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Friday, January 14, 2000

Tapa


Name of benefactress is no longer honored

The interim trustees of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate have changed the name of the trust to, simply, Kamehameha Schools. The name of the beloved princess and benefactress of Hawaiians will be no more.

Now it will be the only trust in the world that does not have the name of its founder in it. Small-hearted, indeed.

George Avlonitis

Estate's name change is a terrible idea

"Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate" is to be changed to simply "Kamehameha Schools." Where is the name of the princess in the title of the schools she began?

You can argue that the name should have been "Pauahi Estate," but just having her married name, Bishop, in the name of the estate helped us remember who began it with her own money more than 100 years ago.

This is outrageous! Why should the interim trustees be allowed to drop the name of our princess? Is this the beginning of the end of her will, as we were warned would take place?

If a name change is necessary, call it "Princess Pauahi's Kamehameha Schools," thereby keeping her memory alive.

Gladys Awai-Lennox

Bishop Estate Archive

Powerline protesters are being selfish

I am a Manoa resident who has been approached to sign a petition against having a powerline on Waahila Ridge. I am bothered by the argument that the poles would be unsightly.

It is unfair that these people have not tried to understand the problem of how power is distributed. A utility that is used by the entire community should have the cooperation of that community.

It is my observation that I have been approached by residents who only want to preserve their own property values, which is a selfish view.

Jack Yuen
Via the Internet

SUVs provide protection for driver

Hooray for Gary F. Anderson's Dec. 16 letter defending sports utility vehicles. Unlike him, I stand barely 4-feet-10. I rarely carry passengers or cargo, nor am I a serious environmentalist. But I, too, used to drive small compact cars until fear set in.

My SUV provides a safe, protective shield for me while driving. With the rising statistics of serious motor vehicle accidents and deaths, I need to protect myself from others who drive carelessly, arrogantly and aggressively. They don't pay attention because they are reading the newspaper, talking on the cell phone, chatting with their passenger, or putting on their make-up.

At least if they hit me, I stand a good chance of walking away with minimal injuries compared to those I would sustain in a little Acura. In addition, for those who feel intimidated by SUVs or complain that they "cannot see in front of them," the rule is the same as when following a van, bus or big truck and rig. Keep your distance and you'll be just fine.

Joy Yamauchi
Via the Internet

HMSA's bullying is hazardous to patients

Mahalo for turning your attention to the unfair practices of the Hawaii Medical Service Association (Jan. 8, "HMSA facing possible revolt by isle doctors").

HMSA's proposed contract with physicians will make it very difficult for doctors to fight for their patients' health needs. Instead, the insurance company --not physicians -- would decide what care was worth paying for.

A doctor's primary responsibility is advocacy for patients, especially those who are too sick or ill-prepared to fight for the health care they deserve. It is our responsibility to provide our patients with the drugs they need or the surgery that will help them, not simply what HMSA determines it will pay for.

This bullying monopoly is forcing physicians to agree to a contract that will tie our hands and make it difficult to defend our patients' rights.

The Hawaii Medical Association applauds the insurance commissioner, the Hawaii Coalition for Health and hundreds of doctors for railing against HMSA's crude tactics. Jan. 31, when the contracts go into effect, will be a sad day in medicine -- when physicians will have much less to say about the decisions affecting every patient's ability to get well.

Philip Hellreich, M.D.
President-Elect, Hawaii Medical Association
Gerald McKenna, M.D.
Secretary, Hawaii Medical Association

Hawaii can be proud of its judo Olympian

We should all be very proud of Amy Tong making the U.S. Olympic judo team.

I note from your Jan. 3 story that she had a problem with queries from British people who wanted to know her racial extraction, especially when they observed that she appeared more Asian.

One can assume that she became quickly perplexed with the need to provide a cautious but concise explanation of her real ancestry. It is not uncommon for those like her to have that experience when visiting another country, particularly in Europe.

Amy should have no need to be embarrassed by her Asiatic appearance, even if her skin is dark. When she represents our country at the Olympics, all references made of her will be that of an American athlete from Hawaii.

Richard K.B. Ho, M.D.

Oregon's 'local' boy snubbed by press

Isaac White. Does the name sound familiar to you? He rushed for 1,000 yards in 1994 for the Campbell High Sabers. He was White Division offensive player of the year. He was first team, All-State. Born and raised on the Leeward Coast.

