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Saturday, July 31, 1999

Don't blame Queen's for family's dispute

Your July 27 front-page article, "Third appeal of hospital bill a charm," was misleading. It left the reader thinking that the Queen's Preferred Plan cowered at the hint of having the insurance commissioner involved, which was not the case.

If the Kaaialiis had clearly examined every avenue of resolution, they would have known that the Queen's Preferred Plan goes through three levels of appeals.

Your article went on to state that the Hawaii Coalition for Health deserves the credit for resolving this medical dispute. In all fairness to Queen's, its decisions were based on the evidence provided to it.

Those who work at Queen's Health Plans should hold their heads up high and keep up the great work. I am a subscriber, and am very happy and confident that the people there truly care.

Ronna C. Rickard
Ewa Beach

'Friends' donor list should be made public

I, for one, would like to know how Mayor Harris and the Friends of the City and County of Honolulu amassed over $250,000. It's a significant amount that raises questions about who is contributing, the manner of solicitation and how the money is being spent.

Bob Watada of the Campaign Spending Commission and Larry Meecham of Common Cause are already on record calling for full disclosure to ensure that there were no improprieties or violations of the law.

I will be watching to see if the Harris-led Council will adopt City Councilman Mufi Hannemann's resolution that calls for disclosure. Failure to act by either the Council or Harris will definitely signal that something is amiss.

Why does it take prompting from Hannemann to see that this is the ethical thing to do?

M. Tanaka

Related article today

Legacy of Hazel Van Allen will help students

I would like to add to Mary Adamski's July 14 article, "Woman's donations to island causes divulged after her death." Hazel Van Allen and her husband, Bill, have done good deeds for many people and organizations in our community. They accomplished their goals quietly and gave for the sheer joy of giving.

We are pleased and very grateful that the University of Hawaii will have a permanent reminder of their generosity through the Bretzlaff Foundation Endowed Scholarship Fund that Hazel established in the College of Engineering.

Hazel will have a presence here through the students who, because of her generosity, will pursue their educational goals and achieve their dreams.

Kenneth P. Mortimer
University of Hawaii

Hawaiians need rehab facilities, not jail cells

People of Hawaiian ancestry make up nearly 40 percent of the inmates in this state. The underlying reasons for prison overcrowding are two-fold:

1) 90 percent of inmates in Hawaii have substance-abuse addiction problems.

2) The virtual disenfranchisement of Hawaiians.

The simple and cost-effective solution to the prison overcrowding dilemma is to build state-of-art, Hawaiian-value based, long-term rehabilitation facilities.

Please write to Governor Cayetano and advise him against building an unneeded private prison!

David K. Kealoha
Hilo, Hawaii

How to improve restrooms at city parks

As a former superintendent of buildings and grounds for a park district, I'd like to respond to the July 7 Kokua Line item on park restrooms. I don't have first-hand knowledge of the city work force or condition of each restroom, but here are some suggestions:

Bullet Each restroom should be cleaned at least once a day. This should be a heavy-duty, full-on cleaning of the entire restroom -- floors, walls, toilets, urinals, etc. Major restrooms should also be spot cleaned and checked once or twice during prime usage hours.

Bullet Toilet paper should be installed in roll holders that can hold three or four rolls at a time.

Bullet Personnel must have the proper equipment, including vehicles and cleaning supplies.

Bullet Crews should be separated into those who clean restrooms and those who take care of grass and weeds.

Bullet If the grounds workload is too heavy, contract a landscaping company to hit major areas.

Bullet At budget time, give the parks department enough funding and equipment.

If elected officials refuse to sit on the toilets in city parks, how can they expect park users and visitors to do so? Spending money on toilets in public parks isn't on everyone's priority list, but take a look at the condition inside most of the restrooms.

Joe DiPrizio

Not renaming Hokama should be investigated

I strongly agree with Chrissy A. Morris' June 30 letter that said the Central District has "lost an outstanding, caring administrator who was doing an exceptional job." Aileen Hokama and her deputy, Robert Golden, gave excellent support to Central District schools. They demonstrated, through their leadership actions and decisions, sensitivity to the needs of the community.

The action of the state Board of Education and schools superintendent in not reappointing Hokama as the district's leader is a sad reflection of the ills we currently face in public education. They appeared to have kowtowed to some special-interest group.

The recent events that transpired at the Queen Liliuokalani Building are in need of examination.

Paul T. Kobayashi

Why wasn't governor censured for claims?

