Teachers need raises, not DOE bureaucrats
Regarding the story "DOE leaders seek pay raises" (Star-Bulletin, March 23
): The state is spending millions of dollars per year in six-figure salaries to certain school principals and their supervisors for a public school system that basically sucks.
Much of that money should be used to attract quality teachers. Teachers -- not principals and supervisors -- are the key to decent education. The average teacher now makes a fraction of the salary paid to paper-pushers.
Fouled beach should have warning signs
I am a lifetime resident of Waimanalo, and we are used to the discolored ocean after a rain. For the last few weeks the runoff has emptied into the bay, but there have been no signs warning the local swimmers. There might be signs in front of the lifeguard stands, but not in front of my house. The Department of Health could issue signs to the lifeguards to place along the beach as they use their ATV to go from one tower in Bellows to the other tower in the beach park.
The swimmers have no idea that the condition of the water could have health risks. I would hope the Health Department would get with the program.
Andrea M. Peters
Drug-using criminals should be put to work
The common practice by some judges of releasing drug user/thieves to treatment programs rather than incarceration undoubtedly saves local government money, but it fails to address the concerns and needs of crime victims, nor does it seem to be helping drug user/thieves in a real way.
I'd like to see every convicted drug addict/thief incarcerated and assigned to a chain gang at minimum wage, with the requirement that out of their earnings they pay for their meals and medical/dental care, and they pay into a victims restitution fund an amount double the value of what they stole from their victims. Can anyone think of a better way to teach that crime doesn't pay?
Dems should focus on lowering taxes
I hope the state Legislature votes for tax relief this session. Hawaii's citizens are some of the most overtaxed in the nation. Gov. Lingle has proposed a tax relief package; instead of rejecting it, the legislative leadership should negotiate with the governor.
Fortunately, Senate President Bunda has been open to tax relief. Other Democrats have ignored this issue and focused only on funding programs of their choice. Even though the state has a substantial budget surplus, the legislative majority ignores tax relief, even though the governor's package is focused on helping those in most need.
Gov. Lingle and Republican legislators have presented a package of lower and fairer taxes and funding for needed programs such as public education and affordable housing. Unlike the Democrats in the 1960s, many Democrats in the Legislature seem to have lost interest in positive reforms. Voters should re-elect Gov. Lingle and more Republicans to the state Legislature if they seek positive change.
Closing park at night is cruel to homeless
I am extremely disappointed with the city's decision to close Ala Moana Beach Park at night to chase out the homeless (Star-Bulletin, March 25
This park closure will only result in a "shuffle" of our homeless brothers and sisters to another area.
The homeless are every bit as human as you are. Kicking them out of the park (or any other public place) is morally not correct -- especially knowing that they might not have elsewhere to go, or the resources or ability to seek assistance. Please take a moment to visualize yourself in the situation of a homeless person and imagine what life would be like, especially in light of all the stormy weather we have been experiencing.
The H-5 project (Hawaii Helping the Hungry Have Hope) efforts are right on track -- homeless or not, we must engage more strongly in the political process so that we can ensure that the leaders elected will make decisions that are ethical, moral and humanitarian.
Tricia Lee Tolentino