Letters to the Editor
Wednesday, December 18, 1996

Governor needs to settle
with hard-working teachers

My children and grandchildren attend/have attended Hawaii public schools and the University of Hawaii. They all received an excellent education and their HSTA teachers and UHPA professors helped them to compete for and win many prestigious state and national awards.

As a businessman, I consider Hawaii public schools and the University of Hawaii an excellent bargain (as does Money magazine).

As a philanthropist, I have put my money where my mouth is and have established a $10,000 scholarship fund (in memory of my father) for excellence in science at Lahainaluna High School, a public school that employs HSTA teachers.

My wife and I volunteer in the "Read to Me" program at Princess Nahienaena and Kam III schools in Lahaina (public schools) and these public schoolchildren - guided by their HSTA teachers - help our community by contributing canned goods to organizations such as Light Bringers.

I urge the governor to come to a speedy, fair and equitable settlement for the dedicated, hardworking HSTA teachers and UHPA professors.

Gene Viglione
President, Board of Directors
Light Bringers
Lahaina, Maui

Teachers should be among
top wage-earners

How often have we been advised to invest in our future? And how many times have you heard that our children are our future? If children are indeed our future, then we should all be ashamed at how little an investment we have made in them. Our teachers, who influence the quality of our future in their classrooms daily, have to stand on the public highway with signs pleading for public support, so they can get a wage increase just to keep up with the cost of living. Teachers should be one of the highest paid professionals in our society.

How can we expect to not only keep the teachers we now have, but also attract college graduates into a profession that is one of the lowest paying, for the amount of education required, in our entire system? It's embarrassing to have our teachers standing on public roadways pleading for such a meager wage increase - we should triple their salaries or we will be faced with replacing teachers in our schools with security guards. Of course, we might be able to save a little money that way!

William Palmer
Pukalani, Maui

Those who judge harshly
are guilty of sinning

Regarding the controversy about Judge Chang's decision on same-sex marriage: I'm surprised as always by the hard-line contingent that feels personal religious beliefs should allow anyone to espouse intolerance toward those with different lifestyles.

The use of one's own religion as a basis for condemning another's way of living has had tragic consequences on people across our world, and continues to threaten the right of individuals to be individual.

Laws are written to protect and assist those who need them, not to deny happiness. If two people wish to affirm their vows of fidelity and mutual support, no one should have the right to stand in their way.

God asks of us that we show love and respect to that which God has created. To those who attempt to second-guess God's wisdom in creating each person as he or she has been created, remember that you too will answer to him on Judgment Day.

John McClain
Tokyo, Japan
(Via the Internet)

Thanks for gay ruling . . .
can we get on with life?

I applaud Judge Chang's ruling on same-gender marriage. It is fitting that Hawaii is at the forefront of the gay community's fight for civil rights.

I hope that our Legislature will now use its time to better advantage - solving the problems of education, the economy, environmental issues, homelessness, poverty, domestic violence, etc. - rather than working to deny the rights of gays and lesbians.

Civil-rights issues should be settled in the courts, not by popular vote. Consider how African Americans would have fared if the popular opinion of the time had prevailed.

We do have such a hard time with "differences." But the most significant difference between gay and straight relationships is the atmosphere in which they exist.

The love between straight couples is celebrated and affirmed; gay couples are attacked and condemned. However, just like their straight counterparts, same-gender marriages are far more about love, respect, trust and commitment than they are about sex.

Joan Farrell Souza

Clinton mustn’t consider
Waihee for his cabinet

Regarding the Star-Bulletin Dec. 9 story on President Clinton's possible cabinet nominees:

Considering the mismanagement of the state government under Gov. John Waihee, should he be rewarded with a presidential cabinet position?

Ron Schipinski
Seattle, Wash.
(Via the Internet)

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