Schools aren't solely responsible for obesity
Reducing obesity among children and teenagers should not be a heavy burden placed primarily on an already strained public school system ("Schools should push nutrition and P.E.
," Our Opinion, Star-Bulletin, Nov. 28). Additional funds for P.E. teachers would certainly assist schools with hiring additional staff to teach physical education. However, under Act 51, keep in mind the intent of the Legislature was to provide schools with the flexibility to decide how to use those funds and a P.E. teacher might not be at the top of the priority list.
The Legislature and respective city and county councils should step up and provide new or additional funding for nonschool programs statewide that provide kids with a variety of physical activities. These programs would not only promote an active lifestyle but would provide positive nonschool hours alternatives. Let schools focus on education and have other departments (e.g., health, parks and recreation) focus on reducing obesity.
Member, state Board of Education
Kaiser rate increase oddly coincidental
Did anyone else notice that Kaiser announced rate increases the same day that it noted a drop in membership, along with HMSA (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 16
)? Just wondering...
Now it's the Warriors' time in the sun
Congratulations to the University of Hawaii Warriors and the football program. We were beaten by a great team this year. Now we want you to represent the Western Athletic Conference proudly and show the rest of the nation you can play against any and all comers. Don't overlook Washington. Then go on to give us another great bowl game like we were able to experience last year.
We love your islands and the playful football banter we find each time we visit. This year it's your time in the sun. Enjoy it. See you this summer ... and of course next year on the "blue."
Rules protect park for all of its users
Unlike all other city parks, Kapiolani Park is not directly government-owned. It was created in 1896 as a public charitable trust on land given to the people of Oahu by King Kalakaua in honor of his wife, Queen Kapiolani.
This trust specifically prohibits most commercial activity (profit-making) on trust land in order that all might have equal and free access to athletic fields, picnic areas, band stand performances, to the beach and surf, and everything else the park offers in this dense urban area.
Creeping commercialism of fairs and other sales enterprises creates traffic problems and chronic parking shortages for folks trying to get to the beach, a soccer game, softball practice or a family picnic. In fact, the city gives special reserved parking spots -- in prime beach and park front areas -- for vendors, often all weekend.
In a 1988 Hawaii Supreme Court ruling, the Kapiolani Park Preservation Society was given a significant watchdog role over park management after successfully taking the city to court to prevent trust land from being leased to Burger King. More recently, KPPS has facilitated land swaps to bring more land into the park, was in the forefront of the successful fight to prevent the state and city from taking trust lands including the zoo, Waikiki Shell and open recreational spaces for the new convention center, and is working to save the historic Preis zoo entrance.
Portraying KPPS as an enemy of zoo fence artists obscures the real issue at hand. The city's permitting of commercial activities violates the trust, and violates its own rules as well. Now, the Attorney General's Office has given its report on what's happening at the park, and that's what the court will rule on.
Through its vigilant protection of the trust's intent and preservation of the park, KPPS protects park access rights for all Oahu residents.
President, Kapiolani Park Preservation Society
Bureaucrats don't attack real problems
Ilima Davis' plea for support of "fence art" artists (Letters, Nov. 28
) should be joined by every freedom-loving citizen everywhere. While we've slept, unelected appointees have bored into our freedoms of choice like termites into a rotted log. Given more rope, mousy little bureaucrats would slap a ban as pornographic on seniors strolling hand in hand along Waikiki, and even global-warming cigarette smoking atop Mauna Kea. We make it easy for them; we don't stand up and say "No more!" So-called "homeless" foul our parks and beaches, harass anyone within shouting distance and clutter bus stops with impunity. No-guts politicians tsk, tsk that bit of social ill. But hang a bit of artwork on a fence after 50 years all of a sudden becomes a no-no symbol of park-associated creeping commercialism? Get a life, folks -- what side of the fence is the artwork on? What side of the fence are YOU on?
We should hold onto Iraq and its oil
America, in time of oil shortage Iraq is our potential gold mine. Leaving her unprotected now will give our enemies the rights to the reserves, and we will lose the privilege to the "wealthy reservoir" of much-sought-after oil that otherwise would be a huge savings in capital for us.
Besides, she could become our closest indebted ally when we should set her up on her feet. Furthermore, in this proceeding we will be weakening our enemies' stronghold and at the same time invite sympathetic, "valued" neighbors to join us.
America, let's be a bit more patient, considering the many lives we have lost plus the high financial cost already invested. They should not be wasted. We're apparently winning the war and with great appreciation for us by the Iraqis.
Protection and security? Yes, both here and abroad. America, a winner!
Take your own child's education seriously
Although a recent report that high school graduation rates are bad
, I have not seen many comments in the paper by concerned citizens, the Department of Education or anyone else, for that matter. Do parents realize that without a high school education, many of our children will not be prepared for the real world and will be stuck with minimum-wage jobs? In today's world even a college education is not a guarantee of everyone's dream of a home, family and a bank account. Come on parents, get involved with your child's education and encourage them to study and prosper.
Roy M. Chee