Friday, February 9, 2001
Luiz must not be let out of state hospitalI write this as someone closely involved with the litigation surrounding the 1975 murder of Barbara Seibel by Paul Abraham Luiz.
I represented Barbara's parents and her estate, the parties permitted under our statute to bring an action for her death. The claim was brought against the three psychiatrists who had examined Luiz on behalf of the city, and against the city itself.
The Hawaii Supreme Court decided on July 14, 1981, that health-care professionals appointed to do such evaluations, when appointed by the Circuit Court, are provided total immunity for their actions.
Although we were then and still are disappointed that court-appointed psychologists and psychiatrists were provided immunity, we are even more concerned for the safety of the community if Luiz is permitted out of the Hawaii State Hospital unescorted at any time.
Contrary to my belief, Olaf Gitter and Thomas Merrill are in support of unescorted passes for Luiz at this time. In addition, Dr. Leonard Jacobs has offered a conditional release recommendation, which would likewise be inappropriate.
In fact, this is precisely what the panel had recommended, i.e. a conditional release, at the time that Luiz killed Barbara on May 28, 1975.
As was stated in the Supreme Court decision in this case, the sanity commission found that Luiz was suffering from "compulsive neurosis with an associated and predisposing diagnosis of passive-aggressive personality."
Despite this mental illness, three mental-health personnel determined that "with continued treatment it was unlikely that Luiz would be a danger to himself or to others." It was after this precise finding that Luiz picked up Barbara, raped her and killed her with a knife.
In essence, that is what is being said now.
It would be highly inappropriate, just because of the passage of time, to again let Luiz out in public on his own, regardless of the types of treatment that are being proposed. To permit him to be unescorted in the community would pose a great threat of harm to those he might come in contact with.
L. Richard Fried Jr.
Charging tourists user fees is laughableDid I miss something here? The trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, who oversee millions of trust dollars, have come up with the "brilliant" idea of charging our island visitors yet another fee for the privilege of visiting Hawaii. Talk about biting the proverbial hand that feeds us. I sincerely hope this is an early April Fool's Day joke.
Facts about Ewa park must be correctedTom Berg's Feb. 1 letter, "Ewa board members ignore park concerns," is so full of errors, one wonders if he attended the same Ewa Neighborhood Board meeting that I did.
Berg, who is the office manager for state Rep. Willie Espero and a candidate for the board, says the agenda item was "whether to post signs in their neighborhood parks showing the hours that the parks were closed."
No Ewa park is closed at any time. The agenda item was whether to establish closing hours for Geiger Park, which would be the first park in the area to ever have closing hours.
Although Berg calls Geiger the "Ewa by Gentry Park," it is a city park and is not owned by Gentry residents.
The reason given by board members for not closing the park is the precedent it would set. Also, the Gentry association had not mitigated problems such as prohibiting parking around the park at night, and having security personnel check it more frequently in order to call police if a problem occurs.
Residents of Makakilo are being ignoredEver since the building of the Second City of Kapolei, Makakilo has become a thing of the past. Now everything is about Kapolei.
All the money for baseball fields, parks and schools ends up in Kapolei. Then the post office tells us that we are residents of Kapolei, not Makakilo. And what about the schools in Makakilo?
Besides Kapolei, Makakilo Heights is one of the fastest growing communities. Last year alone, 120 new houses were built in upper Makakilo. This year, well over 200 units are to be built. Where will these children go to school?
After heated discussions with the Department of Education's Leeward district superintendent, Hazel Sumile, she has decided to bus my children who reside at the very top of Makakilo to Barbers Point Elementary.
The main reason I moved to Makakilo eight years ago was for the schools. If I had wanted my children to attend Barbers Point, I would have moved there.
I will refuse to send my children to that school and hope that others who are affected like my family will do the same. Call your legislators, the mayor, the governor and the Board of Education. Let's stop being treated as second-class citizens and demand that they do more for us in Makakilo. After all, we were here first.
Gambling money would disappear, tooGambling should be legalized in Hawaii. Then the taxes it would generate could be thrown into the black hole of the general fund.
The amount of money that would be raised would be so large that the politicians who are elected here -- mainly because of ethnicity and name recognition -- couldn't steal it all.
The money that's left could help pay state worker retirement benefits, including full medical and dental coverage. It could also pay the salaries of legislators, including the raises they will give themselves.
Eventually, it might even pay for some school books, school maintenance and a lowering of personal income tax rates.
"It's too bad because it was a big way
to link Hawaii with the rest of the world.
So many local people stood to
benefit from 'Baywatch.'"
