Letters to the Editor
Wednesday, June 11, 1997

State senators are expected
to do what Mizuguchi says

Sen. Matt Matsunaga (D-Palolo) summed up the Democratic leadership's philosophy quite nicely when he stated that "you can't have people running in different directions on such an important subject as economic development" and "sorry, but we've got to leave you guys behind."

He wasn't talking about the Republicans but members of his own party!

Obviously, Senate President Norman Mizuguchi and others in the Democratic leadership want everyone to toe the party line and not think, much less voice, any independent thought.

If I recall, the purpose of electing all of those folks to the Senate was to have a diverse group of people from all parts of the state getting together to intelligently discuss and debate the issues facing all of us.

That means all members' ideas and opinions should be welcomed because they, by extension, are the ideas and opinions of the electorate who put them there.

The thought of Mizuguchi telling other Democratic senators to get with his program or suffer the consequences is equally as frightening as having Gary Rodrigues labeled the "26th senator."

John Elliot
(Via the Internet)

Trustees must offer
proof of ability to run school

I have been closely following the developments of Na Pua A Pauahi's attempts to resolve issues with the Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate board of trustees. There comes a point when one says, "Enough is enough." And I believe that the trustees, specifically Chairman Richard Wong, fail to realize how close that point really is.

Over the years, I have been very complacent as an alumnus in delving into how well the school was doing in preparing our children for today's highly competitive world market. I felt that everything was fine.

Now I want proof! I want proof that:

The curriculum is one of the finest in the nation.

Money will be allocated to begin the woefully needed rehab and upgrade of the dorms, some of which were built in the 1940s.

Instruction in social etiquette and conduct are tied to the same value systems that have produced industrious men and women at Kamehameha over the years.

The benchmarks of extending our educational reach to the outer islands are being exceeded.

Our teachers are provided with an environment that will allow them to thrive and grow.

The insular nature in which the trustees have conducted themselves over the years will no longer be tolerated or afforded them.

Voices like mine will be heard and taken into account.

Like the May 15 march from the Royal Mausoleum in Nuuanu, our strength is in numbers. And our resolve should be to effect the necessary changes that are long overdue.

Kaohu O Kaleponi Mookini Jr.
Class of 1967, Kamehameha Schools
Orlando, Fla.

Renovation of Natatorium
is good deal for the Friends

The City Council has allocated $11.5 million in tax dollars to restore the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium. Five years ago, this project was estimated to cost $15.5 million. Many people believe that the true cost will be in excess of $20 million. That represents a shortfall of between $4-8.5 million.

The Council has said that any additional money must come from the private sector and be raised by the Friends of the Natatorium. What assurance does the budget committee have that the Friends can raise that money? What if, after a year, the group fails and the project is half completed?

Out of necessity, the Friends will then return with a demand for more money and the Council will be forced to agree. Furthermore, the city is turning over all revenue from this commercial operation to the Friends.

Consider this scenario: The taxpayers pay off the renovation. The Friends follow Mayor Harris' stated goal and stage top-rated shows at sunset for tourists at $10 per customer. 2,400 seats x $10 = $24,000 per night x 30 nights = $720,000 per month x 12 months = $8.64 million.

The city gets none of this money and the Friends put all of it, as well as revenue from the gift shop, snack shop, pool use and other special activities, into its coffers.

As Friends of the Natatorium is a nonprofit, it pays no taxes. To say the least, there should be great concern for accountability of this much money in a quasi-government/private-sector business arrangement.

Is that smell coming from the Natatorium a dead fish or what?

Rick Bernstein
Kaimana Beach Coalition

Kanaka maoli label applies
to all with Hawaiian blood

An obstacle to coalition of the various Hawaiian sovereignty groups surfaces from time to time that is disturbing. Many would impose some sort of arbitrary Hawaiian blood quantum requirement to be included in programs for native Hawaiians and to be recognized as a "real" Hawaiian.

Are they really that confused by Department of Hawaiian Home Lands requirements concocted out of thin air by the Big Five in the 1920s? Some would disgrace their own ancestors by acing out their own children of any sort of benefit by the imposition of an arbitrary blood quantum requirement.

All Hawaiians should take notice: one either is kanaka maoli or is not, irrespective of the blood quantum. Attempts to disenfranchise folks who are not "Hawaiian enough" are outrageous and disgraceful acts by an elitist, exclusive minority.

That is not the Hawaiian style.

Larry Kwiatkowski
(Via the Internet)



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