to the Editor

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Monday, April 23, 2001

Next time, nobody gets paid during strike

Strike logo The state is saving thousands of dollars in teachers' salaries for every day of the strike. When a public-sector union goes on strike again, we should also hold back the paycheck for the government's chief negotiator, his staff, the governor and his staff, his cabinet members and their staff, his department heads, and all elected politicians and their staffs.

Think about how much money we can save. In just a few days, we could fund the pay raises for strikers for several years without raising taxes.

And holding back the paychecks for both sides would make a wonderful incentive for everyone to settle the strike quickly.

Marvin Nomi
Kapaa, Hawaii

Cayetano is looking out for the rest of us

I think public school teachers do deserve a raise. The state government has been generous in offering them a nice raise. I think the teachers are now being very greedy and selfish. They should go back to work.

I think "Uncle Ben" Cayetano is looking out for the rest of the state and only doing his job. I hope he holds tight to what he has given. The teachers should stop being so self-centered and stop making the kids suffer.

Michael M. Springhetti

Standards won't matter if teachers are unfit

The governor still doesn't get it. He wants high standards, but what if the people he is applying his standards to are mostly recent high school graduates who are teaching school instead of working at McDonald's because they didn't like the hours at McDonald's?

Stanley Starosta
Professor of Linguistics
University of Hawaii-Manoa

Governor has alienated voters

If the next governor of Hawaii is a Republican you can thank the present Democratic governor, Ben Cayetano. With his hard-headed style at the bargaining table for the teachers of both the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, I feel that he has lost the trust of the people who voted for him.

Governor, you shouldn't bite the hand that fed you.

Wasn't it the governor who said in one of his speeches that "Hawaii is saying 'shape up or ship out?'" I think it's time for the S.S. Cayetano to set sail.

Jessika Uyeda

Teaching is more than a full-time job

People are saying the public school teachers are greedy because we are not agreeing to the 14 percent pay increase offered by the Democratic governor. They say we only work six hours a day and nine months a year.

Well, who do they think chaperones the winter balls, banquets, proms, supports the athletic events as ticket takers, concession workers and sometimes security?

Who does the off-season training with the students so they can be prepared for their sports season? Who pays for their own professional development during the summer?

Well, it isn't Ben Cayetano. Yes, it is the teachers. Over-time pay is just a dream for teachers. We do it for our students. I dare anyone who says teachers don't deserve a raise to walk a week in my shoes.

Ann Hewett

>> HSTA Web site
>> State Web site
>> Governor's strike Web site
>> DOE Web site


"Why be the chairman when you have a majority of people saying they can do stuff" (that you oppose)?"

Robert Bunda,
Senate president, on the logic of allowing legislative conference committee chairmen to kill bills even if the majority of committee members vote in favor of them.

"It's great to have a garden all year round."

W.S. Merwin,
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Maui resident whose poems often reflect on man's relationship to nature.

"I've moved on. I've had a sense of peace about it, knowing where Cassie is. She's up in heaven."

Chris Bernal,
Brother of Cassie Bernal, one of 13 students who died in the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colo. Family and friends observed the second anniversary of the tragedy last Friday.

Bush appointee has good credentials

I was amused by John Goodman's April 18 letter in which he claims to lament various appointments recently made by President Bush. One of those mentioned is Scott Evertz, who now heads the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.

What does Goodman find so anti-family about the following? Evertz has worked as a fundraiser for the anti-abortion group Wisconsin Right to Life, a Catholic AIDS ministry and most recently the Luther Manor Foundation in Milwaukee. He was the president of the Wisconsin Log Cabin Republicans and supported the president during his campaign.

He has been active in Action Wisconsin, an organization protecting the civil rights of gays and lesbians, and the Wisconsin HIV/AIDS Care Coalition that worked to ensure options in the provision of services.

Evertz has strong political ties in Wisconsin, having worked on the 1986 election campaign of former Gov. Tommy Thompson, a well-known conservative Republican, now secretary of Health and Human Services.

Bush has made it clear that he and his administration have more important things to do than patrol the private lives of his administration's choices. Isn't merit-based hiring a traditional family value?

As a Bible-thinking Christian and a conservative Republican, I support President Bush's appointments and wish Evertz well. Goodman and his friends are welcomed to do the same.

Jeffrey Bingham Mead

An untapped market in fluoridated drinks

Where are the capitalists?

I have bottled water delivered to my home and there is a choice of two styles -- filtered or distilled. Why isn't fluoridated bottled water available? There's certainly a market for it, and it would spare the rest of us who don't want to consume fluoride in any form.

Fluoride, if put into the public water system, can be ingested through the lungs via the steam of a hot shower.

Similarly, why don't the soft drink companies offer a third choice besides regular and diet? How about fluoridated sodas (boldly marked, of course)?

Martin Rice
Kapaa, Kauai

Voter registration forms will be fixed

In response to Kenneth Conklin's April 3 letter, the Office of Elections agrees that the state's voter registration form must be updated to reflect the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on Rice vs. Cayetano.

A new voter registration form has been developed that deletes Section 11B relating to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs election. The next edition of the Yellow Pages will include this new form.

The Office of Elections understands the impact of Rice vs. Cayetano on voter registration, but it also has to maximize its limited resources. This office took the sensible approach -- continue to accept the old forms but disregard the OHA section. The new forms will be phased in as the old stock is depleted.

Dwayne Yoshina
Chief Elections Officer
State of Hawaii

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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.

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