Letters to the Editor
Monday, January 5, 1998

Legislators should be ashamed of their appeal

The ruling by the state Supreme Court, upholding the lower court's ruling against eight renegade legislators, should be viewed as a triumph of our Constitution. The audacity of these legislators never ceases to amaze.

As elected officials, they represent the public in the Legislature - not the state in the courts. Perhaps it is the greatest indictment of the American educational system that even our elected officials have so little knowledge of how to operate a democracy.

These eight legislators have disgraced themselves, and should be ashamed.

Gregory Ramos
(Via the Internet)

Justices were mandated by will to pick trustees

J. Carter, Allen, Smith, Damon, A. Carter, E. Bishop, Judd, Williamson, Trent, Collins, Clarke, Murray, Poindexter, Moore, King, Lyman, Midkiff, Keppeler, Richards, Moore, Ching, Thompson, Takabuki, Peters, Stender, Wong, Lindsey and Jervis represent a 114-year legacy of the Hawaii Supreme Court from the Kingdom of Hawaii to today.

No process is perfect, yet with all its human frailties the wisdom of Kealii Pauahi, in specifying that members of the highest court in the land appoint her trustees, has protected her legacy.

So when they announced their decision, we were stunned. If this happened 10 years ago, we would have protested in anger. Not today - too much is at stake.

Improvements to the selection process will proceed. The dialogue begun with the trustees is a positive step. For this, we thank the justices.

Although we respect their decision, let there be no misconception that Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate is a Hawaiian institution founded upon ancient principles of culture and tradition. It is a Hawaiian responsibility.

The motives of the attorney general and Star-Bulletin should be clear to every Hawaiian. After 105 years, we will not be robbed again.

Francis N. Kauhane
Allen K. Hoe
(Via the Internet)

Let's not blame only CPS for child-abuse deaths

Regarding your Christmas Eve editorial, "Child-abuse tragedies must not be repeated," every child-abuse case is shocking and repugnant. That a parent could violate such a trust is a monumental crime. But your editorial's conclusion that Child Protective Services did not do its job because of understaffing and budget restraints is weak, with no basis in fact.

This is just the kind of story that gives our legislators the excuse they need to go back to the old ways of rationalizing bloated state payrolls. The real criminal in this case is the mother, and existing laws and agencies should have prevented her from regaining custody of that poor child.

If the state and your newspaper want to prevent more such cases:

1) Hold the people in these agencies accountable for performing their jobs, or replace them with capable people.

2) Quit giving politicians the excuses they want to hire more incompetent people to keep them elected.

3) Keep pressure on elected officials to focus on the economy. As we slide further into this economic nightmare, more parents will be tempted to take out their frustrations on their family.

R. Ward
(Via the Internet)

Don't make criminals out of homeless people

Moving the homeless from the airport will not solve their problems. Rather, it may make things worse for them. Homeless people seek shelter from the elements. They want security, nourishment and a place to rest and clean up, just like the rest of us.

The airport, Waikiki and Kapiolani Park have provided for some of the homeless. If we are serious about addressing the problem, we must develop alternative housing for our homeless population.

Do not look to criminalization and further displacement of the homeless, or we will be guilty of making their plight even worse than it already is.

Morris Saldov
Professor, School of Social Work
University of Hawaii
(Via the Internet)

Hawaii isn't advertising tourism enough

We have been annual visitors to your islands and, for the past three years, I have been noticing the same complaints in your and the "other" newspaper in Honolulu: Tourism.

In that time, I have traveled over half of the northern hemispere. Puerto Rico had a better presence in TV advertising. Even here in Las Vegas, where I live, we see Puerto Rico advertising frequently but never anything even remotely related to enticements to visit Hawaii.

I have talked to others who have also noticed this lack of a promotional effort on the part of Hawaii tourism. One can't help to wonder about the use of what must be limited resources on the part of the state's tourist board -- or whatever it calls itself.

Also, our Japanese tourists are the most rude, impolite, ill-mannered people. We see this in Europe, too.

I don't know what impact this has on your mainland tourists, but many people I have talked to often try to consider other destinations where the Japanese are not likely to be in such numbers, such as along Kalakaua Avenue.

Howard Graves
Las Vegas, Nev.
(Via the Internet)

Americans are indifferent on global warming treaty

As environmental fanatics continue to attack the big, bad Republicans in Congress, Americans are starting to care less and less about the message the environmentalists are trying to get across. Take the Dec. 23 commentary by Tom Teepen, who stated that "Republicans, of course, are declaring the (global warming) treaty D.O.A."

How easy it is to throw rhetoric around, and ignore the fact that the vote in the Senate was 98-0 (two members were absent). The last time I checked, there weren't 98 Republicans in the Senate. How much more bipartisan can you get with every senator, and both big business and big labor, on the same side?

If environmental nuts would realize that we all have to work together to reduce pollution, something would get done. Passing this treaty while exempting countries with a combined population 10 times that of the U.S. won't do much to reduce pollution, but will sure restrict our way of life.

Victor Moss
(Via the Internet)

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