Letters to the Editor
Gambling provides solution, not problem
People say that social problems are the biggest objection to gambling in Hawai'i. Let's look at some other facts about Hawai'i:
We lead the nation in child poverty.
Violent crime is on the rise, affecting both our local economy and our visitor industry.
Nonprofit charity groups are being vandalized and burglarized on a regular basis.
Hawai'i has been dead last in economic productivity and growth for over 10 years.
The visitor industry is continuing to suffer due to the sagging economy on the Mainland as well as around the world.
Maybe gambling is not the answer to Hawai'i's economic turnaround, but maybe people who talk about social problems have some insight into what new industry will help our economy.
People in Hawai'i should try to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
Garrick M. Kashiwa
Kaka'ako landowners shouldn't be bailed out
Ricky Cassiday's July 17 Island Voices commentary on Kaka'ako is a classic example of how big-business advocates misuse economics to justify subsidies for the wealthy.
Kaka'ako landowners have profited from the state spending millions of dollars on infrastructure in Kaka'ako. These landowners should be reducing their lease rents and prices instead of asking the state to waive fees intended for affordable housing.
Why bail out the developers and large landowners?
David Kimo Frankel
Makua Valley never belonged to activists
People in the Wai'anae Coast community have had enough in hearing calls to stop the bombing and shooting in Makua Valley.
Now the activists are saying, "Stop the training and give us back our land." That land never belonged to this group of activists to begin with; their real issue is to stop the Army's training.
Our armed forces have to train to win wars and be ready to meet the enemy at any time. Training is part of our country's readiness to protect you and me and every citizen in our back yard.
You send your children to school when they are little so they can be prepared to face the challenges of their adult lives. Is this not essential training? We also teach our children about our country's freedom, and that freedom is never free.
To train our armed forces is to protect our country. The Army has heard the concerns about Makua Valley and has made provisions to protect areas of interest. Let the "concerned citizen" on both sides monitor its progress and move on.
I love my Hawaiian culture not because I'm part-Hawaiian but because I was educated to respect it. My 'ohana lived in Makua long before I was born in 1937. My father, Adrian Silva Sr., was a ranch foreman for Link McCandless. But he, too, would have said, "Without training, you will never be ready."
Yes, I'm a veteran and I will not turn my back on my country. Let's stand up and be counted.
Adrian Silva Jr.
Rep. Morita's proposal won't work right now
Rep. Hermina Morita is incorrect in invoking the battle between Edison and Westinghouse to supply power to America, in her argument against the economy of scale HECO believes in.
George Westinghouse's AC (alternating current) system of electricity won out over Thomas Edison's DC (direct current) challenge because AC can travel hundreds of miles over copper wire, while DC needs power plants every few miles. Superior technology and economics dictated the victor.
Morita's bad example leads her to call for HECO to buy power from independent producers. Couple this with divestment of mainline power plants and neglect of building back-up transmission lines (I hope she does not call for this), and consumers will be in the same situation California is in now.
Decentralized distributed power plants of the efficiency she envisions are many years away from profitability. Till then, the cheapest juice to Joe Sixpack is still central power.
State law allows only bodysurfing
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin featured a surfer on its front page of the June 12 edition and The Advertiser a bodyboarder on its sports page the next day both of them surfing at Point Panic because of a rising south swell that week.
What many of you don't realize is both of these surfers were in violation of a Department of Land and Natural Resources law that enforces a permanent ban of surfboarding and bodyboarding in a bodysurfing zone next to the entrance of Kewalo Basin. Anyone caught surfing inside of an unmarked boundary is subject to a $50 fine and board confiscation.
While the bodysurfers have exclusive rights to surf one of the best righthanders on the south shore, the rest of us are denied to surf the unridden lefts because the take-off point lies within that unmarked boundary. With the already overcrowded conditions and too-few surf spots existing, I find this DLNR law frustrating and unfair.
Let's amend this law to allow us "other" surfers use of that lefthander and our sacred surf. It's ironic that the only state in the country to enforce a permanent ban on surfing happens to be Hawai'i, the "surfing capital of the world."
'Walk' sign doesn't mean it's always safe
Knowing I am not a careless person or one who walks against signals and lights, I have been puzzling over why, in four months, I have been hit twice and almost hit another two times while crossing in a crosswalk with a "Walk" signal. It has to be the way the signals are set up, or very careless drivers.
When drivers come to a red light and want to turn right after a stop, there is a big problem because they usually pull up as far as they can, often into the crosswalk. So they can see oncoming traffic before their turn, they are looking left for traffic and not looking up at the pedestrian signal, which is out of their range of vision.
Unless they are very good drivers, they are not thinking of the people who may be crossing the street. So the pedestrians think it is OK to walk and the drivers think it is OK to go if they see no approaching vehicles and fail to look in the crosswalk before turning.
Maybe something can be done about this. At least I know not to always believe the "Walk" signal.
Pauahi's will states schools were for all
It was good of Le'a Kapi'olani to write indicating the "Intent of Pauahi's will was to 'her people' " because in truth, that's exactly as it was.
