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Saturday, September 4, 1999

Pidgin lowers test scores of Hawaii kids

It's simple. It's the culture!

Pidgin is socially accepted, and a local badge of honor. It's spoken in the home, and quickly copied by the young.

It's tolerated in the schools. It's tolerated in the workplace. It's encouraged by peer pressure. It's considered "cute" and funny.

Unbelievably, it's becoming a popular idiom of commercial advertising! It's everywhere.

It permeates the culture. It's touted as a "Hawaiian Creole." It's referred to as a local dialect.

Fine. Clearly it has historical significance. Publish a dictionary.

But please, please stop complaining about the verbal SAT scores. They are not going to improve until the culture changes.

Bill Souza
Via the Internet

Strong two-party system will help public schools

Why was public school repair work delayed so much that it will now cost $241 million? We believed the promise of the Democratic Party that education would be a "No. 1 priority."

So how do we repair our schools cheaply and quickly?

Bullet Privatize repair work. Get small businesses to bid on informal repair projects.

Bullet Give each school a yearly repair fund. Let school principals -- with the help of their PTAs and neighborhood people -- be responsible for securing good repair work.

Bullet Since projects below $6,000 are considered informal contracts, school principals should try to minimize costs.

But will the powerful unions that control the state Legislature permit all of this to happen? Absolutely not. Therefore, the good people of Hawaii must be akamai and vote to create a balanced two-party system.

The Governor Burns revolution of 1953 has ended. We must carefully start a new course of action that will make Hawaii's economy strong and viable.

Roy M. Iwamoto
Retired Contractor

HMSA survey results are confidential

Regarding the letter about Hawaii Medical Service Association's satisfaction survey ("HMSA questions are inappropriate," Aug. 26), a couple of points need clarification.

First, it is important to understand that responses to HMSA's annual survey are completely voluntary and strictly confidential.

Second, various government regulations (like the recent Hawaii Patient Bill of Rights) require health plans to conduct annual surveys to assess members' perception of the quality of care they have received.

Feedback through a survey allows HMSA and physicians alike to learn from our members and, where necessary, improve the quality of care rendered. Last year, more than 113,000 members exercised their rights by completing and returning their surveys. More than 90 percent were very satisfied with both HMSA and their physician.

HMSA and Hawaii's physicians are committed to providing quality health care at an affordable cost. We encourage members who are so inclined to play an active role in improving the quality of health care delivered throughout the islands. HMSA's annual satisfaction survey gives members that opportunity to participate.

Cliff Cisco
Senior Vice President
Via the Internet



"It'll be a great opportunity
for us both to showcase our talents.
The sad thing is one of
us has to lose."

Darnell Arceneaux

On today's game pitting him against Washington State
backup quarterback Jason Gesser, who also
played football for St. Louis


"Quarterbacks are like teabags.
You don't know how good they are
until you put 'em in
hot water."

Mike Price

On Jason Gesser's debut as a quarterback
for the Washington State Cougars

Cars and guns both should be licensed

The National Rifle Association insists, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." By extension, therefore, "Automobiles don't kill people, people kill people."

It must be noted, however, that motor vehicles are registered and their owners/users are required by law to be licensed to drive.

This is an accepted fact and no one complains. In fact, teens long for the chance to be licensed. In addition, insurance companies require licensing to get mandatory coverage.

Why, then, do private gun owners, users and the NRA complain about similar restrictions for firearms? It's patently obvious that these weapons should be registered, that their owners and users should be required to pass an appropriate exam on the proper handling of their firearms, and that they should be licensed to own and/or use weapons.

Sheldon C. Crane
Via the Internet

Holiday is more than three days of rest

Labor Day is a very popular holiday -- a long weekend to spend with family and friends, relaxing and talking story. The beaches and parks are crowded, the shopping malls are packed, and local airlines experience long, long lines.

But, for me, Labor Day is an extra special time.

Today, unionized workers earn better pay, and have better health and retirement benefits, more holidays, more vacation days and better working conditions than non-unionized workers.

Today, only the unions equalize the power balance in the workplace, keep management from exploiting working men and women, and stop the epidemic of part-time and contingency employees -- loopholes that employers exploit to cheat workers out of health coverage and other benefits.

On this Labor Day weekend, remember why you're enjoying this paid time off or enjoying overtime pay. Generations of workers fought hard for you.

Russell K. Okata
Executive Director
Hawaii Government Employees Association

Where is the culture in Hawaii luaus?

I find it humorous that everyone discusses luau party drinking and culture.

Has anyone gone to the luaus at Hawaii hotels lately? Has anyone looked into what went on at the San Francisco luau last week?

Well, those are the types of functions at which I learned what to anticipate from a "cultural luau" in Hawaii.

You know, I never saw a real Hawaiian at any of those luaus either...just mixed-blood people pretending at Hawaiian culture.

By looking at the average guy -- say Hawaii's governor at the SFO function -- I would have guessed that Elvis was a Hawaiian, too.

Ray Janic
Phoenix, Ariz.
Via the Internet


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