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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, May 18, 2001

Letters to the Editor

New trustees are no better than old ones

I'm glad to hear that Kamehameha Schools' longstanding policy of hoarding money away from the students is still in place.

Despite earning record revenues of a billion dollars in fiscal 2000, the trust spent far below its annual spending goal of 4 percent of the endowment.

It is also encouraging to know that the trust continues to prey on students and their families by charging $3.8 million in tuition and $2.1 million in student lunches.

Finally, I take great comfort in knowing that despite the trust's mandate to educate "the children of Hawai'i," only a small handful of children of Hawaiian descent will receive any benefit.

The trustees continue to reject thousands of student applicants despite the many troubles in the public school system and the desperation of many outer island communities.

What a surprise that the new trustees are no better than the old ones.

Jon Hollister

Privatization would be wrong for Ke'ehi

I am extremely disappointed that Gov. Cayetano is trying to privatize the small-boat harbors.

Years of inefficient administration and low user fees have left the harbors in poor shape. Privatization does not solve the problem, it only gives the headaches to someone other than the state. In the end, the users will be the ones to suffer.

A private operator will be profit-driven. The state, on the other hand, can be satisfied with a break-even operation. That difference will determine the future of recreational small boats on O'ahu.

So, how, after years of losing money, can the state turn Ke'ehi into a break-even operation?

• Increase the fees by 20 percent. It won't be a popular move, but it's appropriate.

• Keep the money generated by Ke'ehi in Ke'ehi.

• Aggressively enforce the regulations. The state could double the income currently generated by Ke'ehi by enforcing the existing regulations. There are more people living aboard boats moored to buoys that are not paying the proper fees than there are people paying the proper mooring fees.

Ke'ehi is a blue-collar harbor. You won't find mega-yachts there, only common folks who share a love of water sports.

There is a strong cultural, historical tie in the Islands to the ocean. I think the state has a responsibility to maintain at least one small-boat harbor on O'ahu that is affordable to the public. I urge Cayetano to reconsider the privatization of Ke'ehi.

Robert Becker

Republican reformers should lead the party

The recent vote in the Legislature on reforming the state health care fund not only revealed a shift among Democrats, but also an interesting split within the Hawai'i GOP. Of the 22 Republicans in the Legislature, 11 voted in favor of the major civil service reform and 11 voted against it.

When the Hawai'i Republicans gather for their annual state convention, talk will inevitably turn to who should be the GOP leaders in the coming election and who is best suited to be Linda Lingle's running mate. The GOP delegates should avoid those "pro-status quo" Republican legislators who voted against government reform, including Sen. Fred Hemmings, Sen. Bob Hogue and Rep. David Pendelton.

Instead, the Hawai'i Republicans would be wise to look to those "pro-reform" GOP legislators who voted for civil service reform in this past session, such as Sen. Sam Slom, Rep. Galen Fox and Rep. Charles Djou.

Linda Lingle, are you listening?

Glenn Saito

Oshiro attack on Hogue is just partisan politics

Rep. Marcus Oshiro's continued partisan attacks cannot go unchallenged. The Democrat's assault on Republican Sen. Bob Hogue was fraught with political spin.

If Oshiro wants to play politics, maybe he can explain why, under Democratic monopoly of state government, everything from public education to the state economy is a disaster.

The Hurricane Relief Fund was created because a Democratic appointee failed to adequately monitor a "local" insurance company. That company defaulted on policyholders in the wake of Hurricane 'Iniki. The hurricane fund was a tax. It should be returned to the people who paid it. Insurance laws should be enforced so private companies can provide competitive insurance.

Seems Rep. Oshiro doesn't understand that excessive taxes and big government are the source of many of Hawai'i's problems. Sen. Hogue is part of the solution.

Sen. Fred Hemmings
R-25th District

Children certainly weren't the winners

I nearly gagged on my breakfast a few weeks back while reading a quote from the HSTA's Joan Husted, heralding that "the children were the real winners" as a result of the strike. I don't know whose children she was talking about. Certainly not mine.

My son is just now getting back to the academic level he had acquired pre-strike. Yes, he is in special education and was probably affected much more than my daughter was. However, no one from the Department of Education has ventured to provide us an assessment of the current status of either child (i.e., where they were, where they are and where they should be).

The "well-timed" strike, from the HSTA's standpoint, coupled with the spring break, appears to have had a devastating affect on some children's learning curve. And it's highly unlikely that the learning curve can be accelerated, even if the schools were to follow through with their intention to eliminate the "fun" excursions.

It appears other parents feel the same way, based on the report of increased interest in summer school. Who is the big winner here? You figure it out. Most children will not catch up.

Woe to the politicians who happen to draw the endorsement of the HSTA for the next elections. And hooray for the politicians who seek to change the system to eliminate the "right to strike" from public education. There are other ways to get teachers their due.

