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Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Taxpayers should foot bill for orangutanI 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.
Dobelle-like messes are Hawaii's specialtyReflecting 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.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.
It's clear Dobelle's firing was not politicalWhen 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.
Free speech punished in times of warIt 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 opportunismRegarding 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.
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