Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Letters to the Editor

Schools should speed up results

As a parent of three children, it appeared to me that schools appealed to the farmers of our society. A child, with the patience of a farmer and willing to wait two to three months to see the result of hard work, soared in this environment.

The hunter, not so much. The hunter wants to kill his food and eat it now. Schools possessed few tools other than encouraging the hunter to be patient. Certainly some hunters learned to adapt, but it is the schools that brought the hunter into the academic 21st century.

St. John Vianney’s School in Kailua is one such school. Using a website called "Snap Grades," the competitive hunter can come home every day to see the impact of that day’s effort. No waiting for the season to end—victory or defeat in an instant.

To empower the hunters of our society so fully will have a lasting impact on their futures as well as ours. Mahalo to all for lighting the way.

Steve Flanagan


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We can’t support others’ homeless

It’s about time for the state to take the homeless population seriously. It should help get these people homes and ease up the cost of giving them medical care, food stamps, etc.

We are a state strapped for money, trying to support others from the Pacific islands.

Melissa Pasadava


Don’t reflexively side with Israel

Much of the world reacted with horror as news broke of the Israeli attack on a flotilla of unarmed civilians in international waters headed toward Gaza with cargos of medical supplies and construction materials. Among the multinational passengers was retired Col. Ann Wright, a part-time resident of Honolulu.

As we mourn the dead and injured humanitarian aid workers, the Israeli government and military are hard at work spinning lies about the commando attack, casting themselves once again as victims or, at best, as having made a serious miscalculation. However, the careful Israeli PR buildup during the weeks before the flotilla left Turkey leads one to believe that the entire attack was planned well in advance.

Our media, as usual, parrot the Israeli line about a botched operation and armed activists threatening to "lynch" defenseless Israeli military personnel. How does our government respond? President Barack Obama sends his regrets.

With midterm elections looming, we can expect our politicians to hand out more of our tax dollars for more weapons for Israel while again giving it a free pass to defy international law and trample on human rights.

Our Hawaii delegation has been right there voting for Israel. Is it too much to ask of our public servants to vote for America’s and Hawaii’s best interests, rather than those of this Israeli regime?

Margaret Brown


Please don’t cut sex education

In response to the profile on Andrea Anderson ("The CEO of Planned Parenthood Hawaii believes comprehensive sex-ed is vital to students’ health," Star-Bulletin, May 21): Surely there is research to prove the point so school funds for effective programs do not get cut.

Eons ago, when I was 12, my mother handed me a book about the facts of life, given to her by our doctor. That worked for me, and I’m sure it works for many enough akamai to use public libraries. We have books on the subject for all ages and stages. For teens we have a booklist called "Love and Loving"—it highlights some of the best titles and also lists websites and agencies that offer help.

Since not everyone uses the public library, teaching the subject in the schools should be as essential as reading, writing and arithmetic. The need to teach the subject in intermediate school is pretty obvious. I don’t know about current practice, but I still remember visiting such a class in the late ’80s when I was a teen specialist. The guest speaker-instructor was outstanding, and I still remember how she introduced the topic: "Right now you do not need to know what I am going to teach you. However, you will need to know in the future. I tell you now so you have a chance to think and then make smart decisions about some things that will affect your life forever. You’ve got to know the facts ahead of time."

I never saw eighth-grade students pay such rapt attention.

Sylvia Mitchell


Civil unions have many benefits

Civil unions will protect all Hawaiian families including those based on marriage, by respecting individual dignity, promoting tolerance and social justice, and providing economic security.

Often, what is right is unpopular. Therefore, legislation is the proper means for protecting and advancing civil liberties. A prime example is women’s suffrage. If left to the enfranchised men of the day, women would not have been granted the right to vote.

Gov. Linda Lingle, who would be unable to hold office if it weren’t for the actions of state legislatures in the 1800s, should not forget that there is a great civil rights history within the GOP that includes Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Nelson Rockefeller. This is an opportunity for the governor to renew that commitment.

Philosophical arguments and historical considerations are amplified by the truly organic nature of House Bill 444, which grew from your state’s open and accepting culture. Allowing this bill to become law would honor the spirit of Hawaii’s people.

Gareth Snow
Winter Park, Fla.


HB 444 imposes LGBT beliefs

If Gov. Linda Lingle does not veto House Bill 444, then it will be a state approval and sponsoring of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) faith/religion.

Some Americans do practice this faith focused on love in an unconventional and unnatural practice, but most do not and do not desire it to be set as a government approval because it means that the majority approves of this religion.

The arguments made by the LGBT are no different than the points of the Mormons who, in minority, practiced polygamy. Those of the LGBT belief system should be free to practice their religion without prejudice or interference by the state. If they choose to do what the Mormon Church did and sanction their own binding ceremony to one another, so be it. However, the rest of Hawaii should not be forced to embrace the practice of their faith because of the last minute theatrics of politicians. HB 444 is not a civil rights issue; it is a personal religious issue and the separation of church and state should allow them to practice their beliefs but not enforce their beliefs on its citizens.

Matt Steadman


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