For the sake of accuracy, the Great Mahele took land and allowed commoners to own land in fee. This is in contrast to the remaining sovereign lands and the ceded lands.
Bernice Pauahi knew exactly what she was doing when she wrote in her will that the trust would be dedicated toward naming schools for boarding and day scholars, one for boys and one for girls.
That it was intended to be for "her people" in its entirety and that "her people" were all of the citizens of Hawai'i without regard to race, color or creed was further confirmed because after she stated, "Two schools one for boys and one for girls known as and called the Kamehameha Schools," she then stated two paragraphs later:
"And to devote a portion of each year's income to the support and education of orphans and others in indigent circumstances giving preference to Hawaiians of pure or part aboriginal blood."
That's it. No more, no less. Equality for all of "her people," but also a portion of her estate for orphans and indigents with preference to those of Hawaiian heritage.
Bernice Pauahi could have amended or modified her will. She did not. It would be presumptuous and unfair to think that this truly marvelous visionary meant other than that which she so explicitly stated.
Jack H. Scaff Jr.
Felix case shows DOE incompetence
Certainly there are difficulties in providing every eligible and qualified child the benefits of the Felix Consent Decree in Hawai'i, and Aaron L.'s parents need to be reasonable. God knows how difficult that is when the child is your own.
The Department of Education ranks as one of the most top heavy in government, with all of its bureaucratic buck-passing levels. It accomplishes nothing more than the deprivation of the very goal contained within its own title: education.
If the case of Aaron L. is factual, the DOE should be held accountable for failing to perform its obligation under its enabling statute, defying a court order and displaying utter negligence, even if it means that the taxpayers will pay.
As a part-Hawaiian, I am tired of the inability of government to produce. I am tired of those with a "vision" trying to distract the residents from receiving what they are entitled to by persuading us to accept less. I am tired of watching and having to survive the idiocies of legislators whose only full-time employment has been running for office and making decisions in a complete vacuum of information that will affect my children's future. And I am sick of how a government agency has let one of its children down, with complete indifference.
The DOE, the Board of Education, the superintendent, the governor and the legislators should be required to wear a badge for a year that says, "I failed Aaron."
I am disgusted with the lack of leadership in this state and I'm almost willing to vote Republican for a change.
Peter Liholiho Trask
Compassion, dignity are essential in care
Dr. William Ahuna has been my primary-care physician for 15 years, and is a competent, caring physician. His involvement with Native Hawaiian cultural sensitivity is further testimony to his choice to treat all patients with compassion and dignity.
I have worked in the healthcare field and have experienced the results of giving a patient a kind word, a hug and undivided attention. It is a two-way street: Both patient and healthcare worker benefit. Dr. Ahuna is on to a good thing.
Susan M. Ige
'Nuff said, already
Marion Higa for governor.
If qualified, they should be approved
I am pleased that attorney Shelton G.W. Jim On has responded to my letter urging our U.S. senators to work to withhold Rick Clifton's appointment to the federal bench until President Clinton's superbly qualified appointee, Jim Duffy, receives his appointment to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Jim On argues that the senators would be doing Hawai'i a "great disservice by trying to force Bush into doing something that he's obviously not going to do and create a political stalemate."
But who was it that created a political stalemate that deprived the people of Hawai'i of having Jim Duffy on the federal bench, and where was Jim On when the Republicans were holding up Clinton's appointments, regardless of their qualifications?
These questions bring us to a serious problem for the nation. There is a dire need to fill an excessive number of vacancies on the federal bench, at both the trial and appellate level. This problem existed during Clinton's term and continues today.
The kind of politics recently played by the Republicans, when they were in control of the Senate, deprived our nation of needed judges solely on the basis of politics. An inadequate number of judges causes unconscionable delays for litigants and overburdens the courts, leading to shortcuts that can undermine the quality of justice.
Judicial nominees of the caliber of Jim Duffy and Rick Clifton should receive their appointments. Highly qualified lawyers nominated by any president providing they have not exhibited serious biases or flaws that raise genuine questions of judicial temperament or ability should be appointed in due course.
Qualification for judicial service should be assessed by the American Bar Association, a measure which Bush has unfortunately eliminated. The practice of blocking first-rate appointments on purely political grounds is what has done a terrible disservice to the people of Hawai'i and the nation.
However, the only way to bring the Republicans to the table on this issue, and also to bring home the costs of excessive partisanship, is to use the opportunity of a Democratic majority in the Senate to withhold Bush's qualified appointments until excellent lawyers duly nominated by President Clinton and left hanging are renominated by the president and receive their deserving appointments. If appointment by President Bush of such Democrats is "something that he is obviously not going to do," as Jim On states, then neither is he going to get his own judicial appointments approved.
Then, after both Duffy and Clifton are not on the bench, perhaps each party can tacitly agree, for the future, to support a president's judicial nominations of highly qualified attorneys regardless of party.
Richard S. Miller
Professor of law, emeritus