Letters for Aug. 24, 2015

Letters for Aug. 24, 2015

Music room meant for musical students

Where do your tax dollars go in the education system?

One place they go is to build special-use facilities like gymnasiums, swimming pools, libraries and computer labs. They also go to build music rooms. Are these places used by students?

Yes, well, except the music room. The specially designed music room at Kauai High School is used for meetings, storage, offices and testing, etc. Can music students use the room for instruction? No.

Why not? No one knows but Anne Kane, the principal at Kauai High, who refuses to allow performing arts students access to a music room she allows to be used for storage.

Yes, our tax dollars went to build a specially purposed, expensive room for music — with mirrors on the walls, acoustic panels on the high ceilings and practice rooms around the perimeter — but it is used for storage and meetings.

For four years, students have been trying to get access to share this room after school for a credited class (not a club) that serves all three high schools on Kauai at that central location.

A class that, for 29 years, has had no permanent space. Yes, 29 years! It seems Ms. Kane and the DOE will not share even though they don’t use the room at the time of the class. Why not? No idea, but your tax dollars went to build a very expensive “storage unit” on a public school campus that was meant to be a music room. Who loses, our kids — yet again.

Lisa Pollak


Airline strikes helped pilots back then

There is no small amount of irony in airline pilot Wally Roberts’ perspective (TGIForum, Aug. 18)!

Strong pilot’s union activity got the Railroad Act extended to aviation along with high pilot salaries in the 1930s.

As many as 15 strikes in the pivotal prop to jet year of 1958 made sure that the pilot profession would remain an elite profession with high status and high pay. Along the way, pilots with strong real estate and stock portfolios became anti-labor Republicans. They faced the 1978 aviation deregulation with weak, disunited union activity. They not only crossed the PATCO picket lines of 1981, they crossed their own picket lines. They conceded to two-tier salary schemes for the new kids and corporate-friendly restrictive operating rules and government regulations.

Today, the pilot is an oppressed, glorified bus driver with average pay! Wally continues to celebrate the unnecessary political stunt of one grandstander for the sake of his image. He skips blithely around the billions it cost and continues to cost the FAA, the 100,000 general aviation businesses that went bankrupt so his airlines could have all the airspace, the 16,000-plus controllers who had to start over after legally quitting their jobs over issues that the government was then forced to rectify anyway!

Don’t weep for this PATCO controller. I’m a successful, retired, healthy 65-year-old instead of a dead, former air traffic controller who left his job on a medical disability (like most back in the ‘80s). Weep instead for all the glorified bus drivers who had to follow Wally!

Pete Antonson


Are we really all in this together?

Mr. Wally Roberts’ letter (Aug. 18) stated that I was misleading readers about the PATCO strike. He never stated how I was misleading them.

Reagan’s destruction of PATCO was the start of a concerted effort of those who own the United States of America (the so-called “job creators”) to ensure that the “rest of us” have no voice in how America is run and no share in the bounty this country produces.

Mr. Roberts’ demotion was a result of that same “War on Labor” that has flattened wages for the “rest of us” and funneled more of the rewards of America’s output to the 1 percent who then park their 400-foot “yacht” in Hanalei Bay and laugh at the “little people.”

The consolidation of the airlines, which has resulted in de facto regional monopolies, with a resulting increase in airfares (Hawaiian Air anyone?), has continued unabated since the PATCO strike.

What kind of “market” is it when the seller (labor) has no voice in negotiating the price to be paid for their “product?” Certainly not a “free market”!

Mr. Roberts’ union failed to protect him. How strange he blames another union (PATCO) for his union’s failure.

We are “all in this together” or we are redundant pegs that can be hammered into any hole the 1 percent defines. Recognize that we “wage slaves” exist solely to serve.

John Zwiebel



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