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Tuesday, August 4, 1998

Dems have ignored Bishop trustees' abuse

Walter Heen's July 11 View Point column attacking Linda Lingle relative to the investigation of the Bishop Estate deserves response, especially since he didn't think it could have been launched any earlier.

The truth is it should have been done earlier. Yet our Democratic lawmakers shamelessly ignored articles questioning the estate's tactics in the Wall Street Journal, ignored investigative reports on national television, ignored its commercial lease policies causing the failure of many small and large businesses, and of course its unchecked and unreasonable policies over the residential lease market.

The only political person to challenge the Bishop Estate on land reform has been Councilman John Henry Felix, a Republican. I question the political courage and will of the Democrats to provide the leadership that Hawaii so desperately needs.

Richard Rosen
(Via the Internet)

Pimps, prostitutes must be kicked out of Waikiki

With respect to your July 16 article on Waikiki streetwalkers, the law signed by Governor Cayetano addresses a problem that has been going on for too long. The streetwalkers have become increasingly arrogant in the well-known tourist spot.

As a former police officer, I worked part time at the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel, which bordered Kalakaua Avenue at Duke's Lane. One important function of the midnight shift was keeping the "streetwalkers" off the hotel property.

During the summer, a special shift officer was brought in to add backup during the heavy tourist season. Countless times, passersby, tourists and locals were observed being harassed. When the streetwalkers weren't going after a john, a large dark male driving a flashy sedan or sports car was after them. A strong stance against them is the only thing that works.

The police need support from local businesses, the security officers in the area, as well as from the public to kick the prostitutes out of the state. The last thing tourists need to remind them of their vacation in Hawaii is being the victim of a crime.

Gerard M. Mahi
Former HPD Officer
Snohomish, Wash.
(Via the Internet)

Saofaiga Loa's punishment was a travesty of justice

I applaud Diane Chang's July 24 column on the Magic Island rape victim and Saofaiga Loa, who was found guilty of the lesser charge of her attempted manslaughter instead of attempted murder, and who recently escaped from a Texas prison, was shot by a guard and finally reapprehended.

The original moronic verdict is a symptom of our inept criminal justice system and the Legislature's refusal to build facilities for the long-term confinement of such low life as Loa.

If the escape attempt and shooting had happened in Hawaii, the "always allow the criminal to shoot first" daily newspapers would be beating the drum for sympathy for Loa. Then the ACLU would join the battle, lawsuits would be filed, and charges of racism would be thrown in to sweeten the pot.

Frank D. Slocum
Former State Crime Commissioner

HPU doesn't 'own' Fort Street Mall

What a surprise to learn, on returning from a holiday, that the downtown Fort Street Mall area is not really a business district and is really a college campus (July 20, "HPU officials oppose facility for mentally ill"). One wonders, then, what a cathedral, the phone company, banking centers and other corporate offices are doing in the middle of a college campus.

We have worked persistently and cooperatively to provide community-based rehabilitation services for persons with mental illness, and have many success stories to share of our Clubhouse and Safe Haven graduates. How demoralizing it is for our clients to be harassed and stigmatized by an academic institution that purports to own the public mall.

The homeless and vulnerable are not going to disappear. Isn't it better that we work with those in need, rather than against them?

Joanne L. Lundstrom
Chief Executive Officer
Mental Help Hawaii

Hotel owner didn't deserve criticism on personal gain

I cannot let Richard Will's July 11 letter go unanswered. I am appalled that he takes Dr. Richard Kelley to task for criticizing our local governments because, as Will wrote, "(Kelley) is one of the chief beneficiaries of the state's convention center."

Yes, Kelley is recognized for spearheading the development of the convention center. Yes, it was paid for by bonds issued by the state.

It should be noted, though, that those bonds are to be repaid from the proceeds of the Transient Accommodations Tax (hotel room tax), so it isn't costing Will anything unless he spends lots of time in island hotels.

The hotels that benefit the most are paying taxes, as they should. I also note that of the groups that have used the convention center to date, few if any have stayed at an Outrigger hotel. Thus, Kelley seems to be benefiting less than other hotel owners.

More important, the center will benefit everyone in Hawaii if it produces anywhere close to its promised potential. In fact, it couldn't have opened at a more opportune time.

Michael A. Carr
Polynesian Adventure Tours

Baseball tourney ruined by overzealous police

On the Fourth of July weekend, the Hawaii Pony Baseball League held its Pinto division tournament at the new Sand Island Park baseball facility. Lots of volunteers helped to put this tournament together; I volunteered to umpire.

On arriving at the park Saturday at 10 a.m., the parking lots were full. I found an open space on a strip of grass next to the main parking lot. There were about 20 other cars parked there.

After umpiring three games, I returned at 4:30 p.m. to my car, only to find a parking citation. There were no signs in the immediate area saying parking on the grass was prohibited.

Later I learned that many of the cars cited belonged to grandparents who had come out to watch their grandchildren play. On top of that, each citation was for $50! We were not obstructing traffic or posing any safety problem.

Recently the governor held a get-together to help celebrate this event. I'll bet you that none of those people who parked illegally got citations.

Gilbert Tom
Aina Haina

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