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Tuesday, March 24, 1998

Bishop Estate must take Kuapa ruling to high court

In your March 12 story, Bob Voege, president of the Kuapa Isle leaseholders coalition, is quoted saying, "We wish (Bishop Estate) wouldn't (appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court) because of the cost," concerning the appeal's court decision and the City Council's condemnation of estate land beneath Kuapa Isle condominiums, and the estate's rightful decision to go to the Supreme Court. His statement that "This is all money that could be used to educate Hawaii's kids" is bogus.

The city is stealing Hawaiian land put in trust for Hawaiian children. Though Bishop Estate is having problems it should not let this matter lie.

If the city does this once, it will do it again. The Kuapa Isle people are speculators whose plan has backfired. City Council Chairman John DeSoto opposed it saying leaseholders should have been aware of what they were getting into when they purchased the condos.

John Kailipuuwai Ah Nee

If estate appeals, state should challenge tax status

Thank you for the excellent article (March 12) by Lori Tighe about the City Council condemning Bishop Estate land under the Kuapa Isle condominiums in order that the leasehold apartment owners there can buy the land and convert their units to fee simple status.

If the estate appeals the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal's decision allowing for this action to the U.S. Supreme Court, it will only prove again that they are not really interested in serving the best interests of Hawaii children as intended by the late great Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop.

Therefore, I think taxpayers in this state should demand that our legislators and the governor in that eventuality withdraw that so-called charitable trust's tax exemption.

After all, under our tax system, we pay more taxes than we otherwise would have to pay as a result of their tax exemption, and it would be unconscionable for us to have to continue doing so if Bishop Estate continues to be run like some feudal serfdom of yore.

Reginald Jones


City knows what to do with its wastewater

Contrary to your March 2 editorial, the city is not going "back to the drawing board" for a solution to disposing of Wahiawa's wastewater into the Wahiawa Reservoir (Lake Wilson). Why? The city already has a plan.

Although the lack of U.S. Army funding prevents us from piping Wahiawa's wastewater to our Honouliuli Treatment Plant for reclamation, we have studied the alternative of upgrading treatment at Wahiawa and discharging the effluent through an outfall deep in the Wahiawa Reservoir.

An Army study showed this alternative would actually improve the reservoir's water quality, not "kill" the lake.

Your editorial mistakenly states that Wahiawa Reservoir has not been used for irrigation since the closing of Waialua Sugar Co. In fact, Dole Foods has continued the irrigation at approximately the same levels as before on crops other than sugar cane, and the city can legally be allowed to discharge into the reservoir if Wahiawa's wastewater is treated to an appropriate level.

Kenneth E. Sprague
Director, Department of
Wastewater Management

Hawaii must face need to pay more taxes

David Pfeiffer (Letters, March 10) is right. We go to the store and think nothing of paying 25 or 50 percent more for everything. But when We-The-People do together what we can't do as individuals (that's called government), we want to pay no more than Mississippi does.

Sorry, it won't work. We need to pay more taxes. We need to pay for what we get. If we want to live like Californians, it means paying what it takes and not complaining about living in tax hell.

Unless we and our elected leaders face this, we will become one more island slum with nice weather. The Pacific is dotted with them already.

Charles J. Hardy

Concert hall is supposed to be home of symphony

Thank you for your excellent articles and right-on March 10 editorial on the plan to evict the Honolulu Symphony for three crucial months from the home that was, let us remember, built for it. At least that's what they told us at the time.

I am not easily appalled, but I am at the thought that some officials in a city that purports to be civilized can contemplate banishing its major cultural asset, which is only now fighting its way back to health, to make room for yet another smash-and-grab raid by a road show version of an aging musical.

Among the performers who would be locked out of the Blaisdell Concert Hall is 17-year-old Sarah Chang, one of the most brilliant artists in the world today. On her debut at the age of 12 in London, the leading music critic there began his review with these words: "She is an act of God."

Of course, Chang can always go fiddle in the rain, while some touring troupers lip-sync through the show inside, then take the money and run.

Jim Becker

Aquaculture program deserves to be funded

I read Helen Altonn's excellent stories on the proposed elimination of the Aquaculture Development Program (Star-Bulletin, March 17). As a member of the Hawaii Aquaculture Advisory Council, a body that advises the governor, I would suggest to the governor that he not only fund ADP, but expand it and use it as a model for other state programs that are failing!

Bo Kjaer-Olsen

Texas riots show need for alternatives to prisons

I hope your March 6 editorial on Texas prisons will help our public safety officials stop blaming Hawaii inmates for the misconduct of a few, and stop minimizing the conditions that have probably contributed to the unrest in the first place.

How sad that the Texas Jail Standards Commission is more sensitive to the Hawaii prisoners and the correctional problems within the Bobby Ross Group than our own local leaders.

Rather than demanding more tax dollars for new prisons or inmate transfers, surely this is a perfect opportunity to review the alternatives to incarceration for the many nonviolent men and women increasingly locked up with hard-core felons, with no likelihood of rehabilitation.

Patrick Daly

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