their gifts to entertain our guests from overseas and to make a few bucks doing so.
You may call it a money-making scheme, but unless I am incorrect, I think the more politically correct term is capitalism. The street performers do have a right to capitalize.
If anything, the performers should pay a minimum tax or have a permit to perform. Other than that, I do not think they should be removed or discontinued from doing what they are doing.Lolan Lauvao
HERE'S WHY SIDEWALKS IN WAIKIKI ARE NARROW
Cobi Eernisse complained about the sidewalk in front of the Cheesecake Factory. Here's the history:
When Frank Fasi was mayor and Kalakaua Avenue was narrowed to make wider, prettier sidewalks, landowners had to agree to not use the "front lawns" that are property they own, but look like extensions of the sidewalk.
During the tenure of Jeremy Harris, this regulation was laid to rest and immediately thereafter the space in front of buildings, which was owned by the landlords of the buildings, was taken over by their tenants.
A really good example is the sidewalk cafe that used up all the space around the fountain in front of Planet Hollywood. And, now, the space in front of Cheesecake Factory.
Subtract the front lawns of buildings facing the street, and the sidewalk that is left belongs to "us" and is sometimes as narrow as the sidewalk that existed before Kalakaua was narrowed all those years ago.
And don't even get started on the silly design of the meandering flagstone sidewalks recently completed on Kuhio, with their unmaintainable grass strips along the curb. Go figure.Edward L. Bonomi
UNIVERSAL PRESCHOOL DOESN'T MAKE SENSE
I read with amusement the new idea of universal preschool for all children in the state, the concept and motivation of which are admirable.
However, despite the DOE's backlog of repairs to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, its lack of textbooks and all of its fiscal problems, the state wants to take on another task, which would undoubtedly involve setting up multiple layers of lower, middle and upper management, statewide.
In addition, the new entity would undoubtedly compete with and ultimately damage the Headstart program, which already is an excellent program and has large resources to back up its mission.
I think the proponents of this idea should think long and hard about actively pursuing this new course just because the coffers are becoming flush again. Everyone knows that the economy is a cyclical thing, and on the next downturn, there would be another multimillion-dollar program, hat in hand, asking for its share to maintain itself.John Shen
BLAME PEDESTRIANS FOR THEIR BAD HABITS
I read with interest Bernard Judson's Jan. 3 letter. Well Bernard, allow me to enlighten you as to why drivers are always blamed for pedestrians being hit and killed on O'ahu streets.
Obviously our legislators, including our governor, were busy planning on their election as class president of their schools instead of sitting in a physics class. They honestly believe that a 3,000-pound vehicle, traveling at the posted speed limit or below, can stop within 15 to 20 feet when a 100-pound pedestrian decides to step into its path.
I've traveled the streets of Honolulu every day and I've seen countless instances of pedestrians darting out between parked cars, some with small children in tow. I've seen pedestrians look in my direction and step out into my path of travel, all the while looking directly at me as though saying, "Go ahead, hit me. I'll sue and take everything you own."
Then there are our blessed elderly who, like our elected officials, don't realize the distance needed to safely stop a moving vehicle. We can blame their age, our legislators, their ignorance, or our police for lack of enforcement.
It's about time that our legislators realize that the sidewalks are for pedestrians, the streets for motorized vehicles. I don't drive on your sidewalks, please don't run out between parked cars, cross outside of marked crosswalks, or cross in marked crosswalks when the "Don't Walk" sign is flashing.
As for our elderly, perhaps a son, daughter or friend can make that trip to the store for them, or accompany them.John Shupe
AYAU SET NO CONDITIONS ON HO'OPONOPONO
Mahalo to The Advertiser for printing imprisoned Hui Malama executive director Edward Halealoha Ayau's letter on Jan. 12.
In it, he expressed his unqualified support for entering into a contemplated Hawaiian-based mediation or ho'oponopono to resolve the issues raised in the lawsuit filed by La'akea Suganuma and Abigail Kawananakoa over the disposition of the funerary objects (moepu) in the Kawaihae caves. Judge Ezra sent him to jail for refusing to divulge sensitive information that would violate Hui Malama's religious/cultural belief that the moepu be left undisturbed with the bones (iwi kupuna) of ancient Hawaiians with which they were buried.
As a prisoner of conscience, Halealoha firmly believes he cannot comply with Judge Ezra's order demanding information contrary to his religious/cultural beliefs. He remains firm and resolute, as does the Hui Malama board of directors, that such information cannot be released if it will be used to commit a second desecration of these moepu and the iwi kupuna with which they are buried.
There is no dispute that Bishop Museum and David Forbes conspired to loot that burial site of what the museum at that time classified as funerary objects in 1905, so Hui Malama firmly believes they must be returned and not ever disturbed again.
Contrary to the suggestion of the headline for the letter ("No ho'oponopono if it means exposing reburial"), Ayau's position has nothing to do with his willingness to participate in the Hawaiian cultural-based mediation in which the parties are now poised to participate. Your heading suggests that Ayau will not participate if he's required to divulge the information the court required.
No one can predict where ho'oponopono will lead. No such condition has been imposed on the participants. Ayau supports ho'oponopono unconditionally and looks forward to participating in it, if allowed.Alan Murakami
Attorney for Hui Malama
PAYS FOR ITSELF
EASE ENERGY CRISES WITH SOLAR HEATING
If the installation of basic rooftop solar water heating were a requirement for every building permit on O'ahu, whether for a new condo or an ohana add-on, would we be having these mid-winter energy crises? What can we expect when summer comes?
Our basic, 1979 two-panel system has paid for itself many times over in lower electricity bills.D.J. Henderson
HIGH SCHOOL SURFING SPORT IS A MISTAKE
Here we go. Despite the obvious liability issues surrounding high school surfing, we are about to make it an official high school sport.
I just can't wait to see students skip classes for surf meets. It will only be a matter of time until a student drowns or loses a limb to a shark while participating in this non-collegiate sport.
I hope the DOE and BOE are smart enough to have a multi-million-dollar insurance policy. Then again, maybe they aren't.Satoru Handa