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Friday, March 19, 1999


Why aren't trustees ousted by the courts?

The mess at Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate was caused by the individual justices of the state Supreme Court. They appointed trustees largely based on politics instead of ability.

Three trustees are suing each other. They are spending time in court instead of managing the schools. Two other trustees face criminal charges.

These trustees have spent more than $1.5 million of the estate's money, and will spend more to defend themselves against allegations of mismanagement of the schools and breach of fiduciary duty.

The estate is a tax-exempt charitable trust, but the legal expenses of the courts, the attorney general and her staff are being paid by taxpayers. This is a double whammy.

The trustees have lost the confidence of the students, their parents and the alumni of Kamehameha Schools. It is incomprehensible, in view of the above and more, why the courts have not removed them.

How Tim Chang

Trustees have shamed Bishop Estate

Regarding the latest Bishop Estate/Gerard Jervis scandal: Shame! Shame! Shame! What a sad example to set for children.

Once Pandora is out of the box, it is impossible to put her back in. For the other trustees to rally around someone who has brought down the meaning of leadership and responsibility -- to the point of destroying another person and her family -- is disgraceful.

The honorable thing for all of the trustees to do is to resign immediately.

Ken Joyner

Bishop Estate Archive

Politicos keep getting recycled in government

Kudos to City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle for being the only brave-heart to testify against Rey Graulty's nomination to a 10-year Circuit Court term. Carlisle was right to ask if Graulty would have been selected if he had been a Republican or a Green Party member.

It seems the voters cannot rid themselves of these politicians, even when they "unelect" them. They are moved to other government positions:

Bullet Charles Toguchi has been appointed Cayetano's legislative liaison at a salary of $6,000 a month. "I don't care so much about the dollars," Toguchi said. "I just want to help out." Then why doesn't he volunteer his services like Ann Kobayashi and save the taxpayers his salary?

Bullet Bob Fishman has been selected as director of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. He's a a nice person, but why is HTA willing to pay him $150,000 a year, higher than the salary parameters originally set for the position? What does he know about tourism?

As long as the public is willing to tolerate these high salaries being paid to appointees based on politics and not merit, as long as there is an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, as long as there is this stranglehold of recycled politicians in government, I see no positive future for Hawaii.

Carol Sword



"All endeavor comes at some cost. The more impossible your goal is, the more it is worth striving for."

Yo-Yo Ma
Guest cellist with the Honolulu Symphony
Offering advice to young musicians

"It's the kind of publicity I would think Hawaii would have wanted to avoid."

Fred vonAppen
Former UH football coach
About an upcoming story in Sports Illustrated magazine on his breech of contract lawsuit against the University of Hawaii

Lawmakers have right to legislate power lines

It is both short-sighted and insensitive for your March 9 editorial to conclude that the issue of putting electrical power lines underground is a matter for the Public Utilities Commission and not appropriate for legislative debate.

Hawaii's environment is our most important issue. Preserving it, including protecting our natural and urban vistas, is critical to maintaining our appeal as a tourist destination.

The wise stewardship of Hawaii's environment goes well beyond the mission or responsibility of the PUC. It rests with us all.

Kenneth A. Kanter

Senator shouldn't show religious symbol

Your March 8 editorial asked of religion, "Where does free exercise end and establishment begin?" The courts have generally upheld that the distinction turns on a three-prong test:

Bullet No government action may have the principal "purpose" of promoting or favoring religion generally or any specific religion over others.

Bullet No government action may have the primary "effect" of promoting or favoring religion generally or any specific religion over others.

Bullet No government action may become "excessively entangled" with religious doctrine or activity.

The iohthus symbol installed by Sen. David Matsuura on his door at the state Capitol will be subject to the same test should the case proceed in the courts.

Although Matsuura installed the offending symbol in the Capitol corridor, this public area does not belong to him. He has a small private space to display anything he wishes -- religious or otherwise.

As for the Hawaiian statues at Fort DeRussy, HCSSC has not yet reviewed the display, nor have we received any complaints from our members. Regarding the Father Damien statue, we do not object to this memorial to the victims who died at Kalaupapa. It passes all three tests.

With 65 percent of Hawaii's population being non-Christian, how can we allow a government official to promote such a sinister doctrine on public property in the halls of power?

Mitchell Kahle
Hawaii Citizens for Separation of state and Church

New bus route makes riding a pleasure

Thank you, Mayor Harris and the route planners at TheBus company, for designing the new City Express A route. It is what rapid transit is supposed to be but seldom is: limited yet convenient stops, friendly drivers, buses every 10 minutes, and serving an area that cried out for just such an idea.

Taking the bus is a pleasure. A magnum of mahalo!

F. David Wagner Jr.

Lingle should show good sportsmanship

During the closing weeks of the 1998 gubernatorial campaign, Republican candidate Linda Lingle said repeatedly that, after the election, everyone should come together.

Now that the election recount shows that Ben Cayetano won fair and square, it would be gracious for Lingle to now urge her supporters to put their bitterness aside and help the governor make Hawaii a better place.

Vernon Yu


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