Letters to the Editor

Write a Letter to the Editor

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Taxpayers should foot bill for orangutan

I am disappointed with the City Council's 8-1 vote to accept the "gift" of an orangutan habitat from the Orangutan Foundation International, the organization that owns Rusti. Members of the City Council who voted "yes" did not do their math. OFI and an "anonymous donor" pledged a total of $300,000 toward Rusti's new habitat. However, testimony by Zoo Director Ken Redman puts the minimum construction cost of this habitat at $450,000.

At least $150,000 of taxpayers' dollars will be needed to complete this project for a privately owned animal. Since Rusti's owners have been fund raising to "build" him a sanctuary in Hawaii for more than seven years, they should be able to pay the entire cost of the habitat as they promised three months ago to the City Council's Parks Committee chairman, Mike Gabbard.

Kudos to Councilman Nester Garcia who voted not to accept the "gift." His vote shows that he is, indeed, looking out for the taxpayers.

Steven Moss

Dobelle-like messes are Hawaii's specialty

Reflecting upon Evan Dobelle's presidency at the University of Hawaii, the hiring process, the firing process, the rehiring and million-dollar settlement, one can easily see the same old ineffective ways that the state always uses to deal with its many challenges.

>> 1. Define a problem that exists: Need for an overhaul at UH; need to improve public education.

>> 2. Find a "savior" from the mainland who can be brought over at a high salary to "save" the system. (Often this savior has both strong political and personnel connections to various power brokers in the state.)

>> 3. The savior starts off with a honeymoon period, in which he promises the moon and stars to various constitutes: ("We are going to have a four-year campus on Maui; we are going to be part of the Pac 10; we are going to give the Hawaiian Studies Department all the money it could ever use.")

>> 4. At the same time there is some minor grumbling regarding the lavish salary, perks and benefits that the savior has negotiated. But this is largely ignored, at least at first, due to the honeymoon period.

>> 5. Finally, as the abuses of power and financial greed become so outrageous, a change is made and everybody says, "Gee how did this happen, that our savior had feet of clay?"

The fault is ours; we continually look for somebody from the outside to come in and solve our problems. Having seen this episode, to varying degrees, repeated over and over, one hopes with a mild degree of optimism that the lessons learned this time would not have to be repeated.

William Kester
Pahoa, Hawaii

It's clear Dobelle's firing was not political

When the University of Hawaii Board of Regents made the wise choice to fire President Evan Dobelle, opponents of Governor Lingle cried that the firing was engineered by Lingle appointees out to settle a political score.

However, the Star-Bulletin reported on Aug. 13 that regent Walter Nunokawa, an appointee of Governor Cayetano, said the board wanted to take action earlier, but "the Lingle appointees wanted to have a chance to work with the president and see if they could do better than we did with him."

In their haste, the Lingle critics jumped the gun before they knew all of the facts. They owe the governor a public apology.

Gary Paul, Jr.
Kihei, Maui

Free speech punished in times of war

It is regrettable that Capt. James Yee, a Muslim chaplain in the U.S. Army, has resigned his commission after having been falsely accused of espionage, adultery and possession of pornography. All of the charges were withdrawn, but his career was ruined anyway.

A similar thing happened during the "war to end all wars," World War I, Capt. Franz Feinler, a chaplain at Fort Shafter, was charged with inciting French citizens to hang American doughboys. He was sentenced to 15 years at hard labor. He was released after the armistice, but he was restricted to the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland. His rank and pension were never restored.

It became illegal to say during that war that Christ would have opposed killing the enemy or that forces of Kaiser Wilhelm had not committed atrocities in Belgium or that a plebiscite ought to have preceded America's entry into the war. Every judge in the Territory of Hawaii signed a petition that the enemy "delighted in the mutilation of women and children"! The most serious consequence was that Feinler, a priest, could not perform his duties; e.g., administration of the eucharist.

Malkin's diatribes show signs of opportunism

Regarding Michelle Malkin's latest manifesto and follow up stump-thumping (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 9) about why the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II was justified:

I consider myself to be politically conservative, but I resent these xenophobic diatribes of hers that come at the expense of myself and other Americans.

Her book and her recent column seem to be little more than bids for attention by yet another opportunist riding the wave of wartime hysteria.




Hawaii's police officers are forced to endure the tropical heat and humidity in dark blue uniforms. It must get pretty uncomfortable, especially for the solo-bike officers. So this month's question is: If you could design a new uniform for our hard-working public safety officers, what would it look like? (Be nice!) Think about material, color, footwear and the different departments (patrol, detectives, solo bike, bicycle ...). We'd love to hear from members of our police force for this one, too.

Send your ideas -- include your name, address and phone number -- by Aug. 20 to:


Or by mail:
c/o Nancy Christenson
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Or by fax:
c/o Nancy Christenson



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.

Letter form: Online form, click here
E-mail: letters@starbulletin.com
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

E-mail to Editorial Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- http://archives.starbulletin.com