Hokulia developers ignored Hawaii's laws
It's encouraging that Kona Circuit Judge Ronald Ibarra stopped a developer's attempt to pass off a golf course and $3 million homes as proper use of agricultural land (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 11).
The issue is not whether Hawaii is anti-business, but rather the importance of the attitude that development should take a backseat to the preservation of Hawaii's environment and its culture.
The Hokulia project has been riddled with controversy. In 2000, massive amounts of muddy run-off from the development irreparably damaged coral reefs. The Arizona developer also was cited for disturbing burial grounds in addition to bulldozing the Ala Loa, a historical site, making it into a fairway.
If spoiling the pristine coastline was not enough, the developers are trying to spin themselves into the victims of the very controversy they created. They cry of lost investments and foul play, but they chose to skirt the laws and failed to go through the proper state process that would have prevented the setbacks that they find themselves facing today. I have a hard time feeling sympathy when developers flout our laws and damage the environment.
Hokulia developer gambled and lost
The Hokulia developer, 1250 Oceanside Partners, bought ag-zoned land -- that's "ag" as in agriculture. John De Fries, the group's president, obviously hoped to change the zoning so that he could build big homes on big lots for nonfarmers -- that is, he made a bet, which turned out to be a very bad bet. Then, not only did he not get the zoning changed, he ignored it and built the big homes regardless.
So now we should feel sorry that "anti-business Hawaii" has taken him to court and gotten the project stopped? I don't think so. He should be required to start healing that hillside and the reef he spilled mud all over. Judge Ibarra, please make him buy a $100 million bond that he will do so before you let him out of the state.
William Reese Liggett
Trustees alone decide admissions policy
Kamehameha Schools is not responsible for educating all of the children of Hawaii. The Department of Education has that responsibility. Kamehameha Schools is a private institution endowed by Bernice Pauahi Bishop to educate the children of Hawaii. At the time of the endowment, Hawaiians were in serious decline. An estimated 800,000 people in 1778 had declined to fewer than 40,000 by the time of the overthrow.
Pauahi knew education was important for the survival of her people, so she endowed the schools. Wills, testaments and trusts must be interpreted with an understanding of the times in which they were created, not some mythical "if she were alive today" scenario. The people with the responsibility and authority to interpret and implement the will and trust are the trustees.
Trustees make the decisions on enrollment, and they have decided on a blood requirement. The community of beneficiaries supports that requirement.
Charles M. Kaaiai
Will clearly stipulates Hawaiian preference
David Lyman Bigelow (Letters, Sept. 7) correctly states that Princess Pauahi was not a racist. In fact, she was a caring, insightful alii whose intent was to provide for her subjects. Bigelow should have stopped there because his argument that the trustees are misreading or misinterpreting the will is way off base.
Bigelow stopped reading Pauahi's will when he felt he had enough information to support his already formed opinion. Had he kept reading the will, he would have seen the following in the very next paragraph:
Pauahi directed the trustees "to devote a portion of each year's income to the support and education of orphans, and others in indigent circumstances, giving the preference to Hawaiians of pure or part aboriginal blood."
Indeed, it is the will of the princess and therefore it should not be broken. Leave our school alone. Let us keep at least one thing to help our people heal.
Everyone benefits from this solution
I have a perfect solution to the bus strike that would benefit everyone.
First, I would fire the bus drivers. Then, taking a page from mainland police departments that lure away many of our police officers for better wages, I would recruit bus drivers from areas such as San Diego, where drivers make considerably less. With the cost savings, I would restore the routes that were cut and appropriate the rest for pay increases to the police and fire department and teachers.
The current bus drivers would benefit because, since they feel that $44,000-per-year jobs are so easily obtainable that they walked out on theirs, they can find other jobs where they have no grievances.
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