Letters to the editor


POSTED: Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Big Island needs stimulus work

I'm utterly disgusted that the federal economic stimulus funding has only created 26 new jobs in Hawaii County. I know there are projects in the pipeline like the midlevel road and the Makalei fire station that will receive stimulus money. However, these improvements will take time to stimulate the economy since they haven't started yet.

Thus it is my strong belief that we need to do something now. Hawaii County's existing roads and parks are in an embarrassing state of disrepair. I would bet there is some stimulus money out there that would help repair these facilities and roads.

The permitting process for these projects should also be streamlined so the work can start faster. These improvements should not cause any environmental damage, unlike building a new road or a school.

I hope our government officials do a better job in the coming months in going after and directing this stimulus money to these much-needed community improvements. It would help put people back to work and our community's image.

Aaron Stene


Governor to blame for school furloughs

Let's be clear about this. The reason why our kids won't be in school every Friday is because Republican Gov. Linda Lingle took the money President Barack Obama and Congress appropriated for keeping them in school and spent it elsewhere.

Now you can say that keeping other state services operating and crippling our children was worth it. Other states didn't think so and kept their schools open. They adjusted. Gov. Lingle decided to handicap our children. Maybe, because she does not have any of her own, she thought it was OK. It is not.

Let's be clear: It was her decision. It was not the teachers, not the Board of Education, or the union; it was Gov. Lingle's call. She is responsible. It is disgusting that she is blaming everyone else now that Hawaii has become the poster state that does not care about our children or the future. Shame on her.

Robert J. Conlan


Identify teacher by union affiliation

Attempting to shift blame from the union to the governor for the choice of furlough days that have emasculated student classroom learning opportunities, Karolyn Mossman signed her commentary as “;a teacher in Kula, Maui”; (”;Teachers can't carry budget burden alone,”; Star-Bulletin, Island Commentary, Oct. 29). In fact it was the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the Board of Education and the Department of Education that selected these particular class days — but that is not the worst element of this farce.

As a public school teacher who objects to HSTA using my students as pawns this way to damage next year's likely GOP gubernatorial candidate (the current lieutenant governor) by bringing political pressure to bear on the governor, I find it disingenuous as hell that Ms. Mossman was not accurately identified: she is the vice president of the HSTA.

Thomas E. Stuart

Kohala Middle School, Kapaau

Budget priorities are out of whack

No money for schools. Amazing. There is something wrong with our values in Hawaii. We have voted to supply over $5 billion for a rail system (that probably will not pay for its cost and end up taxing us all more) and at the same time cut our funding to public schools. I ask you: Which is more important?

You can't have both; $5 billion would buy us better classrooms, clean schools, safe schools, a good meal every day, the latest textbooks and computer needs, more professional teachers and students who can compete for good jobs in a global economy.

Ray Jeffs


UH chancellor gave away the store

I have a great idea, Ms. Virginia Hinshaw, UH-Manoa chancellor. Why don't you arrange for Coach Mack to receive a million-dollar bonus for the two games won? That makes as much sense as the 19-page contract you managed to get for him, which made him the highest-paid public employee in the state, which is now even more ridiculous. Now you're stuck with him on a multiyear contract.
What were you thinking?

Robert Kruse






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