Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Saturday, December 19, 2009

Rude awakening from marathon

This years fireworks at the start of the Honolulu Marathon were louder and longer than ever, interrupting the sleep of untold numbers of citizens who were boomed awake at 5 a.m. Sunday morning. Sleep-shattering, and for some, frightening explosions were heard all over.

What other purpose does the early explosive wake-up call serve? Citizens sleep; their health is no less important than the marathon is to Honolulu. Is a few minutes of noisy celebration worth depriving citizens of sleep? The noisy fireworks disregard health needs of Honolulu's citizens. How inconsiderate.

Race or city officials might say, “;It's only one day a year.”; One day for the race, but on Saturday before the race and Monday after, noisy trash trucks pick up at equally early hours, also interfering with citizens' sleep. Marathon week means 13 straight days of early noise for many people.

Honolulu's citizens should be respected. The marathon is an important event and should continue. The fireworks should not.

Bob Kern






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Easier life fosters spoiled attitudes

While I realize that times have changed since I was in school, I can't help but remember walking the quarter-mile in the hot sun to and from school, and running home in the pouring rain trying to get splashed by passing cars while the mud squished between my toes. This taught me how to get where I had to go, no matter how hard to get there and make the best of bad situations.

I remember voluntarily staying after school or during summer break to help my teachers correct quizzes, tests and decorate the room. This taught me how the teachers planned for our next assignments.

I also remember a thing called monitor duty where we took turns cleaning the rooms after school, working the cafeteria, and slop duty when we all could not fit in the cafeteria and we carried our lunches to and from the cafeteria and slop and dishes back to the cafeteria.

These and other life experiences taught me as a child to persevere through hard times and gave me characteristics that helped me survive and succeed later in life when times got hard.

Hearing about teacher planning days and the education sector complaining about things that I never had the privilege of having tears at the gut of me, especially when our country is facing a financial crisis.

Sometimes I DO feel like the dinosaur they say I am, but these days I find myself surrounded by spoiled, unappreciative, unimaginative young children, teachers included.

Avis Muta



Traffic disaster looms in Lahaina

My daughter brought a petition home today concerning school busing. It states that all busing will end as of March 1 due to the state Board of Education refusing to request funding from the Legislature.

For the Lahaina area, this will be a traffic disaster. Trying to get through the Highway 30/Lahainaluna intersection before or just after school is an extended effort in frustration. With hundreds of additional vehicles trying to deliver and pick up kids, we're looking at Los Angeles-style gridlock.

The petition asks parents to contact their state representatives and BOE officials to voice their concern. I would think that anyone who travels through a school zone would also be motivated to do the same.

I also wonder about the legality of the BOE canceling bus service. At the beginning of the year parents pay a lump sum and contract for a full year's bus service. If the BOE refuses to honor its part of the contract, then it seems every parent in Hawaii may be able to sign on to a class action suit against the BOE.

Mike Sowers



Exhibit panel has wrong date

Joleen Oshiro's article “;Mount Fuji Woodblock Inspirations”; (Star-Bulletin, Dec. 13) was inspiring. The Hokusai exhibition at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, featuring “;32 Views of Mt. Fuji,”; is worth seeing.

On the exhibition's educational aims, she quotes Aaron Padilla, assistant curator of education: “;(The exhibition) really connects with the Japanese community here.”;

The Japanese community is aware that the exhibition's informational panel incorrectly gives the starting date of the Edo period as 1615. Wikipedia and the Japanese ministry of education give the start of Edo as 1603, the year Tokugawa Ieyasu was named shogun.

The authoritative Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan, a collaborative effort between Japanese and American scholars, prefers 1600 as the start date.

A friend who came with me to the exhibition read the informational panel and called the start date “;ridiculous.”; A Harvard-trained historian who specializes in Meiji education, he couldn't come up with any justification for the 1615 date.

Shawn Eichman, the museum's curator of Asian art, should add an asterisk to the informational panel to explain his idiosyncratic dating.

Warren Iwasa



Public option? Just do it!

Forget bipartisanship. If the Republicans (and even some Democrats) want to fight the public option, then go reconciliation for a 51-vote majority.

We the people don't care how you do this. We just want it done. Public option!

Forrest Shoemaker