Letters to the editor


POSTED: Sunday, November 01, 2009

Teachers should cut pay, not days

Teachers and their union claim to have the students' best interest at heart and have been vocal critics of the furloughs. Seems like everyone has forgotten that these are the same people who fought Gov. Ben Cayetano tooth and nail when he proposed more instructional days in return for their pay increase to end the teacher walkout.

If the union and teachers really cared about students and each other, they would have taken an across-the-board pay cut with no days off to prevent layoffs and loss of student class time. It's what the private sector has had to do.

So while we feel sorry for the students, there's no sympathy for your unpaid vacation days.

C.Y. Watase

Niu Valley

'Iolani will be a fair landlord

On June 30, 'Iolani School announced its purchase of 5.5 acres of land adjacent to its campus. Located on the property are 11 apartment buildings held under separate subleases that expire on Dec. 4, 2012.

Recently, residents in this Date and Laau streets area expressed concerns about their future through reports in the print and broadcast media.

I would like to share some facts and assure our neighbors and community that we will listen to their concerns and act in a manner consistent with our strong values.

'Iolani purchased the land because of the opportunity for future expansion. Residents will be kept fully informed of any plans for development and receive a sufficient amount of time to prepare for any possible transition. When development does begin, the process will be gradual and affect only a portion of the 5.5 acres.

'Iolani will be a fair and good landlord. We do not plan on increasing rents dramatically and we will work with residents on an individual basis to ensure they are treated with respect and dignity.

'Iolani takes pride in a history rich in academic excellence and in educating morally strong, compassionate individuals who give back to the community and are concerned for others, all within a framework of Christian values. I hope the residents of Date Laau understand that our mission of good citizenship applies beyond our classroom walls and influences our long-range plans as well.

Dr. Val T. Iwashita

Headmaster, 'Iolani School

Elevated rail will hurt businesses

Honolulu's small businesses — shops, offices, restaurants — don't know what they'll be missing if trains pass over them high in the sky. If they did, they'd join the fight for grade-level transit.

What will they be missing? Everything.

In Portland, for example, tram riders pass shops and stores lined up one after another along the route. Since there is no charge for riding in the center of town, if a passenger sees an intriguing new shop, it's easy to hop off to check it out. Or if they pass a coffee shop and get that urge for a cup of java, easily done. Jump off at the next corner and take a few minutes to relax. Then hop back on and resume the journey.

A new store? People will see it instantly from the tram window and come visit as soon as it opens. A new restaurant? Along a tram route, diners can indulge in some wine or beer and not have to drive home.

What will we find underneath the elevated tracks planned for Honolulu? New shops and restaurants? No, just shadow, noise, litter, maybe empty storefronts.

Larry Geller



Locality pay has become a reality

No idea is more powerful than one whose time has come. After a decade-long quest, with the president's signing of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010, locality pay has become a reality for federal employees in Hawaii, Alaska and the territories.

Kudos to those who advocated on behalf of federal employees.

John Priolo

Pearl City




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