Brief asides


POSTED: Tuesday, June 02, 2009


More bucks needed for Star Poets program

The 67 Hawaii students honored as “;Star Poets”; Sunday might be the last to earn cash for their winning words, unless the worthy annual contest finds a new sponsor.

Starbucks Coffee has backed the program for nine years, encouraging thousands of Hawaii children to stretch themselves as thinkers and writers.

Besides publishing the winning poems in a journal distributed free at its coffee shops, Starbucks gave $50 to each winner, and donated money to their schools.

The young poets also relish the chance to take the stage at Windward Community College's Paliku Theater, reciting their work for an enthusiastic audience.

Libby Young, the Windward journalism and English professor who coordinates the program, thanked Starbucks for being “;a terrific partner in support of literacy”; and expressed hope that new sponsors would step up.

There's no shortage of student interest: More than 3,500 poems were submitted this year by students in grades three through 12.



Isle road fatalities rise to third-highest in U.S.

A Big Island man and his son are the latest victims in the alarming surge of motorcyclists and mo-ped riders killed on Hawaii's roads.

The state has the third-highest fatality rate in the United States, according to the Department of Transportation, which is trumpeting the message to “;share the road”; and make driving safer for everyone.

One of the biggest rallies was Saturday on Oahu, when motorcyclists sign-waved to spread the message, which also appeared on traffic message boards and statewide on the radio.

The next night on the Big Island, Thomas G. Reimer, 36, and Thomas G. Reimer, Jr., 7, died after the motorcycle they were riding was hit by a car in Pahoa; both were wearing helmets. The sedan's driver, 21, was arrested for investigation of negligent homicide, promoting a detrimental drug and having no car insurance.

The Reimers' deaths bring this year's toll to 20, compared with eight motorcyclists or mo-ped riders who had been killed at this time last year, said DOT spokeswoman Tammy Mori.

“;It's a big jump, and a major concern,”; she said. “;We're asking drivers to please show some consideration for everyone else on the road and prevent these deaths.”;