Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Thursday, April 09, 2009

How much is your kid's teacher worth?

I am a public school teacher. Here is my week. Tell me where to cut.

On Monday, I bought a student breakfast, so that they might start the day off right. How much is that worth?

On Tuesday, I bought a student lunch, as it might be their only complete meal of the day. How much is that worth?

On Wednesday, I counseled a student about her pregnancy, helping her to make a life-changing moral decision. How much is that worth?

On Thursday, I persuaded a student to seek counseling, so that they might end their adolescent addiction to ice. How much is that worth?

On Friday, I talked to a student about suicide, explaining that forever is a very long time, and temporary problems do go away. How much is that worth?

On Saturday, I spent quality time with my daughter, and saw in her face a bit of all of the students I have helped to educate over the past two decades. How much is that worth?

On Sunday, I prayed to God that I might be granted the patience and wisdom necessary for Monday. How much is that worth?

All this talk of cutting teacher salaries, of tightening the belt, makes me want to laugh. I have lived with a tightened belt my entire career. I have given up so much, and have asked for so little in return. Finally, I am nearing a respectable return on my sweat investment. And now the governor talks of tightening the belt, of giving back. Five percent? Ten percent? Twenty percent? If the belt gets any tighter, I will turn blue.

Scott Gruzinsky





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Airport security has kept us all safe

I found Michael Rivero's letter Tuesday regarding the loss of tourism due to the tight security and his perception of a “;police state”; at the Honolulu Airport confusing. Does Mr. Rivero think that if we get rid of the security measures at the airport that the tourists will come flooding back?

What he fails to mention is that the Transportation Security Administration along with other agencies have prevented not only 9/11-type incidents but countless other criminal activity.

I like the idea that everyone on the aircraft I am on is screened. I also enjoy being at an airport and not seeing homeless individuals sleeping in the gate areas, fighting for my luggage cart or panhandling for money. Furthermore, I have found U.S. Customs officers along with state airport employees to be very friendly and professional.

Perhaps Rivero should travel to other countries where a real police state exists to give him some appreciation for our country's freedoms and standards.

Eric R. Daido


Unwanted dogs don't mind human flaws

This past year I made many trips to the Kauai Humane Society hoping to find my new “;BFF”; (best friend forever).

Last month something remarkable happened on my visit to look for a four-legged companion. A little puppy, half-chihuahua terrier mix, decided to adopt me. There were numerous people and distractions but this little puppy kept coming toward me and giving me those loving puppy eyes.

There are many stories of dogs adopting humans and I feel blessed that one decided to adopt me, even though I had garlic breath, gas and had not showered. She still enjoyed my company. She could not resist.

Mahalo nui loa to the Kauai Humane Society for letting this creature I named “;Obama”; adopt me.

James “;Kimo”; Rosen

Kapaa, Kauai

Ihara missed message on civil unions

When our state senators heard the voices of the people, they changed course, backed up, and stopped backing the civil unions bill (gay marriage under another name).

Unfortunately, Sen. Les Ihara from my Kaimuki-Palolo area did not back up. Perhaps he could not—or would not—hear the people. He voted to pull the bill out of committee and give it new life.

I hope that in the next election, the people will send a message to Sen. Ihara. I am saddened, disappointed, angry and disgusted by his actions. As the old saying goes, “;They won't see the light until they feel the heat.”;

Mark Terry


Restoring Natatorium is only solution

I'm just back home from my first visit to Hawaii. A wonderful vacation was marred by only one thing: the controversial proposal to demolish the Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial.

Hawaii impresses me as a place that attaches special importance to history, culture, environment, recreation and especially the debt owed to those who died to defend us. I am, therefore, at a loss to understand why this debate over saving a war memorial is taking place at all.

From nearly 5,000 miles away, I can see only one acceptable outcome: Restore this important memorial; reopen the natatorium.

Dennis O'Shea

Baltimore, Md.