to the Editor

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Friday, March 30, 2001



"We need to fund education, but we've got to do something for the people who are the most vulnerable: the disabled, our children."

Gov. Ben Cayetano,

Acknowledging the need for a pay raise for public school teachers, but saying the state budget must be fair to others as well

"No teacher wants to strike, but we will if we have no reasonable alternative."

Karen Ginoza,

President of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, in a statement aired on four television stations Wednesday night that followed Governor Cayetano's speech on the threat of a public school teachers' strike

Estate changes name, but not stripes

I hope no one missed the irony of Wednesday's front page story regarding lease rent increases on Kamehameha Schools property and the Kokua Line column regarding Hunakai Park. It seems that you can change the players but not the game, i.e. Bishop Estate, now known as Kamehameha Schools.

In 1991, Bishop Estate/Kamehameha Schools gave a 4.2-acre Kahala parcel to the Hunakai Park Association but simultaneously raised the residential lease rents 750 percent on the estate's Coolidge Apartments, forcing elderly apartment owners to give up their units. The 17,693-square-foot property is owned by Bishop Estate.

Obviously BE/KS knows how to pick its battles, choosing to bully those who are not financially well-heeled.

Glen Frerksen

Moms know HPD's the finest, do you?

I now know why mainland police departments want our Honolulu officers...because they are the best. My son just graduated from the 136th recruit class.

Until he entered the Police Academy, I never knew we had one! It is a stunning campus in Waipahu with theater-style classrooms and computer labs. It has all the makings of a beautiful college campus, plus high-speed driving ranges and buildings to train for combatting terrorist attacks.

It took my son 11 months to be accepted as a recruit. He first had to pass a screening test. Then he had to take written psychological tests and have an interview with a psychologist. Then he had to take a lie detector test, have everywhere he lived checked out, get personal references, meet with a panel of reviewers and pass rigorous physical tests. Once he was accepted, the real testing began.

His class started out with 65 recruits from 2,000 applicants. Only 43 graduated. Each week during the seven months of training there were tests and more tests -- 16 written tests of every federal and state criminal statute, physical tests, "dojo" training that bruised the body and the ego, shooting, defensive driving, report writing and then the simulations. He almost did not pass when he stayed a few seconds too long in the "fatal funnel" (doorway) on a domestic violence simulation. Stay too long in the line of fire and you can be history.

I have visions of a young officer catching me in his radar beam and pulling me over. It is my son. Will he ticket me? How did he answer that one on the psychological test?

Will he shoot fast enough when some drug-crazed person tries to run him down? Will people give this young officer respect when he pulls them over for a minor traffic violation and realize that this same young officer may be the one who helps them when they call 911? Will he ever earn enough to buy his own home?

Will you remember that he has a family and chose to be there for you because he grew up on crack seed and surfing and wants to serve?

Please remember that he is the finest Honolulu and his family have to offer.

Fran Hallonquist

Not all teachers merit pay raises

A few years ago I wrote a letter about money and teachers. It seems we are in the same situation today, but it's much more serious. At that time I pointed out that not all teachers are equal and that a system should be set up to pay teachers based on the quality of their teaching.

Now the Hawaii State Teachers Association is running ads saying that the low wages do not attract quality teachers. Are they saying that some of the teachers they represent are not quality teachers?

I support teachers, but take a look at how politics gets in the way. I don't like the governor's tactics either.

Bottom line: Do these two factions care about educating youth more or less than money? Government and teachers have a duty to the public. There is no doubt in my mind that teachers need to be paid more; but not every teacher.

Patrick Mew

Strikes will weaken loyalty to Democrats

If the impending teachers' and professors' strikes are not resolved soon, the Democrats can look forward to a Republican governor and an increasingly Republican Legislature in the next election.

If Governor Cayetano can't think with something other than the enormous chip on his shoulder, and the Democrats can't show some leadership, vision and courage for a change, they will lose the power they cling to -- not because the default Republicans deserve it, but because the Democrats will have so ineptly lost it.

Don't kid yourself-- loyalty to the past can't last much longer than that loyalty is deserved.

Kathleen Sato

Mansho should be prosecuted for theft

When the City Council announced that it would embrace the recommendation by the Ethics Commission to allow Councilwoman Rene Mansho to reimburse the city $40,000 for using city employees for doing personal work for Mansho, it cast a dark cloud of doubt on the Council's credibility. News accounts indicate that this has been going on for a decade at a cost to the taxpayers of $148,000.

Now, according the Section 708-830, Penal Code of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, "A person commits theft if the person does any of the following: (5) Diversion of services. Having control over the disposition of services of another to which a person is not entitled, the person intentionally directs those services to the person's own benefit or to the benefit of a person not entitled there to." The law further states, "services the value which exceeds $20,000" is a class B felony.

Mansho's pilfering of taxpayer services has been too much for too long. The disposition of her case should not be determined by the City Council, or the Ethics Commission, but by the criminal justice system.

Earl Arakaki
Ewa Beach

Pedophiles are not politically correct

Michelle Malkin's March 22 column on an Arkansas teen's torture and death is possibly the most insane and poorly written article I have ever read. "The defense of gay pedophilia has metastasized deep and far into the national conscience," she asserts. Her claim that Americans have somehow been conditioned to accept gay pedophiles is bizarre.

The Arkansas case that Malkin refers to is not about sexual orientation, nor even sexuality. It is about a young boy being brutalized and killed by two very sick individuals. Both gay and straight people on this planet do horrible things to each other sometimes.

Malkin's article was a clumsy attempt to fight America's developing acceptance of homosexuality, not acceptance of gay pedophiles.

Aaron Dunn

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