Parents should teach kids to follow the law
The death of 14-year-old Gjino Kanahele is a tragedy (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 29
) and, as a parent and grandfather, my heartfelt condolences go to his entire family.
Gjino and his 15-year-old brother were illegally operating their mopeds. Laws prohibiting underage children from riding mopeds are not written to prevent kids from having fun. They are written to prevent just this sort of accident, and to ignore these laws is to ask for such a tragedy. In too many instances, children are taught by their parents, whether intended or not, to ignore laws they either disagree with or don't think are necessary.
I don't mean to sound heartless and I am not without compassion for the family. But this accident could have been prevented. According to Honolulu Police Capt. Frank Fujii, underage moped riding is not considered a major problem. Perhaps it should be.
Dropout figures don't reflect the truth
I am appalled that you published findings from a John Hopkins University report labeling seven Hawaii high schools as "dropout factories" (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 30
). If you did your homework, you would have found out that the study assumes that any student who does not graduate from the same high school he or she enters into as a freshman is a dropout. This is so far from the truth. I am a teacher at Kaimuki High School, and we have an extremely transient population. Many students enter as freshmen but later move to the mainland or back to their home country and graduate there. They should not be labeled as dropouts.
According to the latest School Status and Improvement Report published by the state Department of Education, 77 percent of the freshmen who entered our school in 2002 graduated on time in 2006. This calculation is the same one used under the federal No Child Left Behind act.
Please stop giving our public high schools a bad name. You are hurting our students' self-esteem and teacher morale. We have been working tirelessly day in and day out to increase school pride, decrease our dropout rates and increase our graduation rates.
2007 Hawaii State Teacher of the Year
We don't want Hawaii to look like Singapore
I live on Oahu and have a problem with operating the ferry. The influx of people to outer islands will create many new problems. To name one -- the traffic! On Oahu we have more cars than roads and more people than space. Let us learn from Singapore. Singapore was a beautiful island filled with beautiful beaches and vegetation. Now there is more building and concrete than beauty. It is very congested and full of commerce. Do we want to over build the rest of the islands to look like Oahu? We should reconsider if the infrastructure can accommodate the influx of people and traffic. Are we going to sacrifice our beautiful islands for the almighty dollar?
Oshiro was impolite during testimony
Lawmakers should ask tough questions during public hearings. Part of their role is to ask questions of our public officials that the rest of us can't.
Unfortunately, Rep. Marcus Oshiro confused personal grandstanding for hard-hitting during Gov. Linda Lingle's testimony before the House Transportation and Finance committees on Monday afternoon.
When he wasn't asking questions in a manner best described as combative, he was interrupting the governor during her responses (concise in comparison to his convoluted harangues), or getting up repeatedly and leaving while she was still testifying. And this after apparently notifying her just 45 minutes ahead of time to appear.
Politics is politics, I understand. However, Oshiro's behavior was downright disrespectful and an embarrassment to his office.
During her testimony, the governor said the special session provided legislators with an opportunity to preserve a service that the majority of people in Hawaii want. It's clear she was there to represent the people of Hawaii. Who was Rep. Oshiro there for?
People shouldn't have to suffer in traffic
I take the bus from Waikiki to downtown every day, and it takes its time. The traffic on the island is dreadful; my supposedly 20-minute ride often takes about an hour.
I read Antoinette Dubey's letter Monday and I agree with her, a rail system is necessary. If I am irritated about the traffic, I cannot even imagine what it must be like for people living farther away who have to commute every single day.
I do not understand how people can object to spending their tax dollars on rail transit. That is not how a society works; you cannot choose to contribute to some issues and not to others. Even if some people think they will not use the rail, it will benefit them and everyone else in the long run. Less traffic, fewer angry drivers, less pollution and less time wasted are just a few of the positive effects a rail system will have for the whole island.