Letters to the editor


POSTED: Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hawaiian 'tribes' a false claim

For those of us who are students of Hawaiian history, it came as a surprise to learn that the Hawaiians were a tribe or tribes. Who were these tribes and where were they located? Did they speak different dialects and have different cultures and customs as the American Indian?

A quick trip to Bishop Museum and this claim is immediately proven false. There is no evidence of this. Unfortunately, this is another “;shibai”; by dishonest politicians to force the so-called Akaka Bill down the throats of Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians alike.

With numerous Hawaiian groups fighting among themselves, who would run a Hawaiian government?

David Bohn

Past president, Hawaii Council American Indian Nations


'Planning days' not necessary

What's all this brouhaha about planning days? There are too many already. Our public school teachers get 11 days, including waiver days (whatever those are) and professional development days. On top of that they get early breaks on Wednesdays. And on top of that they get 15 sick days plus two personal days.

Now you ask, where have all those generous times-off gotten us?

Near the bottom of the heap of the national school standing.

Personal calls to the competition — private schools — revealed the following:

» Iolani: Zero planning days, one professional development day, between five and 10 sick days, plus six family days.

» Punahou: Five planning and professional development days and 10 sick days, including up to two personal days.

» Waldorf: Zero regular days off, 10 sick days plus three personal days.

And where do those schools stand? Among the best in the country. One even produced a president of the United States.

I grew up in the German school system, which has generated scientists and inventors of many things. There were zero planning days. People would have laughed at such an idea.

Japan adopted the German school system. That means two scientifically and technologically leading countries in the world work on the same highly successful school system — with no planning days.


Gerhard C. Hamm

Waialae Iki


Spare change, Mr. President?

We were promised change. We were promised stimulus similar to FDR's New Deal of the 1930s to rebuild America and put Americans back to work.

But the only change that has occurred since President Barack Obama took office is what little change we all have in our wallets. I now feel comfortable asking my fellow islanders for spare change, knowing this was made possible by the candidate of change that myself and many others voted for. If I ever have the pleasure of meeting our savior (Barack Obama), I will ask, “;Spare change, Mr. President?”;


James “;Kimo”; Rosen



Special election would be a waste

Am I the only one who thinks spending $2 million on a special election to replace U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie for a few months, instead of spending it to cut out a teacher's furlough day, is a terribly misplaced priority?

Frankly, an automatic non-vote on every idiotic idea considered by this current Congress (which is the practical effect of not having a representative) would be a vast improvement over Abercrombie's performance, or for that matter anyone likely to replace him. Can't we just happily settle for a few months of the best congressional representation we've ever had by leaving the office unfilled until November 2010?


Jim Henshaw



Yagi case result of desperate love

I am extremely dismayed by the lack of public compassion and understanding shown the Yagi family.

From my perspective, Mr. Robert Yagi's acts of violence toward his wife and himself were the result of desperate love. His wife was suffering, her quality of life was diminishing and, it seems, he was given no viable end-of-life alternatives.

It is very upsetting to see Mr. Yagi portrayed as an attempted murderer by the media. It is equally upsetting to hear that he was banned from Castle Hospital. Where was the compassion and understanding? Where was the counseling? Where was the support and guidance for those critical end-of-life choices?

If Hawaii had a law permitting physician-assisted dying, there might have been an entirely different outcome for the Yagi family. There would have been an opportunity to celebrate Mrs. Yagi's life. In addition, Mr. Yagi would have been enabled to continue his life.

To the Yagi family, especially Mrs. Yagi, I extend my deepest sympathy for the difficult time of the present and my sincere hope for future joy.


John Heidel





How to write us

        The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
        E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
        Fax: (808) 529-4750
        Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210,  Honolulu, HI 96813