Tough teacher shaped productive students
I have to confess I jumped slightly and double-blinked when I opened my Internet browser on starbulletin.com and found my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Mabel Hefty, staring back at me ("A teacher's Hefty influence," Star-Bulletin, July 29
). Instinctively, I found myself feeling guilty and quickly cataloging the last 24 hours in search of what I might have done wrong.
I had just had a discussion with my mother last week about Mrs. Hefty, a testament to her lasting influence and impression. In an age where grade-school students refer to their teachers by their first names, I wonder if there are any more Mrs. Heftys out there and question if our education system hasn't taken a wrong turn.
There's no need for me to recall my Mrs. Hefty stories, as it is enough for me to know that I'm not alone in my appreciation and admiration of this remarkable educator and woman. Mrs. Hefty, if you're somehow reading this -- you were right, and now I fly airplanes for a living just like Dad and Uncle Bucky. Mahalo for being tough and guiding my way.
Punahou School '85
Don't spread filthy language around
I am appalled to see in bumper stickers and T-shirts a swear word that means, in the Ilocano dialect, "your mother's private parts"! Some people who know the meaning of this phrase and try to spread it here in the islands in fancy and snazzy bold prints on T-shirts and bumper stickers alike should think twice. This is a disgrace to all mothers, and this is not funny or amusing at all.
Please don't patronize products that have this degrading and obscene phrase.
Ozzy M. Go
Let them return to raucous cheers
Jack Lewis writes from Oakland, Calif. (Letters, July 27
), a poignant piece reminding us that even as we sleep, our guardian angels are on the job. "The troops went silently ..." Damn well stated, Mr. Lewis! May we hope that their return will be a noisy, flag- and banner-waving event?
Double talk won't help Hawaii taxpayers
Interesting perspective in columnist Richard Borreca's ruminations ("On Politics," Star-Bulletin, July 22
). The facts regarding the politics of taxes are sometimes sadly lacking: the alleged "compassion for the poor." Democrats in Hawaii tax the poor the most. All taxes included, especially the regressive excise tax, put the lowest 20 percent of Hawaii wage earners paying the highest proportion of their income in taxes. Of course, you know this because you have heard it many times on the Senate floor.
This year's tax cuts were less because the Democrats spent $600 million more than the governor called for in her budget. To have these double-speakers say they did not cut taxes because they "anticipated" a slowdown in the economy is absolutely ludicrous.
There, I feel better.
Senate Republican leader
No vacation for our D.C. representatives
I think that neither the House nor the Senate should go on vacation, not in August nor any time soon.
For one thing, we are saying the Iraqi government officials shouldn't take their planned recess in August because they have work to do. Well? Don't both of our legislative bodies have things that must be gotten done?
Oh, the senators and representatives say they must go home and listen to their constituents? Believe me, and as they well know, they can learn exactly what they need to know from our e-mails, phone calls and letters.
And then there are the troops. Oh, yes, the troops. The brave volunteers who are bearing the brunt of all this for all of us. Are they getting a vacation? Then why should senators and representatives, who at least get to work in air-conditioned offices? I say, no vacations in Washington until the troops are on the way home.
Cheap parking just one of public-worker perks
Suzanne Marinelli (Letters, July 28
) has taken issue with the July 26 Star-Bulletin editorial
on the subject of deeply discounted parking fees for city and state employees.
She conveniently omits many of the perks that she enjoys as a government employee -- things like job security (it's almost impossible to get rid of a bad government worker), excellent health coverage and a generous retirement plan, to name but a few. She also can usually anticipate an annual pay raise. Try to find that in the private sector.
Attempting to bring legislative session temporary hires into the discussion only serves to distort the issue. These people all are aware that they are there temporarily, what their pay will be and what the hours are, so why try to make it an issue in the discussion about parking fees?
Finding reserved parking, even at market value, would still be considered a perk by anyone working in downtown Honolulu.
Marinelli needn't worry, though. As pointed out in the editorial, the union bosses have the politicians in their back pockets, so this is a subject that will soon be forgotten.