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Thursday, April 15, 1999


State shirks its job of inspecting schools

Permitting school inspections to be done by volunteers, while people in the departments of education and accounting and general services are being paid to do this work, effectively lets our public servants off the hook.

When DOE managers informed the Board of Education that this was the reason they were not responsible for the poor condition of schools, the board did not respond with a demand for a full and accurate accounting of the status of all schools with follow-up action.

If you've seen the Radford video, imagine this: Lahainaluna was rated an 8, making it the only one of 249 schools in the state to earn the rating of unacceptable. Yet Radford's rating was much higher at a 12.

Some people in the DOE did take some action in the Radford situation: They killed the termites. Whew, now that the pressure's off, they can head back to Easy Street!

Laura Brown
Mililani Via the Internet

County school boards would be better

Senator Mizuguchi's proposal for a new government tax authority in the form of the Board of Education is bad news for desperate parents and frustrated supporters of schools. Why? Because this new tax authority will be Honolulu-based and dominated by public-union-backed hacks.

It will be beyond the control of our Legislature when the heat is on about a tax increase. But then, that seems to be what the public-union-controlled Legislature wants anyway, isn't it?

The real answer, as proposed by the Legislature last year, is this: county-level school boards functioning semi-autonomously under clear statewide performance standards, not another statewide system rigged by union campaigning. That would chain us to the 1960s.

Keola Childs
Via the Internet

Don't divide us along racial lines

This is in response to Haunani-Kay Trask's April 9 diatribe, "Hawaiian students deserve free tuition at UH." If she, indeed, is the mouthpiece of the Hawaiian people, the assertion must be made that this state is composed of an indigenous population who:

Bullet Believe in a big something for absolutely nothing.

Bullet Don't care what anybody outside of their race thinks.

Bullet Consider themselves superior to the rest of the populace.

These three concepts sound awfully familiar, don't they? As innocent-sounding and well-meaning as Trask's scribblings are, those concepts have led to mass graves.

We must emerge from the pettiness of dividing ourselves along racial lines and answer the clue phone, because it is obviously ringing off the hook. No one is better or deserves more than anyone else. I think somebody wrote that in something called the Bill of Rights. Ever hear of it, Ms. Trask?

David Bolender
Via the Internet

You say shaved ice,I say shave ice...

Robert W. Donigan says we should refer to "shaved ice" instead of "shave ice" (Letters, April 7).I'm sure he enjoys "shaved ice" after a meal with "skimmed milk" and "roasted beef."

Mike Morton
Via the Internet

"I'm Luke's father."

Henry Haalilio Peters
His response when his grandson asked the indicted trustee
if he was the "Darth Vader" of the Bishop Estate

"I don't see myself as a hero.
To me, that's someone who's
saved another person's life."

Earl "Puni" Haskell
Who was shot in the line of duty andreceived HPD's highest
award for bravery, the Warrior gold medal of valor

Hawaii was duped by 'Baywatch' demands

Now that "Baywatch" has committed to film in Hawaii, I -- as a 20-year worker in the Hawaii film industry -- feel compelled to share the facts.

In their frenzy to bolster Hawaii's economy, the governor, his Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, and leaders of the visitor industry fell for the posturing, pouting and proclamations of poverty by the producers of "Baywatch."

They were blind to the game the producers were playing -- pitting Australia against Hawaii. That not being enough, the show demanded wage concessions from workers, so the movers-and-shakers pressured us to accept a cut in pay.

"Baywatch" is the world's most-watched syndicated adventure series. Are we supposed to believe that it can't afford to pay us according to the contract negotiated by our International leadership?

The $1,640-1,890 that we are supposedly paid per week is well earned. To keep this in perspective, the average movie worker is employed only about six months of the year. And unlike actors who receive residuals for each showing, film technicians and Teamsters are paid only once.

Our labors are expected to bring the state about $20 million per season, as well as high TV exposure. If this is so, and we workers provide the skills which bring such great economic rewards, don't we deserve a bonus instead of a pay cut?

Finally, Australia is three times as far away from Hollywood than Hawaii. It would have cost a lot to pay actors and crew to fly to Australia. Logistics would have been a nightmare.

My gut feeling is that the "Baywatch" producers had always planned on filming in Hawaii and were just trying to get the best deal for the show. Have we once again been duped by slick strangers from the mainland?

Mervyn H. Chang

Uwaine is bad choice for appointment

The governor has nominated a man convicted of criminal conspiracy in a voter fraud case to a position of trust. Don't get me wrong. I believe everyone should get a second chance. But Clifford Uwaine has had his. He is now gainfully employed by the UPW.

The fact that he works for UPW and is nominated to be a trustee of the Hawaii public health trust fund, despite his past conviction, should send up warning signals to the Legislature. Could this nomination be a payback for all the union support given candidate Cayetano in the last election?

I cannot believe that there is no other better qualified, competent and, above all, honest person in Hawaii who could be a better nominee than Uwaine.

Jim Fromm
Via the Internet

Worry when religion affects legislators' work

I don't see why people are making such a fuss over our legislators displaying religious signs on their office doors. We only need to worry when religion starts having an effect on their work, because then the separation between church and state becomes null.

Ben Burson


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