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Saturday, February 17, 2001

Teachers don't want a strike either

No one likes a strike, least of all teachers who are in the profession because they care for all children. It's a Catch-22 for them.

True, we need new teachers and conditions that will attract them. They need good starting salaries. But what about the long-term rewards for teachers? They should have the same consideration.

The effect of a strike is disruptive to the whole community. Children are home either unsupervised or under the care of strangers. Bills go unpaid until the strike is over. What a mess!

To all the people concerned, please negotiate with open minds. And no name-calling.

Helen S. Rogers

People are more vital than equipment

President Bush, in his weekly radio address to the nation, explained his rationale for supporting a pay raise for the military: "New weapons and technologies are important, but they are only as effective as the people who use them," he said.

I hope Governor Cayetano will use the same logic in realizing that textbooks and computers are important but are only as effective as the teachers who use them.

The state must provide substantial pay raises in order to recruit and retain qualified and dedicated teachers.

Betsy Bremer



"Just trying to turn over every stone to find money for pay raises is not going to do it. In fact, it's going to be counterproductive...If that kind of budget comes down, you are going to see massive layoffs."

Governor Cayetano
Warning state senators not to give public unions the nearly $500 million pay raises they are seeking or he'll cut state jobs

"Board of Regents, off your ass, we want teachers in the class."

Faculty protesters
The chant directed at the BOR by University of Hawaii faculty members, who are threatening to walk out at all 10 campuses as early as April 2 if a tentative contract settlement is not reached

Bishop Museum put fun into Family Sunday

It was a blustery day and we were in town, so my family decided to visit Bishop Museum's Family Sunday. The exhibit was excellent, but what was rewarding, flattering and exciting was how the museum supported our learning by the turnout of its own scientific staff.

Answering questions next to the mock lava tube was Frank Howarth, the entomologist who discovered that blind crickets and cave spiders occupy a novel niche. Carla Kishinami, head of vertebrate zoology, watched over the green mice.

Archaeologists (including Sir Yoshi Sinoto), ichthyologists and geologists added this Sunday to their work week and answered questions until closing time.

As my mom noted, a spirit of friendliness infuses the whole day. She commented that Bishop's most learned people had come out to teach us. Thank you, Bishop Museum, for giving Hawaii residents a day that really was special.

Jennifer Story
Teacher, Dole Middle School

Hawaii residents need help with long-term care

I am a registered nurse who works with elderly clients and their families. Many of the people I work with struggle to find the necessary funds to pay for long-term care when they can no longer live independently.

Hawaii's elderly have often worked hard to save money for their retirement years so they can remain financially independent.

Unfortunately, for a number of Hawaii's older citizens, the savings they have worked hard for all their lives puts them into a gap group. They have saved too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to pay for private long-term care insurance.

They quickly realize that they need to "spend down" to qualify for Medicaid, as this is the only option that is affordable to them. As a working professional, I too will probably fall into this gapgroup when I retire.

An affordable long-term care insurance program in Hawaii is desperately needed to prevent the continued and forced dependence upon Medicaid to pay for the majority of long-term care services.

Victoria Walker

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Raise the age of consent

Young people need protection from adults

The governor doesn't believe in changing the age of consent because he thinks there is no visible difference between a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old. There is a huge difference in maturity and development.

At 14, young people are just getting used to their bodies. If a 14-year-old girl gets pregnant and has a baby, what is she going to do? She most likely can't even support herself.

People need to contact their representatives and the governor to express their views. Every day, girls in Hawaii are being exploited and action must be taken to help them.

Who wants to see young girls as prostitutes, strippers or being used by older men?

Shelby Shinkawa

Laws governing teens are inconsistent

Being raised in an atmosphere where abstinence and chastity is stressed, it upsets me that the state is allowing young individuals 14 and older to engage in sexual activity with an adult. Whatever happened to waiting until marriage?

A 14-year-old is not legally allowed to drive a vehicle, but is allowed to have sex with an adult. At 14, teen-agers are not allowed to watch R-rated movies without the company of an adult, yet they are allowed to have sex with an adult.

Doesn't that seem ridiculous?

Gov. Ben Cayetano feels distinguishing the difference between a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old is difficult. The employees at movie theaters often are capable of telling whether a teen is 13 or 14, sometimes even 16 or 17. Stores even card adults 30 years old and younger when purchasing alcohol.

I strongly believe we should raise the age of consent.

Porsche Maemori
Age 17

Why not make 25 the age of consent?

