Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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July 22, 2009 - MidWeek
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Time’s up for Pat

I totally agree with Bob Jones’ recent article concerning schools superintendent Pat Hamamoto. It is definitely time for a change when there have been very small improvements in reading skills and test scores. Her change from four school districts on Oahu to nine complex areas each headed by a complex superintendent has been in place for more than seven years, with very little to show. Of the nine complex area superintendents, five are in control of two schools each, while the other four have three schools. The stated purpose of this change was to allow for a more manageable scope of responsibilities and to situate resources and decision-making closer to the schools, and provide better support for the student as a continuum from kindergarten to graduation. All of the complex areas seem to be made up geographically except for one that is comprised of Kaiser, Kalani and Farrington. Complex areas are based on but not limited to, student needs, social and economic challenges, and number of faculty, staff and administrators. This complex area was just reconfigured a year ago, with Kaimuki joining McKinley and Roosevelt. This doesn’t make sense to me, unless the Kalihi/Palama area has really done well for itself to have this commonality with the other two communities, also what feeder schools are there in common? To allow this kind of reconfiguration tells me, as Mr. Jones, outside educator, suggests about the district superintendents “Their say-so is godlike.” This sort of power hinders the ability for the school administrators to do what they feel is needed for their school.

It is time to put a limit on the schools superintendent’s term, and also time to reorganize the school districts with fewer superintendents and not have the system so top heavy.

Dennis Morioka

Hamada on Palin

I am new to Hawaii and just sat down to read your paper for the first time. I was pleased and impressed with Rick Hamada’s column “Attacks On Palin Are Over the Top.”

I must say that I agree with everything Mr. Hamada said and would even go so far as to say that the liberals find it acceptable when a conservative is attacked on their views, race, gender or family, but watch out if someone even hints of these topics in reference to a liberal such as Clinton (who also is a public figure).

Scott Burwell

Aloha for all

Jerry Coffee states in his rebuttal that the point of his original column “Just What We Need, Islam Day,” was to point out the irony of our female legislators initiating and leading the passage of Islam Day because of his interpretations of Islamic theology.

As expected, his best defense was to take the offense by citing incendiary quotes and questionable conclusions. It’s simply a waste of time to pursue this. But I truly believe that we are not going to make it through the 21st century unless we drop the witch hunt and look at the bigger picture of what unites us as humans, not what divides us. We might begin by looking at ways that we can honor and respect our Muslim brothers and sisters. For example, most Muslims pray five times each day, including before dawn. How many of us can say that prayer is better than sleep?

A fundamental tenet of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and many other religions is to love one another. This is the spirit of aloha and this is why our all our legislators acted as they did. No political correctness is one thing, but how about a little aloha?

Jill Morton

Who’s the hater?

J. B. Young says that “people of conscience need to speak out against those who abuse that right to society’s detriment” (It’s Hate Speech). He goes on to name those whose beliefs he deems hateful - all conservatives. Young makes no mention of those on the left who do the same: Randi Rhodes, Bill Maher, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann - as if only conservatives are capable of inciting hate.

Anyone who does not believe as liberals do are instantly branded racist, haters, yokels, boors, oafs, uneducated and not worthy of free speech and the right to assemble.

Brent Smith
Ewa Beach

Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by email to dchapman@midweek.com. Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
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