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LETTERS for November 3 issue

By Staff | Nov 3, 2011


It recently came to my attention that parents have been overheard saying that it is the responsibility of teachers to teach children values. This came about because their children were coming home imitating or repeating what they had learned in school, and parents were appalled. The statement “Can you believe this is what they are teaching our children?” or “No wonder our schools are failing” seems to be the norm. I would like to set the record straight in my opinion as a teacher and as a parent.

As a parent, I taught my child manners, values and morals as I believed was right – how to walk away from those who were trying to influence him different. I then sent my child to school to learn the art of reading, writing, mathematics, science, etc. That is what I expected his teachers to teach, and they did!

Now, as a teacher myself, I teach the above subjects. I also teach character education, which includes how to be kind, respect each others’ differences and the importance of education.

What I don’t teach is this: the “S” word (shut up), the saying that starts “What the #!@… or improper gestures.

It is parents, older siblings, neighborhood bullies, TV programs, commercials and violent video games that teach the above statements.

It is the responsibility of parents to provide a safe environment for their child. It is the parent’s responsibility to teach values, morals, good manners and also express to them the importance of education.

For years, teachers have been held accountable for student learning. Basically, this comes down to test scores. This is how teachers and schools are judged. What teachers have always asked is, “Who holds parents accountable?” There is not a degree you need to obtain to be a parent. There are no test scores that show you are a good parent.

I challenge all parents to look inside their child’s environment. Are YOU providing an environment that promotes values, morals and the understanding that education is the key to success.

The popular movie “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” is so not true in schools. As my title infers, what happens at home most definitely doesn’t stay there.

I have an open door policy, and if you would like to see what really happens at my school, feel free to drop in any time! I’m very proud to be a teacher!

KAREN TWITCHELL, King Kamehameha III Elementary School


Last week, I sent a letter to the editor of The Maui News calling attention to the tattered American flag that had been flying at the main Lahaina Post Office for months.

The letter appeared in The Maui News, and by 10 a.m. that day, the flag had been replaced.

My thanks to the Post Office for finally fixing this unfortunate situation. I wonder why it took so long!

TOM LOWE, Kaanapali


Respect and recognition are needed to address the voices of our KUPUNA. Being in the right (pono) is very SACRED. This sacred ground of Moku’ula is not for everyone due to the history.

Moku’ula and our historic Front Street are NOT the place to honor such dark spiritual sides of humans (Halloween event) just for one night to sin. We don’t need another Disneyland, Knots Berry Farm, New Orleans open street celebration mentality.

The history that Shirley of Friends of Moku’ula (“Group supports Lahaina’s Halloween celebration,” Oct. 20 letters) is based on her own opinion on an American traditional influence (harvesting) to draw revenues to help nonprofit organizations (Maui citizens) to survive and benefit from our Native Hawaiian traditional culture and Royal Sacred Lands. This is “exploitation” of our SACREDNESS.

No success to RESTORE our SACREDNESS of Moku’ula. Grants to FOM, thousands of dollars, under the direction of Akoni Akana, and a bonding with the County of Maui began.

I have witnessed to this day the disrespect and shameful neglect of the Friends of Moku’ula, displayed on this very SACRED ROYAL HISTORICAL SITE of Loko O Mokuhinia. How can this be allowed under the care of FOM? Now digging into our SACREDNESS? This is not PONO!

This nonprofit group is no friends of Moku’ula. Foreigners on these non-profits have given money that is not monitored or audited. FOM has taken advantage of our SACRED Lands of our Ancestors in greed and in the name of tourism. Please investigate!



I would like to comment on the letter in the Oct. 13 issue written by Kalani Kahaialii to say “right on.”

I used to think that a kupuna was a highly respected elder who was spiritual and wise to offer advice to the younger generation.

Now, I guess, anyone who proclaims themselves a kupuna is one, and it no longer has the same connotation.

This is a sad commentary on how some people think more of themselves than honor those who truly deserve it.