Still don't remember? Try No. 40 on the Oregon State Beavers football team. Yet he was nowhere in your paper during the Oahu Bowl, except on the roster. I'm sure if he had been an ILH graduate, there would at least have been a paragraph about him.

Daniel Sheehan
Kaneohe
Via the Internet


Quotables

Tapa

"Overcrowded beaches, strained
natural resources, clogged roadways
and overburdened natural areas --
these are the tangible effects of
increasing visitor arrivals."

Jeff Mikulina
DIRECTOR OF THE SIERRA CLUB'S
HAWAII CHAPTER
Explaining why the group filed a lawsuit in the state
Supreme Court, asking that the Hawaii Tourism Authority
be required to perform an environmental assessmen
t on the impacts of increased tourism

Tapa

"That's ridiculous."

Robert Fishman
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE
HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY
Reacting to the filing of the Sierra Club lawsuit


Fireworks

Double standard exists for holidays

This is an open question to all of you who defend Hawaii's fireworks madness on the basis of our "unique" culture and tradition: How many of you ever bothered to hoist an American flag on national holidays such as Independence Day, Veterans Day, etc.?

On the last Fourth of July, on my way to work from Mililani to Ala Moana, I counted exactly six homes with flags, including my own.

A lot can be said about the "uniqueness" of culture and tradition in our community.

T.H. Kenney
Mililani
Via the Internet

Hawaii must join civilized societies

Our gutless lawmakers should stop pandering to those who like to "play with fire" in the form of bigger and better fireworks in this state. If death and maiming and burning of property aren't enough to move our so-called lawmakers off dead center on this issue, there is no hope for the average law-abiding citizen.

Are we really going to pander to those who continually talk about their "rights"? These are the type of people who spend their grocery money on fireworks, legal or not!

Governor Cayetano and Mayor Harris, listen to the majority and give us controlled fireworks only, as they do in more civilized parts of the country.

Merle H. Arnold Jr.
Kailua Via the Internet

History of fireworks brings renewed appreciation

More than a thousand years ago, in some province of China, people sitting around a campfire were startled by an explosion caused by the mixture of sulfur, nitrite and carbon. Thus, gunpowder was discovered.

Amazed, they went to the village elders, who came and witnessed this remarkable explosive force of nature. For weeks the elders gave thought to this most unusual and terrifying thing. At last, recognizing the horrible immensity of uncontrolled use, they directed that gunpowder be packaged in small amounts and used to benefit the people by warding off evil spirits and to denote a celebration.

Today, all over the world, those of Chinese ethnicity continue to celebrate with firecrackers.

It's a distinction that I live in the only state that permits lighting them. As such, I have learned to respect the danger and uncertainty of dealing with explosives. I love the explosions -- knowing that they do not kill, the acrid smell of burnt gunpowder, the stillness that follows.

Most adults who grow up playing with firecrackers buy them for their own children. I do, because it allows me to retell the story of the Chinese discovery of gunpowder, and how those elders decided the best way to use it.

Sam T.Y. Moon
Oceanview, Hawaii
Via the Internet

Simple joys of fireworks have been destroyed

As a lifelong Hawaii resident of Chinese ancestry, I grew up with fireworks. The New Year's celebrations of my childhood years were always an enjoyable tradition.

The family always gathered at Po-Po's and Goong-Goong's house on Wilhelmina Rise. We popped our firecrackers safely and in moderation during lawful hours; the highlight was the final big string set off exactly at midnight to usher in the New Year. We then swept up the red paper and ate traditional foods such as gau and jai.

Sadly, my memories have been destroyed by inconsiderate behavior. People defiantly and unlawfully set off late-night bombs and rockets starting on Thanksgiving Day -- tormenting our family, especially young children trying to sleep.

My once positive attitude towards preserving our local fireworks tradition has been severely threatened by these selfish individuals, wantonly seeking self-gratification at the expense of the surrounding community.

Unless our do-nothing Legislature can come up with stricter, more enforceable laws eliminating illegal fireworks and controlling unlawful activity, a total ban is the only solution. If legislators don't have the guts to tackle this issue, they must be replaced with public servants who really do care about our welfare and safety.

Milton Pang
Ewa Beach

Enforce the laws before passing new ones

Instead of putting more laws on the books banning fireworks, the current laws should be enforced.

This was the first year that I can recall someone being arrested for selling illegal fireworks or that fireworks were confiscated from the individual/business.

Increase the penalties and impose the maximum, not the minimum, penalties. Make it so the lucrative black market is not worth getting into.

Dennis Nakamura
Via the Internet



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