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Monday, July 5, 1999


Ceded land revenues should benefit everyone

Before the Legislature or executive branch establishes any form of payment arrangement with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs with respect to ceded lands, they should conduct a comprehensive review of the facts.

If they did so, they would conclude that no single racial group is entitled to these revenues. The money should be used to benefit all the residents of Hawaii.

I can find no basis for the claim by OHA or anyone else that these lands were "stolen" from them, as they never owned these lands in the first place or had any special rights different from that of any other racial group in the kingdom.

Any settlement arrangement that does not recognize this and does not benefit all residents will end up being challenged in the courts as unconstitutional and/or discriminatory. Furthermore, it will be costly for the state to defend.

Such a settlement would have a long lasting negative financial effect on the economy, and on current and future residents.

Robert M. Chapman

OHA Ceded Lands Ruling

Doctors need union because of HMSA

In response to your June 25 article about physicians being allowed limited unionization, I was struck by the observation of Cliff Cisco, HMSA senior vice president, who said, "The thing being expressed by the AMA may be reflective of the needs elsewhere, but not in Hawaii."

Assuming Cisco was speaking sincerely and not as a spinmeister, I suggest that he is out of touch with the physicians of this community, as are most of those in HMSA's upper echelon.

They obviously have not spent a half hour writing a letter explaining why a certain medical procedure or test needed to be done, when the clerk who disapproved the request could have spent five minutes contacting his or her supervisor to realize that -- although the wording did not match the exact wording in their guidebook -- it was essentially the same.

This lack of brain power seems to infiltrate the whole organization. I recall it took almost a year and a half for one of HMSA's physicians to comprehend the difference between a flexible and rigid esophagoscopy.

Perhaps I shouldn't be so hard on HMSA: It had a bad year in 1998, making a profit of "only" $10 million. That is quite a drop from over $60 million in 1997 and over $50 million in 1996 -- not at all shabby for a "mutual benefit society."

Walter Young, M.D.



I was quite touched... because it was from my colleagues who know what it's like to be an attorney general."

Margery Bronster
Former state attorney general
Who was denied a second term of office by the state Senate but received an award for excellence from the National Association of Attorneys General

"It was like watching a train wreck and we couldn't let that happen."

Mary-Ellis Bunim
Executive producer and co-creator of MTV's "real world"
On the television show's Hawaii segment, which featured 21-year-old Ruthie getting alcohol poisoning and being sent to rehab after a series of incidents, including a fight with her housemates

PBS continues to offer quality TV for kids

While your June 29 story, "Kids' TV lacking education value," was based on research conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, I'm disappointed that the Associated Press didn't look into PBS.

Since the introduction of "Sesame Street" and "Mr. Rogers Storytime" a generation ago, PBS has represented what is good about children's programming.

The 1999 State of Children's Television Report confirms that the public appreciates the value of children's programming seen on KHET and other PBS stations. The report shows that 78 percent of PBS shows are judged to be of high quality, followed by commercial networks at 33 percent and basic cable at 30 percent.

It also reported that PBS stations aired 228 educational programs, more than Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network and TLC combined.

How good are these programs? At the most recent Daytime Emmy Awards Ceremonies, the number of honors won by PBS children's programs matched the total for all the broadcast networks combined or all the cable networks combined.

Don Robbs
Executive Director/General Manager
Hawaii Public Television

All war veterans want is restored arch

As a veteran of World War II and the Korean conflict, I have a stake in commenting on how beautiful the city's intent might have been over 70 years ago, when our famed Natatorium memorial was constructed. But Honolulu has failed miserably in its support of that sacred obligation.

The honoring of heroes is not an event grandly memorialized in one era and ignored in others. But, year after year, with the obvious deterioration the Natatorium complex has suffered, we have done just that.

I strongly disagree with redoing the pool and the rather massive forefront. The reconstruction of the arch, a beautiful attraction in itself, is all departed veterans ever wanted. It is a simple yet meaningful remembrance of service to their city, state, country.

Ray Thiele

Restoration must begin immediately

Those who oppose full restoration of the Waikiki War Memorial and Natatorium would have people believe that the arch is the memorial. The pool is the memorial; the arch is the entry way.

Act 15 of the 1921 Territorial Legislature makes that clear. The entire complex (pool, arch, facade, bleachers, restrooms, etc.) is historic and protected by state and federal laws.

Photographs taken prior to construction of the Natatorium show no beach. Creating a beach would require large groins to protect San Souci beach and prevent the ocean from eroding much of the coastline.

Estimates by the international cost-estimating firm of Rider Hunt show that this option, properly engineered, would be about the same as full restoration.

The city is moving forward now, while costs are low. Further delay will allow deterioration to increase and make the project more costly.

Gerry Silva
Management Analyst
Office of the Managing Director
City and County of Honolulu

Gun owners: Teach responsible handling

I must respond to letters blaming the Colorado shooting on guns and saying that anyone who is a member of the NRA is to blame for this massacre.

Guns don't go off themselves. Banning guns won't solve the problem. If a criminal really wants to murder someone, he or she will find a way. They can use a knife or bat, so then what? Shall we ban knives and bats, too?

I am a teen-ager and my dad is a gun owner. Yet you don't see me going out and shooting people. That's because my dad has taught me responsibility.

Teaching children responsibility is the bottom line.

Ryan W. Santos


Legislature Directory
Hawaii Revised Statutes

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