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Thursday, January 22, 2004




Trustees shouldn't act or be paid like CEOs

The Kamehameha Schools trust should be operated by a business and financial expert with vision and specific managerial abilities -- one CEO for the school and one CEO for the trust itself, each having the required expertise ("Panel touts doubling Kamehameha salaries," Star-Bulletin, Jan. 13).

Both such persons could work collegiate-style with equal accountability to the trustees.

The trustees should be individuals who are working full-time as accountants or bank vice presidents. One of the essential qualifications must be the ability to interpret and see through ledgers and other such documents.

Besides the honor of serving in such prestigious positions, trustees could be paid $25,000 to $50,000 a year for six meetings or so.

Perhaps I missed something, but all successful businesses that I have known in my own business career have had one well-paid CEO and not five.

Terry Bosgra
Honolulu

Koa logging endangers unique habitat

Koa Timber Inc.'s fine for the illegal logging of potentially $1.3 million worth of koa is too small ("2 firms fined $149,000 for illegal Big Isle logging," Star-Bulletin, Jan. 10). Documented illegal logging is a good reason to question whether this company should be allowed to remove "dead and dying" koa trees from more than 13,000 acres of conservation-zoned watershed land bordering the Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge and the adjoining watershed provide a prime habitat for native avifauna and flora. At least five endangered birds live in this rich environment.

Dead and dying koa trees provide micro-environments supporting grubs and insects for food as well as nesting opportunities.

Rather than disturbing this critical adjoining habitat, we should work with the National Wildlife Service to protect this valuable watershed.

Bill Guy
Honolulu

Potholes are gone; replaced by lumps

I would like to thank the city and state for the prompt repair of potholes on Oahu after the recent rains. I would appreciate it if the potholes could be filled so the surfaces of the patches are even with the roadway and not overfilled to cause lumps of tar on the road. These lumps are just as as bad as the potholes themselves.

Michael Nomura
Kailua

Storm phone outage lasted much too long

Did the weather monster get your telephone, causing unintelligible sounds on the line?

Verizon said the phone line would be fixed in 10 days and when that didn't happen, the operator said someone was working on it. What else could I expect?

I expect a company representative who answers the line telling you what a valued costumer you are and backing up their words with actions -- such as fixing the problem or leaving you with a loner cell phone until the problem is fixed.

In the last quarter, Verizon stock went from around $31 to $36 a share, about 16 percent or 64 percent per annum, which ain't bad for a public utility. I wonder if instead of reinvesting profits in repair staff, Verizon has been funding excess executive compensation. If it's going to provide reduced service, the Public Utility Commission should consider phone rate reductions!

Ron Rhetrik
Mililani

Funding for library in Kapolei is on track

In a Jan. 16 Star-Bulletin article, developer Mark Richards of Maryl Group, Inc., said the Kapolei Library could be incorporated into his proposed education center because it's "unoccupied" and "it needs funding and operating expenses."

Let's set the record straight. Thanks to the state Senate, the Kapolei Library was appropriated $2.6 million by the 2003 Legislature. Of that, $1 million was available on July 1, 2003 and an additional $1.6 million and 19 positions will be available on July 1, 2004. In 2002, the Legislature also approved $266,904 for the library.

The confusion may be because the House Finance Committee eliminated all funding for Kapolei Library last March. The Senate approved $1 million in emergency funding and fully funded a $3.1 million request. In conference, the House agreed to fund the library at a reduced level.

Currently, state Librarian of the Year Richard Burns is working with a small staff to process the books that are currently filling up the library. Volunteers operate a reading room out of the new Kapolei Library three days a week.

I have been working with the state director of Human Resources Development to expedite the hiring process for the library staff. I am hopeful that the full staff can be hired on July 1 and that all functions can be up and running immediately after that.

Sen. Brian Kanno
(D, Waikele-Kapolei)

Is Mars mission really a Bush work program?

Hardly anything has been said about President Bush's proposal to send manned missions to Mars. A few have written in and suggested that the money would be better spent on the poor or the nation's infrastructure, such as roads.

Why would a few billion dollars more help when TRILLIONS have already been allocated toward perpetuating serfdom and voter loyalty?

Better to have a Mars space project of lofty aims that will provide high-paying engineering and technical jobs, especially since our manufacturing jobs, farming and telecommunications jobs are leaving to lower wage countries. It might be the only profitable avenue of work for our children and grandchildren.

Chris Murphy
Wahiawa

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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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