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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, July 25, 2002

Letters to the Editor

Candidates breaking law with yard signs

I have recently seen a flux of yard and other signs at various houses and buildings in the neighborhood. Candidates running for governor, City Council and the House of Representatives seem to be starting early this year. However, the candidates are breaking the law.

I recall a constraint on when candidates can start putting up yard signs. I believe the law states that candidates may put up yard signs only 45 days prior to the primary election date. Apparently, some candidates are abusing this rule because most residents are unfamiliar with this law.

Candidates who seek to serve the public should be familiar with the laws. If not, they should make an effort to find out.

If candidates are currently breaking the law by putting up yard signs prior to the permissible date, imagine how many other laws they will continue to carelessly break while in office. I wouldn't vote for any of those candidates who are currently breaking the law.

Lisa Li

Ariyoshi left state with $200 million surplus

I believe Hank McKeague is practicing a favorite American pastime in modern myth-making by claiming "that the state of Hawai'i flourished in unprecedented fashion under the leadership of Gov. John A. Burns, then began its decline under Govs. George Ariyoshi and John Waihe'e and finally bottoming out under Ben Cayetano" (Letters, July 19).

I wish to correct the record that the economic boom from Gov. Burns' administration did not end upon his death while in office, but continued through the time of Gov. Ariyoshi.

When Ariyoshi completed his career in public service, he left a budget surplus of about $200 million. It is unfair to not recognize this fiscal achievement by Gov. Ariyoshi. I agree with McKeague that that surplus was more than exhausted by the end of Waihe'e's term.

Our present, most "education-friendly" governor in Hawai'i's history came into office with a deficit tax revenue income stream. He has done his best with the challenges he has faced.

It is unfair to classify all lawyers as a caste of disreputable dealers. For there are lawyers and then there are lawyers. Meaning that you have to measure each lawyer as a person with morality.

We need more attorney-governors like George Ariyoshi.

Emil Wolfgramm

Sunset on the Beach furor was no big deal

A number of articles and editorials on Sunset on the Beach have been written recently. It seems the media would rather talk about the conflict than about what is really going on.

The Harris administration had originally scheduled four Sunsets for the month of July. Several council members said the mayor was breaking the law and disobeying them. The media saw a conflict and jumped on it. The mayor's position was: If he did not exceed the budget and brought in private financing, more Sunset on the Beach events could be held.

Sunset on the Beach is the most successful event the city has put on. This event means a lot to thousands of struggling island families who can enjoy an evening together watching a movie and eating dinner at a reasonable price. Instead of recognizing how much this event means to the taxpayers, the City Council got into a knee-jerk reaction over its right to set budget policy.

The city corporation counsel said the council had overstepped its authority in calling for Sunset on the Beach to be held monthly. That action amounts to micromanaging the administration's role.

If the newspapers had only waited a couple of days, they would have found that the mayor did not break the law or create a controversy with the City Council. The media created this controversy by stirring up some of the council members.

Why doesn't the media ever ask the taxpayers who are attending Sunset on the Beach what they think? Don't they matter?

George M. Waialeale

Non-Hawaiian student should pay full tuition

It is clear from her will that Princess Pauahi intended to use no more than half of her estate to establish and maintain the Kamehameha Schools. She realized back then that educating her people would be costly. That's why she kept at least half of her estate in trust.

The cost of educating a child at Kamehameha Schools ranges from $10,000 to $15,000 per year. Pauahi's estate subsidizes approximately 80 to 90 percent of that cost per child.

A perfect compromise to the controversy of admitting a non-Hawaiian is to have this non-Hawaiian student pay the full cost of his education, just like any other student attending any other private school. Nowhere in the admission application does it state that Kamehameha will subsidize this child's education.

For a non-Hawaiian to become a "beneficiary" of Pauahi is not correct. Asking this family to pay for the education is the correct thing to do. No one can complain because the money to educate another part-Hawaiian student is still available.

Stacy Higa

Trustees apologized; it's time to move on

Did it ever occur to anyone that there is another possible explanation for the Kamehameha Schools' acceptance of a non-Hawaiian to its Maui campus? That it was simply a mistake, a strictly human error?

Kamehameha Schools does not verify Hawaiian ancestry until after a child is accepted. The last page of the application does ask about an applicant's Hawaiian genealogy, but I think it never crossed the minds of the admissions officials that a non-Hawaiian would even apply. I don't think the school realized it had accepted a non-Hawaiian until after the fact, at which point it had a crisis.

Whatever the reason, the trustees have apologized. They did take the time to come down and meet with the community. They did stick around after the meeting to personally talk to every single person who wanted to talk to them.

Let's learn from our mistakes and move on. You can't cry over spilled milk forever.

Samuel Yong Jr.
Class of 1957, Waimanalo

Selection of Bob Wagner as new A.D. disturbing

The selection of Bob Wagner for the athletic director position at the Kamehameha Schools' Hawai'i Island campus surprised and disturbed me a little.

