Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Students, staff and guests
may buy school lunches

Question: Are public school lunches normally available to be purchased by the general public? I am asking because about 11:40 a.m. May 13, while exiting the freeway onto Punchbowl Street, I saw what looked like a Jiffy Lube employee trying to cross Punchbowl Street from Royal Elementary carrying three school lunch plates covered in foil and three cartons of chocolate milk. I understand that the school lunch programs are subsidized by the state and federal government, and wondered if this is allowed.

Answer: School lunches are not available for purchase by the general public.

In addition to students, the lunches are available to teachers, staff and guests, explained Royal Principal Sandra Ishihara-Shibata.

In this case, the lunches were sold to the Jiffy Lube employees because "basically we consider them as guests because we do have a working relationship with them," she said.

"If we need to have people to talk to our kids for employment and career day," Jiffy Lube participates, she said. "And we try to do that with (various businesses and) people in the area."

It was the first time this year that the lunches were purchased by the employees, she added.

Adult meal prices are $2.75, or "exactly what it costs," Ishihara-Shibata said.

Harano tunnels petition

Waipio Gentry resident Yoshie Tanabe wants "Kokua Line" readers to know she is circulating a petition to Gov. Ben Cayetano to restore former Department of Transportation highways Administrator Tetsuo Harano's name to the H-3 tunnels. If interested, call her at 677-4785.

Tanabe, 71, a nurse (who still helps once a week at the Kaiser cataract clinic), mother of three and grandmother of seven, was outraged when she read in "Kokua Line" (April 2, with a follow-up on April 21) that Harano was not consulted about, nor agreed to, Cayetano's decision to rename the tunnels after the late Gov. John Burns. The tunnels were named after Harano in 1994.

It was not that she felt Burns did not deserve the honor, Tanabe said, but saw it as a slap in the face to the Harano family, whom she had never met. She said she has since talked to the Haranos and feels deeply the family's hurt.

Beyond that, Tanabe is on a crusade because she said Cayetano won't personally answer two letters she sent him asking that he explain his statement (in his executive memorandum of March 23, 2001) that one of the reasons he was instituting the name change was because concerns were raised about "selecting a name more sensitive to the area."

"I want him (Cayetano) to explain to me what he means by that," Tanabe said, pointing out the one public concern on record was by a woman who questioned placing a Japanese name on the tunnels because of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Another woman felt the Hawaiian community would be against naming it after a transportation official.

Tanabe, a Japanese American, said she can't help but feel the statement is a slight to all Japanese Americans. "The name Harano is just as American as Burns," she said.

Cayetano aides have said the change was meant to honor Burns for his efforts in getting the H-3 freeway built.

Sheenagh Burns, Burns' daughter, said Tanabe's petition drive has her "full support."

Tanabe said 19 other people are helping to circulate the petition.

Acknowledging friends have told her she was fighting a futile battle, "I'm crazy enough to pursue it," she said.

Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered.
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