Letters 6/07

“Scrap Yard: Does God Exist?” 05/07
Two University of Hawai‘i professors, Victor Stenger and Charles Hayes, squared off about God and science.

How can you run an article on such a lofty subject—with two opposing viewpoints—in barely a page? It was a waste of reading time. This topic, and the authors, deserved more than a flimsy sound bite.

—Sharyn Inzunza, Honolulu

As with many other issues dividing opinion in our society, the question as to whether there is scientific evidence for God is the wrong one. Faith and science are in two entirely different domains. Those who truly believe in God should not require evidence to support their faith. Those who do not believe in God should not rely on science to “prove” this point, especially if one understands that it is not logically possible to prove the non-existence of something. In a tolerant society, what we need to do is be respectful of each others’ beliefs.

—Ken Tokuno, Kane‘ohe

“Editor’s Page: No Need Then” 05/07
In last month’s Public Schools Issue, editor A. Kam Napier pondered the source of the Department of Educa-tion’s perpetual underachievement, writing, “The Islands still have a deep-seated, blue-collar, plantation-era anti-intellectual attitude, best summed up in the often heard parental admonition, ‘No ack smaht.’”

Raised in a small town in Wisconsin’s farm country well over 60 years ago, I recall my own mother quickly setting me straight with the words “Don’t act smart,” whenever she didn’t like my disrespectful attitude and words.

Our children were raised here in the Islands with that same guiding expression. Does writing the expression in pidgin English more likely hint at the writer’s hubris?

After moving into an Island sugarplantation community, I came to appreciate the plantation’s blue-collar workers, their strong work ethic and their dedicated interest in a good education for their descendents. Many, after graduating from our local public school system, have become contributing members to our society, and have succeeded as teachers, engineers, doctors, lawyers, politicians, etc. So what is the editor’s definition of anti-intellectual?

While making a big point that your magazine has examined the public school system inside and out, nowhere do you describe any examples that your magazine, or its staff, or yourself, actually does volunteer work at or has personally made any achievements in improving even one public school.

Maybe the editor is just a snob?

—Diane O’Sullivan, Waialua

I just finished reading this month’s feature on education (or lack thereof) in Hawai‘i’s public schools and although Ronna Bolante does an excellent job of explaining, exposing and detailing the problems, Napier’s editorial on page 16 says it all.

The unfortunate thing in all of this is that there are some very good, dedicated teachers in the system who try, against almost insurmountable odds, to see that their students leave school with more than half a chance of success. And they do this without books, supplies and real assistance from the Department of Education.

The DOE is too busy perpetuating and protecting itself, but it is not totally at fault. We are the ones who cry for change and yet we continue to elect the same old politicians who cater to the same old union.

Wake up Hawai‘i. Clean out the Legislature and let’s start over. Our future depends on it.

—Dave Reed, Honolulu

In our May “From Our Files,” the star of Hawaiian Eye was Robert Conrad, not Richard Conrad.
Pinky vodka, listed in our Calabash story “Coming Attractions,” is exclusive to the Waikiki Parc Hotel and Halekulani until the Nobu opening; after that, the vodka will be available at other resort properties in the state.

write to us: Letters to the Editor may be e-mailed to: letters_honmag@pacificbasin.net, faxed: 537-6455 or sent to: HONOLULU Magazine, 1000 Bishop Street, Suite 405, Honolulu, HI, 96813.