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Letters to the Editor

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Matayoshi pick predetermined

The state Board of Education merely pretended to conduct a national search for a new superintendent of schools. How else to explain the fact that the members interviewed no applicant other than Kathryn Matayoshi?

But there is more to explain. Matayoshi’s resume, as published in the Star-Advertiser, makes no mention of a degree in education — a standard requirement for even a novice teacher. If she has ever taught a class, or served as a school principal, it is not mentioned.

Matayoshi was trained as a lawyer and has served in a series of administrative posts. But there was nothing in the field of education until July 2009 — 14 months ago — when she was appointed deputy schools superintendent and early this year, when she was named acting superintendent.

Matayoshi may have impressed the board with her performance, but this appointment displays a reckless disregard for profes-

sional credentials.

Carl H. Zimmerman
Honolulu

 

How to write us

The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Advertiser reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
E-mail: letters@staradvertiser.com
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

DOE changes take too long

When I read Lillian Koller’s call for an audit of the state Department of Education for "bungling" the Summer Food Services Program for needy families, I thought, "Whoa, them’s fightin’ words" ("DOE’s bungling of lunch program shows need for comprehensive audit," Star-Advertiser, Aug. 9).

One week later, Assistant Schools Superintendent Randolph Moore expressed dismay at Ms. Koller’s comments ("DOE did not bungle handling of summer lunch program," Star-Advertiser, Aug. 16). He blamed the inability of the DOE to fully utilize $1 million in federal stimulus funds on a time crunch. From the date the Department of Human Services offered DOE the funds, it took five weeks to develop a scope of work, solicit a contractor and finalize a memorandum of agreement. Mr. Moore estimates it would have taken up to 60 days to amend contracts between the DOE and its vendors.

When it takes that long to modify an existing program, the process needs a major overhaul.

Donna Ambrose
Kailua

 

Bike program dispute resolved

On behalf of everyone at Kokua Kalihi Valley, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks for your editorial in support of our application for a zoning variance ("Give bike program a variance," Star-Advertiser, Aug. 16). We were touched by your strong belief in and support for KVIBE, which is one of our most popular programs for Kalihi Valley youth.

As a community health center, Kokua Kalihi Valley has always aimed to put our neighbors’ concerns first, knowing that strong relationships are the key to building a healthy community. We are pleased to say that this hearing process enabled our neighbors’ concerns to be heard in such a way that reconciliation was possible.

Dr. David Derauf
Executive director, Kokua Kalihi Valley

 

Sign wavers are dangerous

While walking across the intersection of Ward Avenue and South King Street, I was almost hit by a car that ran a red light because the driver was too distracted by political sign wavers. They were also blocking the sidewalk and the area of the curb used for wheelchair access!

Sign waving is extremely dangerous to motorists and pedestrians, it’s a noise nuisance, in most cases it slows traffic flow, and it doesn’t help informing voters on their candidates.

Jennifer Chung
Honolulu

 

Historic homes program helps preserve our treasured past

By Michael Rethman’s reckoning, the federal government must be in cahoots with more than half of our 50 states in a scam to outwit "regular folks" ("Tax giveaway needs to stop," Star Advertiser, Letters, Sept. 14).

The federal government offers up to 20 percent of rehabilitation costs to owners of historic buildings, while more than half of the states in America offer tax incentives to preserve historic architecture.

Placing a home on the state or federal historic list requires deep research and documentation. Placement on the lists is not given lightly, and only when the review boards feel that the building should be preserved for the enrichment of the entire community. Not all owners of historic homes are rich, and not all of these homes are in fancy neighborhoods. Some of these houses have been in their owners’ families for generations, and the present owners may struggle to pay the upkeep on beautiful, yet high-maintenance buildings.

Losing our architectural history is a loss for each of us, because each remaining building that illustrates a time from our shared rich past is a treasure in our shared historic home, our islands.

Patricia Godfrey
Honolulu

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