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Saturday, July 17, 1999

University of Hawaii

Don't blame Mortimer for sad state of UH

Why are people being so mean to President Mortimer? Linda Lingle and others want to fire the University of Hawaii president. But why? He's at the bottom of the pecking order, with the UH Board of Regents, governor and Legislature above him.

Mortimer didn't create the climate and culture at the university, where football is the measure of merit. He didn't ask for the ever-shrinking budget that lowered UH's academic reputation.

Those conditions, in part, were fomented and fed by politicians, whose agendas have tenuous ties to education but are more oriented to elections, appointments, power and prestige. The academicians are no help either. They are too consumed with their own internal rivalries to work on improving education in Hawaii.

If anyone should be fired, it should be legislators. They have underfunded education at all levels in Hawaii.

Robert D. Doleman

Public health fiasco may have domino effect

Let's not close our School of Public Health at the University of Hawaii. Its existence is vital to the well-being of our diverse and multi-ethnic population.

Closing the school could start an awful domino effect by jeopardizing our medical school and the entire UH campus system.

Deborah C. Love, M.D.

UH School of Public Health Library
Ka Leo O Hawaii

Two enactments can save the economy

The state Legislature, in a special session, can save the state from bankruptcy. Two enactments in special session and the signature of the governor are required:

Bullet Allow privatization in Hawaii to the same degree as its sister states in the Western Governors' Conference. The group's chairman, Governor Cayetano, can obtain existing legislation from the other states.

Bullet Eliminate the state Department of Planning, Economic Development and Tourism. It had nine years to get Hawaii out of this recession but has no progress to show for it. Keep just the director to farm out duties for which federal funds are available.

E. Alvey Wright

Labor agreements hurt nonunion contractors

I am in total agreement with Rep. Colleen Meyer's opposition to introducing project labor agreements (PLAs) in Hawaii (Other Views, July 10). As a nonunion contractor, if such a bill were passed, we would be highly disadvantaged against signatory union contractors.

Our company employs approximately 75 construction workers, who would lose their jobs if PLAs were made necessary, as we do bid on and perform a significant amount of government construction projects.

We deeply appreciate Meyer's efforts and strong stand against this legislation.

Guy Lam
Keauhou Kona Construction Corp.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii


"We need to control the destiny
of the university, not an accrediting
body from elsewhere."

Nainoa Thompson
Supportive of a task force that would ponder the future of
the university's School of Public Health

"Morale is way up right now.
As an officer, I'm feeling a
lot of pride about what
was accomplished."

Dennis Eng
On how Honolulu police and federal agents tracked down
fugitive Albert Raymond Batalona, wanted in connection
with a Kahala bank robbery

DHS isn't helping welfare recipients enough

On June 25, I attended a public hearing held by the state Department of Human Services. Dozens spoke out against the "full family sanctions" that would cut off cash welfare benefits from families in which adults weren't in full compliance with welfare reform regulations.

Especially powerful was the testimony by young people. They know, if assistance is discontinued, that they face homelessness before school resumes. Shamefully, DHS seemed unmoved and is proceeding with the sanctions.

While some individuals may have ignored the regulations, this is not the case for the majority on public assistance. There aren't many jobs. Furthermore, welfare workers don't give consistent information to clients. And little or no help has been available to find even volunteer positions.

Before the meeting, I called the state Volunteer Services Office to ask if it had been contacted by DHS about the now urgent need for volunteer jobs to prevent sanctions. It had not.

I was given a half-dozen leads for such volunteer positions in one phone call. Imagine what DHS could have done to assist in this way!

Ruth Rips

Hawaii wasn't legally annexed by U.S.

In regards to the U.S. Supreme Court case, Rice vs. OHA, the court is going to have to deal with the paramount issue in Hawaii. Is Hawaii really part of the United States?

If you research the issue you will discover that Hawaii is not part of the United States and U.S. law has no jurisdiction over kanaka maoli (indigenous people of the Hawaiian islands).

To begin to understand Hawaiian political history get a copy of the Newlands Hawaiian Annexation resolution 51 of 1898 and the Hawaiian Apology Law 103-150 of 1993 from the State Archives or from the internet.

When you analyze these U.S. congressional documents you will see that Hawaii is not part of the United States and that Hawaiians and kanaka maoli have never relinquished their sovereign rights.

The U.S. Supreme Court has absolutely no lawful jurisdiction over the Hawaiian archipelago. It never has and it never will.

Eric Po'ohina
Via the Internet

Streets at former bases should be renamed

After reading many of the letters regarding all of the changes going on at Barbers Point, I am gladdened by the anguish being felt by the loss of street names from World War II battles and heroes. Now the street names may be changed to those of importance to kanaka maoli.

The people who are hurting because of this action are now beginning to understand some small portion of the agony that kanaka maoli have been going through for the past 106 years. For the past 106 years, America has been erasing our history.

Now they know how it feels. Not so good, eh? Welcome to the club.

Sharon Pomroy
Anahola, Kauai
Via the Internet

Old Glory deserves to be protected

I strongly disagree with your editorial stance on the constitutional flag protection amendment. Up until 1989, it was illegal to desecrate the American flag until the Supreme Court erroneously ruled that flag burning was protected as free speech.

The high court's decision meant you couldn't even fine someone for destroying our very symbol of freedom. But we cannot confuse the exercise of free speech with the destruction of the Stars 'n' Stripes.

It is worth noting that both of our congressional representatives voted against the bipartisan amendment to protect the flag. I wonder what the soldiers who stormed Normandy, or the Marines who fought on Iwo Jima, or what the prisoners in the "Hanoi Hilton" would have thought of Abercrombie and Mink's vote.

As a Marine who served in the Gulf War, I know what I think of their vote: It's wrong!

Rep. Bob McDermott
R, Aliamanu/Foster Village/Aiea

Flag burners express love for their liberty

If the Stars 'n' Stripes symbolizes the country, then the burning of it conveys exactly what America is about: dissent without being hanged for it. But that will soon change once Republicans and their Democratic fellow travelers in Congress get their way.

Flag burners, with exceptions such as Jane Fonda and her ilk, love America more than most. That is why they protest. They care! Ah, the irony of it -- the erosion of America's uniquely First Amendment right of free speech in the name of Americanism.

Alvin Nakamura


Legislature Directory
Hawaii Revised Statutes

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