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Letters to the Editor – 3/19/14

Language lesson

Jade Moon wrote that Hawaiian language almost died because Hawaii schools banned it from 1896 to 1986. In October, Mufi Hannemann blamed “political and linguistic repression after the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.” Repeating this widely believed falsehood serves only to arouse bitterness.

Albert Schutz (Voices of Eden) documented that by 1892, the monarchy had 95 percent of all schools using English. An 1896 law required English as the language for teaching all subjects in any school to satisfy the compulsory attendance law. The law did not target Hawaiian. Its main purpose was that nearly a majority of children were Japanese and Chinese. With Hawaii becoming a U.S. territory, the best language for kids to succeed was English. After-school or weekend academies could use other languages – the Japanese created hundreds of such schools, but Hawaiians chose not to. Many Hawaiian parents already demanded their kids speak English, even at home.

Today, some kids grow up speaking only Hawaiian at home and attend immersion schools where only Hawaiian is allowed. But they still speak English fluently! That’s because English is the predominant language in society. If Hawaiian had been the dominant language, it would never have faded away merely because English was required at school.

Ken Conklin

Good Old Friend

Mahalo nui loa for running the lovely Good Neighbor feature on former HPD officer Nyle Dolera and his precious daughter Hannah, by Nicole Kato. Hannah was our daughter’s riding partner at Manawale’a Riding Center in Waimanalo for the past three-and-a-half years, and we came to love her deeply. The double-whammy losses that Nyle has suffered would bring most people to their knees, but this amazing man despite his heartache continues to advocate for autistic children in Hawaii, and share the story of Hannah’s remarkable recovery the past two years thanks to the wonderful work that Dr. Dustow did with her. We are proud to call Nyle a friend, and Hannah will continue to live on in our hearts and those who learn of her remarkable daddy.

John and Maureen McComas
Ewa Beach

Chang Apana fan

I am enjoying the new cartoon adventures of Chang Apana in MidWeek and looking forward to more. I hope we get an insight into how he worked and what made him so effective in rounding up criminals of that era.

Roy E. Shigemura

Send letters by email to dchapman@midweek.com.