Hungry Kids

This state program is worth the cost (April 20, 2018)

According to the article (“Study: Few Hawaii Students Have Access To After-School Meals”), it costs $110 per student per year for the A+ program. That is only $.61 per school day per student when looking at the entire minimum calendar year as mandated by the Hawaii state government for public school education.

Certainly it it is hardly anything when you are considering that you are trying to get the best nutrition into their growing bodies and try to keep them around for after-school activities. This is just for the A+ program, however. If it was expanded then the cost per day may drop.

I am sure many of these children do not have access to a healthy after-school meal on a regular basis not only because of the poverty rate, but just because parents have to work so many extra hours to make ends meet and may not be able to provide a well-rounded meal. I am sure many parents need this support when the cost of living is so high in Hawaii. Is it really that expensive to feed these kids a healthy full meal after school? Keep in mind at $110 a year, it would take $10,000 to give a full healthy after-school meal every school day to 90 children in poverty. With the DOE budget this seems like a small expense to pay, especially when you think about keeping the 14-year-olds in school and out of trouble.

— Malia L. Meenderman, Honolulu

School Bullying 

DOE needs to do more (April 19, 2018)

My children attend Keonepoko Elementary and they have been subjected to bullying on the bus and school property. (“Are Hawaii Schools Doing Enough To Address Bullying?”) Incidents range from name calling like “faggot,” “bitches,” etc. and the most violent incident included a fifth-grade girl choking my 6-year-old son with a sweater she tied around his neck. All incidences reported to school with no follow up.

— Tracy Benjamin, Pahoa

Kauai Flood

We need better weather experts (April 19, 2018)

“Hawaii’s weather is just hard to predict” is a statement to me that really says: “It is what it is.” So here’s the thing, I am not settled with that response (“Here’s Why The Weather Experts Didn’t See The Kauai Storm Coming“). Even though the Hawaiian Islands are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and because of this fact, according to the weather expert who stated, “there are fewer ways to monitor what’s happening in the sky,” I  have to ask the obvious question: What about the commercial flights that fly back and forth to and from Japan — an important land mass to the west of the Hawaiian Islands where the weather systems generally generate from?

In others words, the planes that fly to and from Japan must have some device that keeps these flights safe from severe weather. Can’t we find out who owns the weather reading component in airplanes (e.g. IBM?) and work with these companies to encourage them to share their data, especially because we are in the middle of the sea?

Climate change is here to stay, our mountains are here to stay. Residents and tourist are here to stay. More severe weather events will most likely occur. The “it is what it is” attitude should not be here to stay. Let’s get busy and let whomever we need to let know that the people of Hawaii need a better way to know what kind of weather is heading their way, and know this information before they come home to houses of floating possessions or houses that have floated away entirely.

Nancy Manali-Leonardo, Honolulu

Being at peace with nature (April 21, 2018)

The writer of this piece echoes what I felt about Kauai during the 30 some years I lived there. (“Reality Sets In For Kauai’s Flooded-Out Residents”) She said, “You have to be at peace with this place and with the land if you’re going to build here and call this home.”

To expand, you have to be at peace … if you’re going to live here whether you build or not. Kauai is a very special place that spits you out if you’re not at peace with it. If you are, you can never call anywhere else home. And you will miss it every day.

— Susan Dixon, Stoughton, Wisconsin

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