'Broken Trust' book reveals characters
Thank you for the recent excerpted "Broken Trust" series of articles (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 26-March 3
). Without being close to the inner circle of the Bishop Estate trust, it's hard to know the motives and actions of the individuals involved. From the outside, sure it looks bad, but not that different from things we've seen for decades. I'm reluctant to see the entire group painted with a broad brush. I suspect that even the worst of the bunch thought they were doing the right thing. To the extent that they possessed a misguided sense of entitlement and hubris, they've certainly been brought low by events since.
What seems to me most revelatory about the affair, however, is what each has done since leaving their estate posts. Certainly they learned the hard way that we can't control the circumstances with which we're presented in life. More than one, however, demonstrates that no matter what the circumstance, if public service is our calling, we can find a way to contribute. That's the true revelation of plot and character in "Broken Trust" as far as this reader is concerned.
Kailua and Los Angeles
Don't worry, U.S. has mad cow figured out
Yes, an Alabama cow has just been found to be suffering from mad cow disease. But don't be concerned. Your government has discovered a way to cut down on the number of such sick cows.
Agriculture Department Chief Veterinarian John Clifford has announced the conclusion of their "enhanced surveillance program."
Translation? "We'll be cutting back on the number of tests."
See how simple it is? The fewer the tests, the fewer mad cows we'll find. That's the solution brought to you by the same administration that saved New Orleans.
John A. Broussard
Don't let Democrats get away with this
Your March 7 article "Bill could cancel tax rebate,"
about the proposal by our revered tax-and-spend Democrats at the state Legislature, is simply mind-boggling. The audacity! The nerve! I'm convinced their goal is to perpetuate their big, money-grabbing, inefficient bureaucracy. Their defeatist self-serving mentality is evident with this recent proposal.
The conversation between two Senate Democrats who spurred the idea might have gone something like this:
"Wow brother T, we're projecting a surplus in '07. Any ideas how we can keep the surplus?"
Mr. T scratched his head for a moment and said, "Con-con, brah. The people know that we do a poor job in running the government, so they will vote to let us keep the surplus for when we go in the red."
The other queried, "You sure? I thought the people voted and ratified the tax rebate in '78?"
Mr. T shot back, "Yeah, but they don't remember that. That happened almost three decades ago. Besides, that's the best I got, geez!"
If the voters of Hawaii can't see how dried-up of ideas the majority party has become, this latest should be proof enough. Vote these career politicians out, please!
Mayor gives himself a lot of good press
Normally I'm a busy guy. But I recently found too much time on my hands and noticed yet another press release from our mayor. I remember how Mufi Hannemann used to point fingers at Jeremy Harris as being a media hog.
Putting some of this nonproductive time to use, I went to the city's Web site and compared the press releases from the city in 2002 to those in 2005.
Yipes, it's Hannemann by a landslide. The vast majority of the city press releases in 2002 were straight informational. And in most cases, if Harris' name was in it, it was only as a mention of his attendance at the event. Seldom was he quoted or taking credit for anything.
Jump to 2005. Hannemann must have some sort of rule that his press flacks make sure he's in every press release 'cause he sure seems to be. And the release begins with his name before anything else.
He has comments on everything, from wastewater spills (Harris' fault) to the recent heavy rains (Jeremy must be responsible).
Don't believe it? Go look them up, although I'm sure you have better things to do with your time.
City should pledge not to seize land for rail
In his March 2 letter to the editor
, Stuart Hayashi called for a public promise from the city not to "forcibly confiscate anyone's private land when the time comes to construct the rail."
Hayashi raises a great issue. At whose expense is the rail being built? And for whose benefit?
Not only would this rail be constructed using taxpayers' money, but the city may then use that very same money to seize our property as well. Remember, the government does not spend anything it does not first take from the taxpayers. Let's think for a moment: Would we pay for this project with money out of our wallets -- keeping in mind the danger of losing our homes?
If the city proceeds with the plan for the rail, taxpayers should force the government to respond to Hayashi's call for a promise not to seize private property. Our government should protect our property, and we should ask for just that.
