Letters to the Editor
CASE HAS A LOT TO LEARN FROM SENATOR AKAKA
Jerry Burris missed the point in his analysis of the Case/Akaka primary results. Ed Case did not fail to "bring out voters" — he succeeded dramatically.
Many of the people I spoke to who voted in this year's primary did so for only one reason — not to cast a vote for Dan Akaka but to cast a vote against Ed Case.
Here in Hilo (my hometown), we were taught to respect our elders and to appreciate their willingness to serve. Rep. Ed Case might be a great leader someday, but he still has a lot to learn.
He could learn a lot from Senator Akaka.Elroy Osorio Jr.
LINGLE'S JUDGMENT SHOULD BE QUESTIONED
I write in total support for Eduardo Hernandez's letter (Sept. 26) in The Advertiser.
Gov. Linda Lingle's unwavering support of President Bush's disastrous war in Iraq is more then enough to question her judgment and vote for ABL (anyone but Lingle).
Surely, our beloved Aloha State deserves better.Rick Lloyd
JUDICIAL RETIREMENT AGE SHOULD BE ABOLISHED
Article VI, Section 3, of the Hawai'i Constitution provides for the mandatory retirement at age 70 for state justices and judges.
The 23rd Legislature of the state of Hawai'i determined that the antiquated notion that all individuals are no longer mentally or physically fit to be contributing members of the workforce once they reach a certain age must be abolished. This point is particularly striking when examining the age restriction placed upon Hawai'i's justices and judges, who are highly educated individuals who have served as learned members of the bar and now the bench. The wealth of knowledge and experience in interpreting Hawai'i's laws that is retained by these individuals is invaluable to the residents of Hawai'i.
The mandatory age of 70 for state justices and judges is a waste of talent, knowledge and experience.
The proposal to amend Article VI, Section 3, of the Constitution of the state of Hawai'i to repeal the mandatory retirement age of 70 for all state court justices and judges will be placed before the people on Nov. 7.
I support the intent and purpose of the proposal and urge the voters of Hawai'i to support it.Meyer M. Ueoka
HAWAI'I FANS NEED TO SUPPORT UH FOOTBALL
It's very sad to see the number of University of Hawai'i football season tickets that have been sold so far.
Our opening game at Alabama had more than 90,000-plus fans. That's what I call real fan support — something I wish the local fans here would do.
The price of our season tickets compared to a school like Alabama is a deal, yet I hear people complaining of the cost. There are fans who want UH to play teams at the next level, but are not willing to support what it takes to be at that level.
The players make a lot of sacrifices and spend long hours on the field.
So for those of you who love watching our University of Hawai'i Warriors: Get out and give our team the support that it needs.Jack L. Covington
RECYCLERS SHOULD BE GETTING DEPOSITS IN FULL
Kevin Hall (Letters, Sept. 4) exposed a mandate by the state Department of Health to have recyclables weighed rather than counted. After rinsing, counting and bagging 343 recyclable containers, I expected a return of $17.15. I received $12.15 after the weighing at Hawai'i Kai.
Saving the 'aina was the force behind the bottle bill. The initiative was commendable, but its implementation has lacked proactive planning, coordination and a convenient means for the consumer to recycle and redeem deposits.
The state should be as vigorous at returning the fee as it is at collecting it.
Using an average number of containers per pound as determined by the state in my exchange, I lost my deposit on 100 containers, or $5.
I understood redemption centers must pay consumers the refund value for all deposit containers returned. This did not happen. Unless the scales are calibrated down to ounce weights, or the rate per pound weight adjusted, the payers of HI 5¢ fee will continue to be underpaid in what appears to be another stealth money-grabbing scheme.A. Ling
NEW BUS PAINT JOBS TOO MUCH LIKE MAINLAND
I noticed that several shiny new city buses were painted in the drab old "prison transport" colors.
Say it ain't so! Honolulu is looking more and more like a typical Mainland city.Terrance K. Tokuuke
LOSS OF FAMILY-FRIENDLY TV SHOWS MOURNED
When the UPN and WB networks joined to become the CW Network, several of the popular shows from both networks were retained by the CW Network.
K5 used to air the WB shows and KIKU aired the UPN shows. Neither of these local stations has opted to pick up the CW Network.
With the new season beginning, fans of family-friendly shows such as "Gilmore Girls" and "7th Heaven" are left out in the cold. Will we ever see these shows without waiting until they are released on DVD?Lani Chang
FURTHER NOAA BUDGET CUTS WOULD HARM HAWAI'I
It's that time of the year again when our representatives in Congress face one of their most important jobs: deciding the spending levels of government agencies for the upcoming fiscal year. This is no easy task considering the number of agencies and programs that are vital.
However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is one agency that needs robust funding in order to continue its work ensuring public safety and protecting the state's ocean resources, coastal communities and economy.
NOAA's presence is important to Hawai'i. It has weather- forecasting offices providing hurricane tracking and tsunami warnings, fisheries management and research laboratories ensuring sustainable seafood, marine navigation and mapping services, safeguarding boaters, and marine debris and other emergency response teams stationed around the state. NOAA also is entrusted with preserving and protecting two of America's underwater treasures, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and the recently designated Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument.
Thanks to the leadership of Hawai'i's senior senator, Daniel Inouye, his colleagues in the U.S. Senate recognized the value and importance of NOAA by proposing an appropriation of $4.4 billion — this averages out to $15 per person annually.
However, the U.S House of Representatives has proposed allocating nearly $1 billion less! A similar discrepancy in last year's budget process resulted in a negotiated funding level causing major cuts to NOAA services. If allowed to happen again this year, it will further compromise the agency's ability to carry out its work of providing decisionmakers with data, products and services that promote and enhance the nation's economy, security, environment and quality of life.
We cannot continue to allow erosion of support for vital NOAA programs, such as habitat restoration and protection, marine protected areas and many other important services. That is why we urge all of Hawai'i's congressional leaders to take a stand by supporting the U.S. Senate appropriation level for NOAA.Lori Arguelles
President and CEO, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation
HAWAIIAN FOCUS SHOWS ACADEMIC PROGRESS
A new report from Kamehameha Schools shows that students attending Hawaiian-focused charter schools are making significant academic gains.
Charter schools were created to provide our keiki and their parents with choices. Schools differ in philosophy, educational priorities, teaching methods and assessment devices, and finding the right match for a student is at times a daunting but often worthwhile task.
Approximately half of the state's 27 charter schools are Hawaiian-focused, which should not be confused with Hawaiian immersion schools. Hawaiian-focused schools offer innovative curriculum centered on Hawaiian culture and language, with a direct emphasis on geographically based and project-based education.
Many students build the self-confidence needed to achieve academic success by identifying with their culture and by learning and experiencing the Hawaiian ways of knowing and doing.
The report examined reading and math scores for students in grades 3 to 10 at 12 Hawaiianfocused charter schools. The data came from school years 2001-2002 to 2004-2005. Researchers found the lowest-performing students dramatically improved in reading proficiency as they advanced from eighth to 10th grade.
The report displayed a similar pattern with math outcomes. Hawaiian-focused charter school students who were well below grade level in eighth grade made considerable gains by the time they reached 10th grade.
These findings are strong evidence that Hawaiian-focused educational strategies are working. As learning laboratories, these schools work well for an underserved group of students in our community, and may also provide important ideas and inspiration to strengthen our work with all children in Hawai'i.Mitch D'Olier
President and CEO, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation,
Headmaster of Iolani School