In her Feb. 14 letter, Alice Daltry Fisher describes as "dainty" the two "Juliets" she saw hitchhiking on a public thoroughfare. She wanted to take them to the nearest police station "until their parents could be called to come get them."

Why not raise the age of consent to 25 and reduce the number of divorces?

Nephews of legislators should not be allowed to have sex until they are 30 years of age. If they have sex with anyone under the age of 25, they should be hanged by their thumbs from Waikiki's quaint lighting fixtures.

People who have sex should have it with someone not more than 10 years senior to themselves, nor less than five years junior to themselves, with the exception of the aforesaid nephews who, if they have it at all, should have it standing up, wearing clothes.

Richard Thompson

Civilians are on board to watch and learn, not party

As a civilian with no military experience, I have had the privilege to be an invited guest aboard the submarine USS Ohio. Tours such as these are performed so that business and community leaders can see our taxes at work and to obtain support for enlisted personnel, high school and college ROTC programs, etc.

Many are under the misconception that these submarine tours are conducted with a "party atmosphere" on board, and that these civilian guests are in control of critical elements involving operation of the submarine. Untrue.

The tours are conducted professionally and with the utmost care for the safety of all military and civilian personnel. Guests are escorted the entire time they are on board. Any time a civilian pulls a lever or turns a knob, a supervising crew member is inches away and, in many cases, is holding your hand while you do what is instructed.

Anyone who has been on a submarine knows that every command is followed by multilevels of redundancy prior to the command being carried out.

I left the USS Ohio extremely impressed with the technology of the submarine and the capabilities, professionalism and integrity of Navy personnel. I've never been more proud to be an American.

We should allow the investigation of the Greeneville-Ehime Maru collision to discover what really happened and not make unfounded speculations.

Gregory A. Culver

Limiting number of submarines is unwise

In a Feb. 15 letter, Fukashi Moriya of Chiba Prefecture, Japan, wrote that the Japanese people grieve deeply for those lost in the tragic collision between the USS Greeneville and the Ehime Maru, and saying that the number of submarines should be limited.

While I agree that the loss of nine people from the Ehime Maru was indeed tragic, I don't agree that the number of submarines should be limited.

A consensus is building, led by Rear Adm. Al Konetzni, to increase, not decrease, the submarine force. Since he has been selected for promotion, I assume that his message that the number of submarines available is insufficient to meet mission requirements has been heard at the upper levels of government.

Care must be taken not to allow these sad events to have this country abandon its mission. If we turn inward and pull away from maintaining a strong defense, we will create a vacuum which will be quickly filled by dictators, terrorists and those interested in imposing their will.

The words engraved on the Korean War monument in Washington, D.C., are "Freedom is not free." That epitomizes the ideal that we should not put aside.

John Priolo

Chapter 19, Pearl Harbor Shipyard/Area Federal Managers Association

Military has long history of poor behavior

Thank you for the Feb. 7 story in which a U.S. Marine commander was chastised for calling the Okinawan government "nuts and wimps." He thought they were overreacting to a Marine corporal lifting a high school girl's skirt to photograph her underwear.

This makes the matter of U.S. military personnel harassment of Okinawan women seem frivolous. In fact, it has been a serious problem since the military arrived there in 1945.

From 1945-50 there were 278 rapes, an average of 46 per year. In some cases the victim was also murdered.

In 1995, the year of the much-publicized rape of an elementary school girl by three U.S. soldiers, two Okinawan women and a 14-year-old were also raped, and another woman was killed by U.S. military personnel. And those are just the cases reported to police.

The situation is absolutely unacceptable and, might I add, that Okinawa joins Korea, Puerto Rico and others in wishing to bid a farewell to U.S. military bases.

R.E. Gregory

Military must leave Makua Valley alone

I was appalled by the recent public relations stunt by the U.S. Army concerning the resumption of the bombing at Makua.

No nation has a right, according to international law, to relinquish the sovereignty of another nation. The Hawaiian nation has never relinquished its sovereignty.

The U.S. Army's presence in Makua, therefore, is an illegal military occupation. The act of bombing Makua, one of Oahu's sacred places, is not only an act of war but an act of terrorism, since there was never a declaration of war by the U.S.

The proposed environmental impact assessment and accommodation of cultural access are nothing but a PR scheme to divert our attention from this terroristic act. If there is anything to be negotiated with the U.S. Army, it is a timeline for its evacuation and for complete restoration of the valley to its original condition.

M. Kato

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