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Saturday, December 4, 1999

Astronomy can power Hawaii's economy

It's been thrilling to read of the solid accomplishments made by our University of Hawaii astronomers at the Institute for Astronomy, so your article Nov. 19 -- on plans for astronomical development on Mauna Kea -- was great news.

I hope all your readers realize that this mountain is the best place in the world to observe the universe. The provision made by past university administrations to give UH astronomers 10-15 percent of the viewing time on all non-UH telescopes on Mauna Kea was brilliant.

This partnership helps attract scientific talent to Hawaii and assists UH astronomers in obtaining grant dollars spent mostly in our state. Astronomy aids our economy now and can do even more in the future. We need this kind of development.

Phil Whitney
Via the Internet

Pidgin English doesn't have Hawaiian roots

Pidgin has never been part of our Hawaiian culture, as stated by some who are either misinformed or who know very little about what our culture entails.

Can you see King Kamehameha I conversing with Captain Cook in pidgin, or King Kalakaua rapping with other heads of state in broken English or fractured grammar?

Pidgin had its beginning with the immigrants who came to Hawaii as laborers. Their use of pidgin, out of necessity, was sincere, melodious and, though comical at times, much appreciated and respected, never degraded.

Many locals today fracture pidgin and treat it more as a joke rather than a shortcoming. They make no effort to bring it dignity, if you can ever bring pidgin to that level. Yet many of these users and abusers of pidgin rely too much on it for their own good.

Good standard English is not a strong point with many individuals today and, at the rate it's going, never will be. When teachers have to revert to pidgin in class to be understood, I'd hate to think what the future holds for those students who are too lazy to "get with the program."

We all have to make choices. I'm so thankful that our parents and teachers cared enough to permit us to make one choice: their way or no way at all.

McWarren J. Mehau
Mountain View, Hawaii

LeMahieu ponders pidgin’s effect on writing scores
Speak pidgin, think pidgin, write pidgin?
Professors: Pidgin and English can co-exist peacefully

Many contributed to Queen's new ER

As the medical furnishings partner for the new Queen's Medical Center emergency room, I was pleased with the Star-Bulletin's Nov. 29 coverage of this state-of-the-art facility.

During the two-year design and planning period, every effort was made to create an attractively designed medical environment that was flexible enough to meet the rapidly changing demands of health care today.

ER Nurse Manager Susan Orr's comment that Queen's was "the most beautiful, nicest ER ever" is a wonderful endorsement of all the hard work and commitment so many people brought to this project.

Gerri Hayes
President and CEO Office Pavilion
Via the Internet



"I viewed turtles as endless. You could walk on turtles and not touch the sand on almost any beach in Mexico. there were so many of them."

Marlu Oliphant-West
Founder and president of Save the Sea Turtles International, Inc.
On growing up in Mexico city, where her father owned a turtle -goods factory

"Imagine a rainbow. Manoa is famous for its rainbows. Now imagine the power lines superimposed over this rainbow. If that is not a degradation of a view plane, I don't know what is."

Gary Anderson
Manoa Neighborhood Board member
Protesting Hawaiian Electric Co.'s proposed 138,000-volt transmission line over Waahila Ridge

Tofu study will yield important future data

Good for Diane Chang and her cautious skepticism about the hubbub over Dr. Lon White's report on tofu (Changing Hawaii, Nov. 29).

At present, the purported tofu "scare" reminds those of us in the dementia business of the purported relationship between aluminum and Alzheimer's disease. My husband still bugs me about the safety of our aluminum pots and pans when he's trying to get on my nerves.

If the tofu's soy content contributes to high blood pressure and therefore risk of stroke, it may worsen underlying Alzheimer's disease or dementia due to strokes. This is a reasonable hypothesis.

Dr. White and his researchers have shown us that older Japanese men in Hawaii have a higher tendency to dementia due to strokes, and his research into this group's dietary habits will yield important clues as to why there is such high susceptibility.

I look forward to seeing how this pans out, but I'm still including tofu in my diet.

Tiffany Chow, M.D.
Alzheimer's Disease Research Center
University of California Los Angeles

Media are not balanced in their reporting

Media coverage of shootings, including the one at Xerox, is unbalanced. There should have been more on the victim's families and the consequences of such evil acts, and less focus on the perpetrator, which encourages copycats.

Gun control didn't work in the Xerox murders. Gun bans like those in New York and Chicago fail because weapons get smuggled in with drugs, and only criminals end up possessing guns. Legislation is not the answer, either, but a distraction.

We all should instill positive values and morals (knowing right from wrong) in people to prevent murder. That is a difficult task but more meaningful than having unenforceable laws.