I'm surprised that Coach Wag-ner, who has made a career coaching NCAA Division I football for over 25 years, would come all the way to Hawai'i to interview for the position at a high school in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation.

It disturbs me because the interview committee had opportunities to choose from applicants who were qualified and were graduates of Kamehameha who proudly sing that they bleed "Blue and White." Why choose a person with no ties to Big Island schools, no ties with the Big Island sports community?

You educate the chosen students of Kamehameha with the best teachers, curriculum and facilities possible and yet you do not give them the opportunity to come back and proudly guide one of your departments. This could be seen as a mother not allowing her child back into her life.

I would also like to question the interview committee: Do you know when, if ever, in Coach Wagner's 25 years of coaching, he ever dealt with female athletes in any capacity?

Samson Kela Jr.

Nainoa Thompson was attacked unfairly

After listening to Nainoa Thompson as he honestly apologized for a non-Hawaiian being admitted to the Kamehameha Maui campus, I had a change of heart. He explained the situation and why the board of trustees admitted a non-Hawaiian?

I am grateful that Nainoa apologized on his own and on behalf of the trustees. They realized their mistake and now are reaping a terrible backlash. The mistake was not necessarily their admittance of a non-Hawaiian to Kamehameha. The real issue was that the trustees did not consult the Hawaiian community prior to making this landmark and controversial decision.

I do not agree with the attitudes of the majority of other Hawaiians at the meeting. Bitterness was evident throughout the night. Many at the meeting pinned Nainoa with having made the decision. He became a scapegoat, and the crowd openly attacked his dignity and pride as a Hawaiian. He is only one member on a board of five. My friends and I were ashamed to witness our fellow Hawaiians, some not even Kamehameha alumni, stoop to such a level of childish bickering and immaturity toward the trustees.

Many say a Hawaiian child should have been admitted regardless. This is not the answer. If Kamehameha let any child in, the academics, quality of schooling and prestige would disappear.

Jordan Murph
Class of 2002

Native Hawaiians never asked to be Americans

I am writing in response to J.T. Taylor's July 16 letter. Taylor found Kamehameha Schools and Hawai'i to be un-American. What Taylor fails to understand is that native Hawaiians never asked to be Americans.

Unlike the immigrants Taylor writes about, Hawaiians did not come to the U.S. The U.S. came to Hawai'i. Where was the tolerance and freedom of Americans as they overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy?

Taylor's analogies of the Kamehameha Schools to Nazi Germany and the Old South are unfounded. Both are based on people in power subjugating those who are not. Where is the power of the Hawaiian people? If anything, Americans are guilty of this. As far back as my grandmother's childhood, Hawaiians were forced to keep their language private.

Tiffany Yango-Au
Class of 1994

There's no hypocrisy when it comes to ACLU

"Hypocrites!" Fletcher Young calls the ACLU (Letters, July 22). During World War II, the ACLU was the only organization protesting the incarceration of the Japanese Americans.

I ask Fletcher: Where was the rest of white America, which did nothing to defend these Japanese Americans? Now who's the hypocrite?

Currently the ACLU is defending Arab Americans and Muslims against ethnic profiling.

Bob Akamine

Better way is needed in picking up passengers

Has anyone picked up anybody at Honolulu International Airport lately? Well, if you have, you'll know exactly what it is that I'm about to gripe about.

Scenario: You pull into the arrivals area to pick up your intended arrivees, and before you even slow down, an airport "cop" in a tan uniform is making a bead for your car.

"You can't stop here," she says.

"I'm picking up my kids on Flight 67 and it landed 10 minutes ago," you explain.

"Do you see them standing here?" she asks in a challenging tone.

"Well, no ... but I'm sure that they'll be out in a second," you say hopefully.

"You can only stop if you're 'actively' loading. You'll have to move along," she demands.

In the meantime, you spot one of your children coming out the sliding doors.

"There they are!" you announce, getting out of the car with your lei in hand.

"Excuse me, sir ... you'll have to move the car if their bags aren't here yet," she says, mercilessly. "You'll have to go around."

"But they're right there," you say incredulously. "Aren't we allowed two minutes to pick up passengers? They can't just jump into the car as we slow down and pass by."

"I'm going to have to write you a ticket if you don't go around," she says, as she pulls out her pad and pen.

"You can't be serious. Where's your aloha? This is totally unreasonable," you plead, as you backpedal toward your car.

"Jessica, stay here with your brother and sister," you explain to your confused daughter. "Daddy has to drive around again and tie up airport traffic. Try not to breathe the pollution from the continuously circling cars. I should be back in five minutes."

So much for a warm aloha and welcome. You drive off dejectedly.

The airport "cop" smiles in triumph.

The scenario above actually happened. There has to be a better way.

George Rosete