STAR-BULLETIN / 2007
Fans rushed the field after the University of Hawaii beat Boise State to win the WAC championship last year, mobbing UH quarterback Colt Brennan, center.
Football program deserved much more state funding
It was disappointing to see the Legislature shortchange the University of Hawaii again on vital funding, especially when you consider what could have been some very wise investments to maintain the success of the football team. It seems that few, if any, legislators really understand the tremendous potential of revenue-producing sports. A properly funded program doesn't cost money; it makes money.
For example, West Virginia spends $3.97 million on its football team, which generates $25 million in revenue. Ohio State spends $4.75 million to generate $61 million in revenue. It make you wonder what might be accomplished if we were to double what we spend on Warrior football. Our financial support for our team was the lowest of all the BCS eligible teams at just $2.18 million.
If schools are willing to commit to a certain level or threshold of success, the rewards can be great. If funds are expended that are sufficient to create an excellent program, that program can pay for itself many times over.
I am reminded of an interview I saw on TV several years ago. The governor of Nebraska was asked how it could be justified to spend money on football when there were poverty and educational needs to be addressed. The governor replied, "I don't have a problem with justifying that at all. For every dollar we spend, we get back many more dollars in return."
Tourism downturn is a blessing
What do you call it when Aloha and ATA stop flying, when cruise ships leave Hawaiian waters and tourism in general is down?
A good start.
To those who have lost jobs all sympathy is due, but in an era in which travel is rapidly becoming increasingly unaffordable and an ordeal instead of fun; and, except for necessary travel, socially irresponsible as well, a reduction in Hawaii's dangerous economic dependence upon tourism is long overdue.
The Moody Blues used to sing "Thinking is the best way to travel!" Emily Dickenson said that a book is like a frigate to take you away. Pascal had it right centuries ago when he wrote that the trouble with the world is that more people can't stay home alone in their own rooms. And now we have Google Earth and the World Wide Web.
Work that contributes to the self-sufficiency and sustainability of life in the islands is more honorable and rewarding than grinning and nodding to a tourist, no matter how many bucks he has in his hand. Buy locally produced and provided food, good and services; it may cost a little more now, but it'll be cheaper in the long run.
State officials opposed vegan meals at schools
I find it ironic that Dr. Chiyome Fukino, the state Health Department director, is asking the community and businesses to support a program of wellness in the public schools and that the Department of Education is requiring healthier food choices.
When a bill was introduced in the state Legislature recently requiring the public schools to offer vegetarian and vegan meals, the only two entities that opposed were the health and education departments.
Tuition aid will help realize Pauahi's dream
I commend Kamehameha Schools for taking the initiative to fulfill Princess Pauahi's vision of educating all native Hawaiian children ("School to widen its tuition options," Star-Bulletin, May 9). This is a step in the right direction. Let us equip our children with the best education so that we may end this vicious cycle of being at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. Let's give them every opportunity to succeed.
Kristi Malia Temple
Schools should help own students first
In reference to the May 9 article
about Kamehameha Schools' plan to offer scholarships to "disadvantaged" Hawaiian children enrolled in other private schools: I find it curious that Kamehameha is providing such assistance when in the past it has been late to provide school uniform payments to its own financial aid students, causing undue stress to parents whose children needed the money on time. A financial aid student was threatened with expulsion because her single mother of four had to choose between paying the rising rents on Maui or paying for her child's portion of the financial aid tuition bill, thus making her delinquent. Stories about how Kamehameha fails to respond to its own financial aid students are numerous and call into question this very costly effort to benefit a few.
KS has also reduced the amount of financial aid to its students over the past five years. It also cut staff wages and released those who were expecting to retire after many years of good service to the institution.
Although this tuition program might be well intended, couldn't Kamehameha provide help to Hawaiian children in public schools who need enhanced services? Wouldn't this be a bigger bang for the buck? Another concern is how are they defining "disadvantaged"? I hope we all remember, Ke Alii Pauahi's primary concern was for Hawaiian keiki who needed it most.
Class of 1980
Transit decision came straight from the top
The design for the Honolulu mass transit system was "top down" from the start, with city transportation engineers deciding what would be the easiest and cheapest to build and then sending out representatives to explain the system to the public. There have been dozens of "talk story" meetings, but the format is always the same: "The city talks, the public listens."
Despite a near complete lack of community support in the central urban areas and pleas by urban designers and civic groups to consider alternatives, city officials are determined to fast track the project. Pleas to reconsider or modify aspects of the project, even when coming from the City Council, have been stonewalled.
