Thursday, August 14, 1997
GOVERNOR Cayetano's ordering of a state investigation of the Bishop Estate may be the most important action he has taken since assuming office. This massive institution, Hawaii's largest private landowner and the financial foundation of the Kamehameha Schools, has been abused by four of the five current trustees. They must be called to account for what the headline on Saturday's remarkable article in the Star-Bulletin called "Broken Trust."
Bishop Estate credit
That article, written by five prominent members of the community, four of Hawaiian ancestry, described in fascinating detail, some of it based on personal experiences, how politicized the selection of Bishop Estate trustees has become and the irresponsible manner in which the estate's assets have been handled.
The governor said he was provoked into ordering an investigation by the attorney general after reading "Broken Trust." And no wonder, because the reputations of the authors -- Gladys Brandt, Walter Heen, Msgr. Charles Kekumano, Samuel King and Randall Roth -- are impeccable. Their knowledge of Hawaii and the estate is extensive.
Barely touched on in the article is another major part of the Bishop Estate controversy -- the raging dispute over the administration of the Kamehameha Schools, which has aroused alumni, parents and faculty to take on the trustees in an unprecedented protest. However, the welfare of the schools, which are the sole beneficiary of the estate, is at the heart of the issue and of the concerns of the authors.
The governor reiterated his opposition to the long-standing practice of appointment of the trustees by the justices of the Supreme Court in accordance with terms of the will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, a position also taken by the authors of "Broken Trust." It is clear that this process is being abused to reward members of the state Democratic political establishment, with the result that the estate is being discredited.
We agree that the selection process must in some way be insulated from politics, but that would only affect future appointments. It would not solve the problem of the current trustees. The quickest and most expeditious solution would be for four of them -- all except Oswald Stender, who has courageously dissented from many of the board's decisions -- to resign immediately. They have forfeited the community's respect.
GOLFING officials are still sorting out Hawaii's future role on the PGA Tour, but the state seems assured of high-profile status. The organization announced in May that the tour would tee off its 1999 season with two tournaments in Hawaii in consecutive weeks. The Hawaiian Open, which seemed doomed after 32 years at Waialae Country Club, now is included in the plans.
Hawaii on PGA Tour
A limited-field Mercedes Championship on Kapalua followed by the Hawaiian Open at Waialae would result in prime-time mainland television coverage, with Tiger Woods and other top draws likely to play both weeks. Both for the tourism industry seeking media exposure and for Oahu golfing fans craving a first-hand glimpse of the game's greats, the Kapalua-Waialae proposal is a winning combination.
NATIONAL political leaders couldn't say enough about their grand achievement in reaching agreement on a balanced budget. But it was all a fraud. As Newsweek's Robert J. Samuelson points out, the agreement actually delayed balancing the budget by adding new spending.
Budget deal scam
Samuelson comments, "The whole exercise exhibits an enormous contempt for the public's intelligence and integrity." The politicians figure the public will buy the deal because it contains many tempting items such as education credits and capital-gains tax reductions. But this is government as Santa Claus, not as a rigorous administrator of public finances.
Rupert E. Phillips, CEO
John M. Flanagan, Editor & Publisher
David Shapiro, Managing Editor
Diane Yukihiro Chang, Senior Editor & Editorial Page Editor
Frank Bridgewater & Michael Rovner, Assistant Managing Editors
A.A. Smyser, Contributing Editor