Responsible media coverage does have a role in this. I hope the Star-Bulletin will survive to play this role.

Kendrick Sue-Ako
Via the Internet

Cars do more harm than firearms

It's time to get serious about banning instruments of destruction. Every year, more people die needlessly and we collectively turn a deaf ear on their cries for help. The manufacturers aren't helping; instead they are churning out bigger, faster, better weapons every year.

We've tried registration, licensing, taxing, legislation and yet, every day, these tools are misused, abused and operated negligently. Still, we insist on duplicating services that professionals and government already provide.

Sounds good, doesn't it? Except I'm not referring to guns but to cars and trucks.

Yes, vehicles are weapons. How quickly we forget Steve Allen Abrams, who purposely plowed his car into a mainland preschool yard this past May, killing two and injuring five.

Wayland Kwock
Via the Internet

OHA logo

Mililani Trask's remarks on Sen. Inouye
Early reaction to Trask's remarks

Mililani Trask needs to raise her standards

Life presents us with challenges and the freedom of choice to meet those challenges by either rising above them or by doing what most of us have done at one time or another: remain stuck at ground zero. Learning from our mistakes and making the choice to move on to higher ground is a daily challenge we all face.

Mililani Trask's negative, hurtful remarks towards those she does not agree with is a good example of someone who has not learned the lesson very well and seems doomed to repeat her mistakes.

While I admire her intelligence, I have lost all interest in listening to anything she has to say, no matter how scholarly, simply because of all of the mean-spirited things she has said about anyone she perceives to be a threat to her and her agenda.

Trask may be one of the most brilliant women of our time, but I wonder where her heart is. I am hopeful that she will learn the lessons she needs to learn and hold herself to a higher standard by focusing on what is pono. Everything else will take care of itself.

Aia ke ola i ka waha; aia ka make i ka waha. Life is in the mouth; death is in the mouth. Spoken words can enliven; spoken words can destroy.

Kapuananiali'iokama Kala'i
Via the Internet

Trustee has penchant for name-calling

If Mililani Trask's racial/ethnic remarks are what is to be expected from her every time another ethnic group disagrees with her, she is truly a small-minded person.

Because she is part Hawaiian (which she thinks makes her better than the rest of us), Trask thinks she can say or do whatever she wants.

She should get with the aloha spirit, before others realize that -- if she represents the Hawaiian people -- aloha in Hawaii is dead.

W. Pete Frazier
Via the Internet

Trask shouldn't open her mouth

I take exception to Mililani Trask referring to Daniel Inouye as a "one-armed bandit." Does she know WHY he only has one arm?

Also, regarding her statement, "Hawaiians and others no longer kowtow to Inouye," I wish she would stick to the issues. It's just another racist comment on her part, and she can't even get it right. "Kowtow" is a Chinese word, not Japanese.

Yes, I know. We all look alike.

Doug Kaya
Concord, Calif.
Via the Internet

St. Louis parents want to know what happened

I have heard people say that we do not know the REAL story behind the sacking (football allusion intended) of Father Mario Pariante by the St. Louis trustees. That is the problem.

I am a parent and resent the waste of money. As far as I could see, Father Mario was making education and values a priority at St. Louis. For him to be fired -- without a word from the leadership to us, the people who pay the bills -- sticks in my craw.

Rumors grow when there is lack of information. The parents of St. Louis students are owed that, since it is obvious that we and the public do not believe the lack-of-leadership argument. St. Louis has embarrassed us again.

Dolores Duchene-Kim
Via the Internet

School's athletic programs are far from grand

It is totally untrue that St. Louis School puts athletics ahead of academics. Are you aware of our LIFE, community service, drama, ROTC, Hawaiian studies, early admissions at Chaminade, campus ministry and other innovative programs?

Since 1985, St. Louis has renovated all of its classrooms and labs. Through the generosity of Dr. Richard Mamiya and other alumni, the Marianists and members of the civic and business community, we have the state-of-the-art Mamiya Theater, the K.J. & Beatrice Luke Student Center, an outdoor shelter for our students and first-class computer centers.

The media should focus attention on our first-class facilities and compare them to those found at other schools.

As for our emphasis on athletics, send the Health Department to investigate our locker room facilities, where critics say we "have poured all our financial resources." We have no swimming pool, so our team works out at the University of Hawaii or other available pools. Our track team works out at Iolani, and the baseball team practices at Kanewai Field, a short walking distance from St. Louis.

As for our 22 assistant football coaches, only seven are paid. The other 15 are generous volunteers, most of whom are alumni.

Brother Franklin Pao
Via the Internet


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