MUSICAL SUPERVISOR FOR THE SYNDICATED SERIES
On the announcement that the series, which has
been filmed in the islands for the past
two years, would not be renewed
"This pathetic document will
not be supported by me."
OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS TRUSTEE
Critical of Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona's reply
to a report by the state auditor on
OHA's management practices
Calculate how much teachers are really worthI am sick and tired of those high-paid teachers. Their hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work nine or 10 months a year. It's time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do -- babysit. We can get that for less than minimum wage. I would give them $3 an hour and only the hours they worked, not any of that silly planning time.
That would be $15 a day. Each parent should pay $15 a day for these teachers to babysit their children. Now, how many do they teach in a day? Maybe 25. Then that's $15 X 25 = $375 a day. But remember they only work 180 days a year. I'm not going to pay them for any vacations.
Let's see, that's 375 x 180 = $67,500. (My calculator must need batteries.)
What about those special teachers or the ones with master's degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage just to be fair. Let's round it off to $6 an hour. That would be $6 x 5 hours x 25 children x 180 days = $135,000. per year. Wait a minute, there is something wrong here!
There sure is, huh?
Teachers are the primary instruction toolRecently it's been reported that the governor favors getting more textbooks, computers and better infrastructure into schools before paying the teachers what they deserve. While I agree most Hawaii schools deserve more technology in the classrooms, I disagree on the priority.
Getting textbooks before compensating teachers is like visiting your doctor to find the most current technology and then being treated by a first-year med student.
Being the self-proclaimed "education governor" you'd think he would understand that. Then again, he probably hasn't been in a classroom lately for any length of time. Students are not given the number of books they used to be given years ago. Textbooks can be obsolete in two to three years, and there are other plentiful resources in today's society. Why not let the teachers decide what tools they should use? They're the professionals.
Next will the governor be telling doctors what equipment they need?
Michael C. Blasco
Teachers deserve more respect as well as moneyIt's very sad and disheartening to read about the opinions some people have in regard to the underpaid and dedicated teachers of Hawaii. Lloyd Kim (Letters, Jan. 31) and others, please take some time to reflect upon these questions about your career and workplace.
Do you spend your hard-earned wages to better your place of employment or to supply your personal office?
Are your weekends and holidays spent in the office working to prepare for a new day or the following year?
Are you spending your daily half-hour lunch on the phone organizing meetings, working on endless paper work, talking to fellow colleagues, or meeting one-on-one with a customer? Are you attending work when you're feeling ill? Or how about frantically looking for a substitute to cover your work day when you're at a conference?
Teachers are spending their free time earning credits, taking work home nightly, with some working at part-time jobs to supplement a mediocre income. But most importantly, teachers are being realistic. We know why we are here. It is most definitely not for the money, but for the love of children and the realization that education is very important.
Perhaps Kim should teach for a year and start off with the base salary pay of $29,000. By the way, my school has this program called TRIBES. TRIBES reinforces that "There are no put downs" and everyone should "show mutual respect" for all! Maybe Mr. Kim should attend a crash course in the TRIBES agreement.
Teresa C.M. Kwok
Special Education Teacher
Public school teachers get too many freebiesTeachers should definitely get a pay raise so they can forget about the issue of money and can get on with the business of teaching. They are professionals.
Therefore, we should pay them professional salaries -- but we must also treat them like professionals. Therefore, I ask that our teachers:
Start coming up with the full cost of their cafeteria lunches. (They now pay $2.75 for a salad bar, entree, drink and dessert.)
Begin paying for their continuing education. (They get inservicing at no cost.)
Dress like professionals. (They wear shorts and tennis shoes to work.)
Actually pay for their parking spaces at school. (They park for free.)
Regarding the latter, if we charge teachers the fair market value for parking, not only would the Department of Education generate more revenues to help offset teacher pay raises, but it would encourage more teachers to use alternate forms of transportation to get to school.
I know several teachers at my children's public school who live mere blocks away from their workplace, yet they still drive to campus every day.
More class time would merit pay raisesI, too, would like the governor and Legislature to get serious about education.
The plantation days are long gone yet teachers have more days off than they work.
It is my opinion that raises should be based on positive performance of duties. When test scores increase, when graduating students can actually read and are capable of joining the work force, when testing can be accurately measured against the other 49 states and actually shows dramatic improvement, then and only then should pay raises be a negotiated item.
Once again, I urge those in authority to get serious about education. Give our keiki full-time, year-round schooling or, better yet, do as our Asian neighbors do: Have school six days a week.
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