Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Monday, February 08, 2010

Libraries left out of budget plan

The president's fiscal year 2011 budget proposal to Congress, released last Monday, included a $400 billion investment into education but did not include specific funds for school libraries. Even more concerning, the budget called for consolidation of programs, including Improving Literacy Through School Libraries, placing these funds out of reach for most school libraries.

These policies would weaken our nation's schools by stripping funding away from one of the most cutting-edge tools in our education system. School librarians understand that all students are innately creative, curious and motivated. The school librarian advances these characteristics through innovative strategies that develop students who think, create, share and generate knowledge.

Our country needs strong school library programs to ensure our students graduate with 21st-century skills that they will need to succeed in college and the workplace. I call on our congressional delegation to reject these proposals by the administration.

Grace Fujiyoshi

Co-president, Hawaii Association of School Librarians, Honolulu





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UH pricing out isle residents?

All that glitters is not gold.

Enrollment has currently risen to record levels for the University of Hawaii system. But the cost (tuition) of public higher education in Hawaii promises to keep rising in the near future for presently enrolled and prospective students.

Even if total enrollment levels remain stable or possibly increase, significant changes to the composition of the student body could be manifested. The percentage of part-time community college (resident) students within the UH system may be increasing over time. And, the percentage of full-time nonresident university students (Manoa, Hilo, West Oahu) may be increasing over time. Thus, there may be a decline in the percentage of full-time, resident community college and university students in public higher education in Hawaii.

Is this the preferred future of enrollment growth for the University of Hawaii system?

Edmund Leong



UH should seek transfer students

The editorial, “;Yes, UH, admit more out-of-state students”; (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 3), advocates admitting more out-state-state students to increase University of Hawaii revenues. However, some of its assumptions and facts are incorrect. First, the current 30 percent limit on out-of-state undergraduate enrollment at UH-Manoa is not an “;informal”; cap but an official UH Board of Regents policy adopted in 2002. Since then this policy has generally been violated with impunity by both UH-Manoa and UH-Hilo.

But even the 30 percent cap on nonresident undergraduates is ridiculously high for a public university. In the University of California system, the average proportion of out-of-state students is from 5 to 7 percent. This recognizes the risk that affluent out-of state students may bump in-state students out of places at the university, or out of vital courses (already a big problem at UH-Manoa).

But will more (and expensive) UH recruitment efforts even bring more nonresident students? The editorial states that “;UH's present tuitions are middle-grade.”; Not for long. The national average at four year institutions for out-of-state residents is currently $18,585. However, next fall out-of state students will have to pay more than $21,000 at Manoa and by 20ll more than $23,000.

Rather than view out-of-state students as a means to increase revenues, the university should focus on increasing the transfer rate of UH community college students, especially native Hawaiian and Filipino-American students who are substantially underrepresented at Manoa and Hilo.

Jonathan Okamura and Noel Kent

UH-Manoa professors


First Amendment has no caveats

The letter writer on Jan. 29 (”;Corporations are not individuals,”; Star-Bulletin) made the same mistake as the president did in his State of Union speech when he claimed the Supreme Court decision on election spending by advocacy groups allows foreign corporation campaign contributions. That is simply false.

The writer also said, “;People don't need a law degree to understand that a corporation is different than an individual person.”; People don't need a law degree to read the Constitution, either. The First Amendment's reference to the freedom of speech has no caveats. It does not delineate specifically who has the right. Consequently, everyone does.

Janice Pechauer



Strong U.S. leader needed for war

The unbelievable treatment given to the terrorist from Nigeria included the following: first-class medical treatment, ready access to a lawyer and a gifting of all rights by our Constitution. I believe these action could be taken as a “;great leap backward”; for the war on terror, and a victory for the Christmas terrorist, who has been called the “;alleged suspect.”;

Our history indicates that a strong leader will emerge who is committed to fight and defeat al-Qaida on our terms.

Dean Peterson



Politicians could learn from Fasi

I hope that our politicians can reflect on the leadership Mayor Frank Fasi demonstrated. I think we need to start over and find a middle ground. The far left and the far right are a joke and the politicians caught in the middle due to campaign contributions are just as big a joke. It's time to stand on the principles of the communities rather than the people financing re-election.

Our representation on the west side has brought us nothing but trash dumps, water projects, trucks dominating roads, no recycling even though we have all the dumps, bridges to nowhere, fishing bans and obviously, our governor's answer to homelessness.

James Lutte