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Letters to the Editor


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POSTED: Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Guam buildup needs union jobs

Critical letter writers should take a closer look at the working conditions on the Guam military buildup project before slinging the anti-union talking points at U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie.

Are they aware the government of Guam is paid $1,000 for every foreign laborer brought in? That's a bounty that creates the incentive to outsource jobs.

According to some sources, unscrupulous contractors pay these foreign workers minimal wages, give them no benefits and house them in tents on an island that has a cost of living equal to that of Hawaii.

Abercrombie is working to stop this exploitation and at the same time boost the economy by garnering higher wages for a new base on Guam.

If you are OK housing our military in substandard facilities, just say it. Don't blame politicians who want to employ American laborers for the buildup.

This is not a case of helping unions at the expense of taxpayers. Rather, this is an opportunity to generate jobs and stimulate the economy, provide our military families the best and stop exploitative behavior that goes against our values.

Emilio Garilao

Kahului

Teachers putting themselves first

Now we're faced with Furlough Fridays.

What more is it going to take to convince the public of the pressing need to transform our schools into student-based institutions, rather than the labor-based cesspools they've become in recent years?

We've learned that the Hawaii State Teachers Association is pushing the idea of a four-day school week, with unpaid Furlough Fridays so cash-strapped school districts can avoid teacher layoffs. In other words, teachers are willing to sacrifice one-fifth of their students' educations to keep the paychecks rolling in.

The concept of Furlough Fridays is hard evidence that teachers unions put their needs before the needs of students. That's a major fundamental flaw in our education system, and it has to be addressed.

Teachers who are willing to walk away from their students one day per week just to avoid some layoffs are not really teachers at all. They lack dedication to their profession and don't belong in the presence of our children.

Kyle Olson

Vice president, Education Action Group Foundation

Muskegon, Mich.

U.S. leaders were the real barbarians

Princess Kaiulani was not a barbarian. President William McKinley and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt were the barbarians.

Hawaiians never murdered innocent Native Americans, Puerto Ricans, Filipinos and Cubans. McKinley and Roosevelt annexed Hawaii against the will of the Hawaiian people. Hawaiians were never allowed to vote for or against the annexation resolution. The resolution also canceled the treaties Hawaii had with 20 nations and was against Asian immigration to Hawaii and the U.S.

When you read the Hawaii annexation resolution, you will determine who the real barbarian was. Historical documents never fantasize and never tell lies.

Eric Po'ohina

Kailua

BOE and DOH are health roadblocks

I most certainly agree with Max Kramer's letter (”;Less meat in diet will help students,”; Oct. 20) and the recommendation that the schools offer daily vegan/vegetarian meals as an alternative to the existing “;weapons of mass destruction.”; But there's a problem: In a recent hearing at the Capitol where a bill was introduced that would accomplish this end, two entities voted against the bill. They were the Board of Education and the Department of Health. They voted against the bill because of the word “;should.”; When the word was changed to “;shall,”; giving them the choice to do so or not, they voted for it. With this kind of mindset from the two entities that would affect our keiki the most, our keiki don't stand a chance.

Hesh Goldstein

Honolulu

 

               

     

 

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