Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cars insulate people from city's problems

The people of Hawaii (the governor, mayors, Legislature and citizens) need to get our of their cars and catch the bus. At the bus stops you will see the homeless, the mentally ill and the panhandlers.

On Dec. 14, I was waiting for the bus. At the bus stop were two mentally ill people. One screamed at a woman who wanted to sit down. Another smelled of urine and had sores on her lip.

A lot of people of this state are out of touch with what is going on. They are in their cars and believe there is no problem.

Take the bus or walk and get educated.

Tammy Lee

Let's take advantage of famed isle graduates

Hawaii schools — public and private — belong to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Only two states belong — Hawaii and California. This accreditation agency calls the shots for the entire Pacific basin. That includes all the English-speaking International Schools in Japan, South Korea and China.

I can't think of a better recommendation for a school than to have a future U.S. president graduate there. Barack Obama, who graduated from Punahou School, wasn't the first president to receive his secondary education in Honolulu. That distinction belongs to Sun Yat-sen, the first president of the Republic of China, in 1912. And Syngman Rhee, the first president of the Republic of Korea (South Korea), started a co-ed boarding school for children of Korean descent in Kaimuki.

The president-elect's sister teaches at La Pietra School. A longtime member of the state Board of Education (which oversees public libraries, too) is director of public relations at the East-West Center.

Eco-tourism and medical tourism must complement the recruitment of the brightest students elsewhere to these shores.

There must be a drive to promote the Asia-Pacific mission of the University of Hawaii — and the Richardson Law School, in particular. Most Punahou graduates attend UH. Due to the global economic downturn, fewer school-leavers will find their way even to Left Coast schools like the University of Washington, UCLA, Occidental College (as 18-year-old Obama did), University of Santa Clara, or somewhat inland schools like Arizona State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Cohesion centered on the aggressive revamping of the structure of the WASC is overdue.

Richard Thompson
Visiting professor
Mokpo National University
Cheonggye-myeon, South Korea

Population boom will lead to unrest

By far the biggest problem facing humanity is the out-of-control population explosion and its concomitant effect on atmospheric pollution, global warming and ballooning poverty.

Of the six continents (excluding Antarctica), only Europe (the most highly educated) is projected to decrease its population from the year 2000 to 2025, by 3 percent (from 730 million to 707 million, according to the World Almanac & Book of Facts for 2007.

The other five continents are projected to increase their populations as follows: Asia, 30 percent; Africa, 67 percent; North America, 28 percent; South America, 28 percent; and Australia and Oceania, 29 percent.

The total population increase for our planet is projected to be almost 2 billion people, most of whom will live in poverty, leading to a surge of migration and unrest from people who will have nothing to lose.

Insofar as the current obsession with reducing pollution and global warming is concerned, this will be more than negated by the projected population increase.

Boris Netupsky

We should think about overpopulation now

Some time ago, I read an Associated Press article about the reproductive rates for American women over the last 30 years. Most American women are reproducing at a zero-population growth rate.

Our population growth over the last 30 years has come from immigration, both legal and illegal. There are good reasons for favoring population control — among them are providing food and the necessities of life to our children, not wanting to have wars because of overpopulation, and an adequate food and water supply for the people already alive. Much of the food is now probably GMO (genetically modified), whether we like it or not.

I want to recommend a continuing policy of population control into the future. More than 30 years ago, my first letter to the editor, favoring population control, was published in the Star-Bulletin. Also, I think most Americans want our borders to be more secure.

Phil Robertson