Book incomplete on grandmother's family
Our Granny is being honored tonight at this year's Kamehameha Schools Song Contest, and the a book "Songbird of Hawaii: My Memories of Aunty Lena," which was released Tuesday. We attended the blessing, a bittersweet experience as we had not been invited, but only learned of it after contacting the school for tickets to the song contest. Kamehameha's Randie Fong sent us invitations right away.
Many entertainers attended. Some remembered our mothers and acknowledged us as Lena's granddaughters. Younger ones had no knowledge that Lena had raised two daughters as her own, Rose and Catherine Machado. They came with our grandfather, Luciano, when he married Lena. We may never know why his first wife gave up her two girls, ages 8 months and 1-1/2 years, to be raised by his new wife. All we recall is that Lena Machado is the only grandmother we came to know, love and admire. She gave us many happy memories of a loving childhood.
Our mother's existence was ignored in the book, whose author says she had a mother-daughter relationship with our grandmother, which now affects us and our progeny. We are anxious that people know the truth, and wish more valid research had been done by collaborators on the book. Lena had two daughters, not three!
Gail Piilani Pacheco
Georgette Iwalani Sanchez
State should ensure that dams are OK
Regarding the dam collapse on Kauai: The state should take responsibility for keeping streams clear and making sure dams are safe. It's obvious that private landowners can't do it. I don't understand how elderly homeowners who live along streams are supposed to move huge boulders and fallen trees. Even if they do, if their neighbors don't, they could be out of luck. Everyone downstream is affected.
There are things government can do better than private parties, like building and maintaining roads, for instance. Keeping streambeds clear and checking on the safety of dams seem like things the government should do. If need be, the state should fix dams or help the landowner fix them.
I'd like to see money spent on graft and unnecessary roadwork and construction projects going to this instead. When we fund questionable pet projects, down the line we will need that money for something life-saving like this, which is what government should be doing.
Carlisle has what it takes for Congress
I was surprised to hear that Honolulu City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle might be running for Hawaii's 2nd District congressional seat (Star-Bulletin, March 2
). While I would hate to lose him as the Honolulu prosecutor, I think it is time for someone from law enforcement to run for Congress. We need someone who understands that one major problem for Hawaii is crystal meth and the crimes that support it.
What a great opportunity to elect a high-caliber leader who is not afraid to stand up for our state. I will definitely vote in the Republican primary election.
Isle medical staff greatly helped visitor
I am a visitor to Hawaii for regularly scheduled breaks from an environmental restoration project to which I am assigned on Christmas Island, 2,400 miles south of Oahu. On a recent visit I had the mischance to suffer two dangerous and potentially fatal health issues almost immediately upon arrival.
I would like to compliment the entire medical staff associated with the Straub Hospital and Doctors On Call and give them the highest praise. They responded in a rapid and knowledgeable manner, continually exhibiting a caring, compassionate and highly professional attitude toward not only my care but also my comfort.
Your city, state and entire medical establishment are blessed to have personnel of such high caliber, abilities, dedication and professionalism.
I wish I could remember all their names, but unfortunately names have escaped me and I would not want to omit anyone. So please accept this deep and heartfelt thanks for your talents and abilities that made one man's slow and at times less-than-graceful slide into golden years a bit easier.
Thank you very much, and God bless you all.
Mark C. Shaffer
Workers tireless in restoring power
With more than 13 utility poles downed in Nanakuli
on Sunday, we are grateful no one got killed or injured. With the lane closures and crippling traffic in and out of the Waianae Coast, it was a terrifying experience.
Yes, it was an inconvenience, but we appreciate the tireless staff of Hawaiian Electric who worked day and night to restore the damage, and provided electricity later that evening. We also appreciate our police officers, Civil Defense and the Lualualei military staff who assisted to alleviate the traffic and had an emergency plan in place for vehicles to commute in and out of Waianae.
Again, we must say, because of public safety to more than 45,000 people who reside along the coast, an alternate road is much needed. We need a plan now. Waianae cannot wait until another disaster hits.
We are grateful to God that the Waianae community pulled together and no one was injured.
Patty Kahanamoku Teruya