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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Letters to the Editor

ENERGY

ADDING ETHANOL TO GAS A RIPOFF, FOOLISHNESS

Adding ethanol to our gasoline was not necessary, is a big consumer ripoff, an environmental setback, a political boondoggle and pure fuel foolishness.

Adding ethanol to gasoline is fuel foolish because the start-to-finish ethanol/gas process wastes 75 percent of the energy (including wasting oil) that it takes to produce.

Adding ethanol is fuel foolish because it lowers gasoline efficiency instead of raising it.

Adding ethanol is fuel foolish because it raises the pollution of cars instead of lowering it.

Adding ethanol is fuel foolish because it raises the price of gasoline due to less mileage and higher cost of blends instead of lowering it.

Adding ethanol is fuel foolish because it is totally unnecessary. Pure oil is better! Oil is a natural fuel. Oil is a renewable fuel. Oil is an abundant fuel. We have enough known oil deposits now estimated to be over 10 trillion barrels to last us hundreds of years. Old oil wells are being self-replenished. Oil is not a "fossil fuel" it is a natural product continually created by the earth like methane gas.

Gerald Wright
Pahoa

SCHOOL CHOICE

OUR STUDENTS DESERVE A QUALITY EDUCATION

We all support education, and as a state we continue to virtuously invest in our kids. We do this because we believe that all kids deserve the same kind of quality education. So how is it that we can ask that families keep their kids in any of the 187 failing public schools out of the 282?

Personally, I enjoyed the public school experience, but couldn't stay because each year the expectations steadily dropped. The kids get split into classes, honors or not, and soon two sets of standards lead to two different qualities of education. Due to these standards, many students leave our education system to go to private schools.

If we are investing in education for kids, why can't we let students get the quality education they deserve by offering them the choice of school? Soon, the schools with successful formulas can expand and failing schools can restart. Let's consider new ways of helping the kids and not try to keep pumping money into a system that continues to disappoint us.

Rose Hacking
Honolulu

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

DRASTIC ACTION NEEDED FOR LOW TEST SCORES

On March 7, The Advertiser published a front-page article entitled "Island schools 'leak' students," and on Friday another article appeared on the front page, "Test scores inadequate, again." When will the DOE realize our students deserve better?

I am a teacher who grew disillusioned by the status quo and hung my own shingle, The Reading Tutor a private tutoring center. I have a working knowledge of what students are learning and it does not surprise me that math scores are low.

If I could burn every IMP math book in Hawai'i schools, I would. Recently, I did an Internet search on the effectiveness of the IMP math program and I discovered that science teachers, parents and even students are upset about IMP math. Schools in California have dropped the IMP program and returned to traditional math. Many of our public schools have adopted this inadequate math program. One of my students was unable to register for college level math classes due to his low SAT score in math. He now needs to take two semesters of lower, noncollege credit math prior to being accepted into a college level math class. This is unacceptable. What happened to Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II, trigonometry, and calculus?

The DOE must also address writing (especially proper grammar spoken as well as written) and reading. I am constantly teaching grammar. Years of writing daily in journals without teacher correction have reinforced misspellings and improper punctuation. When I test a new student from a public school, they cannot identify verbs, subjects, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions, etc.

The DOE always makes excuses for the poor scores. Stop! Drastic problems need drastic solutions!

Linda Sofa
The Reading Tutor, Kapolei

ELECTION

SCANNERS SHOULD ACKNOWLEDGE VOTE

I would hope that by this election the programming staff responsible for the ballot scan sheets could program the LED of the ballot-scanning devices to reply "Mahalo," or "Ballot accepted," or "Thank you for voting" so that we would know that our ballot passed the scanning check.

William J. King
Honolulu

SENATE RACE

FUNDRAISING AMOUNTS PROMPT A QUESTION

Akaka trounces Case in fund-raising.

Makes you wonder how smart the money is, especially since the liberal editors at Time magazine named him one of the five worst senators. They said, "Akaka is living proof that experience does not necessarily yield expertise. He lives in Inouye's very long shadow on the back bench of the Senate, and his interests seem more parochial."

