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Tuesday, May 4, 1999

Tapa


UPW mess could be another Bishop Estate

What will it take to get the governor to investigate the possibly felonious actions of UPW head Gary Rodrigues? In a Catch-22 situation controlled by Rodrigues, a formal charge must be submitted by a member of UPW in order to get the national organization to investigate.

But Rodrigues refuses to disclose to his members any information about union spending that might lead them to file a formal charge. As long as he stonewalls the membership and hides behind his political friends, he will be safe.

This is almost exactly how the situation with the Bishop Estate trustees started. And today the trustees are facing ouster.

Three UPW members want to know how union dues are being spent and why the union built a log cabin-style office building in Hawaii. Could it be because the only log structure builder in the state is also the head of the UPW?

Now that our brave AG is gone, who will stick up for the common man against Rodrigues?

Don Arakaki
Ewa Beach
Via the Internet

Bronster is caring and fully dedicated

My heart breaks for my sister. I know first hand of Margery's kindness and caring, her love for her family, her genuine values of honesty and integrity, and her keen intellect. Margery has unbridled enthusiasm for her job. She is wholly dedicated, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If she were a career politician, one who put personal opportunity before ideals, she would not be out of office. Instead, at huge personal risk, Margery took on tough problems, such as the alleged corruption at Bishop Estate. Like David and Goliath, she and her dedicated team fought a behemoth armed with legions of attorneys and an endless supply of money, power and influence.

And while winning battles along the way, decency and accountability have, for now, lost the war against power, connections and greed. Unfortunately for Margery and the people of Hawaii, she is out of a job and the state has lost a great advocate.

Bruce Fields Bronster
New York, N.Y.
Via the Internet


Quotables

Tapa

"It would be incredible to have the Senate reject the attorney general for basically her managerial style and then go ahead and approve a convicted felon."

Sam Slom
State senator
On the nomination of Clifford "Chip" Uwaine (pictured above), who was convicted of voter fraud conspiracy, as a trustee of the Hawaii Public Employees Health Fund. The governor withdrew Uwaine's nomination late yesterday.


"What better situation than to come to Hawaii and learn hula? It's like going to Spain to learn the pasodoble."

Nalani Keale
Kumu hula
Who teaches hula to organized tours from Japan


Too much homework robs youth of leisure

I am only 14 years old, but I have had homework every day this school year. Even this letter to the editor is a social studies assignment.

Because test scores are low in Hawaii, teachers feel pressured by parents and the Department of Education, so in return they overcompensate by loading on the homework. For example, a weekend does not go by in which several hours aren't spent on school work. During vacations, which should be the time spent with my family, we must adjust our schedule around the homework that my sister and I have.

Teachers should make learning more interesting. Too many of them just throw a book in your face and tell you to take notes. For the many students who play sports like me, it's impossible to get any free time during the day.

I'm not against homework. But students shouldn't have to stay up past midnight to do it. I want to enjoy life while I'm young.

Lauren Kim
Grade 9, Mililani High
Via the Internet

Property crimes aren't being prosecuted

Our home was burglarized in March and the total value of the stolen items was nearly $10,000. Not two weeks later, a friend's home was burglarized and his car stolen. Nearly every townhouse in our community has been burglarized recently.

Our own security was once again violated several days ago, when our car was broken into while parked in our car port. The police success rate on catching any of these felons: zero.

Like all our neighbors, we immediately reported the burglary and car break-in. All requested forms were filled out. But no detective was assigned until a month after the burglary. (This assignment was finally made because we threatened to call the police chief and governor's office unless something was done.)

There was evidence that could have led to a conviction, if the police had acted promptly. For example, several credit cards were stolen that were used in many locations around Mililani. In addition, several attempts were made to withdraw funds at an ATM.

The police argue that they are overwhelmed with the number of property crimes. But, as many major cities have found (including New York City), if even a small percentage of property crimes are prosecuted, the overall number of incidents falls.

A little less time giving out speeding tickets and a lot more time spent on solving property crimes is a long overdue change in police priorities.

Leslie Lukasik
Mililani

Hannemann shouldn't be so thin-skinned

Verbal "abuse" is the same in Delaware, Hawaii or Timbuktu. If you're going to dish it out, Council Chairman Hannemann, you're gonna have to learn how to take it!

The mayor may not be local, but then you are not Hawaiian, either. So don't try to speak for them.

Patty Kuheana
Aiea

Hawaii State Hospital should not be closed

Andrew Weaver is certainly correct in his April 27 View Point that the question of closing the Hawaii State Hospital cannot be rushed, and needs full public debate. He offers compelling reasons based on nationwide statistics for maintaining a viable state hospital.

While privatization may be a trend around the country, it is important to note that no state has eliminated all state hospital beds, and with good reason. For many people with debilitating mental illnesses, state hospitals offer their only realistic hope for treatment.

Since there simply is not enough time left in this legislative session to meaningfully consider this question, it would be both unjust and unwise to close the hospital now without truly understanding the consequences of doing so.

Mark Richardson
Via the Internet

Tapa

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