Greg Weathers

The simple solution

How about privatizing Gov. Cayetano?

Bill Walters
Boat owner

Older dogs deserve to be treated with dignity

Older dogs are always the last ones adopted, if ever, and among the first to be euthanized. They provided years of loyalty and devotion, only to be left behind as used furniture.

Imagine their confusion as they are dumped at a shelter after dedicating their lives to a family, simply because they have become an inconvenience. They feel. They hurt. They get scared. But, mostly, they don't understand.

They don't understand what they did wrong to be thrown away like rubbish after years of faithfully protecting our children, our homes and ourselves, years of being there for us during our hard times, years of sharing our joys, years of staying at our sides, no matter what, asking only for a pat on the head, a warm place beside our bed, a little food and water.

Sometimes they are left behind because their owner dies and there is no one left to care for them. They are heartbroken and confused.

They don't deserve to be treated like inanimate accessories. They deserve to be treated with dignity and honored for their selfless devotion and service to humankind.

Please don't exclude your loyal old-timer from your moving plans. Do everything you can to keep him and then some. He would give his very life for you.

There are always alternatives. Please consider adopting or fostering a "senior" dog. They may require a bit more care than younger dogs, but then again, they probably know a few more "tricks" than most, too. Every dog has a right to live its life to the fullest. They have earned it.

Michael Teehan

Cataluna missed point on ADB conference

Lee Cataluna's observations on the Asian Development Bank meetings in her May 11 column are interesting, but she misses the point.

Obviously, no one wishes to attract business meetings to Honolulu that are likely to place at risk the public safety or otherwise embarrass Hawai'i in a fashion that would cause tourists or conventions to go elsewhere.

However, if Hawai'i wishes to grow economically and be viewed as a destination of choice for the international business community and travel industry, it must be prepared to compete with the many other locations around the world where there is a coordinated effort within the public and private sectors to attract business. It is naive to think that Hawai'i sells itself. Those days are over.

Sure, these events cost money, but there are numerous benefits that result as well. These range from short-term tourist revenues to more longer-term business opportunities.

Further, all of this builds on itself over time. This is the concept Gov. Cayetano recognized when he refers to Hawai'i as the "Geneva of the Pacific."

The ADB meetings did not plant a seed of smugness, as Cataluna suggests, but should encourage more of this type of leadership in the future.

Randy Harris

State Hospital must be closed for our safety

As a resident of Castle Hills and a neighbor of the State Hospital in Kane'ohe, I believe it should be closed.

When violent patients can readily flee the hospital, our safety is seriously threatened. If we cannot adequately secure the hospital, we should consider sending the patients to Mainland facilities.

Although I feel sorry for the residents of Kahala for the recent intrusion by one of the hospital escapees, I feel worse for my neighbors. They fear that someday a State Hospital escapee will threaten their families.

The rapid police response in Kahala was commendable. My neighbors were jealous until they heard that shots were fired. Some of them suggested we should be happy that the police response in our community to State Hospital escapees is neither adequate nor timely.

I continue to worry about the safety of my family posed by the numerous escapees. I worry about the threat from firearms and guard dogs that my neighbors may be acquiring to protect themselves. And now with the recent gunfire in Kahala, I worry about the police response.

So I suggest once again that we shut down the State Hospital.

Curtis Harada

Commission handled Mansho case properly

Recent letters to the editor and other commentaries have been critical of the Campaign Spending Commission in its handling of violations by Councilwoman Rene Mansho.

In particular, the commission assessed an administrative "fine" of $40,000, of which no less than $10,000 must be from her personal funds. The remainder of the "fine" was to force a forfeiture of the funds remaining in her campaign account. The last campaign disclosure statement provided by Mansho showed a balance of a few dollars in excess of $30,000.

The $10,000 administrative fine was a very harsh assessment, largely for using campaign funds that benefitted Mansho personally. Use of campaign contributions for personal benefit is a clear violation of the campaign spending statute.

The remaining violations were a laundry list of unreported or improperly reported contributions and expenditures and improper use of campaign contributions. There was no apparent evidence that Mansho gained personally from these infractions.

However, the violations were serious and of such magnitude that some sanction was called for, short of forcing a bankruptcy on the councilwoman. A reasonable alternative was to require Mansho to forfeit the remaining funds in the campaign committee's treasury.

There is no legal remedy to force her to refund the money to contributors. Furthermore, Mansho is barred from running in the 2002 council elections.

All administrative fines revert to the Hawai'i Election Campaign Fund, which is used primarily to provide campaign funding to candidates who qualify for public funding.

The Campaign Spending Commission is bound to carry out its responsibilities in strict adherence to the law and only within the jurisdiction of the campaign finance statute.

Robert Y. Watada
Executive Director, Campaign Spending Commission