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Having teachers work longer is unfair

Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi says it will be tough for schools to provide more instructional time. The new law, if followed exactly, calls for an hour to be added to every school day next year.

Therefore, I was quite appalled to read that parent Melanie Bailey, who pushed for the new law last year, said teachers should be able to fit a few more minutes of extra instructional time into their existing work day, which would eliminate the need for them to be paid more.

It is wonderful that Bailey is lucky enough financially that she could work an extra hour a day, unpaid, every day and not question it. But for those of us less virtuous, this is a big deal. Please imagine asking your doctor to do unpaid work. Ask a retail worker or a waiter or any other worker to work for no pay.

Now, why is it that teachers are expected to just do so?

Michelle Shin


How to write us

The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Advertiser 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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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 and include a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813


Health care reform must not be derailed

Beth Giesting’s article was one of the best in regards to the planned repeal of the Affordable Care Act by the Republicans in Congress ("Stay the course on health care reform," Star-Advertiser, Jan. 6). It provided an intelligent, civilized outlook on the need for a reformed health plan for many people who are in dire need of health care. Most of us are lucky enough to have some form of health care and don’t want to be disturbed by big government, but we tend to forget that this secure position is still expensive. As for the uncovered ones, all of us will still pay for their care when they check into one of the emergency facilities available in Hawaii. The health care system must continue in the direction of reform.

Ralph Oto


Maybe prison could expand to Foremost site

The old Foremost building on Dillingham Boulevard has been torn down and a "For Lease" sign erected out front. This building sits right next to the Oahu Community Correctional Center. Has anyone from the state considered acquiring this property to expand the prison?

Blaine Fergerstrom
Foster Village


Stop subsidizing cars via low parking fees

Bravo to the city for finally getting serious about raising and charging fees for parking on city property.

As a non-driver, I am tired of subsidizing asphalt and drivers. The thought that there is free parking on some of the most desirable beach real estate in the country is mind-boggling. Of course, the law ensures everyone in Hawaii has a right to free and complete access to our beautiful shoreline and park areas. Your car does not.

We can’t have it both ways — low taxes and no user fees. It is time to charge market rates for all parking on city property and use the revenues to provide free bus service, bike lanes and pedestrian improvements.

Jeff Merz
Waikiki Neighborhood Board


Democrats bear much blame for federal debt

Columnist Bob Herbert conflated events occurring during the Bush administration with the new GOP majority in the House of Representatives as a warning to America: "Have we forgotten who put us in such grave peril?" ("The gang that almost wrecked the country is back in control of the House," Star-Advertiser, Jan. 5).

My guess is that Bob Herbert hopes you did forget. Here are some facts: When the Pelosi Democrats took control of Congress on Jan. 4, 2007, the national debt stood at $8,670,596,242,973.04. On the last day of the 111th Congress and Pelosi’s speakership, Dec. 22, the national debt was $13,858,529,371,601.09 — a roughly $5.2 trillion increase in just four years. Furthermore, the year-over-year federal deficit roughly quadrupled during Pelosi’s four years as speaker.

Bob, we have met the enemy and they just handed the gavel back to the adults.

Mark Felman

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