Letters to the Editor

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School's small size reaps big rewards

I'm writing on behalf of the parents board at Ke Kula Kaiapuni 'O Pu'ohala, regarding the Star-Bulletin's article ("Shallow Immersion," Aug. 1) that portrayed a dying Hawaiian immersion program. Our program is very much alive.

Although our kindergarten enrollment is lower than it was last year, grades 1-6 are averaging a 13-1 student-teacher ratio. As a parent of two children in the immersion program a Pu'ohala, I am happy with those numbers.

Many people are under the mistaken impression that Hawaiian immersion programs offer a substandard education. They couldn't be more wrong.

Our children are learning what their English-speaking counterparts are learning, only they are learning in Hawaiian. They are following Department of Education requirements and are bilingual to boot. How many students in the English-language schools can make that claim? Students who started in our program have graduated from both immersion and English-speaking high schools and moved on to institutions of higher education.

The Hawaiian language will be perpetuated through our keiki, and thankfully, with the continued support of our kumu, makua, kupuna and staff and in spite of such articles.

Susan Kanehailua, Ululani Kahikina, Makana Elkington, Ronnie Texeira, Lahela Blake

Hannemann brought melons and fun to fair

Mayoral candidate Mufi Hannemann is a class act. During the recent Palolo Pride fair, he provided free watermelon and air-generated bouncers for the hundreds of children there. He gave a great afternoon of fun for all these kids and their parents.

Unlike Duke Bainum, who stayed but a few minutes and vanished, Hannemann stayed for a couple of hours and met most of us who were there. I salute him as a fine gentleman and a caring person.

Jeff Hino

Tamayo can't be soldier and legislator

State Rep. Tulsi Tamayo did the right thing when she enlisted in the Army Reserves. Her loyalty and service to our country are commendable. Now she should do the right thing and tell the people in her district to support someone else (since there is no procedure for her to drop out of the primary).

She should know her legislative job is called a representative and she cannot represent her constituents from Iraq. She cannot attend committee hearings to listen to people who want to convince her to vote a certain way nor can she be in constant touch with people in her district that need legislative assistance.

She has a job to do and that is to support her Army unit, not to be a part-time warrior and part-time legislator. I would say leave it up to her district to decide, but a dead woman was re-elected as our U.S. representative so that doesn't say much for local politics. Tamayo should do the right thing again.

Garry P. Smith
Ewa Beach

Kerry doesn't seem so tough after all

I find it amazing that after Michael Moore's standing ovation and seat of honor beside former President Carter at the Democratic National Convention, Sen. John Kerry has called on President Bush to stop the Swift boat ads.

It would seem the tough Lt. Kerry who wants to lead us in the war on terror, does not mind watching the dirt dished out, but cannot take it when it comes his way.

Steve Imerman



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