to the Editor

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Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Kamehameha policy violates civil rights law

Recently two University of Hawaii law school professors submitted commentaries to your newspaper regarding the Kamehameha Schools admission policy (Jon M. Van Dyke, Letters, July 24; and Randall W. Roth, Insight, July 28). Both clearly indicated the position that the Constitution's prohibitions on racial discrimination did not likewise apply to racial discrimination in private education.

For whatever reason, the authors did not mention the U.S. Supreme Court interpretations of Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 which have long since settled any question there might have been as to the constitutionality of racial discrimination in private education in the United States.

Section 1981, the Supreme Court has held, prohibits not only private schools from denying students admission on racial grounds, but makes such schools liable for court- awarded monetary damages and attorneys' fees.

The Kamehameha Schools trustees would be well advised to seek effective and impartial legal counsel before the trust corpus is decimated by IRS fines and civil judgments.

John W. Goemans
Attorney for Freddie Rice in Rice vs. Cayetano

Hawaii needs another show like 'Five-0'

While recuperating from major surgery, I found myself watching more TV than in decades. Among the cable reruns is "Hawaii Five-0," a show I watched faithfully before moving to Honolulu 25 years ago. What a wonderful discovery to watch shows from the past and to see that they hold up beautifully. The story lines are compelling and the acting is first-class. Jack Lord has a real presence on the screen. The scenery of Oahu is incorporated into every episode.

Although it is a crime show, I did not find the treatment of any ethnic group offensive and found the inclusiveness of the cast a credit to the producers. In short, this series had quality, something missing from the shows we have been supporting, such as "Baywatch."

I can see why people dreamed of Hawaii in the '60s and '70s after seeing "Five-0" because I did as well.

I urge our officials to discover and support another such show -- there are scripts out there -- and bring quality (and visitors) back to Hawaii.

Elissa Josephsohn

Infrastructure still lacking in Ocean View

I hope Craig Gima's article "Terrain, expense clog isle progress on indoor plumbing" (Star-Bulletin, July 23) is an eye-opener to the people of the state.

Residents of Ocean View on the Big Island have been promised assistance by the County Council for more than 25 years, but have just received the same old excuses. The state and county have not been enforcing their own codes and regulations.

The state Department of Health, in fact, refused to investigate a local resident's complaint of her neighbor, who lived in the bushes, defecating on the ground, causing horrific smells, over a period of about two years.

Now, with thousands of people moving into these areas, the county has had to at least recognize that a problem exists. After 40 years or more of being told that we "bought cheap land," we're a little tired of the same old excuses. How about coming up with a plan, then going after some of the federal funds that are available for water systems in low-income areas?

By the way, how much did Campbell Estate pay for its land in Kapolei, and how much money did the state contribute to its infrastructure? Just curious.

Beverly Byouk
Ocean View, Hawaii

Bill would devastate Hawaiian trust

The Honolulu City Council's movement of the mandatory leasehold conversion to law is completely unfair to the Hawaiian people (Star-Bulletin, July 18). I am not of Hawaiian ancestry; I am a third-generation Japanese American living at home with my mother in Manoa.

I am not a real estate expert, but I think that forgetting about the legalities allows one to more easily grasp what is right and wrong. It is obvious that a leasehold contract does not mean the homeowner holds the lease forever. Leasehold owners knew that they were not buying a fee simple home.

Further, the use of the city's power of condemnation to force the owners into selling off the rights to the property is a misuse of government power. It seems to me that an area that is uninhabitable is fair target for the use of this power. Using the power of eminent domain solely to shift ownership to those who knew they were not buying fee simple is shameful.

Stuart N. Taba

Hanauma 'Friends' still supports facility

Regarding your July 21 article "Tide of criticism dampens Bay plan," readers may have missed an important fact: For 12 years the Friends of Hanauma Bay have been unwavering in our support of the effort to build this facility. The new Marine Education Center is magnificent yet unobtrusive, since it blends right into the natural environment. In this setting, our volunteers and the Hanauma Bay staff can realize our dream of providing meaningful public education on the proper and respectful behavior to protect the fragile reef environment.

As our statement to the Star-Bulletin said, "We have no doubt that the project will be well received by the public when it finally opens. The Friends knew this at the beginning. ... But we firmly believe that, had the process allowed the continued partnership with the Friends, we would already have been enjoying a less costly, more operationally efficient and safer facility."

Robin Bond
Friends of Hanauma Bay

How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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