Letters for Tuesday, August 30, 2011

• Judgment differs • Support public

education • Why God?

Judgment differs

My brother comes to visit me now and again. During his stays in the past we have generally spent two or three hours each day jumping at Kipu Falls, and having a blast. So it was with great angst that I forwarded the article about Kipu closing.

Here is where it gets interesting. My little brother is an ER surgeon just like Dr. Downs. The difference is my little brother works at Detroit Receiving, which for all practical purposes is like a M.A.S.H. unit between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. 

Perhaps Dr. Downs could “benefit” from working briefly in an environment where people die everyday from gunshot and stab wounds, or drug ODs.

Losing five people who didn’t bother to assess the risks of their behavior over a five-year period is a more than an acceptable mortality rate. People die; that’s what we are all going to do. 

If you are dumb enough to do it today then so be it. How long till we fence off the ocean? People drown there too.

Don’t get me wrong, I sincerely admire Dr. Downs and the floatation devices at the beaches around the island. His intentions are pure of heart, but couldn’t we have just put a floatation device at Kipu? 

As far as the families suing Grove Farms for their relatives’ lack of judgment, I say the families of dead drunk drivers should sue the phone company, for putting their poles too close to the road.

Joseph Lavery, Kapa‘a

Support public education

Hawai’i’s public school teachers have been disrespected by Gov. Abercrombie. During his campaign he told me that he would help teachers and students.

His rudeness at the negotiations table and the 5 percent pay cut shows his relentless disregard for public education. Schools are still holding fundraisers for basic supplies.

UH teachers got a 6 percent raise this year and will get another 6 percent raise next year. Many UH teachers wouldn’t have their jobs without public elementary/intermediate/high school teachers.

After four to six years of college education, many new teachers end up with over $40,000 of college debt. Their starting salary is $35,000, now minus 5 percent. Board certification requires teachers to take college classes through out their careers. 

Many teachers have spent over $20,000 to meet these requirements. That’s a lot of money for state workers to pay to keep their jobs.

Another insult is when teachers choose to work in their classrooms on furlough days, they’re escorted off campuses with a professional reprimand.

In these tough economic times, people appreciate the jobs they have. However, Gov. Abercrombie’s disrespect has taken a toll on teachers. Teaching doesn’t stop at 2 p.m. Accountability for 30-plus elementary students or 150 middle/high school students per teacher takes more time than people realize.

For over 20 years, I’ve invited politicians to visit my classroom. JoAnn Yukimura is the only one to accept.

If you can read this, thank a teacher.

With continued support for public education…

Terese Barich, Lihu‘e

Why God?

Have you ever cried out “Why God”? Like so many of us when tragedy happens and we lose a loved one we question why.

The tragedy of the cross is a great illustration of “Why God.” His only son was crucified and died on the cross so we could have life and have it abundantly. Through His son we have eternal life.

As it is written, “He who has the Son has everlasting life and shall not come into judgment but has passed from death into life.” (John 5:24). In Romans 8:37-39 Paul tells us “we are more than conquers. Not even death or life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I believe nothing also includes if someone in a hopeless and helpless situation and in a weak moment ends his life. As a good friend tells it, “God would not and cannot cause evil to happen to a person.” God is good. God is love. God is pure and holy.

God in His infinite wisdom may let things happen to us that we just do not understand and we ask why. But who are we the created to question the mind, wisdom and actions of the Creator.

God is our shepherd. He will come for us no matter how far we have wandered. He gives us eternal life and we shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch us out of His hand.

“Loneliness comes when we forget about the One who is always with us.” May you be blessed as He heals your broken hearts and bind the wounds. Psalm 147:3

Marie Torio, Anahola

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