Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Sunday, December 21, 2008

Give the governor a break

Before you put down Gov. Linda Lingle and her support of the McCain/Palin presidential ticket, please think about what you are saying. Lingle is Republican. Why would she support a Democratic Party candidate? Because he is from Hawaii? Barack Obama didn't need her help and he won. So can we just drop this and support Lingle in what she is doing for Hawaii? Voice your opinion if you aren't happy. Get involved. But don't just grumble about it. That is a waste of time.

Becka Groves

Mesa should show aloha and respect

Regarding ”;Mesa to rebrand go! as Aloha,”; Star-Bulletin, Nov. 28: The word “;aloha”; plays an integral role in the spirit, nature and culture of these islands, known the world over. And aside from the demise of Aloha Airlines that served for decades, with thousands of loyal employees, with treasured memories, it's a fond greeting, a farewell, a typical spoken warm gesture.

Mesa's executives would do well to consider their own go! Airlines' name, out of due respect. And if they have a problem with that, allow me to suggest “;Come & Go.”;

John L. Werrill

Don't close small schools - build more

Due to the state's economic crisis, Hawaii's public education system must deal with a substantial budget shortfall. In a typical display of “;inside the box”; thinking, the Department of Education is considering closing small schools to reduce expenditures.

Smaller schools deliver better quality education than larger schools when all other factors are held constant. Instead of thinking about closing small schools, the DOE should find ways to create more of them.

One idea is to convert all public schools to charter schools. Charter schools are educating students at least as well as regular schools - and in many cases better. And charters are doing so for less money.

Charter schools are being funded at a rate of thousands of dollars less per student than regular schools. If all regular schools were converted to charter schools and funded at the same rate per student as charter schools, there would actually be a surplus in the education budget. That surplus could then be used to improve the quality of instruction.

Instead of thinking only about what costs to cut, thereby diminishing an already failed school system, the DOE should think of the budget shortfall as an opportunity to reform public education in Hawaii.

John Kawamoto

Foul-mouthed jerks ruined game, vacation

When we saw that the University of Cincinnati was scheduled to play Hawaii on Dec. 6, a group of us decided to plan a winter vacation around this game. In all, more than 500 people traveled thousands of miles for this game.

Everything was fine up until the game. As we entered the stadium wearing our school colors, one elderly gentleman walked with us and thanked us for coming to this game. He got it right when he said that the way you get national recognition is to play teams outside the WAC and that it was doubly important to play teams like the 13th-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats.

When we arrived in the stadium and took our seats the entire Hawaii experience turned ugly. Throughout the game we were bombarded with trash and taunts. There was plenty of security in our area, but they did nothing.

When UC made a comeback in the fourth quarter it got even more vicious. As we were leaving the game, groups of intoxicated people (at least I hope that was part of the reason for such boorish behavior) were actually following us through the parking lots screaming obscenities. A few people told us to ignore the “;idiots,”; but how can you ignore threats? “;F*** the BCS,”; “;F*** the Big East”; and “;F*** Cincinnati”; were popular chants.

We will never go to another game in Hawaii. We have many friends who are Notre Dame alumni and have told them that they should forget about going to the Hawaii Bowl. They will not enjoy it.

What was the problem? First, the visiting fans were stuck in the end zone where the crazies were sitting. Second, security personnel ignored the throwing of trash and taunting. Third, what little security there was, was limited to inside the stadium, and finally, these antagonistic people simply do not understand how hard it is to get teams to travel thousands of miles to play their team and how much their program can benefit by playing nationally ranked teams on national television. A mascot dressed like a warrior, beating war drums and encouraging the aggressive behavior went beyond what you would call cheerleading.

By the way, the band was great.

James J. Amann
Cincinnati, Ohio

Ceded lands dispute behind Kahana issue

While Gov. Linda Lingle was campaigning for McCain-Palin on the mainland, Laura Thielen, her Department of Land and Natural Resources chief, threatened to evict Hawaiian families who for generations have lived in Kahana Valley, forcing them into the ranks of the homeless. Thielen insisted on eviction even after Sens. Clayton Hee, Colleen Hanabusa and Russell Kokubun stated changes could be made in the next legislative session allowing these Kahana families to remain in their homes. Thielen finally agreed.

The Lingle administration's callous treatment of these Kahana families is related to the Hawaiian ceded lands court case now before the U.S. Supreme Court. Lingle is appealing last January's state Supreme Court unanimous ruling that ceded lands could not be sold or transferred until Hawaiian claims were settled for the theft of our Hawaiian Nation.

Gov. Lingle, in past years, has pretended to support Hawaiians! I remember her and Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona marching in red T-shirts with thousands of us through the streets of Honolulu a few years ago. How many of us Native Hawaiians, including the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, were fooled into supporting her these past two elections, and what does our Native Hawaiian lieutenant governor think about this nefarious plot?

Moanikeala Akaka
OHA Trustee 1984-1996

Hawaii should be ahead of curve on solar

While I was thrilled to read yesterday that a company is hoping to build solar installations on Oahu, I was disappointed to see that it is a mainland company. Why do we seem to wait for mainland companies to do what can obviously be done locally? If financing is needed, government should provide it - in the form of loans or grants. Government itself should have solar panels on every single government-building roof, including schools. The payback comes in a few years in lower energy rates, the sun will never raise its rates and we generate no pollution.

And why stop at Oahu? Electricity rates are even higher on the neighbor islands and incomes are lower.

Mark A. Koppel
Umauma, Hawaii

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