Letters to the Editor
Thursday, October 2, 1997

Beautiful beach would be
best tribute to veterans

In reference to the wonderful Other Views column by Amy Arkoff on Saturday, I agree -- the Natatorium should be converted to the world's most beautiful beach. With the increased residential and visitor population, the beach areas are crowded and at a premium in Waikiki.

Retain the arch (as suggested by many people), then plant shade trees, provide picnic tables and benches, new modern restrooms and outdoor showers. Make it a place of beauty.

Ask 1,000 beach-goers, "Which would you prefer? A pool on the beach or a first-class beach with a sandy bottom?" The answer would be obvious.

A beach is not an eyesore. Since 1979 the Natatorium has been boarded up, a disgrace to those who let it happen -- mayors, governors and politicians.

A newly dedicated war memorial as the finest beach anywhere would be more fitting to the memories of veterans.

John Zapotocky

Vouchers won't help
improve public schools

In her Sept. 19 column, Diane Chang wrote about Pastor Johnson, who wanted public officials and DOE personnel to send their children to public schools.

While I disagree with Johnson in that no one should give up the right to choose either public or private schools for their own children, I strongly agree that having your own child in a public school classroom could influence your judgment.

Now another letter writer, Donald W. Baron, criticizes Johnson in a Sept. 25 letter for sacrificing "his own child on the altar of our present (public) education system." Baron condemns public education, lauds Lutheran education, and proposes that vouchers will improve the public school system.

A real commitment to public education helps improve the system at all levels. Certainly having your children in the system could be a factor in the decisions that are made. However, comprehensive rejection of all public education and a request to drain off limited resources in the form of vouchers does nothing to help.

Jim Wolf

Oh, rats! Yet another
cat-astrophe for islands

There are as many Mickey Mouse stories deriving from our mayor's leg-on encounter with a Waikiki rat as there were rats running up and down the Kuhio Beach banyan.

One story is that "The Mouse that Scored" will debut at Hawaii's film festival. It's all about a rat that scored bigtime by attacking Honolulu's Big Cheese and winning war reparations of delicious baits and cozy rat motels for his colony.

Tourists tell us that the rats who did not overdose on warfarin (rat poison) are stoned and belligerently strolling the sidewalks of Kalakaua soliciting visitors along with the regular ratpack of beady-eyed vendors.

Another story has a visitor industry official declaring that the monthly visitor count will now include the travelers staying at the banyan under the north/southbound category. The City Council is debating whether to include rodents in their Waikiki density study.

Meanwhile, at federal court, an injunction is being sought to stop the eviction on the basis that rats drifted to Hawaii before humans and therefore pre-date all subsequent governments and laws.

If this tack fails, the rats can press squatters' rights. And then there is always the accusation of entrapment.

Richard Y. Will

All Hawaiian children
should go to Kamehameha

Big Island rancher Harold Rice has sued Bishop Estate and its five trustees for racial discrimination. He feels the estate has to give up its restrictive Hawaiians-only admission policy. Instead, we should be urging Kamehameha Schools to accept all Hawaiians.

Today, Kamehameha only admits those who can pass the administered test. That permits only a small minority of Hawaii's children to attend.

With the millions of dollars that the Bishop Estate takes in, plus Kamehameha's huge campus, I see no reason why all Hawaiians should not be allowed the privilege of attending this wonderful school.

It is not fair to deprive our Hawaiian children of this educational asset.

Lori Wong
Mililani High School

Bishop Estate Archive

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