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Tuesday, February 27, 2001


Democrats must listen to GOP for a change

Imagine being hired for an important temporary position that requires your special talents and abilities. And then, on the first day, you are told to go to the basement, sit on your hands and keep your mouth shut until the contract is up in two years!

That is the position Republican lawmakers have been in during every session of the Legislature for as long as I can remember.

According to parliamentary procedure, the speaker of the House, Rep. Calvin Say, has the power to kill any piece of legislation that he wants, quietly and effectively.

In this historically Democratic House, that means Republican bills are rarely heard in committee, and almost never make it to the full body for a vote.

The Republican voice may have been heard on TV and in the paper, but is almost never found in the actual legislation from the House. But now the Republicans finally have a tool.

In the last election, the GOP won enough seats to use parlimentary procedure to make legislating difficult for the Democrats without Republican cooperation.

Finally, a tool to make the Democratic leadership really put one or two Republican ideas on the table. That's what all these Republican maneuvers are about.

The 19 Republican members of the House have a right to aggressively represent their districts, and the leadership should respect that right and put their issues on the table.

I'm sure Republican cooperation will quickly follow when their voices are really heard.

David Grygla



"A year ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I'm so glad I was able to continue my classes. They helped me deal with the battering that surgery, chemo and radiation therapy gave my body."

Maggie Kunkel
On how the dance movement sessions loosen up the joints and bring muscles and bones to life for her and her students

"It's not an apology until he says it in person."

Shunsuke Terata
Refusing to accept the statement of regret by Cmdr. Scott Waddle. Terata's brother is one of those presumed dead after the USS Greeneville, under Waddle's command, collided with and sank a Japanese fishing boat

Expect jet noise near airports, military bases

In a Feb. 16 letter, Robin Makapagal complained about noise caused by jet aircraft flying in and out of the air station at the Kaneohe Marine Corps base. She stated, in part, "Something has to be done (in terms of) noise abatement or the ban of jets from the base."

Unless Makapagal purchased the home in Kaneohe prior to activation of the naval air station in the 1930s, or prior to 1952 when the base was reactivated as a Marine Corps air station, there is no valid basis for a complaint.

While I am sorry the jet sound is disturbing, I suggest anyone who is sensitive to the sound of airplanes not purchase a home near a military air station or commercial airport.

Clifford R. Robinson
Lt Col., USMC (Ret.)

Media overplayed Jones' accident

It seems the media is upset that June Jones didn't pass away. Every day we see front-page headlines that seem like obituaries. The man is still alive! Let him recover in peace.

Jim Rosen

Don't exploit anguish of coach's daughter

Auwe! I thought your decision to put the picture of June Jones' daughter on the cover of your Feb. 23 issue during her grief and worry over her father, and in an obviously private moment, was poor judgment. Shame on you.

Julianne Barcia

Teachers pay hike would improve schools

It's 4:30 p.m. and I'm still on campus. It will be another two hours before I head home, 17 miles away.

I am writing this letter at school because my students are working on a video documentary and I am not connected to the Web or have access from home to send or retrieve email. How can that be, you ask. Well, most of my extra money has been spent on my own tuition.

I have a B.Ed., a P.D. (Professional Diploma) and an M.Ed., all for the sake of improving myself as a teacher. This all comes at a hefty cost since UH tuition has greatly increased and my salary has not.

Teachers need a raise because the state does not provide adequate funding for staff development.

Most importantly, teachers need the raise to spend money in their classrooms or on students. As a media teacher, I do not get reimbursed for the many times I've transported students from Waianae to town to interview people for their assigned reports or to do research at various archives and libraries.

Again, the cost adds up -- especially since gasoline prices have risen and my salary has not.

Please, Governor, raise my salary so I can spend it on self-improvement or on my students.

Linda Ginoza
Media Teacher
Waianae Intermediate School

State can't afford public worker pay hikes

Attention taxpayers of Hawaii. Our pro-public workers' union politicians, apparently led by Sens. Brian Taniguchi (D-Hilo) and Bob Nakata (D-Kahaluu), want to raise our taxes so they can give public worker unions their huge pay increase packages.

First they want to raise the existing tax on all products and services we buy. Then after discovering this is not enough, their next move will be to call for higher property and income taxes. Is this the thanks we get for voting these guys into office?

Do I think public workers and teachers should get a pay raise? Darn right I do. However, let's be fair. While looking at their present pay, take a critical look at their benefits: their generous tax-free pensions, and total, lifetime health and dental coverage for workers and their spouses.

Oh, wouldn't those of us in the private sector just love to have those kinds of perks!

If the public worker unions demand these big pay raises, let them and their members compromise on these benefits to offset at least some of the cost and burden to taxpayers.

Art Todd

Roadwork takes longer here than elsewhere

Why do so many construction projects take 9-18 months to complete on our highways and off-ramps, when freeways in Los Angeles, which collapsed during an earthquake, are rebuilt in three months or less?

Why can't local construction crews work on fewer projects and faster? It seems that whenever I drive by, only one or two out of four people are actually working.

Brent Kunimoto
Hawaii Kai

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