WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO LEGISLATE A BAN?
I am writing this because I hear fireworks and loud bombs going off in Waipahu at this very moment. Yes, aerials, too. It's not even 2010 and the fireworks have already begun. Help me to understand what it takes for the Legislature to ban fireworks.
Every year the police and fire departments have tried to legislate for the banning of fireworks, and every year it does not pass. Please, you legislators, explain why. Religious or traditional purposes, you say, or for whatever reason — yeah, right. What does it take to tell you it's not working anymore? Imagine being awakened late at night and in the early morning hours by these loud bombs.
Call the police, you say. They have better things to do than going around every street to find these inconsiderate violators. To the inconsiderate morons who get a thrill of firing up and hearing bombs bursting in air, join the military and be sent off to war. Get your thrills there.
H. MATSUMOTO | Waipahu
TEACHER PREP DAYS
QUALITY EDUCATION TAKES MUCH PLANNING
Cynthia Lock Sims (Letters, Nov. 30) thinks teacher prep days are absurd, claiming these days are when "so-called professionals learn to teach." Of course this is not the case.
High-quality teaching comes from excellent planning. On prep days, teachers are making engaging, creative lessons that require self-made handouts, devised group work, the use of technology, and tests that at times have to be made from scratch. On these days, teachers are preparing rubrics that fairly assess their students' learning, problem-based projects that teach students real life skills, perhaps even arranging for exciting field trips or guest speakers to visit their classes.
Whether we "so-called professionals" have our M.A., teaching certificate, or even 20 years' experience, good teaching that students find invigorating, memorable and beneficial requires well-thought-out planning, and this planning takes time.
STEPHANIE DARROW | Honolulu
MEAL VOLUNTEERS MADE HOLIDAY BRIGHT
This Thanksgiving as I gave thanks to God for all my blessings, Ihad one more thing for which I am thankful. It was the love of so many volunteers who spent Thanksgiving Day preparing and delivering hot meals to the homeless on the beaches of the Waianae Coast. Iwas overwhelmed by the selfless acts of many hands and hearts involved on this day.
To George Paris, who has been doing this for 25 years, Rep. Mark Takai, Liquor Commissioner Dennis Eno-moto, and the many children and young adults who helped, I think the recipients knew that the love involved in this effort nourished our souls as much as the hot meal nourished their bodies. Happy holidays!
SEN. MICHELLE KIDANI | District 17
STADIUM LIGHTS ON ALL NIGHT MANY TIMES
I live right above Pearl Harbor and I cannot count the number of times I will wake up before sunrise, look out the rear of our condo and see the lights of the Aloha Stadium blazing away.
Given that sporting events usually do not run to 4 a.m., I have to wonder how it is that the state can run those huge lights all night long at the same time it claims to be running out of funds for the unemployed.
MICHAEL RIVERO | Aiea
DEATHS, BANKRUPTCY JUST TIP OF NIGHTMARE
You've published a number of letters from people opposing the health care reform legislation now working its way through Congress. Not one of them addresses the following issues:
According to a Harvard University study, more than 44,000 Americans each year die prematurely for lack of affordable health care. Sixty percent of all bankruptcies are caused by illnesses not adequately covered by health insurance. These are just the tip of the iceberg of nightmares in our existing health care system. How about double-digit annual premium inflation?
The question I have for opponents is this: Are you willing for these shameful conditions to continue indefinitely? Because as sure as there will be a sunrise tomorrow, they will continue indefinitely if this bill fails.
RICK LLOYD | Honolulu
STOP CHEATING US OUT OF OUR EDUCATION
My letter is in response to Nadine Nakamura (Letters, Nov. 4) regarding Gov. Lingle and the furloughs.
I understand that it's in the governor's best interest to meet our state budget cut, but as a junior in high school, I'm outraged at such a rash decision. The reality of this is that students statewide have been cheated of their education. Gov. Lingle and furlough supporters don't realize that there are 17 fewer days we have of learning and improving ourselves. That's 17 Fridays fewer of socializing and interaction with peers in a stable, monitored environment.
Nadine Nakamura remarked that Hawaii students are clearly at a disadvantage globally with "60 fewer instructional days than Asian students and 24 fewer days than their Western counterparts." Obviously, we're not as educated compared to other youth around the world. Do we stand a chance?
An immense part of a successful person's life is their education. If the furloughs were nonexistent, it would provide students with a better chance to succeed in the future and it would surely give us a fighting chance with other students globally. Again, stop cutting out our education.
MANSFIELD SILVA | Student, Aiea High School