Letters to the Editor
THE PUBLIC'S TRUST IN EDUCATION MISPLACED
David Shapiro courageously takes on the Board of Education, the leadership of the Department of Education, the Legislature, the Democratic Party, the governor and the unions, indicting them for the multitude and magnitude of failures within Hawai'i's public school system (Volcanic Ash, Oct. 4).
Shapiro's column brings to mind a report issued in 1983 by a presidential commission on education. It stated: "If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves."
We have been aware of the failures of Hawai'i's public education system for a long time. Yet, on the emotional level, the people of Hawai'i continue to place so much trust in public education that, unfortunately, Shapiro's call for reform will go unheeded.
That trust is a remnant of history. Public education played a prominent role in moving Hawai'i from an elitist society to an egalitarian society. The public developed a trust in public education, which remains even though the quality of education has since deteriorated.
Education will improve only after the public attitude changes to recognize at the emotional level the failures of Hawai'i's public education system.John Kawamoto
OHA NEEDS TO FOCUS ON LESS-FORTUNATE KIDS
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has made a proposal to provide $5,000 scholarships to needy Hawaiian students who attend private schools. Hello! A child who attends private school should not be classified "needy."
I know these parents work hard to give their children the best education possible at these private institutions.
However, most of these children will succeed in life because of family bonds, strength, love and determination. OHA needs to focus on the less-fortunate children, those who are homeless. They have no chance at a decent future. Give these children the opportunity to a decent education so they can give back to society and become more productive as adults. We keep trying to help the "haves" and ignore the "have nots." Why?
Helping these kids may restore their spirit, bonds and pride that their parents seem to have lost. Also, nine out of 10 students who apply to Kamehameha are turned away, primarily because they don't have the grade average to attend.
You can sugar coat this issue any way you want to, but it's the truth, Kamehameha is looking for the cream of the crop and turning away the very children that Pauahi's will wanted to help, the orphaned and the indigent.Pam Sylva
GOV. LINGLE HAS EARNED ANOTHER FOUR YEARS
Friday night, I tuned in to watch the debate between Gov. Linda Lingle and Randy Iwase. With the election drawing near, I thought this a good opportunity to get more information.
It seemed that Mr. Iwase tried to tie the governor to President Bush and the war in Iraq much too much. Mr. Iwase kept referring to, "your friend President Bush" as if it were a badge of shame.
Personally, I believe having a governor with the ear of the president of our great country is a positive.
Mr. Iwase also seemed jealous that the governor has more campaign funds. Mr. Iwase, the reason that the governor has more funds than you is because people like the job she is doing.
Mr. Iwase did not project an image of someone who is ready to be governor. Linda Lingle has given us four good years of service and dedication to our state. We have a good governor that we have seen in action. Let's keep it that way.Jim Rogers
LINGLE WRONG TO NAME THIELEN TO SENATE RACE
Gov. Linda Lingle is upset because the endorsement of the Democratic candidate by the Hawai'i State Teachers Asociation was not put to a vote.
The members of HSTA should indeed be mad and concerned over this, but isn't it a bit hypocritical of Lingle to be so outraged?
After all, she just pulled the same stunt on the Republican senatorial candidates when state Rep. Cynthia Thielen was appointed to the position and the legitimate candidates were rudely tossed aside.
My eyes are now open, and I am changing my vote from Republican in the general election to Democrat all the way.Storm Yee
YES, DOLPHINS DO NEED PROTECTION FROM US
In regard to "Do Dolphins Need More Protection?" (Advertiser, Oct. 5), Michael Hyson stated: "Whales and dolphins are reaching out to us." Do you think whales were reaching out to us 200 years ago, when they were being slaughtered off of Lahaina, Maui?"
Whales and dolphins have been using these islands as a safe haven since before Hawaiians discovered it 1,000 years ago. It's simple evolutionary characteristic animal behavior. You're right, dolphins need more protection.Carl Paoo Jellings
LETTER OVERSIMPLIFIED CRUISE AD CONTROVERSY
The oversimplification of the controversy surrounding the depiction of King Kamehameha I by Donald Tierney (Letter, Oct. 6) is a good example of the ignorance surrounding the usage of Hawaiian images, cultural objects, art and deities.
