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PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 September, 2005, 12:00am

Lakers still the best

My favourite basketball team is the Los Angeles Lakers. The team has played well in the NBA, winning the championship in 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985,1987, 1998, and 2000-02.

But in recent years, some important players have left the team, for example, Shaquille O'Neal.

The Lakers began as the Minneapolis Lakers in the 1940s and '50s, and became well-known in the 'Showtime' era of the Magic Johnson teams of the late 1980s.

O'Neal and Kobe Bryant led the team to victory in recent years.

The Lakers are no longer winning championships, but I think if they practise more, they will regain their place as the top team in the years to come.

The Lakers are still the best team in my mind.

A Student

Disneyland adds to HK's pollution woes

Disneyland finally opened last week after six years of planning and development.

While the park offers economic benefits, it also has a negative effect on Hong Kong.

Disneyland attracts foreign tourists to the territory, which boosts our economy.

It also makes Hong Kong more cosmopolitan and competitive.

The park also attracts local visitors, who may buy souvenirs, but this benefits Disney only.

On the negative side, Disneyland adds to Hong Kong's pollution.

The nightly fireworks above Sleeping Beauty Castle cause air and noise pollution.

I recently had to do a biology project on these forms of pollution and learned that they affect our bodies, our psychological state and the environment in many ways.

Disneyland adds to Hong Kong's already bad air pollution. Recent readings of the Air Pollution Index showed record highs.

The magic kingdom (as it is advertised) is only magical on the surface.

In reality, it is a costly and environmentally unfriendly theme park.

Vaness Cheung

Pooi To Middle School

Katrina a badly managed tragedy

Hurricane Katrina has brought New Orleans to a standstill.

The US government believes that the final death toll may rise to more than 10,000. Almost 400,000 people have been forced to evacuate.

The government is now trying to decide whether the city should be rebuilt or simply abandoned.

I think the government is looking too far ahead - the most important thing is to help the people who have been affected by the disaster now.

These people have been left homeless, they have no access to food or water and some need medication.

Many are also dealing with the loss of family members and friends.

The US government handled this natural disaster badly. It did not react quickly enough at the beginning.

Even though the US is one of the richest countries in the world, the government has had to ask for help.

Many countries have offered supplies and economic support.

I hope that Hong Kong has better strategies for coping with an emergency.


Heavy school bags take their toll

Recent research has shown that most students carry school bags that are too heavy.

Carrying heavy loads on a daily basis can hurt your body, especially if you carry your bag on the same shoulder. The weight of a school bag should be lower than 10 per cent of a student's body mass.

For example, if a student weighs 45kg, the weight of the school bag should not be higher than 4.5kg.

The research showed that students carry bags much too heavy for them.

And many students carry their bags for long periods of time to and from school and between classes.

In the long run, this may affect students' growth and lead to back problems.

In my opinion, book publishers should divide books into two or three volumes.

Teachers can then tell students which book to bring to class.

We should pay more attention to this problem.

Kenneth Tam

STFA Tam Pak Yu College

Union election a learning experience

The annual Student Union election is an important event at my school.

Each candidate has to prove their talents to the rest of the students. This year, I decided to run for office.

So far, it has been a wonderful experience which has taught me a great deal.

I am more concerned about things at school now and I have realised that it's everyone's responsibility to know more.

I have also learned that friendship is more important than winning.

Although every candidate wants to be successful, it is not worth hurting other people's feelings.

Chan Sin-Yee

STFA Tam Pak Yu College