Letters to the Editor
Friday, December 19, 1997

Trustees and trust are not synonymous

A recent statement made by Bishop Estate trustee Lokelani Lindsey on the radio seems to sum up the attitude of the trustees. She was speaking about the tuition schedule for Kamehameha Schools and said, "If a child cannot pay the tuition, it is paid by the trustees."

The last I heard, the trustees are not the benefactors of the Kamehameha Schools. The trust is. The trustees have lost touch with the spirit of the trust. The trust needs to be restored and the trustees deposed.

Pamela Smith
Ewa Beach

Trustees have damaged reputation of fine school

For the past decade, I have served as an admissions representative for the Alumni Volunteer Admissions Program at Whitman College in Washington state. Throughout that time, the college has sought to recruit the best students of Hawaii's public and private school system.

As one of America's premier residential liberal arts colleges, whose median high school GPA for entering students is 3.8, we have been fortunate to enroll graduates of Kamehameha Schools.

They have not only been singularly qualified to compete in such a challenging academic community, but they have brought with them a multiplicity of skills, talents and a broad cultural diversity that has enriched our campus life enormously.

The members of our board of trustees and board of overseers serve without compensation, as is true for virtually every other educational institution in the world. Our endowment and investment portfolio is managed by a highly skilled and educationally qualified administrator, whose compensation is fixed by marketplace standards and not a "piece of the action."

The arrogance, greed and self-dealings of the KS/BE trustees have done needless damage to the reputation of a fine school.

Steve Lane

Bishop Estate Archive

Bolshoi Ballet gave dismal performance

Hooray for John Wollstein and his Dec. 13 letter on the Bolshoi Ballet. I also was shocked when I saw no orchestra used at the performance.

It got worse with no stage decoration -- only a plain blue wall. How could this be called a ballet with no corps de ballet, no orchestra or background?

There was one area in which they excelled and outdid the Ballet Russe. They made deep, deep bows to the floor, and bowed and bowed and bowed.

Wollstein is right. It was a rip-off!

Eugenia McMahon

cartoon to the editor

"Some things just don't go away."
Cartoon to the editor by Richard Braley, Kailua

Supreme Court interprets Constitution

Mitchell Kahle's Dec. 10 letter regarding the Prayer Breakfast leads me to believe that he is under the impression a declaration by the president constitutes a binding interpretation of the Constitution. This is not the way I learned it.

There are three branches of government: the legislative branch or Congress (the Senate and the House of Representatives), whose function is to make the laws; the executive branch (the president and his appointed staff) whose function is to implement and enforce the laws; and the judicial branch or the courts, whose function is to interpret the laws.

The highest court is the Supreme Court, the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution and its amendments. There are various checks and balances in place to preclude any one branch from encroaching on the responsibility of any other.

None of the branches, whether acting singly, or any two acting together, nor all three acting in unanimity can change, alter, revise or amend the Constitution. This can be accomplished only, ultimately, by the people.

Louis H. Trigg
Pearl City

Reforming gang members earns AFY appreciation

The Star-Bulletin's Dec. 1 editorial, "No more gang life," caught my attention.

I applaud Sidney M. Rosen, the founder and leader of the Adult Friends for Youth program, for his vision that, somewhere along the line, these once hard-core gang members can be turned into useful individuals to our society.

Such is the case of Loandro, a member of the Pinoy Boys in Kalihi, and the rival gang member, Maumalanga, of the Cross Sun, who donned formal attire to receive Youth of the Year awards at the AFY Dinner Auction, the event held annually to raise money for this worthy cause.

All indications are that the AFY program is a success. Many former problem kids from our different high schools on Oahu earned degrees this year through the encouragement of the AFY program. More so, the warring of gangs on the streets of Kalihi has been significantly reduced.

To those former street thugs and problem kids who turned their lives around and did something worthy for themselves and our society, your praises are well-deserved.

Benjamin Velarde

Bainum deserves thanks for concern about noise

Your Dec. 12 issue included a letter from Teri Boore of Kaneohe questioning City Councilman Duke Bainum's bill to regulate noise levels at the convention center.

It's curious that someone who lives in Kaneohe, who will never have to suffer the effects of noise generated at the convention center, should be so critical of an action intended to help the more than 6,000 residents who actually live near it.

Like Boore's letter says, the convention center is state-owned, state-operated, state-approved and state-developed. But when it came time to address noise, it was also state-missing.

We who live in the area around the convention center support Bainum's efforts to solve the noise problem, regardless of whose responsibility it should have been.

Don Steiner

Crime against tourists is deadly to community

Last week, through the efforts of Councilman Mufi Hannemann and the Hawaii Visitor Industry Security Association, an outstanding seminar was presented that explored solutions to crimes against tourists. Our destination can remain attractive to both visitors and residents by remembering:

An area is perceived as unsafe if it is dirty, or if visitors are aggressively solicited for any reason. We must take action to keep our city clean and solicitors off the street.

There are solutions -- constitutional and working in other cities -- to prostitution, street crime and solicitation.

All of the solutions require a common commitment to eliminate crime, and cooperation among city and state government, legislators, police, the judiciary and prosecutors.

Crime in any visitor area affects the entire state. Let's get serious about implementing solutions.

Perry Sorenson
Chairman, Hawaii Hotel Association

Government must be cut even more to help economy

Governments and corporations have been restructuring and downsizing for more than a decade. This has been possible because of information technology.

Hawaii lags the nation with its bloated bureaucracy and archaic systems infrastructure. We need to focus on restructuring government complemented by computer systems improvements. It can provide needed economic stimulus.

Savings from downsizing state government can be used to fund a reduction in personal income taxes without an increase in the excise tax. The benefits to consumers will be direct. Business will be encouraged and could reduce raises.

This avoids the governor's smoke-and-mirrors Economic Revitalization Task Force plan, which does not address this major issue.

Ivan L. Kam

Economic task force ignored public's recommendations

The governor's arrogant Economic Revitalization Task Force has totally disregarded the recent input provided by the public and threatens to send all 60 proposals to the upcoming Legislature.

The governor should review and scrutinize each proposal to ensure that only those that will benefit the majority of the people are sent to the Legislature.

Remember, this is a democratic government of, by and for the people -- and not for the few privileged ones.

Toshio Chinen
Pearl City

Task force plan will hurt small businesses

I am troubled over the recommendations presented by the Governor's Economic Revitalization Task Force. They appear to serve big business by disposing of the Land Use Commission and other regulatory obstacles. The big government unions also make out, as they are able to avoid government downsizing and build in legal barriers to privatization.

On the other hand, small business is asked to absorb an increased excise tax. If the tax goes up another 1 percent, my business will have to reduce its prices by that amount. The market will not accept this new increase. What may be worse is the negative impact of an increased hotel room tax on tourism.

We all agree that Hawaii needs lower taxes in order to grow, possibly even to survive. What the task force apparently failed to see is that the savings required to reduce state taxes must come from within government.

To accomplish the goal of reduced state taxes, the task force should have made recommendations for privatization -- recommendations that could ease the stress of downsizing government.

Big business should know that, with the current state of the economy, it is not easier to make more than it is to spend less.

Bob Hampton

Full text of the Governor's
Economic Task Force recommendations.

Bishop Estate Archive

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