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Monday, March 9, 1998

Olelo offers wonderful alternative to networks

I have recently assisted in a production for television. It would not have been possible without the people and facilities of Olelo.

Irmgard Farden Aluli's guitar playing, her telling of her musical life and the singing of Puamana are the subject of this program. It is truly a program for the people of Hawaii.

Olelo has a wide variety of shows: educational, entertaining, ethnic and informative. It offers alternatives to the violent and/or provocative programs on the "regular" channels.

Mandy Bowers

Teachers' union doesn't have much clout with BOE

Your Feb. 10 editorial on the state Board of Education contains the surprising and erroneous statement that "current board members are elected largely due to the political muscle of the Hawaii State Teachers Association." Our organization can only dream of wielding that kind of influence.

How could you reach such a conclusion when the actions of the BOE have often been at odds with HSTA's position? Recently, we strongly urged the BOE to provide SCBM schools some measure of flexibility in deciding where to place the seven additional instructional days in their school calendars. The board sided with the Department of Education.

The BOE also adopted Superintendent Herman Aizawa's list of budget cuts instead of those recommended by HSTA, which we believe would have been less disruptive to students. There are many other examples of our differences.

While it's true that HSTA endorses BOE candidates, our endorsements are based on the background of the candidates and their stated goals for the public schools. Naturally, we support those whose views are philosophically compatible with our own vision.

There is no quid pro quo in our relationship with those who are elected.

June Motokawa
Hawaii State Teachers Association

Legislators and justices are friends of trustees

The influence and power of the "old-boy network" is still very evident in matters involving the trustees of the Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate. Examples:

n The House Judiciary Committee refused to cap the $800,000 annual salaries of a KS/BE trustee, stating that, instead, it would create a task force to study the issue. Meanwhile, the beneficiaries are the losers as the high compensation will continue to drain millions of the estate's annual income and revenues.

n The state high court, individuals who appoint the trustees of the estate, recently suspended a lower court ruling that the estate must turn over IRS records to the state attorney general. This is a conflict of interest.

How Tim Ching

No one should be allowed to ride in truck beds

Riding in the back of a pickup truck is dangerous. I have seen a person nearly thrown out of a pickup truck during a multiple car accident on the freeway.

As a developing state, Hawaii should take measures to ensure safe transportation, not only for its youngest, but all its citizens.

I hear and understand the arguments against a total ban. A pickup truck may be required for a family's livelihood and may be its only means of transportation. However, statistics have shown numerous fatal pickup truck accidents involving individuals seated in the bed.

We must remember that manufacturers of pickup trucks made them with the intention of transporting cargo, not people. A total ban should be implemented in the near future.

Isabella Lo

Harris is acting like a dictator in democracy

In reference to your Feb. 1 story, shame on Mayor Jeremy Harris for putting the blame on Councilman Mufi Hannemann for the outcome of the Home Depot/Pearl City issue. Praise is due the City Council for allowing the "process" to work in a democratic way.

The public should know that Sam's Club paid $40 per square foot and the city was going to "give" it away for $28 per square foot!

The coconut wireless has it that Home Depot might be willing to pay more if and when the property is rezoned.

Our Kakaako community saved the city a couple million dollars in 1996, when we fought the administration on the Safe Haven issue that was also being "fast tracked."

Come on, Mayor Harris, it's a democracy. You're trying to be a dictator.

Frank Young
President, Kakaako Community
for Sensible Government Spending

UH athletic department is making bad decisions

Now that the Rainbow football season opener with Arizona has been moved to Thursday afternoon to accommodate ESPN2, I've become firmly convinced that the UH athletic department has lost its mind.

It was bad enough last season when it allowed Aloha Stadium to antagonize the few fans attending games by instituting bag searches.

Then season ticket holders were insulted when the athletic department offered a special promotion price for one game, which was below the ticket price paid for by season ticket holders.

Now, in these tight economic times, the athletic department is proposing higher ticket prices. And a weekday afternoon game for a season opener!

Doesn't anyone there realize that most of the working population is at the office until at least 5 p.m.? Does anyone care? Season ticket holders may be asked to purchase tickets for a game that they cannot even attend!

I hope the potential recruits watching on ESPN2 enjoy the sight of 35,000 empty seats in September.

Eric L. Ching

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