Monday, February 2, 1998

Lindsey defends
Bishop Estate

The Bishop trustee says it is
not up to the estate to educate
all Hawaiian kids

By Rick Daysog

Kamehameha Schools is not in the business of educating all children of Hawaiian ancestry, according to Bishop Estate trustee Lokelani Lindsey.

Lindsey, the guest speaker at a Honolulu Rotary Club meeting at the Pacific Club this morning, said studies have shown that the estate would run out of money in 10 years if it educated all children of Hawaiian ancestry.

Kamehameha Schools currently educates about 4,000 students out of about 50,000 native Hawaiian children. Critics have said that the estate, with its vast resources estimated at $10 billion, should be able to educate more Hawaiians.

"It is not the job of Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate to educate all Hawaiians," she said. "It is the job of the state of Hawaii to educate all children between 6 to 18, including all Hawaiians."

Lindsey also responded to the recent uproar involving Bishop Estate employee Milton Holt's use of estate credit cards at Las Vegas casinos and local hostess bars and restaurants -- bills which topped $20,000. Holt has repaid the estate for the charges, Lindsey said, but she declined to discuss details, saying it was a personnel matter.

She criticized Gov. Ben Cayetano's plan to acquire the estate's Ka Iwi coastline property. She said the estate does not want to sell the land since it already has a development agreement and lease with Kaiser Corp.

During the half-hour speech in which she wept, Lindsey lashed out at critics of her management of Kamehameha Schools, saying she has been unfairly singled out.

She said the five co-authors of the "Broken Trust" article that faulted Bishop Estate trustees' management of the nonprofit, charitable trust did not let her give her side of the story.

Other critics blamed her for cutting the estate's outreach programs for disadvantaged youths when the decision was made by the five-member board of trustees, she said.

She noted that many of the estate's outreach programs, such as its traveling preschool program, weren't cost-effective. She said that preschool students attended an average of four days out of 76 possible days."We have some very, very good things happening at the schools but, like any organization, there were things that needed to be improved," she said. "Speaking out about the things that needed to be improved got me in a lot of trouble."

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