By Keith Rollman
Cartoon to the editor.
Few people would argue that public-school teachers are a dedicated group of professionals and certainly many of them are as awesome as Penny Wakida's effusive commendation suggests (Letters, Jan. 27).
Hey, teachers dont work
any harder than rest of us
But professionals in all types of work must make adequate preparations for meetings, seminars, presentations, cases and the like. Professionals are often required to work extra hours, without compensation or praise, as well as to provide some equipment necessary to do their work. That's what it takes to be a professional.
Teachers deserve praise and a raise - but who doesn't? Business people, working 3,000 hours a year just to stay in the game, will shed only crocodile tears for teaching professionals who enjoy a 1,100-hour work year. Lucky you teach Hawaii!
Now Governor Cayetano wants to use the State Employees Retirement fund to balance the state's budget?
Why arent the wealthy
bailing us out of mess?
Cayetano wants Hawaii retirees to sacrifice more - along with invalids, the disabled, students and the poor - while proposing to double the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau's subsidy! Why doesn't he ask the big hotel chains to pay for that increase instead of retirees?
According to the State Data Book, half of Hawaii's taxpayers earn $24,000 a year or less, while 80 percent earn $50,000 or less, which you need in Hawaii just to live decently.
But as one legislator recently said, we have the highest Rolls Royce population in the nation. The chasm between the Rolls Royce crowd and the 80 percent widens as we are made to pay even more.
Why doesn't Cayetano ask the Rolls Royce crowd to chip in more?
The latest flavor of tax to be considered by the Legislature demonstrates how low its members will go rather than cut expenses and the size of government. Since the Tax Review Commission report gave them someone to blame, lawmakers now want to tax retirement pensions as a means of "leveling the playing field" (for taxes).
Lawmakers have audacity
to tax retiree pensions
While this might seem fair at first blush, the "playing field" isn't level. Retirees do not have the opportunity to return to the work force and earn the 10 percent in new taxes to maintain their retired lifestyle. Many will resort to moving to Las Vegas or other non-retirement-taxing states to join those who moved long ago in order to survive on their pensions.
The only ones left in Hawaii will be those on welfare and those too busy working two or three jobs to notice that they will not be able to retire because of the new tax on their pensions. Is there nothing sacred to our legislators?
I am a heterosexual who believes in equal treatment. I attended a counter-rally in support of same-gender marriage rights on Jan. 24 at the Capitol.
Rally attracts obnoxious
opponents of gay marriage
There were thousands of people on the Capitol side of Beretania Street, mostly young children and teen-agers. On the mountain side of Beretania there were maybe 50-70 people on our side for the counter-rally.
After a while, a man came across the street and rudely held his bigger sign in front of my sign. Then a couple of giggly ladies came over and started waving their signs, banging them up against the signs we were holding.
Later, 10-15 of their people crossed the street and stood with their signs in front of our group, to the loud cheers of their comrades.
I happened to look over just in time to see one of their people shove a sign in front of one of our people's faces as he was being interviewed by a reporter. My 19-year-old friend told me that one teen-aged girl repeatedly called him an "F-word faggot."
Whatever happened to love thy neighbor? If this is organized Christianity, then the world would be a safer, moral, less hypocritical place without it.