Tierney misses the basic point of the protest lodged against Celebrity Cruises by the Hawaiian community.
The protest was against the misappropriation of the image of King Kamehameha I. The usage of his image was for an advertisement created for the benefit of Celebrity Cruises — a commercial enterprise. The representation was not created as an editorial cartoon to voice one's freedom of expression like the Muhammad cartoon he refers to.
It was paid for by one entity, Celebrity Cruises, to promote Hawai'i to another entity. Hawaiians have very little control on how their identity is marketed and portrayed in the various forms of media. So it is admirable when Hawaiians protest the misappropriation of their culture. It was also appropriate for Celebrity Cruises to offer an apology and pull their offensive advertisement.David G. Kim
HAWAI'I KAI RECYCLING CONTINUES TO FRUSTRATE
I'd like to express my frustration over recycling in Hawai'i Kai.
About three weeks ago, I took my bottles and plastics to recycle. I parked my car in the area and was about to take the barrel to my car to empty the bottles in it. I had about seven cases of bottles to empty. They told me I had to take the bottles and stand in line and empty the bottles there. I could not carry the barrel to my car. Also, I had counted all the bottles, but they told me they would not take my count.
Today I went and they had two lines set up — one for weighing and one for counting. Why are there different rules every time I go there?
This is why I wonder if it is worth recycling. The people who work there make you feel that they are doing you a favor.
The posted hours there are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but when I got there about 9:10 a.m. they were not ready.Karen Holley
DESTROYING DRUG HOUSE CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED
I cannot believe what I recently saw on the late night news on one of our local TV stations — a perfectly structured house being destroyed because it had been designated as a "drug house."
With hundreds, if not thousands, of homeless families here in Hawai'i, how can anyone justify destroying a perfectly structured house?
There must be a better way to take possession of such houses and give it to people in need.John Toillion
U.S. WAGING GLOBAL WAR OF TERROR ON ENEMIES
Two separate articles in the Oct. 2 Advertiser — adding to the already mountainous volumes of other evidence on U.S. torture of "detainees" — prove that torture is widespread and apparently condoned by the highest auathorities in the Bush regime.
Moreover, the congressional passage of the Military Commissions Act last week sends a clear message both to U.S. soldiers in the field as well as to the rest of the world that U.S. officials intend to bend the Geneva Conventions rules on prisoner treatment as they see fit.
This pattern of hypocrisy and cowardly abdication of responsibility is a sad commentary on what's left of our contemporary "civilized" society.
Since 9/11, America has been willing to let the Bush team use its well-honed tactic of "terroristic threatening" to justify all sorts of "pre-emptive" torture treatment on tens of thousands of alleged "suspects."
The net result is that the U.S. is waging a global war of terror on whomever we designate as our suspected enemies.Danny H.C. Li
AGRICULTURE WATER HAS RENEWABLE LIFE CYCLE
The article about the vast amounts of water needed for sugar cane for ethanol (Oct. 8) failed to mention that water has a renewable life cycle. Water can be reclaimed after use and cleansed biologically at sustainable levels for other human use.
Once reservoirs, ditches and hydro systems are restored, let us not forget the immense power released at the failure of Kaloko dam and harness that energy for turbines, as add-on sustainable power. We have runaway hydropower in Hawai'i.
Lihu'e plantation on Kaua'i once generated a significant percentage of Kaua'i Electric's power from burning the bagasse waste from sugar production.
Finally, alcohol is the waste product of the interaction of nutritional yeast with water and sugar. Yeast can double in an hour. Turn a carbohydrate into protein and vitamins.
So — ethanol, nutrition, hydropower, bagasse. A potent recipe for sustainable Hawai'i for generations. And don't forget wave turbines.Virginia Beck