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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Guam provision

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    Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

    Crown Prince Akihito and the new Princess Michiko, shown here at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on their wedding day in April 1959.

    Photo by Keith Haugen

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    The Washington Post shows just how out of touch it is to the needs of our nation's economic recovery and to the working men and women of the United States.

    In an editorial reprinted in part by The Advertiser ( July 7), the Post rips Congressman Neil Abercrombie for requiring that 70 percent of the workforce for a new military base in Guam be American workers who will be paid U.S. wages.

    Without that provision, rest assured the facilities for our military will be substandard and good jobs will be lost to cheap foreign labor.

    President Obama's economic recovery plan is based on decent-paying jobs that will stimulate the economy. I can assure you that many of our highly skilled tradesmen who are currently unemployed in Hawai'i and across the Mainland would temporarily relocate to Guam for work as our nation rides out the recession.

    Instead of criticizing Neil Abercrombie, the Post should be thanking him for putting our warriors and their families first, insuring that their housing needs will be no less safe and secure than we enjoy at home.

    Reginald V. Castanares | Business manager, Plumbers and Fitters, UA Local 675



    Once again, House Speaker Calvin Say demonstrates his tendency toward arrogance and condescension in consideration not only of his own constituents, but of the rest of the private sector in Hawai'i as well. ("Layoffs likely as revenues fall 9.4%," July 9). How can he state that "there is no urgency" with regard to sensible resolution of Hawai'i's fiscal crisis? Not only does this statement contradict his party's philosophy nationally (recall that Obama's stimulus was crammed down our throats mere weeks after his election and right before Congress was to recess, making it impossible for most lawmakers to read the entire bill), but it also illustrates with blinding clarity Say's lack of concern for a population that has endured many months of lower wages, fewer hours, and layoffs. But I guess that's OK if you can vote yourself a big fat raise and ride out the storm.

    Steve Hinton | Waialua



    I see where President Obama wants another "stimulus" bill. After all, the last one worked so well. The first one took the country from 7 percent unemployment to 9 1/2 percent unemployment. The next one may take us to 12 percent. It would fit his plan of taking over the private sector businesses.

    Mr. President, socialism never works, no matter what you call it.

    If it did Russia, Cuba, North Korea and China would have people flocking to them. Not trying to leave.

    Think about it, Hawai'i. Do you want the government telling you where you have to work and when you can go to the doctor? I don't.

    Larry Symons | Honolulu



    I agree with Brian Malanaphy (Letters, July 3) who wrote that reopening the Ha'iku Stairway to Heaven and promoting it would help boost Hawai'i's tourism. Here's another idea: the Tour de France began July 4 in Monaco and is a fantastic showcase for France's tourism industry. How about initiating a Tour of Hawai'i bike race? The race legs could be completed on different islands. Can't beat the scenery, and what a way to promote it!

    Linda Umstead | Mililani



    The Native Hawaiian Education Council's commentary (July 9) reminds us that our Hawai'i DOE leads the U.S. in attention to indigenous education. Expanding what has been done here and taking it to a national level for Native Americans is consistent with international best educational practices.

    Focus universal standards on what counts internationally math, literacy, science not Bible references or even reciting the Gettysburg address.

    The top country internationally in academics is Finland. Finland has provisions for education through the languages and cultures of both of its indigenous minorities. Another top-performing country with similar provisions is New Zealand.

    Research in New Zealand has shown that children in the Maori language schools achieve higher in what is academically significant math, literacy, science than their Maori peers in English language and culture-based schools.

    New Zealand is now developing international standards-level alternative examinations from a Maori language, culture and history base. The U.S. federal government needs to recognize the right of Hawai'i to develop similar distinctive tests for those of all races who choose to attend schools taught through the state's official Hawaiian language and the Hawaiian cultural base.

    Dr. William H. Wilson | Hilo, Hawai'i



    With the arrival in Hawai'i of Tenno Heika, (known outside Japan as Emperor Akihito), the only emperor in the world, I'm reminded of the fact that his reign is called Heisei, meaning "universal peace."

    I'm also reminded that while Hawai'i was celebrating statehood, Island residents living in Japan were celebrating the April 1959 wedding of Crown Prince Akihito and the new Princess Michiko, shown here at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

    I photographed their highnesses on their wedding day, and twice when I was invited to the Imperial Palace memories I will never forget, and photographs such as this one that will always remind me of my years living in Japan as a photographer, half a century ago.

    Keith Haugen | Nu'uanu