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Monday, April 17, 2000


Become a volunteer at public schools

I wish teachers were paid a competitive salary, so that many more would aspire to join the profession. I wish more money were given to the schools so their facilities and resources could be better.

But I also wish every citizen and leader in Hawaii could follow me around at two wonderful schools.

I volunteer at Enchanted Lake and Kalihi Waena elementaries. I see teachers and staff going far beyond the call of duty to teach their children. They use their own money to buy materials and make the best with what they have.

I see kids learning to read and write so much better. Whether or not they are competitive nationally, improvement is still visible.

If you really want to know what goes in the public schools, become a volunteer at one. What you see will touch your heart and fill it with gratitude for those who teach and work with our children.

Kathy Summers

Ala Wai Golf Course must be preserved

Please keep the Ala Wai Golf Course open for golfers, including the many retirees who enjoy playing there. Here are just three reasons it should not be closed:

Bullet It was built in the 1930s and there are very few sites that remain today in Waikiki that were built back then.

Bullet The area is overrun with commercial buildings, so we need to keep our green open spaces, as provided by the golf course.

Bullet There are over 600 golfers daily at the Ala Wai; over 200,000 golfers per year -- four times the capacity of Aloha Stadium.

The Ala Wai Golf Course, under the supervision of Clarence Nakatsukasa, is in excellent shape. It is a marvel that it can be kept in this condition with such continuous play.

Robert A. Morimoto



"I'm not happy. He could have
saved Dana's life if he had called police
or 911. I don't see how he could
get off with something like that."

Louise Ireland

Reacting to the news that defendant
Shawn Schweitzer might go free
under a plea agreement


"On a plantation, everybody
has to pitch in together. You need to be
able to run out and take (your neighbors')
clothes off their clothesline when it rains
and they're not home, to share
your vegetables, your catch."

Roy Amemiya Jr.

Attributing his ability to cooperate to growing up
in tiny Whitmore Village, in the thick of
pineapple-growing country

Sports director's survey was a farce

I testified at the state Legislature and warned lawmakers about Hawaii High School Athletic Association Executive Director Keith Amemiya's survey (Star-Bulletin, April 5).

At the Oahu Interscholastic Association coaches meeting, the coaches (21 male, six female) were asked if they wanted the girls' basketball season changed, even though the governor had ordered it. They were also asked if the girls wanted the season changed, although tryouts hadn't been held and teams hadn't been formed.

Still, the coaches were asked by Amemiya's survey to answer for the girls. They were given no other information, no alternative plans such as running a varsity season in the winter for boys and girls, and a junior varsity season in the spring.

Why is there so much resistance to treating the girl athletes fairly? Why so much lack of respect? By changing the basketball season from spring to winter, girl athletes would benefit from increased exposure, media coverage and scholarship opportunities.

Diana Wong

Boys, girls should switch seasons

In his April 6 column, Bill Kwon argued compellingly for keeping girls' high school basketball as a spring sport.

That way, mainland coaches can watch the players here, something they could not do while coaching during their regular winter season. Even more advantageous for girls is the good media coverage, especially since girls basketball does not have to compete for space locally with University of Hawaii basketball and Wahine volleyball.

I am so convinced by Kwon's reasoning that maybe it's the boys who are being disadvantaged by playing basketball during the winter, when they must compete for attention with the NFL and college football.

Since gender equity should work both ways, the obvious solution is to switch the Hawaii boys' and girls' basketball seasons. Have the girls play during the winter, and give boys the "advantage" of playing during the spring.

Gordon Chang

Doubtful that royalty sought U.S. asylum

I was surprised to read in Madison Clark's April 5 letter that "in the 19th century several Hawaiian monarchs sought it but the United States denied them asylum."

I thought back to Kamehameha, Liholiho, Kauikeaouli, Alexander Liholiho, Lot Kamehameha, William Lunalilo, David Kalakaua and Liliuokalani. These are the Hawaiian monarchs of the 19th century.

Yet I could not remember an instance when these mo'i sought asylum with the U.S. I checked historical sources and found no instance of a Hawaiian monarch seeking asylum either.

Could Madison Clark or someone out there please cite the source of this information?

Charles M. Kaaiai

Arts foundation needs financial support

Our organization -- a statewide service and advocacy association of more than 200 organizations, corporations and individuals -- supports the proposal for the state to purchase the historically and architecturally significant Hemmeter Building.

Establishing a home for the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA) and the state art collection within the Capitol District signals a welcome renewal of commitment to the agency.

However, we strongly encourage the state to support the vital work of Hawaii's culture and arts sector through a renewal of support for and appropriations to the SFCA. The cumulative 75 percent cut in general fund appropriations to the SFCA since 1995 has devastated the thousands of organizations and individuals that comprise Hawaii's nonprofit culture and arts industry.

The purchase of the Hemmeter Building would benefit Hawaii economically and culturally.

Revitalization of the state's nonprofit culture and arts industry through a renewed commitment of funding for SFCA would reap even greater benefits by fueling Hawaii's economic, educational, social, intellectual and cultural growth toward a promising future.

Heidi A. Kubo
Executive Director
Hawaii Consortium for the Arts

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