RUTH F. McKAY, Lahaina


Did you see that picture in the paper the other day about the erosion of the highway? How did we allow it to get that bad? The past state administration spent a lot of money on a “project study” to relocate the highway mauka, playing into the hands of developers’ ploy to develop the mauka slopes, while we would “save mankind” from destruction.

Why wasn’t that money spent on doing what they’re planning to do now under the present administration? Have we heard anything about someone announcing a run for the senate seat lately?



My name is Jonah Bluh. I am a student at Maui Preparatory Academy. I am writing you this letter to tell you about the endangered animals on Maui; specifically the Hawaiian sea turtle; Hawaii’s state bird, the Nene goose; and the monk seals.

First, I will be talking about the Hawaiian sea turtle. We should have these turtles, because they are some of the most beautiful animals in our sea. There are very few left in Hawaii. They have been endangered or threatened for about 30 years. In my opinion, what we need is to develop a special habitat for endangered turtles, so they can reproduce and have a bigger, stronger population. I have an idea of how to lower the death rates of these turtles. It is hooks that dissolve in salt water. In my opinion, when people accidentally hook these turtles, the hook should dissolve after a few weeks, so the turtle can eat without having a hook in its mouth.

Next, I will talk about our state bird, the Nene. We have only about 1,000 of them left in the wild. They are some of the most rare geese in the world. They almost went extinct because many different people have hunted them. We need to make sure that they do not get hunted anymore. To make sure people do not hunt these precious birds, I have some solutions. My solutions include making a punishment for the people who kill Nene. Also, we could let everyone know how endangered they are with a commercial or a public announcement. I don’t think we should keep them in a special habitat, because they need to be able to fly.

Finally, I will talk about the monk seals. They are very much endangered; they have about 1,500 to 2,000 left. They seem more endangered than they really are, because they like to live on the atolls more than the main islands. Monk seals do very badly with human interaction. Sometimes mother seals have to abandon their pups, because humans come to try and capture them. We have to make sure that they can live in peace, without humans bothering them. Like with the Nene goose, I think there should be a consequence for coming within 20 feet of one, just like with turtles and whales. We can also make a habitat for injured or hurt seals.

In conclusion, it is really important to me that these animals stay safe. I told you about these precious animals and how we can help. I hope you can use your power and money to save these animals. Thank you for listening.



My name is Coleman Kingwell, and I am a student from Maui Preparatory Academy. I am writing to you because there are some issues I need to share with you. The first issue is all the trash on the island. When I walk around on the streets and on the beaches, I see trash and cigarettes everywhere. I think we should have more beach or street cleanups to help the environment.

Another issue on Maui is the bad smells when I drive by the sewer equipment at Kaanapali and Honokowai. I would like it to not smell as bad. Even when I close the windows and drive by the sewers, I still smell the stink. I understand that it would cost a lot of money, but I think our government should make a plan.

The last issue I have to share with you are the bike lanes on Maui. There are a lot of people who bike in Maui, but we don’t have many bike lanes on the highways and the lower roads. In a couple years, I want to start biking to school. If I want to bike to school, I will have to ride on the highway. There are no bike lanes that I can ride on, so my parents have to drive me.



As the Hawaii coral reef system has continued to be killed year after year, the crazy environmental crowd has continuously challenged the numerous causes like land-based pollution from runoff, poor fishing practices, sewage dumping, lack of regulation, and poor enforcement of the regs government did put in place. When government and commercial entities stated that demanded mitigation was too expensive, many of the “greenies” said the reefs were priceless.

Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) implies they were wrong by setting a value of $33.57 billion just for coral reefs around the main Hawaiian Islands, not to include the Papahanaumokuakea area.

So does this help those only concerned with monetary value to maybe decide it is time to do something about this degradation and save what is left? I suspect if government attempts to limit fishing as indicated, that industry will say go after the polluters; developers using poor practices will say go after big ag; and farm and ranch groups will direct it to the fishers… and the reef system will continue to dwindle. Future generations may look back to say $33.57 billion was too low an estimate – that they were priceless after all.