Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Saturday, November 14, 2009

Use waiver days to teach children

The public schools actually have 10 noninstructional days per year. There are six waiver/professional development days as well as an administrative day, two teacher workdays and a union institute day. Certainly, these could be instructional days for the next school year.

In normal fiscal times, teacher in-service, classroom preparations and administrative directives are important quality-assurance measures in a school system. But in a crisis, this 10-day addition could increase student instructional time, lessen parent anger and keep the lawyer Eric Seitz and Judge David Ezra's partnership out of the education system.

The blame for this situation needs to be divided among all the players. The union is protecting its turf, the Department of Education has its own structural organizations to empower and our governor imposed her will with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. There are enough ambitious politicians already spinning this crisis to curry votes.

Jim Wolfe






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Okinawans in middle of two bigger powers

Kumu Kahua's production of “;Voices From Okinawa,”; written by Jon Shirota, brings to the forefront the issues Okinawans are facing today, especially relating to the U.S. military presence. It comes at a time when U.S.-Japan relations pertaining to the U.S. bases in Okinawa have become very tense. Futenma Marine Air Base has been set to close for some time, but that has been held up due to protests by local north residents who don't want the extension of Camp Schwab and a runway built in the pristine waters off Henoko.

Local Okinawans in Hawaii have not really been involved or informed in these issues, and the Hawaii United Okinawan Association has stayed away from these issues because of “;political connections.”; The problems of almost one-third of Okinawa's land being occupied by U.S. forces, carrying the burden of 75 percent of all U.S. bases in Japan being stationed in Okinawa, crimes and air crashes in local communities being hastily taken care of by U.S. officials and leaving U.S. wrongdoing clear and free from Okinawan-Japanese laws, are all connected to people's lives that have been subjected to continued suffering since World War II.

The problems pretty much reflect many that the Hawaiians have faced here in Hawaii, and still are dealing with. The only exception is that Okinawans are caught in the middle. They have been thrown back and forth by the two bigger powers that control their land and livelihood.

Eric Wada



Water for Maui sugar not being wasted

To the letter writers who seem to think that Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar is “;wasting water,”; they should know that HC&S works hard to use the water as effectively as possible. The amount of sugar produced is directly tied to the amount of water that the sugar cane receives, so it is important that we get the water to the crop.

Of course, there are some losses due to evaporation or some reservoir or ditch seepage, but most of our ditches within the plantation are lined with concrete to reduce the losses and any water that does seep into the ground is recharging the aquifer such as the stream flow restoration advocates are proposing with their mauka to makai campaign.

One key difference is that the water being applied to agricultural fields is being used to produce a usable product, while the water that runs into the ocean is not.

Kathy Morris



Mayor should veto expansion of B&Bs

The bed-and-breakfast Bill 7, currently at the City Council, will require the city to expand its workforce in order to meet the enforcement demands that this commercial activity will bring to our residential communities. It is obvious that Bill 7 will increase the stress on our communities, especially when we are trying to economize and become more efficient.

Then why is Kailua's Councilman Ikaika Anderson pushing this commercial zoning on his neighborhood? Are the residents of Kalihi pushing their Councilman Rod Tam into passing the B&B law? Does Chairman Todd Apo serve his constituents in Ko Olina and the West Oahu neighborhoods by supporting Bill 7? If so, why do these communities want B&Bs in their neighborhoods now?

Bill 7 would negatively impact the Waikiki hotel neighborhood. Many small off-beach hotels (200 or fewer rooms) will find it hard to compete with quality B&Bs that offer the same daily rates. The B&B nestled in a quiet residential beachfront community has the edge over a small hotel room in noisy Waikiki.

Why would the city want to expand tourism into our residential neighborhoods during this deep and ongoing recession? Why does the City Council even consider expanding the city work force now, especially to commercialize our residential communities?

Mahalo to four Council members for supporting the integrity of the residential communities that they represent by opposing Bill 7. Our mayor supports our residential neighborhoods and the Waikiki hotel community, so he should veto any bills expanding B&Bs into our residential communities.

Bob Hampton

Hawaii Kai