Letters to the Editor
Thursday, September 11, 1997

Cartoon by Richard A. Braley, Kailua

Only Asians and 'locals'
don't see discrimination

On the mainland, they call Hawaii a role model for racial harmony. But that is such a joke.

Yes, there is racial acceptance -- but only for the Pacific Islanders and the Asians in Hawaii. The same cannot be said for the races most racially discriminated against, the Africans and Hispanics. The same can be said for Caucasians.

For we Hispanics, note the racist comments of James McKeague's June 28 letter to the editor about those of us who have surnames from Spain and Portugal.

As for the Africans, they have faced ignorant comments in a Kalaheo High yearbook, and my friends are constantly harassed by the police.

As for Caucasians, they have been attacked and murdered by Hawaiians, who have gotten away with it. From the attacks on the North Shore on tourists to the Gabriel Kealoha case.

Jeremy Moniz

Balfour deserves chance
to improve city's parks

Although I do not know William Balfour personally, a friend who has worked with and around him for nearly 30 years confirmed his superior organizational skills and untiring drive to make things work.

The five-year parks experience required by the City Charter is a negative for everyone. Fresh ideas and energy are needed, not close-minded and outdated methods and procedures.

Let's give Balfour a chance to show us what we should have seen for the past several decades -- beautiful parks that we can be proud of at believable costs.

With his past experience as a sugar plantation manager, he is certainly qualified as a director of legions of people in the agricultural field.

Sheila Watumull

Columnist, newspaper are
biased in estate coverage

I write in response to A.A. Smyser's Sept. 2 column accusing me of employing "divide and conquer" tactics in responding to the authors of the Aug. 9 "Broken Trust" essay.

First, Randall Roth's co-authors and Roth himself have been quoted as saying it was Roth and not the others who did most of the writing, hence my description of the article as the "Roth essay." Notwithstanding Smyser's speculation about deep, dark reasons for the reference, I called it the Roth essay because Randall Roth wrote it.

Second, while Smyser and one of Roth's co-authors, Judge Samuel King, feel compelled to point out Roth's ethnicity, that fact had no relevance in my response so the issue was never raised. And if we're going to talk about "divide and conquer" tactics, it was Roth and his collaborators who have advocated removing four of the five current trustees.

That Smyser would try to inject racism into this issue, and then turn around and accuse others of doing that, doesn't surprise me. He does, after all, work for the Star-Bulletin -- the same paper which, when questioning whether the Hawaiian trustees of KS/BE are right for our jobs, failed to mention anything at all about our performance or the financial well-being of our organization.

And, if a picture's worth a thousand words, when the paper laid out the photographs for this article, guess which people were put on top and which ones got placed on the bottom?

Appealing to prejudices? Smyser and the Star-Bulletin should know.

Richard S.H. Wong
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate

Bishop Estate Archive

B&Bs could bring in
lots more tourism money

After having just returned from six weeks in the United Kingdom and Scotland, I suggest that Hawaii rethink its position on what are referred to as beds and breakfasts (B&Bs).

With the economy as it is, are we not compounding it by limiting B&Bs? Most cities in the United Kingdom claim more than 30 percent of their tourists use B&Bs. Could that mean we might be throwing away 30 percent of our visitor business? How does the HVCB feel about this?

With the hotels now asking from $200-$300 per night for just a plain old hotel room, a great many high-grade tourists are now staying in the B&Bs or just not traveling.

In many small towns in Europe, 80-90 percent of tourists stay in B&Bs because they don't have a hotel, just like Kailua or Kaneohe. Why must the tourists be herded into Waikiki? That's not what they come to see in Hawaii.

Ask travel writers, both here and on the mainland, what they think of B&Bs and what they could do to increase tourism for Hawaii. The B&Bs now charge from $50-$100 a day, including breakfast. That could be a lot of income for this state.

Don McDiarmid Jr.

Same-sex archive

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