to the Editor

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Tuesday, January 19, 1999


Status report from group
working on trustee selection

ON Oct. 18, Chief Justice Moon and Justices Klein, Levinson, Nakayama and Ramil invited 16 Hawaiian organizations to a meeting regarding the selection of trustees for the Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate. An excerpt from their invitation read:

"Under the terms of the will of Bernice Puahai Bishop, the justices of the Supreme Court, in their individual capacities, select trustees of the Bishop Estate. We have undertaken this duty for the past 113 years. Recently, Chief Justice Moon, in his individual capacity, asked members of the community for suggestions as to possible improvements and changes in the selection process. In furtherance of this goal, we invite you and another member of your organization to meet with us."

The invitation was extended to private Hawaiian organizations in the State of Hawaii by the justices, who were very interested in listening to their points of view.

However, before any guidelines were formalized, the justices excused themselves from continuing to select Bishop Estate trustees, with the exception of Justice Klein.

Without the full participation of the Supreme Court in the process of selecting Bishop Estate trustees, the original conditions of the will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop could not be fulfilled.

Responding to the critical need to fill the vacuum that this decision created, the members of the Hawaiian organizations convened by the justices dedicated themselves to completing the original mission to "improve and change the selection process."

They are striving to complete the justices' original mission to "improve and change the selection process." They adopted the name, "Justices Working Group," and met continuously for a full year to build a foundation of agreement.

They have concurred on two fundamental points:

bullet That the integrity of the Last Will and Testament of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop shall be preserved.

bullet That vacancies shall be filled by the choice of a majority of the Supreme Court as the princess directed.

The group members made a commitment to achieve their task through consensus, firmly upholding the mana of lokahi. They pledged to create one document as the justices had originally encouraged.

The draft was completed in late October after a full year of intense discussion. Each of the participants had an opportunity to review the meticulously edited copy, word for word. Having reached consensus, each member was given a copy to distribute to their respective organizations for input and approval.

Input from the member organizations will be reviewed by the Justices Working Group before completion of the final document -- again, through group consensus.

Kamaki Kanahele, Chairman
Winona Rubin, Vice Chairwoman
Momi Cazimero
Allen Hoe
Justices Working Group

Bishop Estate Archive

Bicyclists flee streets for safer sidewalks

Like Gabrielle Makuakane (Letters, Jan. 12), it also bothers me that so many of my fellow bicyclists use the sidewalk. I was cited once on the Ala Wai going Diamond Head a couple months ago for bicycling on the sidewalk. Mea culpa. The policeman almost clubbed me for my infraction!

What most folks, including Makuakane, don't know is that drivers over here are potential killers. They juggle cellular phones, have family arguments and apply lipstick while driving. They race through yellow lights because they're late.

Some bicyclists are being hit by 3,500-pound automobiles. After they recover, they use the sidewalks for their bicycling commute.

Gabrielle, you are one of the few on this beautiful island who is smart enough to enthuse lawmakers to come up with more money for Councilman Mirikitani's bicycle commute plan. Let's join together to make our archipelago safe and prosperous for all generations to come.

Michael E. Powers

Hirono is great choice to swat down bureacracy

Hats off to Gov. Ben Cayetano for choosing an excellent person to head up his administration's "SWAT team" to cut the state's cumbersome and sometimes insurmountable bureaucratic regulations. Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono has distinguished herself as a clear-thinking, results-oriented leader.

During her first term, Hirono proved her executive skills by trimming and realigning her own office, and removing the controversial elections duties from her oversight to eliminate conflicts of interest.

Hirono has been hailed by national leaders in business, labor and government as a truly ethical and talented elected official. There is little doubt that she will succeed where others have failed in reducing the excessive regulative requirements which have been strangling the life from our economy.

Ken Armstrong
(Via the Internet)

City cannot afford to pay huge claims

There's no question that America is a litigious country and that Hawaii is no exception. However, a line has to be drawn somewhere. Honolulu's corporation counsel, David Arakawa, is asking for more money to settle lawsuits against the city. Fine, no problem. Sometimes the city is at fault for something and needs to pay for it.

However, in the list of pending cases cited by Arakawa, one was the Nuuanu family tragedy. Excuse me, but when did the city become responsible for this? Wasn't the person at fault for this tragedy a private citizen, drunk out of his mind? Wasn't this drunk driver convicted? If anyone needs to be sued, it's him and not the city.

With this economy's fiscal crunch, people who sue the city should realize that, sorry, money doesn't grow on trees and has to come from somewhere. You might get your millions, but you and your neighbors will be paying higher property taxes, user fees, etc., as a result.

James Ko
(Via the Internet)

Try praying for Hawaii to get better soon

This is in response to John Hyytianinen's "complaints" about Hawaii (Letters, Jan. 9). Yes, your letter is on the mark. I've been here for 22 years. I've seen this state change drastically since then. But look at some cities on the mainland, with their crime, corruption and weather.

I'll take Hawaii any day. Instead of complaining about it, try praying about it. It wouldn't hurt to do so.

Mario Rodriguez

City misinformation affects way we view rail transit

In a Dec. 16 article, the first of a three-part series on rail transit, your reporter wrote, "Honolulu city officials point to the growing number of cars to justify a light-rail trolley system. The number of registered vehicles on Oahu rose 17 percent to 686,696 from 588,915 between fiscal years 1991 and 1997, according to the city Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing."

The following day, I alerted your reporter that these statistics were in error. After some delay, the city finally agreed it had given your reporter the wrong data. A week later, you printed a correction at the bottom of A-3, "In last week's rail transit series, the city supplied wrong numbers when asked for the number of registered vehicles on Oahu. The number of registered vehicles in 1997 was 595,121, a 3 percent decrease from the 613,119 vehicles registered in 1991."

I know it is not exactly headline news when you get false and misleading information from city government, however, it would have been preferable to correct not merely the statistic but, more importantly, its significance.

After all, if a 17 percent increase in autos will "justify a light-rail trolley system," what does a 3 percent decrease justify?

Cliff Slater

Fireworks are too much fun to tolerate

Fireworks must be banned immediately and forever from these islands. Just because people enjoy fireworks -- at cultural, religious and family events, for bonding generations, blessing houses and bringing fun -- that is no reason to allow Hawaii's workers even a momentary respite from their daily chores.

Throughout the world, fireworks are a noisy, smoky, dangerous, nuisance-making display. Here in Hawaii, we must ensure that no vulgar displays of fun or enjoyment overshadow, no matter how briefly, the rigorous mechanisms of control that administrators and legislators have established over the last four decades.

Oh! Also, the smoke and noise irritated the governor's cold. Fireworks are subversive and they must go. Yeah!

M. Colgan

Tam doesn't discriminate against any racial group

Before the Legislature opens, the record must be set straight. Several letters to the editor have lately intimated that state Sen. Rod Tam is a racist. I am a Caucasian. I have known Senator Tam for eight years, in which time he has been a member of both houses of the Legislature. I have worked on his fund-raising drives, his campaigns and, for a short while, as an aide in his Senate office.

He is a hard-working legislator, dedicated to the problems of his constituents on a full-time basis. Like all of us, he has some faults. But I can assure you that he is NOT a racist.

David E. Matthews

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