to the Editor

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Wednesday, July 22, 1998

A royal mess
at the palace

Kawananakoa must resign as president of Friends

Your July 17 editorial was right on. I also disagree with the photographer's comment regarding Abigail Kawananakoa being "entitled to sit on the throne." No way! She should've respected Jim Bartels' concerns regarding the preservation of everything in Iolani Palace, as he truly loves and appreciates the palace treasures.

He has been doing a fantastic job and is most knowledgeable. The citizens of Hawaii should extend to him our heartfelt gratitude. I agree with the docents of Iolani Palace. Bartels should stay and Kawananakoa should gracefully resign as president of the Friends support group.

L.G. Crockett
Ewa Beach

If thrones are fragile, then protect them better

The controversy at Iolani Palace reportedly has grown from the decision of Princess Abigail Kawananakoa to sit on one of the supposedly "fragile" thrones of her ancestors.

If indeed the thrones are so fragile, I suggest establishing a special fund for their restoration and reinforcement so that they can be ready for future coronations.

Howard Driver

Critiquing the players in Iolani Palace furor

I have to agree with longtime curator Jim Bartels -- the Iolani Palace throne is a sacred artifact along with everything else in the palace. No one, I repeat no one, who is not the queen should not be allowed to sit there. Even if Abigail Kawananakoa is a descendant of the royal family, she is not the queen!

The nerve of that woman to say, "I can sit anywhere I want." Excuse me? The president of the Friends of Iolani Palace sounds like a child who was told not to do something, but did it anyway. How unbecoming and disappointing. If anybody should resign, it should be her.

As for the photographer who said, "I think she was entitled to sit on the throne. It was a more appropriate picture," boy, does he have a lot to learn about Hawaiian history.

Kristi N. Hiapo

Will bickering couple please kiss and make up?

I was sorry to hear that the rift between two valuable and venerable members of Honolulu society, royal descendant Abigail Kawananakoa and Iolani Palace curator Jim Bartels, sent shock waves through the palace support group system. I'll bet the palace hasn't seen this much high-horse riding since the days of the sovereigns.

Hopefully, if Kawananakoa damaged the throne that she sat on, she will pay for its restoration and apologize for disobeying the rules. If no damage occurred, it'd be nice for Bartels to have been a little less officious, allowing an old lady that brief moment of glory.

Since this is the Aloha State, I'd like to offer some words of healing and togetherness that my sister and I learned from our mother many years ago. It goes like this: "Oh, please grow up, you two!" Since that always worked for Mom, perhaps it also will work for the Friends of Iolani Palace.

Mike Colgan


Does UH want crowds at its games or not?

Now, let's see if I have this straight:

bullet The food at Aloha Stadium is atrocious.

bullet The stadium's security guards use Gestapo-like tactics to search our bags.

bullet The UH football team has fallen on hard times and needs help.

bullet Ticket sales for the UH football season are way down. There's no financial inducement to buy UH season tickets.

bullet The UH Athletic Department announces that it will "make concessions" by letting the public buy tickets for a few more days -- only until July 17.

Why close season ticket sales six weeks before the season starts? Maybe I've lived here too long. I don't get it.

Jim Reed

Remind state workers that moving is part of job

Members of the HGEA union are complaining about a 20-mile move of their workplace after only a year or so of advance notice. As a retired 31-year government employee, I also had my work place changed -- about 32 times, with distances ranging from 200 to more than 10,000 miles each time. Sometimes I had as much as two months notice, twice with 24-hours notice.

In the majority of these moves, I not only changed my workplace, I also relocated my family and household to an entirely different location for schools, living conditions and, in many cases, a different country. In a few instances, there also was a loss of job by my spouse. Never was I able to move into a new, modern work environment, but usually to a more primitive style.

Unfortunately, I was never a member of a union. In fact, it never occurred to me that these frequent moves were not just a part of my job. I guess I was born too soon.

William G. Burlingame Sr.
Lt .Col., USAF Retired

Doctors take offense to HMSA mail-out survey

Our association has received much negative reaction from our physicians and their patients to the recent HMSA member satisfaction survey. In October 1997, HMA adopted a policy that HMSA stop linking bonus payments to survey results. We believe that such an incentive plan poses the danger of creating a conflict of interest between the patient's needs and the desires of the insurance company.

Despite the letter attached to the survey, many patients still assumed that their doctors were under investigation. Obviously, this survey has had a damaging effect on the doctor-patient relationship.

All of us want to improve our quality of service in any possible way. However, unstated in HMSA's letter was that this survey will result in some physicians receiving bonus payments. Our members do not want bounty payments or bribes. We object to HMSA's offering them.

Len Howard, M.D.
Hawaii Medical Association

HMSA's client priorities are wrong, hypocritical

It is ironic that HMSA would collect quality-of-care data for its patient-customers, while at the same time increasingly undermine the patient's ability to use that information by restricting the patient's free choice of physicians.

In free markets, consumers obtain information about quality through neutral third parties (e.g. "Consumer Reports") and make thier own purchasing choices. If HMSA and state government would work together to offer Medical Savings Accounts, patients would have a much greater choice, and quality rating systems would naturally evolve as a result of customer demand.

The result would be a marketplace more responsive to the consumer's needs, without the expense, complexity and uncertainty of an unproven reward system.

Dan Heslinga
(Via the Internet)

Fasi has run Honolulu, not tiny Maui County

Why do so-called political pundits think that gubernatorial candidate Frank Fasi is such a long shot? He successfully ran a city of a million people, not manini Maui.

All Mayor Lingle has done is take credit for the developments of her predecessors and the state and federal government. For instance, she had nothing to do with the supercomputer on Maui.

Fasi got things done by working hard and caring more about the people than his own image. We know where Frank stands on issues we care about, like family values. Where does Lingle stand on anything besides her "Maui Miracle?"

Arlene M. Nii

Former mayor is a master at changing his views

It seems that gubernatorial candidate Frank Fasi wants to take standard social values and claim that they belong to his version of Christianity.

With his relatively new alignment to the fearmongers of the radical right, Fasi wants to take our exercise of constitutionally protected rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and our struggle to secure equal protection of the laws, as an opportunity to fuse personal bigotry with political opportunism. Not a big surprise from someone who changes political parties at whim.

Ken Scott

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