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Letters to the Editor


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POSTED: Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A valentine for our visitors to Hawaii

Hibiscus are rose red

Orchids are violet blue

Sugarcane is sweet

And so are you ...

...A Hawaiian valentine means

I love you.

Happy Valentine's Day and a big “;Aloha”;

From me to you!

Arsenio Ramirez Pelayo

Aiea

Stronger relationships this Valentine's Day

Among the many legends that surround the origin of Valentine's Day is the tale of a third-century Catholic priest who, refusing to deny Christ before a Roman emperor, was condemned to death but befriended his jailer's deaf and blind daughter. Before he was sent to the gallows, the story tells us that love stirred a miracle that resulted in a restoration of hearing and sight to the priest's female friend. As we prepare to celebrate Valentine's Day 2009, we would do well to remember that success in all relationships, not just romantic ones, is dependent upon our ability to listen to one another and to see the needs in other people's lives and take the initiative to meet them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson teaches, “;Happy is the hearing man”; and “;Make yourself necessary to somebody.”; Here are a few tips for relationships:

» Be quick to listen and slow to speak.

» Find out what makes people happy and do it.

» Give more than people expect.

» Never turn away someone who asks for forgiveness.

» Remember that in the mathematics of love, 1 plus 1 equals everything and 2 minus 1 equals nothing.

So while candies, cards and flowers are all important this upcoming Saturday, let us not forget that we can all duplicate the miracle of Valentine's Day by choosing to put friendship and love for others first and ourselves a distant second.

Daniel de Gracia II

Waipahu

Do something about foul-mouthed bums

After many vacation visits to Hawaii, I am appalled by the city's ignoring of an ongoing problem. Tourism is down by double digits, and you expect tourists to visit at $300 a night to sit next to, see, smell and listen to this problem.

On my last visit I was very frightened and angered by having to spend my beachfront with foul-mouthed, dirty, obnoxious people with gross, dirty bags, tents and other belongings. I watched tourists get up and walk away, shaking their heads and muttering, “;Never again.”;

Nowhere in all my travels have I seen this horrific problem being ignored. I walk past Fort DeRussy every day. The same derelict is out there peeing in front of everyone. The park in Chinatown is a disgrace, as are several other areas.

Get these people the help they need - mental, physical and emotional - and stop burdening taxpayers. They need help and jobs, not a handout. They need to be made to work for their meals and pay rent for the space they occupy. Get them drug, mental and physical help they need, and stop ignoring the problem.

Nancy Hildwein

Berwyn, Ill.

Noelani Jogathon puts kids on the right track

This Friday, the Jogathon at Noelani School will be raising money for enrichment programs, but more importantly it is a way to promote a healthy lifestyle through physical fitness. Although many Hawaii schools choose to no longer fund salaries and curriculum for subjects such as physical education and music, the Noelani ohana chooses to enrich our children's lives in these essential areas. Thanks to our principal, Dr. Rochelle Mahoe, PTA President Lori Hayashida, the School Community Council, teachers, staff and parents and PE teacher Veronica Lum, who are all rooting for the Noelani students.

As a Noelani parent, I also thank Hawaii's congressional delegates who have each co-sponsored the proposed federal “;Fitness Integrated with Teaching”; (FIT) Kids Act. The FIT Kids Act would reinforce lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity. Hopefully this bill's passage will be the beginning of more steps to bring our children's welfare to the forefront. Sixteen percent of Hawaii's student body is obese. Our investment in physical education will help to control that problem while improving our kid's quality of life.

Annabelle Stone

Noelani parent

Honolulu

Legislators, keep your hands off rail money

It is beyond belief that some legislators want to raid the rail money to make up for the state budget shortfall, while quietly accepting pay raises for themselves. And didn't they say the rationale is because the governor and her staff got a raise already? You gotta be kidding.

Blake Miyasaki

Hawaii Kai

Teachers should get better representation

Hawaii's public school teachers undoubtedly favor advancing the quality of education. Their union, however, seems intent on stopping it.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association testified against a bill in the Legislature that would give the superintendent of education the power to replace staff at schools that repeatedly fail to meet education goals (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 5).

Superintendent Pat Hamamoto initiated the bill because she has tried a variety of strategies over the years to rescue failing schools, but so far none has worked.

In opposing the bill, HSTA testified that the schools in question are failing not because of the school staff, but because of the students. This is tantamount to saying that teachers have little influence over what students learn.

Perhaps HSTA's intent in opposing the bill is to save the jobs of a few bad teachers. However, in doing so they ignore the interests of the good teachers.

My experience with teachers is that their interests go beyond purely job-related concerns. I find that they want what is best for students. They want students to succeed.

Hawaii has the 47th-worst public school system in the country, and HSTA is trying to prevent Hawaii's worst schools from getting any better. Teachers should consider selecting another union to represent them in collective bargaining.

John Kawamoto

Honolulu

Don't turn blind eye toward possible crimes

Those people who understand and value the U.S. Constitution also understand that multiple unconstitutional acts likely were committed by the Bush administration. If these crimes are not prosecuted, then the message is that it is OK to break the law and to ignore the Constitution. This is totally unacceptable!

There is a statute of limitations on some of these crimes that is quickly approaching. This is a plea to our congressional delegation, Sens. Dan Inouye and Dan Akaka and Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono, to work to extend the statute of limitations on the possible crimes of President Bush and Vice President Cheney to allow a fair opportunity for them to be fully investigated by a real prosecutor.

No one is above the law - no one! I hope Congress concurs. It will be a very sad day for the United States if the best they can offer is a blind eye.

Laure Dillon

Honolulu

               

     

 

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