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Friday, April 9, 1999

Tapa


Teachers get paid for 10 months work

Roy Westlake (Letters, April 3) must not have much association with teachers since his high school days! He doesn't quite have his facts straight.

I feel compelled to point out that teachers get paid for the 10 months service they give (mid-August to mid-June).

However, they can divide the 10-month salary by 12 and receive their pay spread over the entire year or they can get their whole month's pay each month and either hold back part or get other employment during the summer. I personally usually opt for the 10-month arrangement.

But we are NOT receiving two months pay for NO work! Nor do we get overtime for those back-to-school nights, extra-curricular activities and after-hours parent conferences!

Caroline L. Steele

BOE tax plan would let lawmakers off the hook

Sen. Norman Mizuguchi's plan to allow the BOE the power of taxation is "out of the box" thinking as it's been hailed. It is more a way for the Legislature to duck its primary responsibility of taxation and funding the various state departments.

Mizuguchi's plan sounds more like a "pass the buck" than a progressive plan. We have heard for the past 12 years that this state wants and deserves "an education system second to none." Yet year after year the governor and Legislature have failed to fulfill this desire. So now Mizuguchi decides to let another body of government attempt to do what the Legislature could never do.

We should not let the governor or Legislature off the hook that easily. Allowing the BOE the power of taxation will only give us another body of government to dread and fear. True "out of the box" thinking would be government living within its means.

K.P. Fey

OHA ad ignores burden on tax-paying public

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs continues its expensive propaganda ad campaign called "Focus on Fairness" concerning the ongoing OHA/state negotiations for a bigger share of ceded land revenue.

In one ad, the trustees try to make several points in favor of OHA getting more money. With the need for brevity I will discuss only the first three:

Bullet "Justice for all Hawaii residents." How can anyone call it justice to take revenue destined for the state's general fund (which provides services for all people) and give it to a select few? The result is that more taxes have to be extracted from Hawaii's citizens to make up for these monies channeled to OHA.

Bullet "Raised state bond rating." Why do you suppose that our bond rating is now in jeopardy? One reason is the potential that the taxpayers may have to pay billions to OHA during the next decade. This money comes from our tax base. It has already caused our state to borrow more, increasing our long-term debt and pressure to increase taxes.

Bullet "Positive impact on economy." Pulling millions, if not billions, out of state revenue will help our economy? This has already damaged it! Are taxpayers not now being asked to come up with more money to make up for the shortfall? How much bigger is this shortfall going to be when OHA walks off with millions more of this state's revenue?

Doesn't the tax-paying public have a right to have these concerns addressed?

Art Todd
Kaneohe

KS/BE should do more for other graduates

Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate's court-appointed master reported an accumulation of $350 million of trust income. The state calls it an "educational tragedy." Trustees' counsel calls it "prudent because the trust is designed to exist in perpetuity."

KS/BE's practice regarding post-high school grants to non-KS/BE high school graduates is to say "no" to students attending out-of-state schools and maybe for students attending school in Hawaii. I understand that KS/BE graduates attending school on the mainland routinely receive a $10,000 grant. This is admirable but isn't the practice backward?

KS/BE graduates are the fortunate ones. They should not be receiving the lion's share of the grants. There are many high school graduates who are capable but cannot participate in college study for lack of funds. How many of them would continue their schooling at a community college to learn a trade if they could receive a grant of, say, $20,000 a year? That's the real tragedy.

Lawrence Chun
(No relation to Kamehameha Schools
President Michael Chun)

Bishop mess began and will end in court

Politically appointed justices of the state Supreme Court created the problem at Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, and only that same judicial system can make it right.

Whether Hawaiians believe that they can have justice under this system is going to weigh heavily on how the Bishop Estate controversy turns out.

The decisions of Judges Town, Hirai, Chang and Weil will have a lasting effect on whether Hawaiians are going to remain part of this system or evolve into an "us-against-them" mentality.

Imagine a "sense of Hawaiian place" with no Hawaiians participating!

Rod Ferreira
Kamehameha '52
Kamuela, Hawaii

Bishop Estate Archive


"I'm not a Hawaiian activist.
I am a realist."

George Naope
BIG ISLAND HULA TEACHER
Describing his stance on sovereignty

"You're trying to rip off
the worker to balance
the budget."

Gary Rodrigues
DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED
PUBLIC WORKERS UNION
On a state House proposal to freeze unionized public worker
salaries and benefits for four years


Group wants bill to have anti-gambling wording

We do not oppose the Senate resolution for a sports complex on Oahu if two changes are made. I testified, on behalf of our coalition representing approximately 100 organizations, that "we are not opposed to the sports complex if the following changes are made: page 1, line 13, delete the words "Horseracing and others."

The second change was to add on page 1, line 21, (or elsewhere): "Any use or further development of this proposed area will be consistent with Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 712 on Gambling."

It may seem unnecessary to quote the law regarding gambling but since those proposing the sports complex, both those within the Legislature and without, insist that this is just for sports and not gambling, then surely they would not object to making sure that this proposed land of 500 to 1,000 acres is as they say it will be.

Dorothy M. Bobilin
Chairperson Hawaii Coalition
Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaiians should be thankful for U.S.

If the Imperial High Command of the Japanese military government had succeed in capturing, occupying and exploiting their "little brown brothers and sisters" during World War II, where would Hawaiians be today without the United States?

In the name of the "Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere," the Imperial Japanese Army invaded China, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines between 1939-45.

The rapacious invasions, occupations and exploitation of such lands and their people resulted in 50 million civilian deaths.

On the island of Timor, Japanese troops killed 40,000-60,000 civilians.

These actions were a part of a three-fold plan by Japanese invaders:

Bullet Fortification of the Hawaiian Islands against attack from the United States, hence the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

Bullet Using the Hawaiian Islands as a base of operations in the eventual Japanese invasion of the U.S. mainland, supported by many sightings of Japanese submarines off the West Coast by American civilians prior to the Pearl Harbor attack.

Bullet The exploitation of both natural resources and the native people of the Hawaiian Islands, for the sole purpose of slave labor in furthering the Japanese war machine.

In the light of such events, the question raised by Hawaiian sovereignty activists concerning the U.S. government's "obligations" to Hawaiians, with respect to the illegal overthrow of the monarchy, causes me to raise the question, "Ipso facto, who owes what to whom?"

Diane A. Scoville
Waipahu

Employment/training fund is copied by other states

The Star-Bulletin Feb. 22 article on small business, "Mixed reviews for small biz policies," is factually incorrect in several of its references to our department's Employment and Training Fund (ETF):

Bullet ETF is an employer-funded job skills upgrade training program for existing employees, not displaced or unemployed workers.

A .05 percent portion of the mandated unemployment insurance tax is allocated to ETF to improve the competitiveness of Hawaii's current workforce.

Bullet The 18-month moratorium on the fund lapsed in December 1998, not a year earlier as the article states. Further, we are unaware of any bill now before the Legislature to extend the moratorium.

While ETF is scheduled to "sunset" or terminate in December 2000, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations feels its successful track record merits consideration of extending the "sunset" provision.

Following Hawaii's example, the states of Alaska, California, Delaware, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee and Washington also have incumbent employee training programs supported by a similar assessment.

Lorraine H. Akiba
Director Department of
Labor and Industrial Relations

Tapa

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