Letters for Sunday, May 14, 2017

• Country needs new leadership • Teachers change lives for the better • Wall won’t do any good

Country needs new leadership

Washington is providing a lot of controversy lately, and I can’t help noticing that a lot of what we see is really about morality, not politics. It seems to me that all Americans can rally around the inappropriate issues of nepotism with unqualified family members, cover-ups of federal investigations, psychological instability of leadership, chaotic government on a daily basis, excessive personal spending that’s passed along to the public, and the withholding of civil liberties for all law-abiding residents of the United States.

These have to do with character, rather than political orientation, so I don’t see it as a Democrat vs. Republican disagreement. I see it as an opportunity for all of us to say that this is not the kind of American leadership we expect or deserve. There are other options, and it’s time to seriously consider them.

Susan Storm, Kapaa

Teachers change lives for better

In commemoration of Teacher Appreciation Week, my daughter sent this letter and a bouquet to Mrs. Lori Griffith at Kalaheo Elementary School. I hope you agree that it’s worth sharing:

Dear Mrs. Griffith,

Being a fourth-grader in your class at Kalaheo El was one of my best years as a student! Maya Angelou once said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I still remember how you made me feel so special. You may not remember, but I was in your class the year 9/11 happened,and even though I was confused by what was going on, I felt safe and happy to be with you in class. Words can’t express how much of an inspiration you’ve been to me, and as a result, I’ve always wanted to be a fourth-grade teacher just like you! Currently, I teach fourth-grade at Keonepoko Elementary on the Big Island, and I love it! I’ll be graduating with my Master of Arts in Teaching from UH-Hilo this month, and to mark the occasion, I wanted to thank you for being the teacher that made me want to be a teacher. Love, Shyanne Matsumoto

Debra Thompson, Kapaa

Wall won’t do any good

Mr. Rosen, are you paranoid? The reason I ask is that I am wondering what has convinced you that building a 30-foot-high border wall will keep America safe? I haven’t been able to find any evidence that would give credence to that statement. Common logic would tell you that it’s next to impossible to construct a wall that cannot be tunneled under. Make the wall 30-feet-deep and someone will come along and dig a 31-foot-deep tunnel. The drug cartel certainly isn’t worried about a wall.

They have already found other, and better, means of getting their drugs into the hands of our addicts. Boats, for instance, or airplanes and submarines — yes, submarines. Now, if you had done a little research instead of shooting from the hip, you would have found that the vast majority of illegal immigrants crossing the border aren’t even Mexican.

In fact, the number of illegal immigrants from Mexico has declined by 85 percent since 2000. That goes with illegal immigration as a whole, too: the rate has been declining. What’s ironic is that the states where illegal immigration is growing are not even on the Mexican border, but states like Washington, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Louisiana.

Trump’s border wall will do absolutely nothing to address illegal immigration in this country. It’s a wasteful and pointless exercise that will cost us billions of dollars. The only thing it will do is create animosity between our third-largest trading partner and us.

Steven McMacken, Taos, NM

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