Letters to the Editor
Tuesday, September 16, 1997

Estate is major landowner
with way too much power

Once the Bishop Estate is mended and goes back to work as one of Hawaii's land monopolies, will the governor or attorney general protect the public from the high price of land it creates?

In Hawaii, the control of land and its price has always remained in the hands of a few. The monarchy, the Big Five and now land monopolies such as Bishop and Campbell estates have had a tremendous influence over who lives, builds and does business here, and with whom and at what price.

Fortunately, their stranglehold has loosened recently because land prices have dropped slightly.

The time is ripe to deflate land prices further by putting an end to the practice of friends of the landowners in the administration, Legislature, City Council and courts aiding and abetting the monopolies.

Without government officials catering to the special interests of the large landowners in matters related to land use and zoning and tax assessments and rates, the monopolies will no longer thrive by being allowed to hoard land cheaply, create artificial land shortages and drive up the cost of land outrageously.

Richard Y. Will

KS/BE runs roughshod
over the community

Regarding the Star-Bulletin's Aug. 25 article on the cooperative on Coolidge Street: A charitable trust is no excuse for violating the public trust. Bishop Estate continues to extort money from families without controlling factors such as regulations or competition, while hiding behind the school, the trust and the legacy of the princess.

The trustees and their Realtor have refused to provide justification for land pricing and to negotiate when requested. Their land pricing cannot be duplicated by any approved or acceptable methods. Their pricing justifications are based solely on emotional and ethnic issues. Any other business operating this way would have been stopped.

When a charitable trust interacts with the public, it should be subject to the same conditions and regulations as any other business. But the Bishop Estate has been treated differently.

This difference has allowed it to operate under its own guidelines without regard to impact on families, the community and without any fear of governmental oversight or retribution. This should no longer be tolerated by the government or the community.

Richard Rosen

Bishop Estate Archive

Volcano's makai area
attracts young families

Thank you for your excellent coverage of Volcano in your Sept. 2 edition.

One important correction: Contrary to the impression given, most of the community of Volcano is located makai of Highway 11, in Mauna Loa, Ohia, Royal Hawaiian, Hawaiian Orchid Island and upper Fern Forest. (The older area mauka of the highway is referred to as the Village, while the new subdivision at the drier summit is referred to as the Golf Course.)

The makai subdivisions, with 70 percent of the 5,000 plus Volcano parcels, are usually referred to by their subdivision names, since each one is a sizable community with its own neighborhood association. Most have county roads, fewer noxious weeds and more building going on. The mauka side generally attracts the wealthier retirees.

The makai subdivisions bring young local families looking for their own homes, and needing jobs, schools, soccer fields and pizza. They also value the forest and the quiet, though a few neighborhood video parlors would probably be welcome to that huge segment of the population that can't vote and is often ignored in interviews.

Bonnie Goodell
Volcano, Hawaii

Reverend Akaka will be
missed by all in Hawaii

It is with a deep sense of sadness that I attempt to pay tribute to the passing of one of Hawaii's truly great treasures, the Rev. Abraham Akaka.

He was a kind, gentle, man of God. The last time I saw him was in February 1979, when he conducted the funeral services at Kawaiahao Church for my stepfather, Dr. Thomas Mellish Mossman.

As our family stood there, surrounded by the graves of many of Hawaii's monarchy and alii, Reverend Akaka spoke with such profound eloquence that the tears streamed down my face, as they do now.

He was the living embodiment of the word "aloha." I am so deeply grateful to have been blessed by his touch, presence and words.

Mahalo nui loa, Reverend Abraham. May you rest in peace, and may your spirit forever watch over and protect the people and land of Hawaii nei.

Eric K. Westerlund
Kihei, Maui

Same-sex archive

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