JV sports a vital part of students' growth
I am greatly relieved to read that junior varsity sports will remain in Hawaii's public schools, for now (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 8).
As a former athlete from Pearl City High School, JV sports were my foundation to succeed in both varsity sports and in academic life.
Without JV sports, many freshman and sophomore students would have no after-school activities, so they would be more prone to be influenced by bad and risky behavior: alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, pregnancies and crimes. The Department of Education should be increasing its sports budget instead of decreasing it.
I thank Mayor Mufi Hannemann and all others for voicing their commitment to save JV sports in Hawaii public schools.
Pearl City High Class of 2005
Traffic control system is cheaper than rail
Rail is being touted on Oahu as "an alternative to gridlock." However, traffic gridlock can be controlled with a new technology called Intelligent Transportation System.
One of several cities that has ITS is Boulder, Colo. Here's how Boulder describes it:
"Intelligent Transportation Systems is the collective term for a variety of advanced technologies intended to aid travel, enhance the capacity and efficiency of the highway system, improve safety and assist in the active management of facilities and traffic. ... ITS helps maximize the use of our existing road system and control congestion."
Hong Kong and Beijing also have decided to use ITS.
The problem we have on Oahu is traffic congestion plus a limited ability to add roads, which is similar to what Boulder experienced.
ITS would not only control congestion on the H-1 but would also improve travel time on major traffic arteries such as Kamehameha or Pali or any other street that carries a lot of traffic.
There is no need for rail on Oahu; just install ITS, which will cost millions or billions less than rail.
Ruben R. Reyes
Editorial ignored Georgia's wrongdoing
Your Aug. 12 editorial "Don't allow Russia to reconstruct the Soviet Union"
states, "Russia's military assault on Georgia was a blatant violation of the feeble neighbor's sovereignty that U.S. diplomats should have seen coming and prevented." Yes, Russia should not be permitted to act as it has or permitted to "rebuild the Soviet Union," but that is only a small aspect of the issues at hand. The actions and fault of the Georgians has been overlooked completely. We must bear in mind that the Georgians did fire first and that these two nations have a long history of conflict. We must also keep in mind the people of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions; the true heart of this recent affair.
South Ossetia and Abkhazia want nothing to do with being a part of Russia or Georgia. They want out, they want independence; they want to be free states. Yet the media keep focusing on the evil Russians invading Georgia while the Georgians are equally guilty of wrongdoings. Georgia has continued to hold onto and restrain the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia simply for wanting the same freedom the Georgians once sought from communism and Soviet rule. Both Russia and Georgia should be scolded for their actions. If anything, the international community should focus not simply on the spat between Georgia and Russia, but on the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and their rights to self-rule and independence as free states.
Scott Nolan Smith
Formerly of Kaneohe
McCain isn't doing much to get our attention
In response to David Buck's call for more newspaper coverage of Sen. John McCain's campaign (Letters, Aug. 13),
I just have one question: What would the papers report? Thus far it seems to me that McCain is mostly just recycling tired, old Republican ideas that the last eight years have shown to be less than stellar.
Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that having the presumptive presidential nominee from a major political party in town is news in a state that normally isn't a stop on the campaign trail. I probably don't need a front-page article about where Sen. Barack Obama ate lunch or worked out, but what would be the headline from the McCain side of things, "McCain continues to ignore Hawaii"?
Why no cheers for disease prevention?
I was lucky to have attended the rally for Sen. Barack Obama last Friday at Keehi Lagoon Park.
The crowd responded with loud cheers to most of the senator's comments. During his speech, he briefly mentioned that our national policy toward health care should include elements to promote prevention of disease. The crowd was uncharacteristically silent when that was mentioned. I was one of only a handful of people who responded to that comment with a cheer. Has the pharmaceutical industry so thoroughly brainwashed us that policies to encourage the prevention of disease are not considered important?