to the Editor

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Monday, September 15, 2003

Developer ignored law, damaged environment

The Hokulia developers' cry that Judge Ronald Ibarra's decision ordering them to comply with the law sends a chilling effect on future investment in Hawaii (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 10). It should send a chilling effect to investors who flout the law.

The Hokulia developers polluted our coastal waters, desecrated Hawaiian burials and destroyed a public trail. The developers ignored the advice of their own attorneys as well as that of state officials regarding the land use law. They also defied common sense. A luxury resort with a golf course, hotel and million-dollar homes is not an agricultural project.

David Kimo Frankel
Volcano, Hawaii

9/11 tragedy continues to inspire patriotism

Eric Poohina's hysteria aside ("Hawaii overthrow worse than Sept. 11," Letters, Sept. 12), I have "brandished" my 3-by-5-foot banners "of independence" on my lanai since that morning now two years' past. They are commonly called the State of Hawaii flag and the Stars and Stripes. Long may they wave.

Kevin Pololei Gagan

Congress should go on strike, too

On the front page of the Sept. 4 Star-Bulletin -- right next to an article on the bus strike -- was the news that Congress intends to give itself yet another pay raise.

What right-thinking, red-blooded politician wouldn't want to give himself a pay raise in spite of a sluggish national economy, the growing cost of the war on terrorism and the out-of-control budget deficit? If it wasn't so depressing (or predictable), it would be hilarious.

Tongue fully in cheek, I think a 4 percent pay raise isn't enough. There's more blood to be squeezed from taxpayers, after all. If such thoughts are good enough for local Teamsters leader Mel Kahele, then it's good enough for Sen. Dan Inouye or Rep. Neil Abercrombie. I think representatives and senators aren't paid nearly enough and they ought to go on strike. Right now.

With our elected representatives on the picket lines for, say, four years, that ought to be enough time for us to reclaim our country from out-of-touch career politicians.

James Ko

Why give up 'Brunch' for greedy bus drivers?

So now I get it. We're supposed to give up Brunch on the Beach so the already well-paid bus employees can get a raise. Brunch on the Beach is a wonderful event for family and friends to gather to visit, eat, perhaps see a movie, and enjoy the beautiful unobstructed view of the ocean. And that's not to mention the consumer dollars flowing into Waikiki as a direct result of Brunch on the Beach. So I say to bus drivers, stay on strike while your union leader continues to get paid, and the rest of us watch the growing list of foreclosures.

As for union leader Mel Kahele, if he is going to ask union members to go on strike with no pay, perhaps he should go without his check as well.

Dee Morua

Replacing drivers would save money

If we start accepting applications for new bus drivers we will be swamped with applicants to keep TheBus running. I think we will have with more than enough qualified drivers who would be willing to work for the same pay or even less.

I respect bus drivers, but if they are not content, the city better find somebody else to do the job. Remember what happened to the air traffic controllers.

We live on a little island and when someone gets ahead you know that someone else will suffer along the line.

Mario Orbito

City, OTS mismanaged the bus system

How long will the public allow striking bus employees and the public to suffer and not criticize the city's poor fiscal management that triggered and prolongs this strike?

Bus workers are waging a just campaign against the fiscal incompetence of Oahu Transit Services, the quasi-public private corporation hired by the city to mismanage the bus company. The striking workers are seeking to preserve bus routes and prevent layoffs, and secure modest wage increases.

The city's and OTS management's line is that other public workers have not received pay hikes (though raises were given recently to firefighters and police), so bus company employees should not receive a wage hike either. This is an attempt to beat down workers to the lowest level, an obvious divide-and-conquer tactic.

The bus employees and drivers are without pay and are sacrificing much for their principles. We should support their efforts.

The city must be faulted for not gradually raising bus fares and property taxes or assessments over the years, thus creating a predictable deficit. Or did OTS and the city intend to create shortfalls in order to freeze wages, cut jobs and benefits of public employees, and scale back services? This is a very deplorable, harmful and short-sighted public policy.

John Witeck

Pay for wage hikes with ad revenue

Why don't we legalize advertising on TheBus? The money generated from advertising can be used to help give the bus drivers their raise, and depending on how much money is generated, could also be used to lower fares for passengers. It will give businesses another way to advertise their products and services. It is a win-win-win situation for the drivers, passengers, as well as advertisers.

Some may argue that it will take away from the scenery of the island. Personally, I would look forward each day to seeing the new ads. After all, this is Oahu, not the neighbor islands. We need to have diversity not only in our people, our food and our cultures, but also in our economy and in our islands. Let's face it, the Oahu is not as much of a tropical paradise as it was before.

It is important to preserve some areas, but I don't think it would be a huge sacrifice to add outdoor bus advertising to the urbanization that Oahu has experienced. We should let businesses that are willing to pay for advertising pay for the bus instead of the riders and taxpayers who are forced.

Justin Tanoue


Unfair to 'Hawaiian candidate'

In a Sept. 6 editorial, the editors of the Star-Bulletin took the position that a Hawaiian candidate for a vice chancellor position at the University of Hawaii-Manoa withdraw from the competition and focus on his family.

In truth, this Hawaiian candidate spoke about returning to both his family and to university life. In using the language and style of colonizers, the editors expect this Hawaiian to withdraw his candidacy and be pushed out.

Historically, the Hawaiians listened to colonizers and in turn lost their lands, language, culture and identity. This Hawaiian candidate will not repeat history.

The editors base their prejudicial position on the misguided writings of their reporters and their dependence on sensationalism ("Groups want more details on McCubbin," Star-Bulletin, Sept. 5).

The editors:

1. Dismissed the Hawaiian candidate's competencies, solid education and depth of administration, scholarly work, grantsmanship, commitment to articulation, as well as research and 27 years of experience in meeting the eligibility criteria for the position.

2. Dismissed the fact that the University of Wisconsin established his innocence, cleared the Hawaiian candidate from any wrongdoing and any violation of the university's harassment policy,

3. Dismissed the Hawaiian candidate's demonstrated commitment to upholding the standards of the academy on tenure matters and addressing issues of wrongdoing against ethnic minorities and women.

4. Dismissed the fact that a Wisconsin settlement with the non-tenured person, which was concluded nine months later, did not involve, implicate or mention the Hawaiian candidate.

5. Dismissed the fact that anyone denied tenure was entitled to one year of salary and the only supplemental financial incentive was to guarantee her immediate departure from and end her affiliation with the university.

6. Dismissed the Hawaiian candidate's established and documented contributions to the Hawaiian children and families and to the fair treatment and promotion of ethnic minority and women's development, scholarship and achievement.

7. Dismissed a legal settlement agreement between the Hawaiian candidate and the Kamehameha Schools requiring silence and non-disclosure of any facts surrounding the Kamehameha Schools.

8. Dismissed the Hawaiian candidate's categorical rejection of any allegations of an inappropriate relationship with any male or female member of the staff at Kamehameha Schools.

This Hawaiian candidate will not fetch, sit, heel, roll over, play dead, or withdraw. This Hawaiian candidate has no reason to hide and only asked for fair and equitable treatment and a level playing field in the search and selection process.

Hamilton Ii McCubbin

Editor's note: The Star-Bulletin's editorial did not mention Hamilton McCubbin's ethnic background.


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