TEACHERS ALREADY WORK FOR FREE
By asking teachers to volunteer for the remaining furlough days this school year, it appears Gov. Lingle is trying to make herself look good and educators look bad. Not that teachers don't already "volunteer" time and money. They do. But I know many teachers who are forced to work a second job on furlough days just to make ends meet.
One younger teacher told me that towards the end of each pay period, she has about $4 left and has to eat canned food from the cupboard. Of course this same teacher has spent her own money to feed breakfast to the students in her book club which meets weekly at 7:15 a.m. She tutors to make up some of the loss of income.
Of course we believe education is a priority — and yes, of course we don't want our students to miss out; so treat us like professionals.
People wouldn't expect a service provider like a plumber or a bus driver to work without pay. Why put educators on the spot? The governor should be fair and fund education. If it truly is a priority, then use the funds to end furlough Fridays.Inga Park Okean
THANKS FOR NOTING STUDENT AWARDEES
Mahalo nui loa to those 42 citizenship awardees from public high schools noted in The Advertiser supplement (Sixth Annual Citizenship Awards, April 28). These student awardees inspire us with their unselfishness and the way they put others first. Their actions will make our world a better place. Congratulations to their teachers, their family members, and their mentors who helped them along the way.
I commend you and your corporate sponsors for taking the time to celebrate the accomplishments of these incredible students. Acknowledging and recognizing the good that surrounds us is a beacon for others to follow and reinforces the positive things that bind us together.Colin Kippen
Executive director, Native Hawaiian Education Council
STAUB'S REBUTTAL WAS WELL-ARTICULATED
Thank you for running the commentary from H. Gerald Staub ("Iraq war hardly the success some claim," April 27). Victor Davis Hanson's April 15 commentary made my blood boil but I could not articulate my thoughts as well as Staub did.
My final comment for Hanson concerns his pride over the fact that the number of American soldiers lost in the first three months of 2010 is "only" equal to the number of murder victims in Fresno, Calif.
I hope Hanson has already planned his tour of the country to visit each of these soldier's families and tell them how good they should feel about this fact.Vicki Vitallo
DON'T WASTE VOTE ON CONSERVATIVE DJOU
Charles Djou appears to be running a highly contradictory and stealth campaign for Congress, and he may very well win by doing so.
He says he is against the stimulus package, but wants federal money and projects coming to Hawaii; he is against the bailouts, but wants a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution (which, if it had been in place in 2008 would have led to the second great Depression); he's against cap and trade but somehow in favor of the environment!
He's against the health care package, but wants to privatize all medical insurance, which will surely drive up costs; he's for traditional marriage and fairness but against civil unions, the ultimate act of fairness.
In short, he will be just another right-wing clone voting in lockstep with the just-say-no conservatives. Djou is just another reactionary disguised as an independent who will surely be voted out come November. Why waste your vote on Djou?John Jaeger
SPEND THE MONEY WHERE IT'S NEEDED
Barbara Cook's letter (April 26) regarding the use of hurricane relief funds to make for more campers at the governor's office after the next hurricane is typical of the misunderstood fund.
Check the statute. This money cannot be used to help a single home or condo owner, state or county building, or insurance company after the next storm. Legally, it is maybe for the hurricane after next. Even then it is only a possibility of being needed because it is for the next group of state hurricane insurance policyholders, but only if that is needed.
The current money should be deployed for something useful. The only thing really bothersome is that neither the Legislature nor the administration have used part of the fund or interest to help those entities who will be directly involved with the next hurricane: state and county civil defense agencies and the Hawaii chapter of the American Red Cross. And then there are the home and condo owners who really could use some help to prepare their properties with loss-mitigation grants or tax credits.
Frankly, the fund has provided $6 million to $8 million a year to the general fund from the earned interest for a decade. It's just a money pool. The name is irrelevant.Gerald Peters
DON'T VOTE FOR THOSE WHO VOTED FOR 444
Have you noticed that most of our local politicians are attorneys, too? And most favor civil unions since they consider it a civil rights issue?
It's not an easy job being a lawmaker in these times when jobs, ending public school furloughs and working on our state deficit are top priorities.
However, money is not the only issue, since proponents of the civil unions bill continued to push to get this passed before the Legislature recessed yesterday.
Now some Protestant pastors and even non-attorneys will say that this is not about "marriage," but the wording in the bill conveys the same rights, duties and privileges as contained under HRS 572 which happens to be the Hawaii law governing marriage. So how you figgah?
To me, marriage is the basis of our society, and it is a relationship between a man and woman only.
I will not vote for incumbents in the special and general elections who vote for the civil unions bill; and I ask you readers for your support. Let the silent majority rise up and be heard.Donald Mack
MISLED BY GOP
U.S. HAS PAID DEARLY FOR IRAQ INVASION
In 2003, Charles Djou's Republican Party convinced Congress, under false pretenses, that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which necessitated an invasion. United Nations' and American weapons inspectors quickly proved that President Bush and Vice President Cheney lied to the American people.
From the start of the war in 2003 until today, American taxpayers have spent $10 billion monthly, totaling $900 billion. The cost of waging this unnecessary war does not include the thousands of young Americans who have been killed or severely wounded.
As for Ed Case, he voted with the Republicans to invade Iraq against the wise counsel and advice of our esteemed senators, Dan Inouye and Dan Akaka. He exercised extremely bad judgment while serving the first time. He should not be given a second chance.T. George Paris