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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, January 25, 2004

Letters to the Editor

Barbers Point Harbor should be put to use

Think of a number of car and truck trips needed to transport container loads of goods and groceries from Honolulu Harbor to eventually reach the many homes of Leeward and Central O'ahu residents. Multiply that by the number of ships unloading at Honolulu Harbor every year.

What if these goods and groceries do not need to travel on the overloaded highways and can be directly unloaded at Barbers Point Harbor?

Do we still need to spend a billion and suffer years of inconvenience to build another highway?

Can federal funds still be tapped to accelerate the development of the overlooked Barbers Point Harbor?

Fellow citizens, urge your lawmakers to answer these questions before they raise our taxes.

Loy Kuo

Paper failed to give 'sunshine' to nominees

Your Jan. 5 editorial praised Gov. Linda Lingle for adding "sunshine" to the judicial selection process by making public the names of those nominated to fill judicial vacancies on the Intermediate Court of Appeals and Circuit Court.

While her actions are commendable, credit should also be given to Chief Justice Ronald T.Y. Moon, who not only has been disclosing the names of nominees to the public since 1998, but also solicits public comment on the nominees.

The Advertiser lauds Gov. Lingle's effort to make the names of the judicial nominees public prior to her selection, yet failed to publish the judiciary's most recent press release announcing the names of the nominees for a District Court and a District Family Court vacancy and calling for public comment.

By not publishing this information, The Honolulu Advertiser has, in effect, deprived the public of the opportunity to provide feedback to the chief justice.

Marsha E. Kitagawa
Public affairs office
Hawai'i State Judiciary

Girls, parents should heed education advice

In the Jan. 20 editorial section was a commentary from Betty White, principal of Sacred Hearts Academy. She addressed the need for the development of financial education early on in the education of our female children.

We have two daughters; one has graduated from college and another is about to go to college. They face some pretty tough challenges, and they know it. Ms. White writes well and makes some very good points. I hope other mothers and daughters out there pay close attention.

Mary Benson

Federal recognition proponents: Get real

Anne Keala Kelly hit the nail on the head in her Jan. 18 commentary "OHA trying to eliminate options" when she stated that federal recognition advocates continue to insist that Hawaiians can secure the political status like that of tribal nations — as domestic dependent sovereigns — and that doing so won't affect our independence claims in the future.

I wish the pro-federal-recognition Hawaiians would just come out and admit that they do understand how passage of the bill would forever compromise our national claims under international law, and then admit that they don't want independence. Then, I would at least have some respect left for them for being honest, and we could openly talk about our differing visions for Hawai'i.

Instead, they seem to be either too ignorant to know what they are forfeiting in terms of those claims, or too miserable to be honest about it if they do.

J. Kehaulani Kauanui
Middletown, Conn.

State should use cheap toilets at parks

A suggestion regarding the spending of millions of dollars to again repair our deplorable beach restrooms: When these facilities are rebuilt or repaired, they should no longer have toilets.

Invariably, the toilets will be abused and become inoperable again. Inexpensive portable toilets should be used instead. If they are abused, they can be easily and cheaply replaced.

Money saved from no longer maintaining or repairing the old toilets could be used to provide these portable toilets to more beaches that now have nothing. They would also solve the environmental problem of sewage discharge into the local waters that is currently occurring with some of the beach pavilions.

Let's start using these portable toilets now so tourists can again speak positively about Hawai'i's beaches.

Gary Kishida

Let's have accountability

This airport bid-rigging scam — one contractor has been charged and pled guilty. What about the state workers who rigged the whole deal? They haven't even been charged yet. Seems to me anytime a government worker gets caught doing something wrong, he just retires.

Carl R. Lyman

Let the people vote on the school board issue

Forget the statewide debate over local school boards. Forget the powerbrokers who have a stake in the $1.9 billion annual budget. Forget the union leaders who say they speak for their membership when the results of the last election seem contrary. What is the common-sense approach to public education in Hawai'i?

Is there any other state in this country that is more justified and more suited for local decentralized school boards than Hawai'i? Is there any other state that has its counties geographically separated by such an obvious distinction as an ocean? Are there any other states in this union that have county pride the way Hawai'i does?

So why shouldn't we have control of our students' public education? Who else would know the subtle differences between the needs of Ha'iku and Pa'ia but someone from Maui?

The pressures on the school system in the early '60s that propelled us to centralize no longer exist. The rural areas of the Neighbor Islands and parts of O'ahu are now, alas, no longer so rural. Each county is well able to stand on its own, having a sufficient number of students to create a very competitive economy of scale to produce the goods and services needed in an efficient time frame to keep our school system relevant to our rapidly changing society.

Let common sense prevail; let the people vote on this issue. Our political leadership should not try to confuse the issue with rhetoric when the question is, do we as citizens of this state have a say in our child's public education? We deserve the right to vote on this issue. Once that right has been given, let the debate begin.

Gene Zarro
Pukalani, Maui