Loss of science fair will have high cost
I was saddened to learn that, on its 50th anniversary, the Hawaii Science and Technology Fair is in jeopardy of closing down for good (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 8
As a former participant of the fair, I remember fondly the hard work that was put into my project. It was an amazing experience to work with and be exposed to collegiate-level science and research. While ultimately I did not pursue a career in science and technology, skills such as researching, public speaking, the ability to present my ideas clearly and concisely, and presentation skills continue to serve me in my professional career today.
In her State of the State address, the governor said she wants to move Hawaii's economy toward more technologically based industries. The fair is critical in getting Hawaii's keiki interested in science and technology and building a solid foundation on which to move our economy in that direction.
I call on everyone to do what they can at all levels to support the fair and prevent its demise.
Myles A. Yamamoto
Why do nothing to fix our education system?
Here are some facts about Hawaii's public school system:
» The quality of Hawaii's teachers received a grade of "B" in a recent national study conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
» Hawaii's public school teachers work an average of 15.5 hours a day, according to a study conducted jointly by the state Department of Education and the Hawaii State Teachers Association. Although the actual number has been questioned, there is broad agreement that a lot of teachers are doing a lot of work after normal school hours.
» Hawaii received a grade of "F" for student performance in the study by the Chamber of Commerce.
In other words, good teachers are working hard, but their efforts are not paying off.
Is that mysterious? Not in the least. A monumental management problem is plaguing Hawaii's public school system. Why is nothing being done to solve it?
Anti-U.S. attitude will drive away visitors
I read with interest the March 7 article "Racial tensions are simmering in Hawaii's melting pot" in USA Today, also reported in Hawaii media.
I was most disturbed by the comments "Secede? Oh God, we would love to. As a nationalist, I hate the United States of America." These words were spoken by Haunani-Kay Trask, University of Hawaii professor.
My wife and I have visited Honolulu at least 20 times during the past 40 years. The first time I visited was in 1966 when I was assigned to Vietnam. The last time my wife and I visited Honolulu was last month. I have spent a great deal of money in Honolulu and the other islands over the years because it was our favorite vacation location.
Because of the comments of the university professor, I will never again visit Hawaii, and the islands will lose my tourist dollars.
Hawaii survives on tourism. I will do all possible to have my friends and family not visit and spend their money in Hawaii.
Theodore F. Bischof
Ponte Vedra, Fla.
City wants recycling plan to succeed
You do your readers a disservice in minimizing their role in the success of curbside recycling ("Our opinion," Feb. 24
). The mayor is not sidestepping his responsibility to give direction to curbside recycling. He is engaging the public in discussion to ensure the program's success.
The research for a feasible recycling plans being completed. Various collection scenarios and their costs will be ready for presentation to the public. The most logical communities to start have been suggested -- those already with blue bins and perhaps Hawaii Kai, given the strong support for curbside from that community's City Council member.
These details and more will be presented at community meetings to be held in April and May. In deciding how the collection system should be structured, it's imperative the public understands that we cannot successfully pursue recycling with the same "full service at no charge" approach that has defined our current refuse system. In fact, most mainland communities use refuse fees to leverage high participation in recycling.
Your editorial reflects a lack of understanding regarding the challenges the city must address to deliver an efficient recycling system
The mayor is proposing that we consider an approach that will provide the most efficient collection system. It's too bad that the Star-Bulletin has chosen to paint a pessimistic outcome before participating in the community discussion. We trust your outlook will change as we move forward.
City & County of Honolulu
Superferry will make medical care easier
As an annual visitor and potential future Maui resident, I believe the Hawaii Superferry will play a key medical transportation role.
Maui, Kauai and Hawaii residents and visitors in need of medical specialists and treatment not available on those islands can rely on the Superferry for safe and reliable passage to Oahu at reasonable cost. They can also take their cars instead of renting one on Oahu, another cost savings.
This will provide great relief for the elderly, those facing ongoing medical speciality treatment challenges and those experiencing difficult pregnancies. This also will unite the islands' health care communities even more.
'Dog' resolution a wasted effort
Am I the only person frustrated that our lawmakers spend far too much of our taxes on frivolous items? The hearing to fight the extradition for bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman ("Newswatch," Star-Bulletin, March 8
) is a slap in the face to everyone in Hawaii who pays taxes. These lawmakers often let us know they run out of time passing certain laws to help with insurance, traffic and other measures. However, they are more than willing to give up time for a Dog and pony show.
Chapman did a good deed by taking rapist Andrew Luster off the street. I don't think anybody disputes that. His ego got in the way when he ignored the laws of Mexico. He could have called the FBI or the Mexican officials to let them know where Luster was. He made a bad judgment call and much like the very people he goes after, he has to have his day in court.
Hawaii lawmakers are setting an extremely bad precedent. We cannot say it is all right to break a law in another country and oh, by the way, we got your back.