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Students need to be heard

While everyone is talking about doing things for the kids or listening to the students, we need to put some genuineness and legitimacy into those concerns by actually understanding what they mean.

Let us not forget that there are actually 14 elected members of the state Board of Education. One is perhaps the most important — the student member.

The student member, elected by approximately 50,000 public high and intermediate school students, is the official representative of the more than 170,000 public school students in Hawaii. This student represents their interests and protects their welfare.

Let’s not forget about the largest stakeholder in public education; it’s time to take this group seriously. And let’s give the student member voting rights!

Mark Dannog


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Prize highlights value of voting

The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo is a reminder to all people who have a right to vote to do so.

Government should reflect the will of the people it governs, and those who neglect to vote are slowly allowing government to be run by a minority. To regain control after losing it is much harder than the effort to vote and maintain it.

Let us hope that the Nobel Peace Prize is never awarded to a U.S. citizen for advocating democracy and civil liberties in the United States.

Liu Xiaobo, Lech Walesa, Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi and Shirin Ebadi should inspire us all to vote to preserve our democracy and civil liberties.

Leonard Leong


Target is OK but not the fence

Kailua is in a kerfuffle over the proposed Target. Let it come, I say. Don Quijote is no mom and pop. It’s a megacorporation, just like Target.

I’ll be sad to lose my source of cheap, hard-to-find Asian foods and liquors and local produce and coffee on the Windward side, but at least Target isn’t a multinational.

My only caveat: Target can’t put that horribly inconvenient fence back up. If it does, I’ll boycott Target for life!

Justin Hahn


For a day we all were Chilean

What do we get when you combine 33 trapped miners in Chile more than 2,000 feet below the surface for 70 days, the first 17 of which with no outside contact, with almost no food or water in near total darkness, not knowing if the walls around them were going to collapse?

Against all odds, we get pure joy in witnessing their inspirational rescue, and at least for a day the whole world was Chilean.

Chi, Chi, Chi, Le, Le, Le — go Chile!

Robert Griffon


Jameson’s an innocent party

Jameson’s By The Sea has been adversely affected by the controversy over the proposed building of the Haleiwa Hotel.

D.G. "Andy" Anderson does not own Jameson’s By The Sea. He is my new landlord. The management and staff have suffered economic harm due to the recent picketing and negative publicity.

When deciding to dine on the North Shore, please consider Jameson’s.

Ed Greene
Owner Jameson’s By The Sea


Mentoring program can help youths abstain from sex

The editorial on healthy teens ("Help Hawaii teens stay healthy," Star-Advertiser, Oct. 11) was quite disturbing. The underlying belief is that teens do engage in sex.

Although the study reported decreases in teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases nationwide, the statistics for Hawaii were not encouraging. The author proposed to refocus the outreach to younger people, with more money and education and "tough talk about preventing disease," believing them to be the most effective means of attacking these problems.

There is a foolproof, tried-and-true method that is 100 percent effective — abstinence.

It is true that a "lax and uninformed attitude about sex can have disastrous consequences." Teens engage in many risky behaviors, including sexual activity, because they desire to be loved, to know that they matter.

The $10 million could be put to better use with the implementation of programs that pair youth with adults in long-term mentoring relationships. It has been proven that programs featuring the following characteristics are successful: consistency, duration, and compatibility.

We do need to rethink what we can do differently to reach the populations not being reached.

Pattie Ceci
Hawaii Kai


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