Letters to the Editor
Friday, November 28, 1997

Spokeswoman performed duties with grace, elan

Nov. 20 letter concerning Elisa Yadao's employment with KHNL disturbed me deeply. Weber begins by musing as to her tendency to be "overly idealistic," yet ends by stating that Yadao cannot be objective as a reporter due to her previous employment with Bishop Estate.

Is that "overly idealistic" reasoning, or just another anti-Bishop Estate diatribe from an "overly pessimistic" member of the community?

The position that Yadao held with Bishop Estate is not one that many would relish nor perform with such grace and elan as she did.

Rather than draw a subjective conclusion, we should reserve our judgements of Yadao's performance until she has had a chance to demonstrate her objective reporting skills.

My television will be tuned to KHNL.

G. Rick Robinson
Kealakekua, Hawaii
(Via the Internet)

A golf club membership isn't appropriate as 'gift'

Recently, we learned that four Bishop Estate trustees have accepted "honorary" memberships at local country clubs.

A question: If it is wrong for the trustees to accept these memberships, how about the other powerful individuals who have accepted these memberships?

Most especially, it seems to me that the Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court ought to hold himself above reproach.

I understand that there are rules governing a judge's behavior. Do those rules allow such gifts?

Mary Stewart

Bishop Estate Archive

Economic concerns do affect medical care

HMSA's restrictive reimbursement policies do interfere with medical decision-making daily in my practice.

What I consider to be good, preventive cancer screening includes certain blood tests, office exams and X-rays. These would not be reimbursed under some plans administered by HMSA.

As a result, I must explain to patients, who have already paid their health insurance premiums, that they must either foot the bill for a reasonable screening test or forego that test. Then I must leave it to patients, who must then make an economic decision. Does this interfere with the physician-patient relationship? Does this affect the quality of health-care delivery?

It is clear that third-party payers such as HMSA do affect how medical decisions are made. This extends from the doctor's offices, to the hospital, to providing of home health services, and even to physical therapy, rehabilitation and nursing-home care.

The public needs to be educated about these issues, especially when selecting health plans.

Dr. Ronald J. Wong

Moving female inmates to Texas is not the answer

Given what I have had heard from Hawaii women inmates in Texas, I was very surprised to see your Monday headline, "I'll take Texas: Hawaii inmates say if they have to do time, they'd rather do it in the Lone Star State," run above a photo of a woman inmate.

If you read the story that accompanies the layout, a very different picture emerges. The pro-Texas sentiment was expressed by male inmates and "the story is not the same for the 62 female inmates...95 percent of them mothers (who) cited the hardship of beong separated from their children and the high cost of trying to sustain relationships with long-distance phone calls at $15 for 20 minutes."

Hawaii is spending millions of dollars to house offenders like these women when other community-based programs would better serve their needs, and make it possible for their families to stay together.

Meda Chesney-Lind

Here's the reason there is no economist on task force

In his Nov. 17 letter, economist Michael McCarthy criticized the Economic Revitalization Task Force for its lack of an economist as a member. Indeed, this seems anomalous given the group's purpose.

But a wag reminds us that "an economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today" (Evan Esar).

Alvin Nakamura

Misunderstandings thrive in school controversy

I would like to clarify some facts which have been misrepresented in articles about Maili Elementary.

First, no comparison can be made between SAT scores in 1991 and years since. In 1992, a new version of the SAT was implemented, so anything before that year cannot be considered a meaningful comparison.

Second, the Friday Enrichment Program is not a half day. It now runs from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and is five hours long, only one hour short of a regular school day. Students get the required 1,415 instructional minutes in the longer days, Monday-Thursday, and can receive extra time at school if they attend on Friday.

Teachers do want to work at Maili. That is why they are willing to give up their five professional development days on Friday to teach pathways in the School-to-Work Program. The children love the free hula, judo, ukulele, computer and sports electives they may choose from, as well as reading and math.

We have many parents and community members that support our efforts. It is unfortunate that their opinions are so rarely heard because of the aggressive antics of detractors.

F. Willis
Teacher, Maili Elementary

Don't blame short week for low scores at Maili

I strongly disagree with the decision to return Maili Elementary to a five-day school week. Going back is not the solution for higher SAT scores and our children's education.

All Waianae Coast elementary schools have a high percentage of below average SAT scores. In 1996, Maili had around 64 percent below average. Four other schools did worse, ranging from 71-81 percent. These schools have a five-day school week!

After 19 years of working with several schools in this community, I have concluded that reasons contributing to low SAT scores include:

Lack of support and appreciation for teachers and staff.

General apathy on the part of students.

Lack of community and parental involvement. (Where were these parents the last few years? Not at PTSA meetings!)

It doesn't make sense to go back to a five-day week and take away the opportunities that our children have that no other schools offer.

Let's move forward and enhance the modified week by pulling together as a supportive team with respect, trust and appreciation for our teachers and staff.

Shirley Salima

It's OK to use Hillary when writing headlines

In response to Rachael Wong's Nov. 22 letter regarding sexism, I also deplore when women are referred to as girls.

But, in reference to the seven headlines that Wong referred to:

Most people know who Lindsey and Bronster are.

Most people know who Reno is.

But, if you were to substitute the name Clinton instead of Hillary in a headline, most people who think the story was about the president.

I would venture to say that, in this case, Hillary Clinton would prefer to be referred to as Hillary.

Linda Dunn
(Via the Internet)

Curator of Sea Life Park was asset, will be missed

Marlee Breese was recently released as curator of Sea Life Park, (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 19). As a former employee of the park, I worked under her leadership and, I must say, that she is a woman of great integrity, hard work and tremendous dedication.

Throughout my employment at Sea Life Park, I came to know Breese as a person who always put the animals' interests before anything else. She worked all hours and hardly took any days off.

Her expertise in the areas of marine mammals, sea birds and animal training and husbandry allowed all employees the ability to learn from a person of diversity and ingenuity.

Sea Life Park has lost a valuable asset to its team.

Mikiala Lidstone
Tacoma, Wash.

Bishop Estate Archive

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