I was amused to read of Roger Ancheta's censure by the state Campaign Spending Commission because, according to Bob Watada, "he had gone over the line in distortions and misrepresentations" and provided no evidence of his claims.

I wonder if Governor Cayetano did the same thing? I refer to his statement -- near the end of a desperate campaign -- that the state had a whopping budget surplus.

It was almost embarrassing to watch the televised debate in which GOP candidate Linda Lingle repeatedly asked Cayetano how he came up with his figures, only to have him respond that he grew up in Kalihi.

Apparently, Watada does not consider an unsupported claim about a tax surplus to be a possible "distortion and misrepresentation." Did members of the commission ask Cayetano for evidence of his statement, as they did with Ancheta? Where is the fairness? Where's the surplus?

Roy Westlake



"I'm almost speechless
because when the United States
comes in on the side of anyone,
it has to mean a lot."

Rowena Akana

Pleasantly surprised that the federal government has filed a
U.S. Supreme Court brief supporting the state in
Rice vs. Cayetano, in which Big Island rancher
Harold "Freddy" Rice challenges the
Hawaiians-only restriction in
OHA elections


"When I saw the shirt
(in police custody), it about made
me puke because it was
covered in blood."

Steven Dearing

Describing a T-shirt he said was owned by Pauline
and which prosecutors say he wore during
the 1991 rape and murder of Dana Ireland

Nuances of affordable housing are complicated

On first impression, it might seem to affordable housing advocates that the City Council's move to eliminate income restrictions for buying affordable housing units was callous and ill-advised in light of the serious need among low-income families.

However, a closer look reveals the Council might have been faced with a number of legal problems.

First, with falling home prices, the existing regulations unfairly restricted the trade of certain home builders at a time when -- though numbers of home sales are finally up -- many units are selling at little or no profit.

Second, to pass an after-construction mandate to further reduce affordable unit prices could be considered a form of ex post facto legislation, and might be an illegal "taking" of the developers' properties.

It might also have served to drive down sale prices of comparable units which were not designated "affordable."

That said, I hope the Council at least has the wisdom to require an owner-occupant rule. Failure to do so could bring about more of the kind of speculative purchases that resulted in a near-feudal land system and prompted affordable housing legislation in the first place.

Ken Armstrong
Executive Director
Honolulu Habitat for Humanity
Via the Internet

Phonics is foundation of reading

It's the curriculum, stupid! While our state muddles around with issues like character education and uniforms, other states are implementing proven curriculum models, such as Success for All. In other words, they are going back to phonics as the basic building block of reading.

Let's stop talking about it and just get with the program!

Laura Brown
Via the Internet

Mink, Abercrombie shirked their responsibility

On July 12, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 355-0 to condemn an article published in a journal of the American Psychological Association that suggests that sexual relationships between adults and children might be positive for children.

Representatives Mink and Abercrombie, along with their Massachusetts colleague Barney Frank, voted "present."

Were Hawaii's congressional delegates unaware that Congress has made sexual molestation and exploitation of children a felony?

It has been said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who remain neutral at a time of crisis. With our nation battling issues tearing at our moral fiber, Mink and Abercrombie are reserving their places in history.

Harry J. Friel
Via the Internet

Taiwan wants, deserves respect from the world

Jeff Jacoby's July 21 column, "It's time to scrap 'one China' policy," was a brief but complete review of U.S., China and Taiwan affairs.

Taiwan is not a "renegade province" of China but has 22 million people living in a democratic society. The fact that it is the world's 14th largest economic power needs to be recognized and respected.

Cleveland Wu
Taiwanese Association of America
Hawaii Chapter

Library system should get support of Legislature

In your July 22 edition, State Librarian Virginia Lowell said that unless the Legislature entirely funds the construction and operation of the proposed Kapolei Community Library, the state is better off not building it at all. I agree.

The staffs of our libraries deserve commendation. For years, they have struggled with less funding while the demand for services has grown.

Any suggestion of reduced library hours has met major community opposition.

Through efforts tapping the creativity and initiative of library employees, the library system has maintained services.

At the same time, new libraries have opened in Waipahu, Kihei and Princeville.

In many cases, this has meant existing resources have been stretched and shared to open these new libraries. Mahalo to the staffs for hanging in there.

I will fully support our state librarian's efforts at the Legislature, and will introduce a bill to fully fund the Kapolei Community Library.

Sen. Brian Kanno (D)
20th District
Makakilo/Ewa Beach/Waipahu


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