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LETTERS for April 17 issue

By Staff | Apr 17, 2014

Grading teachers

Imagine if teachers gave grades in the same way they were paid. In kindergarten, all kids would get an F. By the first grade, the entire class would get a D-minus. Fifth-graders would all get a C, and so on, until in the 12th grade, every student would have an A-plus!

It seems silly, but that’s exactly how we pay teachers. New teachers are paid the least, and old teachers are paid the most, no matter how they perform in the classroom.

Some teachers feel safe with that kind of job security – survive for two years, and you’ve got tenure. But not me. I’m a good teacher, but when it comes to my pay, I’m getting an F!

Bad teachers deserve to be paid less, but good teachers deserve to be paid more. Imagine a new teacher who was really great. Perhaps she made learning fun – kids were dying to come to school! Maybe she helped to bring students’ scores up two or three grade levels. Maybe she taught the kids to think for themselves; to think creatively. Teachers like that deserve to be paid double, or even more! Perhaps a teacher like that could make $100,000. Unfortunately, in our current system, a teacher like that is paid the lowest amount a teacher can make.

My name is Joe Kent, and I’m running for Congress, because I believe our educational system is broken. As a teacher for seven years, I’ve seen the monster of government invading the classroom. Government ties teachers’ hands behind their backs. It traps principals at every turn. And it allows bullies to harass good kids in the classroom.

I want to get rid of all the bureaucracy in education. Stop boring teachers and students with all these new regulations, and just give teachers the freedom to teach. Get government out of the classroom. Give principals the power and freedom to adjust pay, and you would see a new market for excellence in education. Teachers would strive hard to please principals. Principals would demand only the best teachers in the schools. And parents would be banging the principal’s door down to get their kids in that school. And our keiki would benefit with an outstanding classroom and a brighter future.

Find out more at joekentliberty.com.

JOE KENT, Film explores Planned


Parenthood’s founder

It was never about women’s rights, women’s right to choose or reproductive freedom. It was always about race and eugenics with Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. To find out more, go on the Internet or watch the movie “Maafa 21.”



Not all change is bad

I just read the letter for the Earth Day cleanup at Honolua Bay. Honolua Bay makes the letters a lot. The last time I was up there, there were a number of private property signs and other signs to discourage people from walking in. Then there were the campers with signs and collection cups for their efforts to keep it clean. Just seemed their campsites were the biggest mess. I thought we were trying to save the area for everyone to use, not just those who think it belongs to them. There was also the letter about Kahoma Village. The area for years has been a dump and homeless camp. Caught fire a few times… could easily have been the ignition point for burning down the town of Lahaina.

Every change on Maui isn’t necessarily bad. Maybe with some responsible change, local children could grow up, buy a home and get a job that doesn’t pay minimum wage without having to move away.

Responsible change is still change, and there seems to be a number of people that have a problem with that.



Politicians should serve the citizens

Well, my personal belief is that all previous politicians have had their very own benefits in mind first, and secondary, any other.

To be a politician is a dedication and devotion, as it is in a doctor: dealing with humans.

I am convinced I’d set one priority: the citizens and their demands, not rules, regulations, policies, habits, customs or something else.

But, I’m not one of those up there. I am just an ordinary citizen – with common sense and logic, though.



Letter writer should check facts

Regarding the letter “Don’t legalize pot” in the April 3 issue, I’d like to recommend some fact checking on the part of the author, please.

First, he/she asks the question, “Is stoned driving somehow okay compared to drunk driving?” First point: no one is advocating for legalization of “stoned driving;” just the freedom we demand as citizens of a democracy to make our own choices as adults.

Second, he/she claims “it (marijuana use) has been largely overlooked (legally?) here for years.” Second point: according to the most recent data I could access, there were 1,524 marijuana arrests for the year (2007) in the State of Hawaii. That’s more than four people a day, 85 percent of which were for simply possessing it. Even for a first-time offender, the punishment was 30 days in jail PLUS a $1,000 fine.

“Largely overlooked?” I don’t think you’d agree if that was your loved one behind bars just for getting high. And by the way, could you afford to take a whole month off of work without any pay? It’s not like your landlord would give you a break come time for rent… talk about adding to the problems of being “homeless.”

Third, he/she asks “is cancer from smoking pot less deadly than it is

from smoking cigarettes?” Obviously, no. However, right now you have choices with cigarettes, which are all legal, if you are concerned with the known health risks associated with use. You can smoke it and take your chances, vaporize it (e-cigs) and eat it (nicotine gum/mints). The same choices are available for marijuana.

Finally, he/she claims “it (legalization) will be a message to our keiki that it’s okay – even cool.” My question: what message does the hypocrisy of having known killers like alcohol, tobacco and firearms be legal in the state, while simple marijuana use is a criminal offense?

The “message” our keiki receive will be the one WE give them. We show them that the stove is hot and will burn your hand if you touch it… we don’t BAN stoves. Enough said.



Monsanto sponsored the agriculture fair?

My purpose for writing this letter is two-fold.

First off, I was so disappointed to discover that the recent Maui County Ag Festival was sponsored in part by Monsanto!!

Really, Monsanto sponsoring an ag fair? I would almost classify that one as an oxymoron.

Perhaps next time we have an agricultural fair, we will see sponsors from a more organic resource.

My second reason for writing this letter was to address last week’s letter concerning the legalization of marijuana.

Name Withheld by Request, you really need to get your facts straight.

Your letter showed just how misinformed you really are did you even bother to check facts before you wrote the letter?

And how on Earth do you know if a person is “stoned” or not if they have their headlights off? Did you check the drivers personally??

Marijuana is nothing like alcohol. Marijuana is a plant; alcohol is not even close. Did you know that there are 88,000 deaths a year attributed to alcohol, while there are zero deaths connected to marijuana use? (Resource: www.livescience.com/42738-marijuana-vs-alcohol-health-effects.html.)

Marijuana has no serious health risks compared to cigarette smoking (resource: www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page5).

And as far as teen use goes personally, kids are going to experiment. That’s just the way it is. Personally, I would much rather my child experiment with pot than with alcohol or tobacco. Then again, it’s the parents’ responsibility to keep their child informed (resource: www.teenink.com/nonfiction/academic/article/303089/The-Positive-and-Negative-Effects-of-Marijuana/).

And finally, marijuana has amazing medicinal qualities, more so juiced than smoked. Here is another resource to learn more about cannabinoids: www.cannabisinternational.org/.

I hope this clears up some of these doubts for you.