At this point reasonable citizens who questions the system have no choice but to sign the Stop Rail Now petition. Mass transit in some form is a good idea, but the current system will result in urban blight and a huge price tag for a city of our size. If we are to have mass transit, let's do it right or not at all.
Scott R. Wilson
Rail transit system is a waste of money
The article, "Anti-rail petition drive gets rolling" (Star-Bulletin, April 21)
makes complete sense. Why should we have to pay taxes to build this $3.7 billion railway?
Many won't even use it. People will still use cars, and the bus system will still remain in business.
It is a waste of our tax money, which could be used for something that is really needed. It was a great idea to begin a petition against the building of this expensive new way of travel.
It won't end traffic; there will still be traffic jams on the roads. So what is the good of the project?
If Sakamoto can do better, let's see it
Regarding the story "Ousted UH regent fires back at critics / Lagareta sees power struggle at UH,"
Star-Bulletin, May 2:
Norman Sakamoto for chairman of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents!
The Senate Education Committee chairman said, "We need to do better."
OK. Let him display his managerial skills for all of us to see and evaluate.
Kim shows courage in 'war' with governor
Regarding "Lingle and Kim wage war of words over Liu,"
Star-Bulletin, May 8:
Donna Mercado Kim is a state senator. Senators screen the governor's proposed appointees so that the state agencies are managed by the best qualified individuals who have no past history of questionable decisions.
In my 26 years of having Kim as my City Councilwoman and legislator, she has been courageous, ethical and forthright - never an "embarrassment."
Furthermore, if anyone is on a "witch hunt," it is Gov. Linda Lingle. Unfortunately, Lingle appears to be guilty of a premeditated political smear.
Despite Kim's discovery of Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism director Ted Liu's questionable decision, Lingle will not remove him. Is this in the best interests of Hawaii?
With Kim in charge, justice will prevail
The governor has been very critical about the handling of her appointee, Ted Liu, specifically regarding my friend, Sen. Donna Mercado Kim. Kim is a highly efficient and effective politician. She has proven herself many times during her tenure when the City Council and now in the state Senate. Having her in charge of this investigation simply assured the public that justice would prevail. There are few people in the Legislature with the capability and tenacity to get through the layers of government bureaucracy to reach the truth. If Liu, director of th Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, and his department had acted properly then there would have not been a problem and the governor wouldn't be diverting the attention and blame elsewhere. Thank you, senator, for keeping the playing field fair and level.
Ernest K. Oshiro
Don't disrupt games, just China's bottom line
Please don't spoil the 2008 Olympics because the government of China is misbehaving in its conduct of world affairs. Disrupting the games will only hurt the athletes and that doesn't solve the problem or really influence anyone.
I'd like to suggest something that will work.
All of us should cease to purchase or accept anything new that is labeled as having been grown, made, or in anyway handled by the Chinese before it was made available for sale to the public here.
This positive economic protest will eventually get China's serious attention, and encourage a change in its foreign policies. This peaceful protest would be a lot more effective than anything our government has done so far.
Furthermore, seeing more items tagged "Made in the USA" in our own stores will also do wonders to improve our own economy.
Vacation rentals hurt communities
I oppose City Council bills legalizing and permitting transient vacation rentals in our neighborhoods.
These bills will promote a proliferation of these resort-type businesses and will essentially change the residential nature of communities.
Large incomes vacation rentals generate assures this. Only a few folks will benefit on the backs of the rest of us.
All the five neighborhood boards in affected neighborhoods have voted to stop this activity.
As a Waimanalo resident of 30-plus years, I can attest to the fact that the recent inundation of such rentals has profoundly affected lifestyle and generated horrific conflict.
Enforcement of current laws, as Maui County has adopted, will secure neighborhood lifestyle. Vacation rentals means fewer long-term rentals and drives rental and housing prices through the roof. Do we not already have a serious enough affordable housing crisis?
What will result from a kind gesture?
Who and what is it that makes our world the way it is now? How can we as individuals make an impact on the way others live? As high school sophomores, this is a question that is often heard, thought and asked when discussing the future.
But what about the now? That's what we decided to explore with our project on Random Acts of Kindness. That is to say, what can one random act of kindness do to the life of another, and what can it do for the world? We treated others to Monday morning coffee, filled an empty parking meter, and dropped lucky pennies on the ground. We rode our bikes to school for a day, picked up trash and recycled cans that had been thrown away. We don't really know the consequences of our actions, to be honest. But it is possible that a small act of kindness brightened someone else's day, and really, what more can we ask for?
The Petty Officers of Random Acts of Kindness