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Monday, December 18, 2000


Public education cries out for more support

Remember the glitzy campaign ads just prior to the 1998 gubernatorial election? TV and full-page newspaper ads promised that our education system could be led to excellence by the Cayetano/Hirono team.

Improvement requires investment. With pay that ranks dead last in terms of cost of living and no graduate school stipends, public school teachers are stuck in a system with scant incentives. Increased teacher pay is not the entire answer, but it is an investment in the professionals who help build our children's future.

Teachers are asking for what amounts to a 5 percent raise per year for four years, which, given their current pay, is meager.

Perhaps if the governor and school board members were required by law, as a condition of holding office, to enroll their own children in public schools, the will would be found to invest in excellence.

Ben Willkie

Junket to Brazil wastes taxpayer dollars

I'm aghast that the leaders of our state find it necessary to fly seven people from Hawaii -- including City Councilman Duke Bainum -- to Brazil to inspect a bus system.

It seems that legislators think as long as they are upfront about wasting taxpayer money, then it's somehow OK.

The fact that they're bringing their families along with them, regardless of who's footing the bill, makes the story even more ludicrous. This trip is clearly a perk for fatcat legislators and politicians.

Why didn't they do the obvious and fly in a transportation expert from Brazil to give a presentation on the country's mass transit system? He could have stayed free at the governor's mansion or at Bainum's house.

This would have saved the state thousands of dollars that could have gone to public school teachers, who actually earn their paychecks.

Chris Decker



"They are totally law-abiding,
productive, good people...disturbed by
the noise of the helicopters."

Harry Kim
Who told the state Board of Land and Natural Resources
that Hawaii County residents have valid concerns about
marijuana eradication efforts, including the herbicidal
spraying of the plants by using long hoses
dangling from helicopters


"We're tired of running out on the street
trying to save people."

Lois Arakaki
Exasperated after yet another pedestrian
was hit on the well-traveled road

Start of marathon was unnecessarily noisy

Who authorized all the fireworks and noise at 5 a.m. last Sunday for the Honolulu Marathon?

I am a resident of the Ala Moana area who is not interested that 26,000 crazy people decided to run 26 miles.

I am not interested nor do I care that these athletes want to get up at 3 a.m. to show their macho spirit.

My complaint, which I express in the strongest terms, is that it isn't really necessary to wake up half of Honolulu just because someone thinks it's a good idea to fire off loud, noisy, popping rockets so darn early in the morning.

The sound richocheting off buildings was like bombs being hurled at us.

Did it ever occur to anyone to review these effects? It's bad enough that we have to put up with the fireworks on New Year's Eve, let alone into the wee hours to satisfy such childish behavior.

Furthermore, we suffer -- starting at 5:15 to 5:30 a.m. -- from noisy trash-collection workers. They wake up the neighborhood with the unnecessary banging of trash bins and have absolutely no regard for sleeping residents.

There ought to be a law and, if there is one already, arrest these people.

Robert H. Roberts

Unsung heroes were volunteers, supporters

Who are you? Who are you who held out your hand in encouragement as I and others ran by in the Honolulu Marathon?

Who are you who smiled and encouraged us in the heat of the day?

Who aided us in the race by your donation of time in so many capacities?

Who cleaned the streets of our litter of water cups?

You know who you are. You are the people of Oahu who made a difference and made possible my finishing and the finishing of many others who, like me, were tired and beat up and dragging toward the end of 26.2 miles.

You were out there for us. To all of you, a big mahalo. You are the best!

Jim Delmonte

New legislator will serve at unfair sacrifice

We, the leadership of Na Kumu O Kamehameha and the Kamehameha Schools faculty, wish to congratulate our colleague, high school science teacher Guy Ontai, for winning a seat in the state Legislature. He will be representing the 39th District: Mililani, Mililani Mauka and Launai Valley.

We deeply regret, though, that his choice to serve must come at great personal sacrifice, including his forced resignation from Kamehameha. He is being penalized for the past misdeeds of others within our institution, people who have now left in disgrace. This is not pono.

We feel strongly that the new board of trustees at Kamehameha Schools must review this policy. As President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, "Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people."

Guy Ontai will be greatly missed by his students and colleagues on the Kapalama campus, but we know he has a greater mission of serving his constituency and all of Hawaii nei.

Gail Fujimoto
Na Kumu O Kamehameha
Larry McElheny
Kamehameha Schools Faculty Association

Yoshida had better hire the right baseball coach

Hugh Yoshida had better not blow the hiring of the University of Hawaii baseball coach like he did when he picked Fred vonAppen as UH football coach.

Why delay the cutoff date for applications? Is there another teammate from college, like vonAppen, who Yoshida wants to have in the hat? Just hire Lenn Sakata already. It's a no-brainer.

Also, the ad indicates that those applying for the job should have a master's degree. What does that this have to do with being a good baseball coach?

In fact, the opposite is probably true. If you thought the signals for bunt and steal were complicated, imagine what they'd be like from a coach with a master's.

Cy Watase

Cruise ships should have Hawaiian names

The Constitution and Independence have long sailed our island waters. Now the Patriot joins the cruise circuit. Wouldn't it be nice if these ships had Hawaiian names?

David W. Eyre

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