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Monday, February 23, 1998

Golf cart decision didn't require City Council's OK

In response to a Dec. 30 letter by Harry Choi, the decision to make golf carts mandatory at the West Loch and Ewa Villages golf courses was operational in nature and does not require approval by the City Council.

Due to the design, layout and recommendation of the golf course architect, it was deemed that riding was the only practical way to play these courses. The distances between many greens and the next tee are excessive and would make walking cumbersome.

Choi points out that the other three counties allow golfers the option to ride or walk. The City and County of Honolulu has four courses that also allow this option, except if you are playing in groups of five or six.

The practice to require fivesomes and sixsomes to ride did not require approval by the City Council.

Alvin K.C. Au
Director, Department of Auditoriums
City and County of Honolulu

Videos should depict lives of the uneducated

Even in schools failing terribly, there are students who do achieve. Those students are motivated.

Parents expecting teachers to motivate their children, think again. Teachers teach and the learning is up to the student. Teachers for the most part do not fail; it's the parents who have in most cases set a bad example. They have not demanded better grades from their children.

Somewhere, somehow, in some class in school, videos should be shown to students. They should depict the way of life and work of poor people. Even high school dropouts would have tried harder if they had known what was waiting for them.

Show videos of young, uneducated people picking through the trash looking for something to eat. Is this a life someone wants to be in? I think not. But hey, no one ever told them.

Bruce Tetreault

Tax director doesn't know what he's talking about

Ray Kamikawa, state director of taxation, made some interesting but erroneous comments in his Feb. 9 letter.

First, he wrote that "tax reductions will lead to reduced government by $400 million." A reduction of taxes does not reduce government spending. Only downsizing the government, reducing government services and/or out sourcing (i.e. privatization) will result in reduced government spending.

Then Kamikawa claimed "Hawaii will still have one of the lowest rates of state/local sales taxes." We don't have a sales tax. We have a general excise tax, which in effect triples the advertised "retail" rate (i.e. a 4 percent GET is equivalent to a 12 percent sales tax).

No wonder the state is in financial trouble. Maybe we should pay to send some state directors to Economics 101.

R.D. Greenamyer

Counseling center even helps counsel the clergy

It is a sad day when the clergy have to set guidelines for talking to troubled congregants so the clergy won't be vulnerable to lawsuits (Feb. 6, "Lawsuits put limits on leading the flock").

Yet if the spiritual leader of one's church, temple or synagogue can't give extensive counseling when congregants are in need, and most psychologists can't or won't take into account one's spiritual needs, it leaves many people with unsatisfactory options.

Fortunately, Hawaii has a resource for counseling and therapy by mental-health professionals with a religious/ spiritual perspective: the Samaritan Counseling Center of Hawaii.

Counselors on Oahu and the Big Island make up the center's staff, who are accredited by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. They come from various backgrounds and are prepared to serve the diverse needs of Hawaii clients without imposing their personal religious beliefs.

As well as treating a range of issues described in the article such as "guiding people through depression, marital problems and family upheavals," they are also counselors to the clergy.

Judith Goldman
Member, Board of Directors
Samaritan Counseling Center of Hawaii

Hawaiians in unity represent strength

One of the most exciting events in Hawaii is the re-emergence of the Hawaiian nation. Will the government that develops be "of the people, by the people and for the people" or a creation of a self-anointed nonprofit corporation, Ha Hawaii, whose existence is premised on a so-called Native Hawaiian Vote, where 60 percent of the eligible voters did not participate? It is typical that Hawaiians shun what they do not like.

Our right to self-determination means that every Hawaiian is important and should be able to share his or her opinion.

Are Hawaiians willing to abrogate this right by permitting the Ha process, where 100 delegates elected by Hawaiians here and on the mainland will decide the form of our government, its powers and who can be a part of the nation?

Or should Hawaiians demand that there be sessions on every island, funded by OHA, DHHL and the state, so we can shape our own nation?

Lela M. Hubbard

Legislature should limit trustee compensation

Attorney General Margery Bronster's investigation into Bishop Estate has brought out more than just a few embarrassing details, like ex-Sen. Milton Holt's subsidized bar-hopping and Rep. Terrance Tom's potentially conflicting Judiciary chairmanship.

Now that the gloves are off, it's brought out the bullying and vindictive nature, the doublespeak and duplicity, of the "colorful" trustees as they work through their street-fighter's methods to hang onto power -- and the millions.

This spectacle makes you wonder what special personal and professional talents the trustee nomination and selection committees were actually seeking in their hiring deliberations.

Whatever they were, I'm certain those criteria aren't what I would want for trustees overseeing my children's education. Bishop Estate shouldn't be the feathered nest of fallen and discredited political insiders.

Now that the Supreme Court has, wisely, abdicated from laundering political insiders into estate trustees, legislators should follow up with rules mandating a five-year term and severely limiting trustee compensation.

M. Colgan

Bishop Estate Archive

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