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Thursday, October 12, 2000


Don't blame coaches for football thefts

Having played football at Moanalua High School for the four years prior to this season, I know what goes on in the locker room ("Moanalua kicks four off team," Star-Bulletin, Sept. 29).

Yes, items get stolen on occasion because the opportunities are there. Living in a world revolving around violence, hatred and greed, can you expect any teen to remain untouched?

Parents, it's a difficult reality to be faced with. But hear this. It is unjust to place the blame on the coaches. From my experiences as a player, I would be appalled if, indeed, the coaching staff did condone such behavior.

Instead of looking for an escape route, place the burden on yourselves: Teach your kids the right values. After all, it is your responsibility as parents to do so. Also, remember that a teen usually values the opinions of his friends over those of his parents. What's done is done, so do what you can to prevent this from happening in the future.

Jesse Park
Chicago, Ill.

Too many students are sexually harassed

As the parent of a public school student, I support the proposed change to add the category of sexual orientation to the Department of Education rules on harassment.

I was present at the DOE hearing on Sept. 29 and heard most of the testimony. I think we can all agree that the safety of children in our schools is a primary concern.

Even those who oppose the change agree that all students should have a safe learning environment. The only question is whether the rules should be changed to add sexual orientation or remain the same.

Opponents say the existing rules should be enforced and applied equally to protect all students. I would agree -- if sexual orientation harassment wasn't such a common occurrence in schools.

Unfortunately, existing rules are not doing the job. Teachers and administrators aren't doing enough to stop harassment because of sexual orientation. Students are not getting the message that such harassment is wrong.

If the Board of Education members don't change the rules, they are not doing their jobs. Why aren't they willing to protect the safety of our children?

If changing the rules means that one child will not be harassed, that one child will have a safer learning environment, then the change will be worthwhile. Of course, the reality is that many children will be safer if the rule is changed.

John Ishihara



"I am the witness. I am the evidence."
Luis Singson
Claiming he was the conduit for illegal gambling payoffs to Philippine President Joseph Estrada

"Finally, after all these years."
Kimo McVay
His reaction to news of Congress' vote yesterday clearing his father of responsibility for the loss of his ship, the Indianapolis, during World War II. McVay was court-martialed after his ship was sunk by a Japanese submarine in shark-infested waters. The Navy had not warned McVay of enemy sub activity and delayed sending help when his ship was overdue.

Ala Wai golfers are being selfish

Most of those objecting to converting the Ala Wai Golf Course into a park oppose it for selfish reasons. This small group is going to scream very loudly, but this land should be enjoyed by everyone.

The Ala Wai can be more than just open space. I'd like to see things like native landscaping, lagoons and minimal, low-scale activities for our families. We deserve it.

As much as we try to diversify our economy, tourism remains Hawaii's main dish. And Waikiki is looking a little stale these days.

Breathing new life into the golf course will be good for everyone -- with the possible exception of the golfers. Keeping this rare, centrally located parcel available to these few is wrong.

Genaro Bimbo

Keep Ala Wai open for Hawaii's golfers

It is amazing how clear the governor can see "10, 15 years from now." Could that same vision have foreseen how bad the state of our public school facilities would become? Or how our homeless population would increase to occupy existing parks such as Ala Moana? Or how the economy of our state would slow as to hurt our citizens?

If an additional park in Waikiki is needed, how about developing Diamond Head into a world-class one? Meanwhile, keep the Ala Wai open for golf play by everyday, hard-working people, and retirees.

Richard Shiroma

Fluoridation of water is still a bad idea

Here we go again! Health Director Bruce Anderson and the Star-Bulletin editorial writers are absolutely wrong in proposing the fluoridation of Hawaii's water (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 9 editorial).

These people are not infallible in their proposal. Will they put up their personal financial assets to defend lawsuits emanating from the fluoridation of the public water?

The reason Hawaii children ages 5 to 9 have more than twice the national average of tooth decay is because of the multitude of sugar-related soft drinks and products they consume. Why not propose fluoridation of these products instead? Why force everyone to consume these questionable chemicals?

The Gulf War syndrome proved that government is not always right. We should not be forced to consume products of questionable nature by civil servants or newspaper editors.

Chester Lau

UH autonomy amendment has flaws

The University of Hawaii administration and both daily newspapers have initiated a discussion of UH constitutional autonomy. However, these discussions leave out key information detailing critical flaws in the amendment.

The Hawaii Legislative Reference Bureau has said, unequivocally, that the Legislature put language into the amendment to give its members authority to identify laws of statewide concern in order to prevent interested parties from going to court to challenge the issue.

The Legislature, should this amendment pass, is reserving the right to override the UH Board of Regents with minimal judicial review of its actions.

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, Manoa Faculty Senate and UH Manoa student newspaper agree that the amendment is seriously flawed, which thus defeats its intended purpose of increasing the university's autonomy.

To excel, UH requires expansive changes to its governance. UH must have a larger, stable endowment, lump sum budgeting and restrictions on the governor's ability to hold back funds. We need regents with longer terms and national stature. Most important, we need visionary leadership. These changes are not contained in the amendment.

Some say that voting "no" will be a severe blow to UH autonomy. This is not necessarily true. Creating a strong, autonomous university will require a long-term dedication to excellence.

Start now and redraft an autonomy amendment we can all be proud of.

Khalil J. Spencer

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