Letters to the Editor
Wednesday, November 5, 1997

Sportscaster was fired for making one mistake

Many people make mistakes in their lives. Robert Kekaula made a little one and he got booted out. He didn't deserve this.

He has been the voice of UH football for who knows how long. His broadcasting skills have gotten him this far and now he can't do the thing he loves most. UH sports won't be the same now without Kekaula.

It was tough enough losing Jim Leahey, the heart of broadcasting UH sports, who is recovering from cancer. Now the final blow that will knock everyone down is the firing of Robert Kekaula. Hopefully, someone will see that he has a lot to give.

Sean Ibara
Roosevelt High School

China should be ashamed of its oppression of Tibet

I appreciated the Oct. 25 Insight column by Nancie Caraway on the plight of Tibet. The brutality inflicted on the people of that country by Chinese communist thugs has been terrible.

Caraway recounted some of the sad details: Buddhist priests and nuns murdered; over 1 million Tibetans killed defending their freedom and religious beliefs; monasteries, the symbol of a love for that second dimension in life, burnt to the ground.

Our local politicians, including our mayor and governor, toasted and fawned over Chinese President Jiang Zemin. Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama, one of the great spiritual leaders of our time, is forced to live in exile!

This is a measure of how morally sick our world is. The cries and pleas of countless Tibetan victims, who died horrendously at the hands of their communist tormentors, should elicit our response.

Now I know how the Holocaust could occur. Good people were silent, ignoring the cries of the innocent.

Bob W. St. Sure

Critics of Bishop Estate cannot be ignored

It is of great interest to read and hear how negatively viewed are the qualifications and actions of the Bishop Estate board of trustees.

From the Oct. 2. Chronicle of Philanthropy: "Bishop Estate trustees have adamantly denied wrongdoing and often point out that the high commissions they pay themselves are permitted under state law, which limits total expenditures on trustees to 2 percent of a trust's annual revenue ...Drafters of the legislation that Congress passed last year, however, included a footnote stating that reasonable compensation was to be determined independent of any formulas established by state or local law.

"Records show that the Bishop Estate's trustees spent its assets freely in their strenuous opposition to the legislation. In 1996 the estate paid $478,000 to Price Waterhouse, the accounting firm, and $844,000 to Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson & Hand, a Washington law firm. Both firms filed public documents showing that the charity hired them to lobby on the issue."

Daniel L. Kurtz, a lawyer and former New York state charity regulator who has written a book on board liability, says, "It reeks of of the rankest form of self-interest."

Beadie Kanahele Dawson, a lawyer for Na Pua Ke Alii Pauahi, says, "Drastic action has to be taken." Among other grievances: Michael Chun, the well-loved and highly respected Kamehameha Schools' president, has been relegated to a strategic-planning role while the vice president, Rockne Freitas, makes administrative decisions in frequent consultation with a Bishop Estate trustee. The trustee has said that "Freitas is a true educator."

I can think of no other charitable scholastic institution, governed by a board of trustees, where the trustees go to the campus to interfere with routine administrative activities.

I agree with Dawson: "Drastic action has to be taken."

Paul I. Fagan III
Kula, Maui
(VIa the Internet)

Bishop Estate Archive

Foreign investors should be taxed more heavily

Governor Cayetano's attempt to address our failing economy clearly indicates the need for businessmen in government and not attorneys.

The Economic Revitalization Task Force says that we should spend more on tourism, cut out government inefficiencies and reduce taxes in a weak attempt to make something happen.

The task force cites Waikiki as representing 70 percent of the travel industry. What it represents is 100 percent of foreign investment. Hawaii's frail economy is asked to support foreign investment when it can barely support its own domestic health, education and welfare programs.

Foreign investors should be required to pay into the infrastructure that allows them to extract enormous profits from Hawaii. We should not have to support foreign businesses.

Tax cuts sound good if there is reasonable capital available for development, but in Hawaii's cash-poor condition tax cuts simply add a few coins to the coffer shielding a few dollars from inefficent government tax engineering.

The real joke is the thought process, "Don't give it to the Hawaiians, they will really screw it up." I cannot imagine how much longer we can tolerate this method of madness.

Clifford Kapono
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
(Via the Internet)

HSTA sends poor message with its lottery support

The last time the Hawaii State Teachers Association asked members how we felt about relying upon gambling revenue to support education, the response was overwhelmingly negative. But the survey did have a follow-up question -- asking us to rate which form of gambling we would find least offensive, if we had to choose one.

Not surprisingly, a lottery was considered least offensive. Imagine my surprise to see the president of our union during a TV news interview last week indicating that the HSTA was supporting the concept of a lottery.

At Teacher Institute Day the following week, the position was modified to "we're just looking into it." But all of the handouts were very pro-lottery.

The Big Picture, I was reminded, is that education needs more revenue. But there is an even bigger picture.

We are sending a very dangerous message to our kids: When times get a little tough, and you can't afford the things you want, talk to the people who have made money with chain letters, pyramid schemes, multi-level marketing, and real estate with no money down.

What a shame that the education of our most precious resource has come down to this.

Dale Crabtree
Iao School
Puunene, Maui

Bishop Estate Archive

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