Letters to the Editor
Tuesday, September 23, 1997

Mandatory conversion
ruling came too late

The recent ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed the 1992 Honolulu federal court decision on the city's mandatory conversion ordinance, came as a bittersweet victory.

For many, the decision is too late. My family and I, for example, were forced to sell our Kuapa Isle home after the City Council refused to implement its own ordinance in March 1996. It may be recalled that the Bishop Estate trustees ran a successful ad campaign then, accusing us of being wealthy investors out to steal their land. What a joke!

When I testified before City Council members that if they did not act on the ordinance, we would lose our home, the opposing side -- led by Trustees Richard Wong and Lokelani Lindsey -- cheered.

To survive this financial disaster, my family has had to be very resourceful. We are enduring a separation. While my husband continues to work in Hawaii, I am on the mainland, paying cheaper rent and benefiting from a better public school system for our daughter.

I hope the City Council will now act on the city's mandatory ordinance so other families, who are still trying to hold on, have a chance of making it.

Terri Madden
Middletown, Md.
(Via the Internet)

Bishop Estate Archive

Harris administration's
arrogance is showing

The arrogance of Mayor Harris and his administration is infuriating. When the City Council overrides his veto on personal service contracts it becomes law. David Arakawa says that city executives will ignore this law because it is unnecessary. How dare he! The law is the law and until it is changed or repealed, city executives are required to abide by it.

By overriding the mayor's veto the City Council is trying to get rid of favoritism in government. For Mayor Harris and his administration to say they will ignore the law is a perfect example of thinking they are above the law.

James Walters
Waipahu, Hawaii
(Via the Internet)

Media exploit lives
of unloved people

I cannot help but comment on the recent attention given the Kailua mother charged with neglect and child abuse of her 4-year-old son. This woman has been cuffed and chained, clad in an orange prison suit and labeled a criminal for life. This small innocent child has suffered much trauma, some of which shall be with him for his life, but many of these scars will heal.

Yet, what caused this deplorable incident, not unlike so many others which occur every day in our society? This young mother, too, is suffering and has suffered probably most of her life. She, too, is just another victim of a dysfunctional family system.

She probably lacked the proper love, affection, guidance and nourishment needed to grow, which many of us have been afforded or taken for granted. Yet, there was no mention of this in the news. The media only want to portray what a horrible person she is to have committed such an atrocity.

Obviously, she needs help and perhaps had been crying out for it for some time. Who was listening?

Whether the paparazzi (chasing celebrities) or, as in this case, local TV stations or newspapers, it's time to stop inflicting even more pain on these people and their families.

Dale F. Leslie

Thomas Sowell is wrong
about slow-talking kids

In his Aug. 12 column, syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell urges readers to take their doctors' advice as to whether children with delayed speech need early intervention or therapy.

I am now interviewing parents of children with serious problems that were not diagnosed at an early age. One of every four parents told me they had been concerned about delayed speech but their children's doctors had advised them to "wait and see."

Therefore, the children didn't get specific teaching tailored to their disabilities, which could have allowed them to achieve the basic developmental tasks of early childhood.

In many cases, although speech was the first problem the parents noticed, these children actually had other major disabilities.

Why did doctors make these errors in judgment? Because most medical schools provide very little training on identification and treatment of developmental delays in young children.

Parents should persist in getting testing for their children if they feel something is not right. Developmental screening tests for children ages birth to 5 are available by calling HKISS at the state Department of Health: 955-7273 or toll-free at 800-235-5477.

Beppie J. Shapiro
Director, Child Find Evaluation

Bishop Estate Archive

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