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POSTED: Thursday, November 19, 2009

Teachers need time to plan

Before I start, let me say my wife is a union leader for the Hawaii State Teachers Association. However, I am speaking only for myself.

The plan to reduce furlough days is a good start for negotiations. The governor talks about quality of instruction; quality needs planning and preparation.

My wife uses that time well. She works with the prom kids, she writes recommendations for college and jobs. She does her grades, plans lessons and discusses delivery strategies with her team. She also gets valuable information which is needed for a 21st-century education. This time is needed for quality instruction.

I applaud the governor for her recent willingness to look into rainy day funds and other income sources, but trading the training and preparation days for direct instruction still does not serve our children as well as we should. We do not plan to fail, we fail to plan.

Christopher Lewis

Ewa Beach

 

Congress wasting effort on 'reform'

With the polls clearly showing that the majority of Americans are against all the proposed health care legislation, why are the president and Congress so insistent on the necessity of enacting such legislation? The argument that it is needed to cover those now without insurance turns out to be less than 10 million when corrected to true necessity, a number that could easily be added to Medicare or Medicaid without the absurd complexity and expensive additional governmental control called for in proposed legislation. The argument is not convincing; to the contrary it is a compelling reason to abandon the effort.

The other argument is that something must be done to control health care costs or it will destroy our economy. Rather than trim costs, all the proposals will add huge expense, according to Congress' own budget estimates. It is time to abandon the current politically driven and ill-conceived effort, go back to the drawing board and work on ways to deal with the cost.

Doug Worrall

Kahuku

 

GOP no longer a big tent party

As a longtime party member, “;I am mad as hell and won't take it anymore”; with Republicans who call themselves the only true Republicans. They would cast out of the party anyone who even disagrees with just one issue of their hard-conservative agenda. We are no longer the big tent party that was President Ronald Reagan's description of the GOP.

The conservative purists believe compromise, pragmatism and getting things done are not part of their agenda. Our objective as a party is to win elections and implementing our program in Washington, D.C. Sometimes elected representatives have to compromise to get laws passed in Congress. Republicans who believe in these principles need to speak up and not let our party become a third party of only rigid conservatives.

Theodore Taba

Honolulu

 

HC&S, farmers can share water

I attended last month's state Water Commission meeting in Paia on setting in-stream flow standards for East Maui streams. It was great to hear that supporters of both Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. and the taro growers are asking for a decision to share the use of the stream water. I know that things can be worked out to give enough water to HC&S to allow them to stay in business and for the taro growers to grow good kalo.

To the commission, please ensure that your decision is good for both sugar and taro.

M. “;Chubby”; Vicens

Paia, Maui

               

     

 

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