to the Editor

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Saturday, April 21, 2001

GOP is looking better and better

Not approving the pay raises our school teachers are already entitled to just about pushes my family and me over to the Republican side of the fence.

Educating our children must be the No. 1 priority on any list. Delaying talks, saying we have made an offer and leaving it up to the other side is the not leadership Governor Cayetano should provide.

Keep talking until a settlement is reached.

Henry Espinda
Pearl City

Respect for teachers has declined

As a former graduate of Roosevelt Adult High School and a student at the University of Hawaii from 1954-58, I wish the teachers all the best of luck. When I attended UH, I had a psychology professor who had us rate people's status according to occupation. Most of the students were raised in the islands and they rated public school teachers at the top.

It doesn't sound as if that is still the case. I have teachers in my family and so have been able to see the sacrifices they make. I will always cherish my time in Hawaii. The education I got there changed my life for the better.

Esther Amaral
Porterville, Calif.

UH strike healed rifts among professors

During the faculty strike something amazing happened that gives me a great deal of hope for the future of the University of Hawaii.

In the normal course of the semester, professors are usually running to keep up with their commitments of research, teaching and service. Social interactions common in other fields don't happen as regularly in academia. In addition, professors tend to be independent thinkers and passionate about their beliefs. Ideological differences can create divisions between colleagues.

Out on the picket lines I saw colleagues from all fields come together for a common cause. I saw the passions that sometimes divide faculty united into a common passion and belief in the university. I heard stories of old feuds dissolving as colleagues worked side-by-side. The feeling of hopelessness and despair which has been hanging over the UH faculty like a dark cloud since the budget cuts began in the mid-'90s lifted.

I made the giant skeleton puppet that participated in rallies at the Capitol, the Federal Building and Kapiolani Park. I would like to thank all the students who supported the strike, particularly the students and faculty who struggled with the large puppet to make the visual statement that Hawaii's future is in the hands of public education.

Debra Drexler
Associate Professor of Art
University of Hawaii-Manoa

Strike lesson: Save for private schools

Both unions and the state will benefit from the strikes. The governor can proclaim victory by letting his constituents know that he fought hard to save their tax dollars. The unions can call it a win because they stood their ground an fought hard for pay raises.

But what do the parents and students gain? Lost wages from taking time off to watch their kids, weeks of lost educational opportunity for the students and a tremendous loss of faith in their government, teachers and the public school system.

And what about the rhetoric of better teacher recruitment, more accountability and better facilities? That kind of monumental change probably won't be happening in our lifetimes.

However, your grandkids can benefit from this strike if you teach your children that they should either move to the mainland or save up their quarters so that they can send their kids to Punahou, Iolani or a mainland college.

Kent Matsuo


"So glad it's ovah."
Natasha Oda,
After she completed her winning performance in the Miss Aloha Hula competition at the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo. Oda's crowd-pleasing dance was much anticipated because her kumu hula, Johnny Lum Ho, shunned the festival for five years after a disagreement with judges.

"There would be no more conversations starting, 'Honey, remember when...'"
Michael Deaver,
Former White House chief of staff, from his new book describing the way the relationship between Ronald and Nancy Reagan changed after the former president was stricken with Alzheimer's disease.

Reasons why doctors don't prescribe pot

I read the recent column in favor of medical use of marijuana (Gathering Places, Star-Bulletin March 30) by Pamela Lichty with interest.

I am a physician who has practiced pulmonary medicine in Hawaii for 35 years. I have assisted many patients with terminal diseases and many patients with diseases due to inhaled marijuana. It astounds me that anyone would attempt to insinuate a rational connection between the two.

Cumulative effects of smoking these substances have been well documented. The physical, social and financial disease associated with its use are also well known.

What Lichty did not include in her essay is the fact that cannabis has been available for some time in Hawaii and has been helpful in some cases of malignancy, but more commonly useful in treating patients' whose chronic lung disease requires withdrawal from cannabis.

This form of prescription drug use has not become popular among those people who maintain that the cult of growing, smoking and selling cannabis has redeeming value.

Some reasons that physicians are not prescribing inhaled drugs are:

>> There is no need for marijuana to treat individuals with terminal diseases.

>> That it is available in safer less deleterious forms.

>> People with terminal disorders frequently have lung disease, which is aggravated by the use of inhaled substances.

>> Because most physicians are prudent with prescribing in an attempt to avoid doing harm with drug therapy.

Making medical needs an excuse for providing laws which promote growing and smoking marijuana, is craziness.

Philip R. Foti, M.D.

Perhaps Mansho should just resign

I'm mad as hell about the April 16 letter, "Don't kick Mansho; she's already down." City Councilwoman Rene Mansho wants to complete her term in office, and the letter to the editor stated that he wanted her to stay in office.

Why? So she can misuse the funds from the good people in her Council district who contributed to her campaign?

I am one who is working on the recall-impeachment movement to oust Mansho. I am not a vindictive person, just one of many longtime residents (30-plus years) who chooses to recall or impeach someone who we trusted to do the job, but who betrayed us.

If the cost of a recall vote is such a concern, she could save us all the expense and resign.

Helen L. Kekuna

Navy personnel need a morale boost

Given the intense criticism and scrutiny the U.S. Navy has received during the past few months, I wanted to give a little "shout out" to the men and women at sea:

Where can you find pleasure, search the world for treasure, learn science, technology? Where can you begin to make your dreams all come true on the land or on the sea? Where can you learn to fly, play sports, skin dive, study oceanography? In the Navy!

Woodie Milks

Letter guidelines

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.

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