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Tuesday, May 11, 1999


Democratic chairman has conflict of interest

I have been a Democrat for many years but I have never known of a Democratic chairman becoming an advocate for one faction within the party. That's exactly what happened when Walter Heen issued a public apology on behalf of the Democratic Party for the ouster of Margery Bronster and Earl Anzai from the governor's cabinet.

I am concerned that Heen is using his position as Democratic Party chairman to support the overthrow of the Bishop Estate trustees. This situation has become a conflict of interest for Heen, who is a co-author of the "Broken Trust" essay.

His role is pivotal. If he knew that a rift had developed between the governor and the Democrats in the Senate, he should have convened a meeting to discuss their differences. I suggest that Heen choose which hat he wants to wear.

George M. Waialeale

Justice was achieved with trustees' removal

The removal of the Bishop Estate trustees is a sweet victory for former state Attorney General Margery Bronster.

Now, with no compensation from the estate, the ex-trustees must pay their attorneys with their own funds. This is a double whammy. Ex-trustees Henry Peters and Dickie Wong still face criminal charges. This will further empty their wallets.

During next year's legislative session, a bill should be passed to limit the term of a trustee to four years and reappointment to another four, if he or she did a credible job. It is too difficult, costly and time-consuming to remove a trustee through the courts.

This good news calls for another march, this time from the Kawaiahao Plaza to the Royal Mausoleum in Nuuanu, to complete the circle. The spirit of Princess Pauahi can now rest in peace.

How Tim Chang



"I carried bodies live and dead, with head injuries, arms and legs broken, open skulls...It was just like 'M*A*S*H*.' "

David Pahk
Volunteer rescuer
After a rock slide killed six people and injured dozens of others at Sacred Falls State Park on Mother's Day

"I'm a wife, mother and educated Hawaiian woman. I just need an opportunity to show what I can do."

Victoria "Vicky" Lia
Chaminade University graduate
A wife and mother of two who, at the age of 32, earned master's degrees in public and businesss administration

Racism is virulent throughout community

I congratulate your newspaper for bravely publishing its provocative series on racism in the public schools. It is past time that a responsible institution addressed the realities of racism in Hawaii.

The unhappy fact, however, is that racism is institutionally prevalent, in all its virulence, way beyond the school yard.

As a member of a minority race (and what race isn't, in Hawaii?), who has spent his entire life in Hawaii, I have witnessed racism for over five decades. Racism is ingrained in us as youngsters by parents, peers and teachers; only the extremely rare individual has not uttered a racial slur against some ethnic group at some time.

We see it when Haunani-Kay Trask, in her official capacity at the University of Hawaii, spouts her racial hatred of people "not of color" (euphemism for haole) and drives such students out of fear back to their mainland homes.

We see it when Governor Cayetano, in the final days of a close re-election campaign, declares, "A vote for the Republican Party is a vote for a return to the plantation system!"

We see it in a political party system, which panders to the votes of the electorate based on ethnicity rather than on legitimate issues of governance. We see it in the hiring practices at all levels and in all departments of our state and county governments. We see it and hear it at sporting events, at the beach, at the mall and at social gatherings, big and small.

Because racism in Hawaii is not a phenomenon relegated only to the public school system, or the "other guys," we all should reconsider our own views, actions and utterances in light of the eventual and unavoidable consequences of intolerance and hatred. At a minimum, we certainly should demand that racism not be propagated or fostered in our political parties and our public institutions.

Mark Johnson
Via the Internet

14 Senate naysayers must be voted out

We failed to persuade the 14 "do-nothing" senators to reconsider their votes against Margery Bronster. Our request was easily ignored by the body that lacks leadership, remains self-serving and operates in chaos.

To Marilyn Welte and her grass-roots organization, "Citizens Action Now (CAN)," this is a request to carry out the promise to "CAN" the 14 senators in the future. Let thousands of stunned and outraged voters know how we can get involved with this.

These 14 demonstrate why Hawaii's economy remains stagnant. We need legislators who are responsible and who work in the best interests of the people.

B. Goto
Wailuku, Maui

Don't pave baseball field for parking lot

Paving over the baseball field at the Koko Head District Park to build a parking lot will only destroy the very qualities we need to nurture in our youth. This park was built by volunteers. They saw a need, rallied and took action.

Is this not the type of community action needed to sustain and enhance our future? What message do we send to our youth when we obliterate this effort?

Take a ride up to the Koko Head District Park. There is much vacant land adjacent to the basketball courts, land that is open and untouched. Yet it is not targeted for development. The target is where our young people play, that brings our families together in wholesome activities.

The land of future dreams, paved over for a parking lot.

Shari Chan
Via the Internet

Public health school is vital to Hawaii

The government relations committee of the American Cancer Society in Hawaii adds its support to those who believe that the School of Public Health at the University of Hawaii is a vital resource.

We are at a time in our history when health education and its various aspects constitute the foundation for economically viable programs. The school's graduates have provided the state with some of its most outstanding leaders; it is essential that enhanced opportunities be available in Hawaii.

Because of its professional perspective, combined with cultural diversity, the school is a singular institution worthy of additional support.

Mary-Jane McMurdo
Government Relations Committee
American Cancer Society
Via the Internet


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