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WHAT CHANCE FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING?
“At the Resort I work for, my job will end at the end of this year, due to the dissolution of the company. I intend to find work, but everyone is cutting back hours, and even jobs. What chance do I have to still be eligible for the workforce housing?”

Comment posted by MU in response to our
story about an affordable housing project on
the Big Island in the April 2008 issue.  

INVEST IN RENEWABLES
"Hawaii could be one of the largest exporters of wind, sun or bio energy in the world. If that were to happen, imagine the opportunity to the people of Hawaii and what a relief it would be to finally have the cost of living here decrease. And if economic growth, lower bills and doing the right thing for the planet aren’t enough … check out the model that Alaska uses which ‘pays’ its citizens because oil companies use the land there.”

 

Posted by tsays in response to our July 2008
online poll about renewable energy

 

QUALITY DISTANCE EDUCATION 
The currency of distance learning may increase for the reasons your writer [“Distance Learning” October 2008] suggests — convenience, rising costs of gas, and enabling broader student access — but ultimately its success should be determined by its pedagogical strengths. Not all academic classes are suited for this delivery model, but if a class is, and it is well-designed and competently executed, the learning experience can be as beneficial. Moreover, distance learning courses often tend to be market-driven, addressing the practical needs of the adult learner and mid-career professional who desires the flexibility.

From a business perspective, for-profit entities have been quick to corner the market on this lucrative service (education/training) and product (certification or a degree) targeted to the growing non-traditional student population. Traditional universities were slower to jump on the distance learning bandwagon and are now anxious to recover some of their lost opportunity. Although higher education does seem to be moving toward a business model even at public institutions, the bottom line when it comes to distance education should be about QUALITY, not cash. The former is value-added; the latter (without the former) simply cheapens a great idea.

 

 Kevin Kawamoto
Honolulu, Hawaii
via hawaiibusiness.com

TRUE BELIEVER IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
I just finished reading another excellent issue of Hawaii Business and read your editor’s comments on how we should be proud of the talent coming out of the public schools [Editor’s Desktop, October 2008]. Thank you. It’s nice to see influential community luminaries like yourself tout the successes of the public school system. I wish more people with influence would jump on that bandwagon. The DOE has been dealt such a bad rap of late.

My disclosure: My husband teaches physics at a public high school, my daughter goes to an excellent public elementary school in our neighborhood and I am a graduate of a public high school, so you can see, we’re believers.

Lisa Maruyama
Honolulu, Hawaii
Via email

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