to the Editor

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Friday, April 6, 2001

A sure-fire way to get governor's attention

As I write this letter, I am preparing to walk the faculty picket lines at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. I do not mind taking a stand on the issues at stake, but I cannot understand how hurting the University of Hawaii and giving the governor my paycheck is going to make a difference.

In most strikes the employer is hurt, but in our case the employer does not care, makes a profit and the "customers" take a beating.

Let's make the governor care. Instead of walking the picket line, I say we pledge our paychecks to the Republican Party until we receive a fair offer from our "education governor."

If we are going to lose a paycheck, let's make sure that it is used effectively. If members of Hawaii State Teachers Association and the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly band together, imagine how many millions of dollars could be directed to a political party that actually cares about education in this state. With this step, the Democrats will pay dearly for their inaction on this critical issue.

Marshall W. Johnson
University of Hawaii-Manoa

Teachers deserve pay raises they seek

The teachers I know love teaching and are truly dedicated to their students. In my experience I have not seen many, if any, unqualified teachers in our schools.

We need to retain the good teachers we already have while attracting the best and brightest of the new teachers.The only way to do this is to increase teachers' salaries to a level comparable to what teachers earn on the mainland.

Give the teachers the pay raises they ask for; it's the right thing to do.

Michael W. Sawamoto

Direct your anger at the right people

The Star-Bulletin recently printed an excellent editorial on civility. As a certified special education teacher, I joined my colleagues on the picket line yesterday.

One of my major concerns is the view that our community will have regarding teachers. I predict that the longer the strike lasts, the more inconvenienced parents will become. I would like to suggest that frustrations be targeted to those with decision-making powers.

I would encourage residents not to base their opinions entirely on what they hear from state or union representatives. Talk to a teacher and listen to his or her perspectives.

We already know that we are not valued by the leaders of our state, for if we were, contract negotiations would have been settled years ago.

Trancita Winquist

Lingle would have kept her promises

I support pay raises for the teachers, but I believe they have made their bed and must now lie in it. In 1998 when they had the chance to endorse a supportive gubernatorial candidate, Linda Lingle, Hawaii State Teachers Association President Karen Ginoza and her union chose to support Ben Cayetano. Ginoza's decision has led the HSTA down the path to a non-supportive governor. They must remember who got them here in the first place.

Ginoza is singing the same old song that more money will make better teachers and smarter students. But her failure to endorse Linda Lingle, who would have supported pay raises, is the real problem. I hope the teachers remember this next time they choose their union president.

Garry Smith
Ewa Beach


"We have a problem only because we have a Legislature that seems to be making pay raises its first priority."
Gov. Ben Cayetano,
Blaming the state Legislature, especially the Senate, for raising expectations among Hawaii's public school teachers that the state can afford to give them hefty pay raises.

"We're just stuck on money."
Joan Husted,
Chief negotiator for the Hawaii State Teachers Association, saying that all other contract issues have been worked out between the state and striking teachers.

"Somebody needs to notice that we're on strike."
Mary Tiles,
University of Hawaii philosophy professor, expressing regret that students are being hurt by the faculty strike, but acknowledging that strikes that don't cause harm are ineffective

Test scores are rising, so should teachers' pay

For future purposes, William E. Buck's suggestion, "Raise teachers' pay when test scores go up," (Letters, April 1) has merit. However, it would seem that he did miss the articles in the Star-Bulletin and Advertiser, and newscasts from various TV and radio stations regarding the subject of test scores. Those articles reported that, on the last go-around, Hawaii public school test scores did improve.

B. G. Judson

Governor should end the strike

Please tell the governor to end the strike. I want to go back to school.

Janae Rasmussen
1st grader Aikahi Elementary School
(as dictated to her dad)

DOE's bad planning results in busing kids

I am appalled that the Department of Education wants to bus elementary students six miles, past three other elementary schools, down to Barbers Point.

The area is abandoned. There is no community. It is directly adjacent to Campbell Industrial Park, which regularly has toxic waste emissions. A homeless shelter is scheduled to open in the area. This is not a suitable learning environment for our children!

Yes, there may be overcrowding at our schools. We are the second city, the fastest growing area on the island. The DOE knows that -- everyone knows that. Why haven't they planned adequately?

Ironically, the local schools at Mauka Lani and Makakilo have more than 80 students attending who have been granted geographic exemptions. They don't live in the area, but are allowed to attend while the local kids have to be bused out!

The people of Kapolei deserve better.

Mark Alsbergas

Number keeps your check on course

I read Cynthia Oi's April 4 Editor's Scratchpad about paying bills by check. She wrote, "This one makes sense: 'Please include account number on this check.' Heaven forbid you should pay another person's bill." That is EXACTLY the reason why she should do it.

Normally a business receives hundreds of envelopes with checks and payment stubs. It would be very easy to mix up checks and stubs. You might send in a check, but if it gets separated from the payment stub how is anyone going to know which check goes with which stub? Your check might be credited to someone else's account.

I prefer electronic payment myself. It's a bit faster, and you don't get payments lost in the mail.

Darrell Mayeda
Ewa Beach

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