Michael M. Rohrer
Mililani

POLITICAL SEASON

SIGN WAVERS A HAZARD ON HAWAI'I'S ROADWAYS

Nancy Bey Little states in her July 7 letter that political sign-wavers are not a danger and there have been no accidents.

She is wrong. I personally know at least one individual whose car was totaled when a sign waver on Fort Weaver Road made a sudden move toward the road. The driver's attention was diverted and in avoiding the sign waver she hit the car ahead of her. I also have neighbors who have had close calls with sign wavers, and have had to swerve in heavy traffic to avoid hitting them.

Sign wavers who maintain at least 10 feet from the road are almost bearable, but those who crowd right to the line delineating the driving lane are an extreme hazard.

Tony Roberts
'Ewa Beach

HOUSE RESOLUTION 921

REP. ABERCROMBIE OUT OF STEP ON ISRAEL

I was disappointed that your weekly summary of our Hawai'i congressional delegation votes did not show that on July 20 Rep. Neil Abercrombie was one of only eight members of the House of Representatives to vote nay on House Resolution 921 in support of Israel.

The day before, the U.S. Senate passed a similar resolution unanimously (by voice vote).

When one of our congressional representatives is out of step on such an important matter as our support of Israel, I think that it might be newsworthy enough to let the people of Hawai'i know about it.

James Tweedie
Mililani

HAWAIIANS

IDEA OF BLOOD QUANTUM IS A WESTERN CONCEPT

In response to Frank Scott's letter ("Separate Government Seems Unwarranted," July 20) he makes multiple references to those with "trace amounts of Hawaiian ancestry."

The idea of blood quantum is a Western concept, used to slowly continue the genocide of native people that has been happening since Westerners arrived on our lands.

Kanaka maoli never defined themselves in terms of blood quantum. Your ancestry and where you lived defined your Hawaiian identity, not whether you were full-blood, half, or whatever.

Even though many Hawaiians are not full-bloods, we are keeping our language and culture thriving, and that is what gives many of us our Hawaiian identity. The programs that benefit those of us who have "trace amounts" of Hawaiian blood are meant to right historical wrongs that are still wreaking havoc on the wellness of our people.

Hawaiian should not be defined by blood quantum. The definition of what is Hawaiian should be left to us Hawaiian people.

Scott Shishido
Sunnyvale, Calif.

MUNICIPAL LOT

KAIMUKI ATTENDANT PARKING OFFERS WORKABLE SOLUTION

There has been a long debate over the parking problem in the Kaimuki area. People come to Kaimuki to shop, dine and use the park. To continue this economic prosperity, we need to give these people a place to park their cars.

As a solution, the city has proposed attendant parking.

On July 20, the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board discussed the city's plans for Kaimuki's parking problem. The chairman favored a motion to reconsider the board's adopted May motion to support a short-term solution of attendant parking and a second long-term solution of a parking structure. The chairman opposed attendant parking and instead called for the immediate construction of a parking structure. The motion failed and the city will now move forward with its plans for attendant parking.

I recognize the importance of a long-term solution and hope that one can be achieved, but we should try attendant parking first. I call this "Plan A." The city Department of Transportation Services said that if Plan A doesn't work, then it would consider construction of a parking structure. This I call "Plan B."

Plan A will offer an immediate solution. Starting before the holiday shopping season, an attendant will be placed in the parking lot behind between 11th and 12th avenues. The rates will remain the same as the current metered ones but will increase after a few hours. This is meant to discourage all-day parking and free up space for others.

A parking structure would add more spaces but would be built on the present municipal lot and would irreparably harm many businesses since construction is expected to take more than a year. What is needed is a structure on another site. I suggest condemning the Queen Theater property, some other property, or building under Kaimuki Park.

I am gratified with all the hard work of the city, Kaimuki Business and Community Association, the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board and the Department of Transportation. Those who oppose the city are unrealistic. Let's try Plan A and if that doesn't work, there is Plan B.

Rep. Barbara Marumoto
R-19th (Kaimuki, Kahala, Wai'alae Iki)