Letters – August

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

“The Music Issue,” June 2006
Our annual music issue focused this time on the “other side” of Island music, including reggae, rock, jazz, classical, hip-hop and world.

I realize you could not cover, in one story, all of the many genres that make up our Island musical scene. One I noticed absent was country music. While there is not much of a country music presence here, it’s been in Hawai‘i for as long as I can remember. Many artists who specialize in Hawaiian music, including Bill Kaiwa, Don Ho and Melveen Leed, also perform and record country music.

Although most country musicians, singers and bands don’t have much exposure in regular gigs, they do a lot of casual engagements. Others, such as Don Humphrey and The Geezers, perform regularly. Don can be heard Mondays and Wednesdays at Arnold’s in Waikiki and Saturday and Sunday at Hank’s in downtown Honolulu. When Mainland country stars come to the Islands, they go hear Don, who is probably the best country singer ever in Hawai‘i nei.

I write in the hopes that maybe next year, you’ll include country music.

Keith Haugen, Honolulu

“Mutants in My Kitchen,” June 2006
Our June “Afterthoughts” took a look at our unofficial Island mascot, the cockroach. One reader offered some helpful advice on ridding your home of them.

I can offer you a suggestion to reduce sightings 95 percent. Purchase a tube of roach-killing gel, such as Combat, at Longs—get one of the tubes that looks like a toothpaste container. Apply tiny amounts at various cracks and crevices around your household, where you suspect the vermin are entering/nesting, every three months. The vermin eat the stuff and then crawl off to insect heaven. Occasionally you’ll get a rare sighting of a drugged one you can whack.

Curtiss Ako, Honolulu

“Grading the Public Schools,” May 2006
Our cover story used data from the Department of Education to rank 259 schools statewide. Nanakuli High and Intermediate School came in at the bottom of the list. A social studies teacher at the school wrote in with this response.

Schools are located in different socioeconomic communities, which vary greatly in how children are generally educationally supported. This more than anything else explains the differences between the schools in the ways that are measured by your magazine. I believe that if you substituted the word “community” for the word “school” in both survey questions to teachers and parents, you would get the same results. In other words, the school is a reflection of the community and really does not stand apart from it. Go ahead if you want to attack the school system, but do not think you can attack and pit individual schools against each other.

Would you like to know what I believe really undermines the public school system, other than the report in this magazine? It is the private schools. People who send their children to private schools are abandoning their local public schools. They become irresponsible to their local public schools. This abandonment leads to what I believe is an economic school segregation, which has a significant negative effect on the democratic fabric of our society.

What would I want to see measured by your report? The qualities our students have as a whole that are overlooked. Our students are nurturing; show respect and receptiveness, especially to teachers and staff who genuinely try to help them; humility and openness to new ideas; heart and compassion for anyone who is in need; a sense of justice when anyone has been wronged; toughness and resilience during trying times; athleticism both on the field and in the ocean. Anyone would agree that these are commendable qualities worthy of a great student body.

Bryan Yamashita, ‘Ewa Beach

• The cover image of this month’s Restaurant Guide was photographed by Monte Costa.

• The photographs from this month’s Home feature "Beautiful Imperfection" were taken by David Franzen of Franzen Photography.