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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 3 ,2002

Letters to the Editor

Hold the legislators responsible for law

Every year around tax time, we are admonished by television commercials to avoid the "blockheads." While I will not call our legislators "blockheads," the admonishment to avoid should include inept legislators at election time.

They come now saying they want to remove all the camera vans from O'ahu's major commuter highways. Your paper quoted Sen. Bob Hogue saying, "This is a way for the legislator to make a statement now," and "This is a call for immediate action." He goes on to say, "I personally, out of principle, believe it should be repealed regardless of the price."

OK, already, I give up, although I think it is a good program. If it is bad law, let them repeal it, but let's not forget who enacted this bad law.

And since Hogue does not care what the cost to repeal is — since it isn't his money — let's deduct the cost from the salaries of all those who voted to enact this bad law. Or maybe they will have the decency to resign.

Kenneth L. Barker

Plan to end quarantine should be supported

Regarding the Jan. 29 article entitled "Plan would end pet quarantine": I cannot understand why, after learning the facts, anyone would not agree to the new plan.

A state-financed study already done under USDA guidance proves that Hawai'i would be four times safer under this new plan, which proposes vaccinations and blood tests rather than the current quarantine. The new system would also electronically transfer all test results and immunization information, which would eliminate fraud committed if pet owners should alter their animal's paperwork.

This new plan is a winning masterpiece for everyone in the state: greater protection from rabies and a friendlier and more humane place for animals and their families who move here.

Please write your representatives now. Ask them to support the new plan. Join the Community Quarantine Reform Coalition of Hawaii, www.quarantinehawaii.com.

Katherine Gitto

Why not build up education system?

I am confused by the articles in the Jan. 24 and 25 Advertiser on budget cuts in education.

It is a well-known fact that Hawai'i schools come in at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to doing their job in educating young people. And it is a well-known fact that Hawai'i's teachers are underpaid and we get more than enough substandard teachers in the system as a result.

Why not build up the education system and obtain better teachers by setting aside the monies needed to do that job?

Robert A. Trutt

School discrimination should be targeted

In reference to the recent letters from Damon Senaha and Thurston Twigg-Smith: Mr. Twigg-Smith was absolutely correct. Princess Pauahi's will is exactly as he quoted (paragraph 13, subparagraph 3).

What intrigued me was Princess Pauahi's concern for the "orphans and others of indigent circumstances." I would like to know just how many orphans and poor children the trustees have given free — yes, free — admission to Kamehameha Schools. I say free because the will dictated the trustees to "devote a portion of each year's income to the support and education of orphans and others or indigent circumstances, giving preference to Hawaiians of pure or part aboriginal blood." Just how much of the budget is directed toward the princess' behest?

Another discriminatory part of the will is paragraph 13, subparagraph 8, in that the princess directs "that the teachers of said schools shall forever be persons of the protestant religion ... " I doubt very seriously that Kamehameha Schools is abiding by this behest as well. I hope everyone in Hawai'i would not allow this to happen.

Growing up in Hawai'i, I can recall many discriminating acts that took place daily. I kept my mouth shut. If you were poor (which most of us whose parents worked on the sugar plantations were), you had to be humble and be thankful for what you had. This is not the case now. Everyone should stand up and fight whenever and wherever injustice and discrimination are evident.

If Hawai'i is to maintain its "melting pot" image, now is the time to rid itself of outright discrimination against all of its people.

Robert Rodrigues
Melbourne, Fla.

Shame on coveters of Kamehameha's 'gold'

The noise of non-Hawaiians clamoring about the admissions policies of the Kamehameha Schools sickens me.

Now that Kamehameha has become affluent, opponents want to dig away at its foundations. They want to steal one of the avenues for Hawaiians to gain a quality education and take it for themselves.

I have one question to ask these people: Why were your mouths silent when the Bishop Estate was a proud yet significantly less wealthy institution? Now that the gold is visible, it is coveted.

Clifford Wassman
Kamehameha Schools, Class of '99

Public deliberations needed on merger

Kudos to Gov. Cayetano for calling into question the proposed merger of Hawaiian and Aloha airlines. Executives from TurnWorks and both airlines testified before legislative informational hearings last week, often providing incomplete, and at times evasive, answers to legislators' questions.

This despite the fact that much of the information is disclosed in Hawaiian Airlines' latest SEC filings (see www.sec.gov/).

When the governor said he was told a different story in private than the executives touted at the hearings, he exposed what many fear is a comprehensive strategy to sell the merger: that is, to perpetuate a public facade of a "merger of equals" (two marginal companies forming Hawai'i's flagship airline), while privately conceding to key policymakers that one airline is in deep financial trouble absent the merger.

I hope the regulators and lawmakers will follow the governor's lead and demand fair, open, honest and yes, public, disclosure of all facts relating to this transaction. As residents of Hawai'i, we are all key stakeholders.

Kirk McBride

State, city must alert drivers about gridlock

Over the years, I have been caught in traffic jams on numerous occasions because of the failure of the state and city to provide motorists with timely information to avoid entry into areas where the traffic is stalled because of an accident.

A case in point was the accident on the H-1 freeway in Kaimuki involving the racing motorist last year. Vehicles were allowed to continue entering the freeway hours after the accident. This led to a massive traffic tie-up as motorists tried to exit the freeway. Adding to the problem was closure of major freeway exits because of construction at that time.

What contingency plans are being developed for an early-warning system for motorists? Why can't freeway entry points be closed to prevent motorists from entering into areas of traffic gridlock when there is a major accident?

I have voiced my complaint to the state and city on several occasions, but have seen no improvement. The public deserves better service.

Alan Taniguchi