Letters to the editor: 09-03-19

Teachers shouldn’t have to fundraise

How many ways can we keep knocking blows at our teachers on this island?


They are already the next to last lowest paid in the nation (49th out of 50). They qualify for subsidized home loan assistance because their salaries are not enough to afford a home and it comes with a hook that you can’t sell the house for 30 years.

Also, teachers spend a great deal of their own money on school supplies for their classroom, averaging $200-plus a year. And now DOE expects the teachers to raise their own money to purchase an air conditioner to create a cool classroom. You need to raise the money yourself so perhaps you can do some crowd sourcing, set up a Go Fund Me, bake sales, fruit stand, silent auctions and other community fundraisers. This on top of many after hours of planning for and then the teaching of 40-150 student each day,

The true tragedy is that we do not expect this job to be done by any other civil servant. This message to the teachers is that you are at the very bottom of the professional ladder. Above you are the police, fire, attorneys, department heads, employees, etc.

And teacher is the one profession that every citizen will experience many times in life over and over. Police and fire, hopefully never. No wonder 20% of our teachers leave every year.

I know because my daughter was one of them this year: three years and she took her experience to the mainland never to serve our kids again. They feel poor and disrespected and now are being asked to be sales clerks and fundraisers. Plus, teachers add to the social and economic health of our community in so many ways outside of school.

Joyce Oconnor


Mountain doing just fine without ‘protection’

Amazon paid $0 in U.S. federal income tax on more than $11 billion in profits, while at the same time working people are getting soaked by the tax system. The president wants to deport sick children receiving medical care in the U.S., deport them back to countries where that care is not available and they will die!

Our schools are underfunded, our teachers are underpaid, our wages have been depressed for decades, and health care prices have gone through the roof. Our citizens are dying because they can’t afford health care.

Developers have snatched up all the land and are holding us all hostage, making us pay outrageously high rents, but hardly a peep about that.

Meanwhile, in Hawaii, the hill people want to die on is stopping a scientific endeavor or at least making sure that Hawaii doesn’t benefit from the thing! Turn up the air conditioning, drive that gas sucking jacked up truck with an upside-down flag that is itself a symbol of colonial domination. (How ironic is that?)

Don’t fight for sick children, don’t fight for decent wages, don’t fight for decent treatment of immigrants, or scientific inspiration for our children. Just stop the telescope! And blame TMT for all those other things. And for sure, please ignore the fact that the citizens of the state support TMT by a 2-to-1 majority and as recently as 2018, 72% of Native Hawaiians supported TMT. Maybe now they are just afraid to speak out. #IsupportTMT

Oh, and by the way, “defenders of the land,” that mountain was here long before your ancestors ever arrived and it will be here long after all your progeny have perished. It is supremely arrogant to think that you are defending the mountain. The mountain is doing just fine.


Marty Beck

Mililani, Oahu, formerly of Kona