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Tuesday, July 29, 2003





Schools should keep policy, expand in isles

Even though I am haole and a Pahoa High School graduate, I'm in favor of Kamehameha Schools' policy of admitting people of Hawaiian heritage before non-Hawaiians ("Kamehameha sued over its admissions," Star-Bulletin, June 26). There are many private schools in Hawaii and across the nation that favor blacks, whites, Asians and Native Americans, so why can't Kamehameha favor Hawaiians? Plus, other private schools in Hawaii are just as good as or better than Kamehameha.

I do disagree with Kamehameha Schools for not providing more high schools in the neighbor islands, because it's hard on those families to send their kids away. I've had friends who didn't want to go to Oahu, but they had to because they wanted an excellent education. Kamehameha can afford to build more schools, and the trustees benefit too much from the estate.

I think Bernice Pauahi would be sad to see still so many disadvantaged Hawaiian children because the estate is not willing to build more schools and accept more students.

Amelia Drury
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona

Kamehameha suit hurts worthy effort

I left the islands in May 1978 for the same reasons most of us do -- economics. I am of Filipino-Japanese descent; my parents were raised in Mountain View and Puna on the Big Island. I graduated in 1977 from Leilehua in Wahiawa. I get home every year and pay my respects to the my family and the islands.

The lawsuit against the Kamehameha Schools program really angers me, even though I wanted to attend and couldn't because of my non-Hawaiian ancestry. (I'm still Hawaiian by birth, months before Hawaii became a state).

I still hold a high regard for my fellow Hawaiians, those of true Hawaiian blood as well as the rest of the locals. I work hard and take care of my immediate and calabash families, just like we were brought up, "Hawaiian style."

I hope the lawsuit will be dropped, because there are too many other important things to work on and plenty more educational facilities this plaintiff can attend without stirring up the ancient spirits.

Randy DeCastro
Virginia

Seabiscuit beat odds, as did cracker eaters

It was called hardtack, pilot bread, saloon pilot, sea biscuit, sea bread, ship biscuit ... I don't know why but the hardtack, the hard food for hard times, has come out of the past to revisit us this year.

First, with the closing of the Hilo Macaroni Factory and the loss of its saloon pilot (Star-Bulletin, June 19), we were reminded of this humble food for humble people. This food meant for sailors and prisoners somehow endeared itself to both Hawaii's masses and those who could afford to nibble on the upper crust.

Now Seabiscuit appears on the movie screens. Like other forms of hardtack, the story of Seabiscuit helped America cope during the depression. It was the story of how the downtrodden, flawed, weak, worn and wrecked could not only survive but triumph on the most uneven of playing fields. Saloon pilot or Seabiscuit, anyone?

Richard Y. Will
Honolulu

Effort to save twins showed compassion

Praise to the doctors and nurses who donated their time and services to the separation of the Bijan conjoined twins.

The twins experienced 29 years of extreme closeness, physically and emotionally. But they opted for the separation knowing its high risks.

Unfortunately, the surgery was not successful. The staff cried.Their compassion is a credit to their profession.

May the twins' souls rest in peace.

How Tim Chang
Honolulu

Surfing class would enhance learning

Surfing is an important part of Hawaii's culture and image ("School surfing supporters drop in on Education Board," Star-Bulletin, June 20). It's also a legitimate and challenging sport. People are becoming too limited and sedentary. Active lifestyles should be promoted from an early age because they reduce health-care costs and make our lives more interesting. Such programs enrich us all, participants and spectators.

Surfing helps promote Hawaii to the world. The cost of a surfing program would be offset by the economic benefits of increased exposure for the state. If necessary, why not query potential participants to see if they're willing to pay their share?

Students could be required to do well in core studies before being allowed to participate. A surfing program would provide an incentive to succeed in all aspects of academic life.

Education should be uplifting. Schools are meant to foster well-rounded participants in society. The idea that students should be kept in tiny cells is counter-productive and punitive.

Hawaii should accentuate her positive aspects while motivating students through incentives rather than punishment.

Richard Foulk
Honolulu

Don't kill Chinatown's hustle and bustle

Your editorial "No drastic action needed against vendors" (Star-Bulletin, July 2) addresses the street vendors in Chinatown. City Councilman Rod Tam apparently is trying to get the city deeper into the regulation business by proposing that store owners pay fees for outdoor display stands and that street vendors be banned from sidewalks.

As a regular customer in Chinatown, I suggest that the City Council follow the time-honored maxim: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." There is no reason for the Council to stick its nose into this situation, as there is adequate access for everyone. If at some future date such access becomes a problem, then the Council can revisit this subject.

One cannot help but wonder if Tam's motives are not being influenced by Safeway, Foodland, Times or other large commercial establishments that would like to see the competition driven out of the market.

Jack C. Morse
Honolulu


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