Working conditions for teachers already bad
The article "HSTA mounts legal challenge" (Star-Advertiser, July 9) included a quote allegedly from state negotiator Neil Dietz: "… lots of ‘nasty things can happen to your working conditions.’"
Does he means hot classrooms with no air conditioning or fans? Broken and missing equipment? Outdated and abused books? Overcrowded classrooms?
The working conditions are already nasty. Those nasty conditions are things that the state has allowed to exist for decades. Teachers can pack up and find another career or move to the mainland just like Honolulu police officers can, and then what will the state do? There is a yearly teacher shortage as it is. So, the state is willing to make that shortage worse.
Most important, nasty working conditions for teachers equate to nasty learning conditions for the students in the state. A state employee should not make such threats to the teachers. They are also threats against the keiki, and that is absolutely sickening.
David Lee Rogers
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Why won’t HSTA put contract to members?
The impasse between the Hawaii State Teachers Association and Gov. Neil Abercrombie has dominated the local news recently, with reports, editorial opinions and commentary filling this paper and the airways.
Remarkably, despite the extensive attention being devoted to this issue, no one has seen fit to ask the most basic and obvious question: Why did the HSTA leadership refuse to allow its members to vote on the "handshake deal" reportedly reached between the union’s negotiating team and the governor?
Did the leadership fear that its rank-and-file members may have a better appreciation of the realities of our fiscally constrained paradise than do the leaders, or that a vote to accept the negotiated package would weaken their power and influence within HSTA and possibly convince the membership less union bureaucracy might be a good thing?
Are teachers who are qualified to teach our children not also qualified to decide on the terms of their employment?
David L. Mulliken
Abercrombie’s past portends his future
Regarding Lee Cataluna’s column ("Abercrombie’s attitude goes from mellow to mean," Star-Advertiser, Lee Cataluna, July 10): As Dr. Phil would say, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Is anyone really surprised that Abercrombie is showing his "because I said so" responses to any opinion that differs from his own?
Jean T. Grippin
Are Native Hawaiians now really equal?
Legal equality — really?
At the signing ceremony of Senate Bill 1520, state Sen. Malama Solomon stated, "Every generation of Native Hawaiians since the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 has struggled with not legally being recognized as equals."
Will the Native Hawaiians have the same rights as the occupiers of their country had, namely to depose the current ruler of any territory, let’s say of Hawaii, and establish their own laws, just like it happened to them in 1893? And if this equality does not apply, the new law means nothing, but instead George Orwell’s words will be applicable, namely that everybody is equal, except some people are more equal than others. I mua Hawaii nei.
Janos Keoni Samu
Shane will do his best to make Hawaii proud
On behalf of our son Shane Victorino and the rest of the Victorino and Nakahashi family, we would like to send our heartfelt mahalo to the people of Hawaii for their efforts in getting Shane voted in a second time to the Major League Baseball (National League) All Star team.
Our family is extremely grateful and overwhelmed by your support once again. Shane takes great pride in hailing from the 50th State. As always, Shane will continue to do his best to make all of you proud and provide inspiration to our youth that dreams can, indeed, come true through hard work, determination and support of family and wonderful friends.
Michael and Joycelyn Victorino