Letters to the Editor
Thursday, January 15, 1998

Pay-at-pump proposal merely penalizes the poor

A message to the insurance task force panel: Pay-at-the-pump is a bad idea. It will be an additional burden for people who are already struggling to make ends meet. It is a form of economic discrimination.

Translation: The poor will get poorer and the rich will stay rich.

You will punish people who can't afford to live in expensive homes near Honolulu. You're basically telling people in Waianae, Ewa, Kahuku and other outlying areas, "Too bad. If you don't like it, just buy a home in Kahala so you won't have to drive very far."

I've heard supporters of pay-at-the-pump argue that if people can't afford the additional gas tax, they should just catch the bus. What a wonderfully enlightened attitude. Unfortunately, some people need their cars for work.

And what about commuters on the neighbor islands where public transportation is not an option? Too bad for them? I don't think so.

If the task force wants to find a solution to reduce the amount of uninsured drivers in Hawaii, it should look for another option.

Cindy Takamori

If teachers are managers, they are owed back pay

I am delighted to know that the Bishop Estate has publicly proclaimed all Kamehameha Schools teachers to be managers. This provides these dedicated educators the opportunity to sue the KS/BE for managerial back pay.

Many of my longtime friends have taught at Kamehameha Schools for more than 30 years, so each is owed a minimum of $400,000 plus accrued interest and the right to participate in future decision-making.

With any luck, my friends will each pay me a meager 5 percent of their back pay for bringing this to their attention. Then I, too, will be able to retire with a reasonable income.

Fred Curow

Kamehameha teachers should be unionized

The insistence on the part of Bishop Estate attorney Robert Katz that Kamehameha Schools' teachers cannot unionize because they are management is ludicrous. If ever a set of events vividly documented the need for teacher unions, it is the Kamehameha story that Hawaii has watched unfold over the past 11 months.

Management? These teachers haven't been able to send a note home until it had been reviewed by a trustee.

But it would be a shame to conclude that this was just the aberration of one misguided trustee. The problem is with a system that stacks all power on one side; it is not just with those who are at its helm at the moment.

Any system that forces 20-year Kamehameha teachers to wait until two weeks before school's opening to learn whether they still have jobs cries out for a union.

Any system that contractually obligates teachers to surrender the precious right of free speech cries out for a union.

Mary Anne Raywid

It's easy for CPS to deny responsibility for deaths

Child Protective Services' denial of responsibility for the recent deaths of two children implies that as long as its workers have gone through their check-list of services and supported the family, they have fulfilled their duty to protect children.

Suppose a malfunctioning airplane is serviced by mechanics who complete the required maintenance list and pronounce the plane ready to fly. The plane crashes. Would the FAA respond that it's not at fault because it provided for the plane's mechanical needs?

A thorough investigation would ensue to check for, among other things, faulty parts or inept service. Don't we owe that much to our children?

Jan M. Young

Wedding chapel concept will save Walker Estate

Like some of the protesters of the proposed wedding chapel, I live within five minutes of the Walker Estate. It is clearly among Oahu's most gorgeous properties.

I am wondering how many of the same protesters also belong to a group like me, who bemoan the hardships of small businesses in Hawaii. Aren't local business owners who bring in revenues from tourism a dying breed?

Rick Fried's alternative to subdivide the land is not a "veiled threat." It is a simpler, perhaps more profitable, option for him to do just that and we who own property know it. The community has every right to scrutinize and, yes, to complain. But keep in mind that the state has already acknowledged its inability to preserve the site.

I would rather see private enterprise maintain some of the integrity of this stunning property (through Fried's generated revenue) than to see it sadly demolished forever.

If you think it can't happen, you haven't lived in Hawaii long enough.

Maureen B. Ko

Guidance and discipline are keys to raising kids

The Dec. 31 article, "10 suggestions for making America a better place," brought up some wonderful ideas, but only one individual faced what continues to be our major problem: the complete education of young children.

Dr. Marcia Angell, editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, brought out some excellent points, yet failed to mention guidance and discipline - the essentials of a young child's life.

Mom and Pop must have a sense of responsibility in placing a guiding hand on elementary school children from grade one on up. Teachers have to see their classrooms carry it on.

Blame teachers, their unions, lack of money, anything you choose for the extremely limited results our public schools produce. None of it has a darned thing to do with our greatest problem: discipline. Discipline that begins in the home!

Personal responsibility has to rear its head soon or we will drop further toward the abyss.

Ray Thiele

Bishop Estate Archive

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