Brief Asides


POSTED: Monday, March 15, 2010


It should always be Fire Prevention Week

In most jobs, doing brisk business is a positive thing. But it's never a good thing when the Honolulu Fire Department is busy—which it has been, very, in the last week or so.

A spate of home fires has been the cause of literal alarms lately; the causes of each remain under investigation. There was the March 6 blaze on Humuula Street in Enchanted Lake; a woman was initially arrested on suspicion of arson. On Tuesday came the Ernest Street fire in Makiki, causing $150,000 damage to a one-bedroom apartment. Then on Thursday, a Palolo house on 9th Avenue went up in smoke, causing $600,000 in damage and leaving three elderly women homeless.

Fire Prevention Week is traditionally in October. But the recent fires are a serious reminder to always be vigilant in safeguarding home and family. There are many online sites with fire safety tips; a good place to start is HFD's site at



Coming to a textbook near you—history according to Texans

What happens in Texas doesn't necessarily stay in Texas. So educators, students and parents throughout the United States should be aware that the Texas Board of Education has voted to approve a new social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks. It will stress the role of Christianity in American history and present Republican political philosophies in a more positive light. Texas is one of the largest purchasers of textbooks in the country, so the vote has implications for the rest of the U.S., even in this digital age that allows publishers to tailor books for specific markets. Board member Mary Helen Berlanga, who voted against the rewrite, said the elected board has gone overboard: “;They are rewriting history, not only of Texas but of the United States and the world.”;