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Tuesday, February 6, 2001


New books, computers will become worthless

In response to Governor Cayetano's assertion that new computers and textbooks are needed before teacher salaries can be increased, I want to assure him that he is putting the cart before the horse.

I was recently absent from my job as an intermediate school teacher for three days due to a family emergency. When I returned on Saturday to collect work that needed to be graded, I was devastated to find a desk, a chair and my computer monitor broken.

Books were missing. Near the TV and VCR were the videos, "Cliffhanger" and "Godzilla." The substitute explained that showing the videos was the only way to keep the students calm.

Most students are well-behaved and want to learn. But in the public schools, there are always enough students in each large class to create chaos and destruction when the opportunity arises.

If Governor Cayetano thinks that spending millions of dollars for textbooks and computers in classrooms with people who are not properly trained in classroom management is a good idea, take it from a teacher: It's money down the drain.

Several of my colleagues whom I respect for their classroom management abilities as well as their educational integrity are planning to leave. So while there may be new textbooks and computers, without good teachers, they are worthless.

E. Kottenmeier

As UH tuition rises, enrollment falls

Since 1995, the incremental hikes in tuition at the University of Hawaii have been related to funding cuts. With large increases in tuition motivated by the financial need, the enrollment of the Manoa campus has shrunk from some 24,000 students to the current 16,173.

Throughout this time, the rationale has been that our university is a bargain in comparison to similar schools on the mainland. Now again, this same argument has been brought forward for yet another tuition increase.

The essential understanding that our University of Hawaii serves a unique island community and will soon be destroyed with yet another tuition increment (our spring 2001 enrollment showing a 2.8 percent decrease for our Manoa campus) has only been addressed by Governor Cayetano's proposal regarding tuition waivers for students with A and B averages in high school.

Let us defer any further tuition hikes at this time and listen to the earnest advice of Governor Cayetano.

Paul W. Dixon
Professor of Psychology
and Linguistics
University of Hawaii at Hilo

Charging tourists user fee will hurt state

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees are contemplating charging visitors to Hawaii some kind of user fee (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 1). This is the most ridiculous idea I've ever heard.

OHA claims that tourists removed our natural beauty and took away our beaches. Absurd! And if you charge them a so-called user fee, can you imagine how this will be received by visitors? They will stay away in droves and tourism, our largest industry, will be irreparably harmed.

OHA wants this money for a Hawaiian nation. Yet there has been no Hawaiian nation since 1893. There is only one nation now, and that is the United States of America. The people of Hawaii will never allow this racist concept or pay for it. We are a multiracial society and get along very well together. A Hawaiian nation would only divide us.

With such irresponsible statements, the trustees have demonstrated that OHA should not be allowed to continue to exist and waste taxpayer money.

Bob Speck



"We are Bamboo Ridge babes.
We just don't want to be
labeled that."

Nora Okja Keller
Jokingly describing herself and three other
established local writers -- Lois-Ann Yamanaka,
Cathy Song and Juliet S. Kono -- who will
read from their respective works on Feb. 12
at Kumu Kahua Theatre in a benefit
for Bamboo Ridge Press


"I'm absolutely shocked
that a local lender would
act this way."

Peter Savio
Blaming his landlord, Central Pacific Bank,
for causing him to file personal bankruptcy after
CPB demanded that Savio Realty Ltd. move
out of its offices by this Friday

U.S. must atone for its illegal acts

The Jan. 23 letter by Paul M. Sullivan, though well-intentioned, reinforces what Hawaiian scholars have been saying for decades: Simply, that the perspective Sullivan expresses is completely remiss of any understanding of what happened in 1893.

Hawaiians do not consider their quest for justice as frivolous and random. For 108 years, Hawaiians have waited to challenge the despicable hoax that was perpetrated against them in 1893.

Sullivan believes that Hawaiians should be afraid of suffering more than they have suffered already. What a cop-out!

Hawaiians are infinitely proud of their heritage and, although saddened at what happened, will never abandon their journey for justice. It is discouraging, however, that the United States -- this great edifice of freedom and democracy -- continues to turn away when confronted with its great crime.

Sullivan further states that leaders should be prepared to intervene and ease the transition in a spirit of lokahi and aloha. I can assure Sullivan that there will never be a transition into a spirit of lokahi and aloha until Hawaiians have justice.

Sullivan must come to understand that a crime is not negated by the passage of time. We are all liable for our actions. The United States is no exception.

If anyone in the world can produce one document that validates the legal and constitutional annexation of the Kingdom of Hawaii by the U.S., then let it be produced. There is none.

Rod Ferreira

Is ridership of TheBus going up or not?

In his State of the City speech, Mayor Harris said, "Transportation is key for our city to remain vibrant and healthy. Last year residents were able to reduce their commuting time to town due to expanded express bus service. And I'm proud to report that ridership on these routes has doubled."

Yet at a Jan. 8 City Council Transportation Committee hearing on an overview of bus transit fares, one of the slides showed a continuing decline in bus ridership since 1994, with a leveling of the decline only in 1999-2000 with the addition of more buses.

If ridership has really doubled recently, what does that mean? No policy necessary to increase the fare recovery ratio percentage in the near future and then some?

Wendell Lum
Kaneohe Neighborhood Board

Gambling won't stop at one casino in Hawaii

I'm fuming mad at Governor Cayetano for his lame thinking that gambling is not a moral issue. Gambling breeds many social, economic and personal problems. We don't need it in Hawaii.

And if he thinks there's going to be only one casino in Hawaii, he's dumber than I thought. If you allow one to operate, another will open up before long. Then another, and another, and so on.

Hawaii should be a shining example to the country that it can get along without gambling. We can hold our heads up high and be proud that, together, we can take care of ourselves and our aina without the "help" of gambling.

Paul Dela Cruz
Kwajalein, Marshall Islands

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