Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022|
Share this story
Worthy of recognition
In the May 22 issue of the Tribune-Herald’s article “Grace under pressure,” the graduating classes of 2022 of Pahoa and Keaau High schools are celebrated. I would like to congratulate the students and their incredible determination and resilience and I wish them the very best for their future.
The article, however, did not include the Puna charter schools or other schools and home-schooled graduates of the same class. I find it interesting how the students and families from the Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science, Kua O‘ Ka La Public Charter School and other educational efforts/organizations were overlooked and left out of this celebration and recognition.
The generation of students and their families who moved through these adversities need to be seriously acknowledged. Adversities included Tropical Storm Iselle, the 2014 lava flow threat toward Pahoa, the Kilauea eruption in 2018, and the pandemic.
During these times of physical, economic and emotional threat, evacuation and disruption of communities, the schools provided an invaluable resource of stability and support for the students and their families. Kua O Ka La lost their entire campus during the eruption, and it took them years to recover successfully in their new location at Hilo Nani Mau Gardens.
The Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science has been steadily growing their programs with planned expansion to include a large community center close to its main campus and a large facility for the elementary programs at a new site in Orchidland.
For the first time in two years, students were able to graduate in person with a greater group of participants. The HAAS graduation last month was fabulous and heart warming — a closeknit community effort with 52 graduates.
Many of the students will be going to college, earning $714,000 in scholarships. Colleges include Hawaii Community College, UH-Hilo, UH-Manoa, Harvard and other mainland colleges.
I would like to see a well-researched article and acknowledgement celebrating graduates, their families, schools and communities from Puna’s other schools, organizations and home-school efforts.
You could possibly create a special edition, like you do for the Merrie Monarch Festival, with comprehensive features about all the stakeholders and the amazing students. It could be part of the Revitalize Puna initiative to demonstrate the resilience and success that our new generations are having creating a positive future of hope, healing and moving forward.
Parent representative of HAAS Governing Board
Failed drug war
It’s hilarious that anyone still believes that “closing the border” will somehow solve America’s problems with substance addiction and overdoses (Your Views, May 26). Prisons, with all their guards, towers, fences and elaborate security systems, can’t keep drugs out of perimeters that are just a few thousand feet, but somehow the U.S. can keep drugs out of roughly 20,000 miles of land and sea borders?
If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.
The plain fact is that over a century of “War on Drugs” tactics have failed to have the slightest impact on drug availability, use rates or overdoses. Despite tens of millions of arrests of drug users and sellers and hundreds of millions of pounds of drugs seized, the latest U.S. government National Drug Threat Assessment (issued during the Trump administration) reports that fentanyl continues to be “inexpensive,” “methamphetamine continues to be readily available,” and “availability of cocaine throughout the United States remains steady.”
This is despite federal drug war expenditures of over $39 billion in the last year alone. That doesn’t count state and local spending.
There’s an old saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. We’ve dealt with banned substances through prohibition, arrests and seizures since the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914. When do we acknowledge the obvious reality that what we’ve been doing doesn’t work?
The War on Drugs succeeds only as a full-employment program for law enforcement, who are its biggest boosters. It’s time to replace drug prohibition with a policy of sensible regulation.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *