Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mainland teachers don't take it seriously

For the last 20 or so years, Hawaii's Department of Education has been hiring mainland teachers who enjoy a working vacation. The teachers are recent college graduates who enjoy learning to surf and/or fulfilling a romantic, tropical fantasy love experience before heading back home to their “;real teaching career.”; The playground experience is fulfilled at the expense of local teachers with real teaching credentials (baccalaureate and/or teaching credits).

One young man was hired by one of the Kapolei schools right out of a four-year non-education degree program simply because of his college football career as a quarterback. The principal was influenced by the impressionable vice principal (formerly a P.E. teacher, presently a youth-sports coach).

Is that the kind of schooling we want for our children?

Diane A. Kingsley

People need to hear both sides of the story

It's time to stop distortion of the news and reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, which requires broadcasters to provide viewers and listeners with more than the opinion of one announcer.

Since Republicans quashed requirements to provide that the public hear all salient points of view on important issues, broadcasters like Rush Limbaugh and other right-wingers spread Republican propaganda like there's no tomorrow. Well, tomorrow is here, and the failed polices these dupes promoted have proved to be disastrous. The Iraq war was revealed as a profit opportunity for the military-industrial complex and oil companies while middle-class America became collateral financial damage to President Bush's profit agenda.

Without the Fairness Doctrine in place, much of the broadcast media aired misleading information that led to congressional and public support of the war, until the analysis that indicated the war was a bad idea came true.

President Obama needs to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine so you can hear both sides of the story!

Stephen Burns

Don't ban dog breeds, target bad owners

If Senate Bill 79 passes, Hawaii will become a BSL (breed specific legislation) state. Those affected will be American pit bull terrier (APBT), American Staffordshire (Am Staff), Staffordshire bull terrier and all others who “;appear”; to be of the targeted breed. That means that regardless of the actual breed, if they look like it then they will be considered.

BSL is unjust. It punishes responsible owners and innocent dogs. It does not consider how the dog is raised or trained or even its temperament.

The truth about “;bully”; breeds is that they have great temperaments. The American Temperament Test Society tested more than 1,000 APBT and Am Staff; of them, 84.3 percent APBT and 83.4 percent Am Staff passed. Now compare that to golden retrievers (84.2 percent of 1,406 tested), chihuahuas (70.3 percent of 75 tested) or Pomeranians (75 percent of 64). The breed that scored higher than “;pit bulls”; were the Labrador retrievers. See for yourself at http://www.atts.org.

If a new law is passed, it should “;ban”; bad owners. There should be requirements to own, possess or sell any “;dangerous”; breed. Some people get them for wrong reasons. These dogs don't get the right training and love and will only be in the news later as one of the “;bad dogs.”;

Sunny Labanon-Sadaoka

Why would anyone here want a pit bull?

I have always thought how odd it is that as taxpayers we are funding “;Bark Parks”; while we cut back on our extremely underfunded public school system - it shows a twisted sense of priorities. It also amazes me why people would want large dogs at all on an island where most people are in cramped spaces. Who in their right mind would want a large dog if they didn't have the facilities and space for the animal to live a normal life?

I often see the horrors of willful neglect by owners who keep their dogs in these small spaces and never walk them. After all, if you were kept in cramped quarters you might bark and be aggressive as well, but I still feel it is not my responsibility to provide Bark Parks for a select few.

Also, I am in favor of a ban on pit bulls. How many people have to suffer or die before this common-sense action is taken?

Carolyn Blackburn




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