For Thursday, July 22, 2010
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 22, 2010
There are many hardships teaching math and science in our Hawaii schools. Aside from the 5 percent of unruly kids in the typical classroom that teachers and administrators must struggle with each day, teachers are further hampered by extremely cramped and hot classroom conditions.
Many public secondary school classrooms built for 30-35 students are now stuffed with 40-plus pupils. There are several high schools between Ewa Beach and on Oahu's west coast that have as many as 45 kids in classrooms. Too many of these stuffed rooms lack proper air circulation. Students and teachers are subjected to these conditions throughout the day with class periods lasting more than 90-100 grueling minutes before a break is scheduled.
How many Board of Education members or state administrators would last a single week in the same conditions? There needs to be a maximum limit of 20 pupils for the heavy core subjects such as math and science.
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First they came for the cigarettes, and I didn't protest because I'm not a smoker.
Then they came for the triple bacon cheeseburger, and I didn't protest because I eat healthy.
Then they came for the fireworks, and I didn't protest because I don't care to celebrate with them.
Then they came for something you indulge in responsibly and respectfully but might be a small nuisance to someone occasionally, and there was nothing left of personal liberty.
Do we really want to live in such a sanitized world where rules are made for the dumbest among us?
It is a competitive job market out there, even for the skilled, educated or networked. There continues to be a mismatch between what employers are really looking for and what jobseekers can really offer.
Instead of watching the unemployment rate all the time, the state needs to look more closely at its skills matching-and-training support system. It also needs to brace for the prospect of a jobless economic recovery.
I was last paid for working in November 2009 and my unemployment benefits ended in May 2010. I am actively looking for work and projects. I am also focusing my attention on keeping healthy and upgrading my abilities.
In response to the commentary by Kioni Dudley ("Aloun Farms' fate will have major impact on local ag," Star-Advertiser, July 16), there is great trepidation for scores of us awaiting the outcome of Judge Susan Oki Mollway's sentencing of farmers Alec and Mike Sou. Their disappearance from Aloun Farms would have repercussions beyond our understanding.
Granted, they violated the law by importing and using workers illegally. This deserves correction. But to incarcerate those who have developed something as unique and specific to the locale as this farm would be to hang ourselves as well.
To take the few remaining traditional farmers away from this land would imperil Hawaii's quest for food self-reliance.
I read with amazement that two former Democratic governors of Hawaii wrote letters of support for the Sou brothers.
What happened to the Democratic Party being for the little people?
I read further that "they did not know the facts of the case." Really!
These are guys who achieved higher office on the backs of the little people, but now that they are retired, it's time to pay back their fat cat friends.
The people of Hawaii deserve the truth about how many taxpayer dollars were spent arresting Roger Christie and the 13 THC Ministries members.
Let me set up the scenario: 13 federal, state and local agencies working for at least two years; extensive phone taps; countless hours for the lawyers, prosecutors, judges and grand jury members; prison costs; and the bill for the use of that C-130 military plane. Plus public defenders we will be paying for for years.
I would venture to say that busting the Green 14 cost at least several million dollars.
So, do all you residents of Hawaii feel safer now that this "major drug ring" has been broken? Do you really think that makes a difference in your quality of life?
My wife and I just returned home from a week each in Utah and southern California. The streets and parks were very clean.
Here in Hawaii, our streets are lined with trash and our parks are full of man-made debris. It isn't the tourists, folks -- it is us. Is this how we show respect and aloha aina? Or is it another example of our cultural tradition of "ainokea?"
Yes, I respect the military and its mission, but no -- the jet noise imposed on thousands of Windward Oahu residents by an assortment of aircraft participating in this month's Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise is maddening, every day, every night, every hour around the clock.
Marine Corps Base Hawaii attributes the increased noise to 12 F-18 Hornets from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C. And the base has invited anyone with concerns about the increased noise to contact MCB Hawaii Public Affairs Office: (808) 257-8840.
Call it the next time jet aircraft noise from the base in Kaneohe shakes your house, wakes you from your sleep, interrupts your conversation. Make a call also to the mayor's Office of Complaint: 768-4381.
If Windward residents do not complain resoundingly about this degradation of the peace and quiet of Kaneohe and Kailua bays and their shorelines and surrounding communities, you can be assured the base will assume no one cares, and the noise will increase over time, even after RIMPAC ends this month.