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Teachers at least deserve respect

First of all, I want to commend letter writer Jim Delmonte on taking the risk of opening his own business, which surely comes with long hours and enormous pressure to make a profit ("Government workers sure have a good life," Star-Advertiser, March 19). However, his criticism of teachers’ benefits and work ethic is unfair.

Teachers work just as hard for their money as anybody else. If being a government employee or teacher is such a great job, I am wondering why all those people criticizing them chose careers in different fields.

If they really wanted to have the good pay and excellent benefits, they should have just become a teacher or government employee.

For the record, I am neither a teacher nor a government employee, but I think for educating our children and preparing them for the future, teachers at least deserve our respect.

Philipp Jund

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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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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 your area of residence and a daytime telephone number.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

Public workers took a pay cut

The media continue to inadequately educate the public regarding teacher furloughs. Teachers still have furloughs and therefore continued pay cuts.

I am saddened by the ignorance of people like Jim Delmonte (see reference in previous letter) for thinking that teachers got the day off and that our "publicly funded schools were closed" due to a tsunami warning, when it was actually another scheduled unpaid furlough day for teachers.

Most of us were relieved that we were spared major damage from the tsunami, but Mr. Delmonte chose to waste his time in a failed attempt to bring union bashing to Hawaii.

Public workers in Hawaii have had severe pay cuts and have shouldered more than their fair share of the burden in this fiscal crisis for two years, but nobody seems to realize this.

Jamie Stidger


Bake sale to help Japan a success

We would like to thank all of our generous neighbors in Alii Shores, Kaneohe, who visited and contributed to our sidewalk bake sale for Japan recently.

The five of us spent the weekend baking and selling cookies, scones, muffins and brownies, and thanks to the generous contributions of our many customers, we were able to raise $700.

We have donated the money earned from the bake sale to the Japan Red Cross Society to help the people and animals of Japan recover from the tsunami. We would like to encourage other children to do the same in their neighborhoods.

Together, we kids can make a difference for Japan.

Mahina Kaomea, 7; Mariko Quinn, 8; Michael Quinn, 6; Jasmine Reddy, 10; Evan Sakamoto, 10


No sign yet of new beginning

Common sense and facing reality are alarmingly absent with our new administrations, continuing the attitudes and fiscal irresponsibility of our previous state and city elected officials. What kind of new beginning is this?

The recent devastating earthquake in Japan and subsequent tsunami damage to our islands is one more reality check that will go ignored. How can we help our friends in Japan, take care of our fragile islands and still move forward with an enormous expenditure like the rail?

I spend more than I make, have depleted my savings, raided my last-resort rainy day funds, have no money for food or rent and have no money for gas to put into the nine-passenger SUV I am going to buy on credit.

Sound familiar?

That’s the state of the state and state of the city, reflecting the mindset of our "leaders," and it is irresponsible and shortsighted.

This is our money and our islands, folks; our elected officials owe it to us and future generations to show some fiscal responsibility and proper stewardship. We must stop buying things we cannot afford and take care of what we have.

Mary Jo Culvyhouse


City workers like a ruling class

Why should city workers pay only $20 a month to park at Neal Blaisdell Center ("City workers pay $20 a month to park at Blaisdell Center," Star-Advertiser, March 19) while regular workers downtown, just around the corner, pay about $250 per month for parking?

There is a ruling class that makes its own rules and sticks it to the people. Perhaps it’s getting time for us to say that we don’t want the ruling class any more and to bring that exploitation to an end.

Mayor Peter Carlisle wants to raise that parking fee to $33. Wow. Get serious. Eliminate that nonsense entirely. Pay the going rate or take the bus.

There are many other benefits that cry out for elimination. No more endless carrying over of unused vacation. Take ’em or lose ’em. Simple. No more day off for election day. Vote absentee by mail.

In these lean times, many of those unrealistic advantages simply need to go.

Gerhard C. Hamm
Waialae Iki


Give Brian Ward lifetime bus pass

My congratulations to Brian Ward, the homeless man who grabbed the steering wheel of an out-of-control city bus and prevented possible injuries and even deaths that might have occurred if he hadn’t taken action.

Not all homeless people are drug- or alcohol-addicted, dirty people. Many of our sages were homeless, including Jesus.

I pray the story of Brian Ward helps shed a brighter light on homeless people. Honolulu should award Mr. Ward a bus pass for life.

James "Kimo" Rosen

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