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LETTERS for February 21 issue

By Staff | Feb 21, 2013

Parents need to be educated

You do not need a college education to be a good parent. What you need are tools to help your child succeed in school!

Teachers can help. In a recent conversation with another teacher, I told him my main goal as a teacher was to teach my students to read. My opinion is that if you can read, you can learn anything!

There are books and Internet sites that will teach you anything you want to know, but if you can’t read them well? So here are some suggestions for parents of children who are struggling with reading:

1) Reading fluency is very important. Young children need to recognize words that they will see over and over again. These are called sight words. You can look up sight words for your child’s age group on the Internet or ask his/her teacher.

2) Your child is expected to read a certain amount of words at his/her grade level. These, too, can be found on the Internet, or ask the teacher.

3) Spend just a minute or two having your child read aloud to you at home. A lot of children love to be timed when they read. We do this at school. So, when your child brings home reading homework or is reading a book of their choice, take a minute or two to time them. Jot down the time, and then the next day, have them read the same passage again. Keep track of their time and reward them for advancing. Rewards can be simple – a dime a day to reach a dollar they can spend; a sticker a day, and ten stickers earns them their choice of dessert!

4) This is very important – they must understand what they are reading. All too often, we test students who are low in fluency. We give them five paragraphs to read, and when they are done, they don’t remember what they read in the first paragraph. To help them – again only taking ten minutes of your time – ask them to read a paragraph or page, and then ask them questions about what they just read. Who is the main character, what is the setting, the problem, the solution, etc. (basically what is happening in what they are reading)?

Teachers have your child for about six hours a day. That leaves about 18 hours a day for you to be responsible for their learning. Do you have 15 minutes a day to help your child read? Turn off the TV, leave the dishes until later sit down and read with your child. You can make a difference!

KAREN TWITCHELL, King Kamehameha III School


Help protect Hawaii animals from cruelty

Please support Senate Bill 197 to ban the killing of pet dogs, cats and horses for human consumption in Hawaii.

Protect our four-legged friends from cruelty in paradise and join other countries in Asia that have enacted such bans.

To view the bill online, go to www.capitol.hawaii.gov/sesion2013/Bills/SB197.HTM.

Please phone Sen. Hee at 1-808-586-6180 and Vice Chair Sen. Shimabukuro at 1-808-586-7793 to schedule a hearing for SB197 sponsored by Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland.

Please call Rep. Rhoads to hear House Bill 1349, a House companion bill sponsored by Rep. Mele Carroll!

If you live in Kihei, please call Rep. Ing at 1-808-586-8525 to ask Rep. Rhoads to hear HB1349, and phone Sen. Roz Baker to ask Sen. Hee to hear SB197.

Please call your legislators wherever in Hawaii you live to ask these legislators to schedule hearings. Tell them that you support this bill and its companion.

Go to capitol.hawaii.gov/ to track the bills to see when a hearing is scheduled, then please send testimonials on this site supporting the bills online.

“Animals have been regarded as property for way too long. It’s high time we took on a more loving and responsible relationship with our kindred beings in the web of life on this beautiful planet. I always think and act as a guardian towards my kindred beings, never as their owner.” – Jim Mason, author of “An Unnatural Order.”

For more information, call 879-0025.

Please write letters to the editor discussing the bills, too! Please send in feedback.



A solution for the axis deer problem

Our latest crisis in Maui is the existence of too many axis deer. They have become pests.

Farmers are losing their crops to these voracious deer. Deer are also pooping on the golf courses and causing golfers to lose their balls in the poop.

What to do? An official committee has been formed on Maui to decide how to get rid of the deer. They have proposed an elaborate method to kill the deer in a “humane” way and “harvest” the remains.

We can be sure that the deer huggers will complain. They can’t kill those cute creatures. After all, aren’t all deer like Disney’s Bambi?

The only solution is for the Maui farmers, ranchers and landowners to hire Disney to invent a magic wand and wish the deer away.



AAFA opposes restrictions for over-the-counter allergy medications

There is no doubt our country’s meth problem must be stopped. State Sen. Josh Green has introduced legislation, Senate Bill 639, to require a prescription for medications that contain the decongestant pseudoephedrine (PSE). The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) says that restricting access to safe and effective decongestants is not the right solution.

According to Bill McLin, the foundation’s president and CEO, “Meth is a terrible drug that can have a tragic impact on individuals, families and communities. While all sides of this debate are committed to winning the war on meth, we believe that a prescription requirement is the wrong approach and would impose significant burdens on patients and families.”

In fact, according to the AAFA’s 2010 Pseudoephedrine Awareness Study, an overwhelming majority of patients (71 percent) oppose laws that would require a doctor’s prescription for over-the-counter medicines with PSE. Patients responding to the survey made clear their concerns that a prescription-only mandate would create an undue burden on law-abiding patients and significantly increase the cost of their healthcare.

Since its founding in 1953, AAFA has been dedicated to serving the more than 60 million Americans with asthma and allergic diseases. For many of these patients, PSE-containing medications are the only oral decongestants that work, and PSE is the only decongestant available for 12- and 24-hour relief. Without timely access to these medicines, some patients may experience unneeded health consequences.

Prescription-only laws would place a significant economic burden on responsible Hawaiians. Patients would have to make appointments and visit a physician when they desire certain medications that are now available without a prescription. In some cases, they would have to take time off from work, visit a doctor and drive to the pharmacy. These additional steps add up to additional co-pays, increased fuel costs and the potential for lost wages at work.

Meth abuse is a serious health and law enforcement issue, but it simply does not make sense to punish legitimate patients with unnecessary and costly trips to the doctor’s office. Electronic tracking has already proven that it works in other states to block illegal sales, according to the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators.

On behalf of the asthma and allergy patients across Hawaii and the nation, AAFA urges Hawaii lawmakers to reject restrictions that will make it difficult, expensive and inconvenient for patients to get the decongestant medications they need.