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Saturday, August 21, 1999

Peters is wrong about trustee compensation

Ousted Bishop Estate trustee Henry Peters reportedly believes that "changing the way trustees are paid essentially amounts to changing the will." Furthermore, he argues that Pauahi wanted her trustees to devote full-time efforts to management of the estate, and insists that past compensation has been "performance-driven" (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 18).

Our understanding differs:

Bullet At the time the will was written, trustees in trusts in the Kingdom of Hawaii were allowed to receive compensation for their services ONLY if the governing instrument specifically authorized it. Pauahi's will says nothing about compensation. The expectation in those days was that trustees of a charitable trust would serve without compensation.
Bullet None of the trustees named in Pauahi's will devoted full-time efforts to management of the Bishop Estate. There is no provision in the will regarding the amount of time that trustees were expected to spend on her estate. Only in relatively recent times have Bishop Estate trustees functioned as full-time CEOs.
Bullet Trustee compensation in recent years has had virtually no connection to trustee performance. The statutory formula that Peters calls "performance-based" has been described by Professor Ed Halbach, a national authority on trust law, as "practically awful statute."

During the three-year period recently reviewed by court-appointed master Colbert Matsumoto, the trustees experienced losses and loss reserves of nearly $300 million. This exceeded investment income from all sources, including Goldman Sachs.

According to Matsumoto, the total investment return for this three-year period was minus 1 percent. If the statute truly were "performance-based," it would have authorized NO compensation.

Walter Heen, Gladys Brandt, Samuel P. King and Randall Roth
Editor's note: The signers of the above letter are the co-authors of "Broken Trust," a critical essay on Bishop Estate that was published in the Star-Bulletin Aug. 9, 1997.


Bishop Estate archive



"Well, hallelujah! And on to another year."
Virginia Lowell
State Librarian
After winning a unanimous vote of confidence from the Hawaii board of Education after serving the first year of her four-year contract

"Yes, these are kids, and maybe some of them talk to you improperly...Sometimes parents will look at them as being just a kid, like, 'Who are you to tell me where I can park and where I can go?' "
Lee Daricar
Puuhale School's Junior Police officer adviser
Defending the school crossing guards and the responsibility they have for directing traffic on campuses

Sex industry is polluting Waikiki

It would be laughable if it weren't so serious: Unthinkable amounts of money were spent to build a first-class Hawaii Convention Center in an effort to attract businesses from all over the world. Meanwhile, it's surrounded by some of most vile "businesses" that seem more like part of a criminal underworld.

These sex-oriented enterprises have crept up into our neighborhood the way pollution slowly builds up in the big cities. It's pervasive and it stinks. It's not the kind of attractions our tourists want to see.

Thanks to the leadership of City Councilman Andy Mirikitani and the brave stance of all our Council members, the city is cracking down on nude strip clubs and prostitution parlors. The social issue of protecting family neighborhoods is far more important than the money this seedy industry seems to create.

Paul David Yee
Via the Internet

Uncle China's surf events are full of aloha

I am writing to correct a misstatement made by the Star-Bulletin in Tuesday's article on women and surfing. I am quoted as saying that China Uemura's contest had less aloha spirit. Auwe! This couldn't be further from the truth.

Uncle China has been coordinating surfing events for 15-plus years. These events usually benefit a charity, as did the last Wahine Classic. Proceeds went to Kapiolani's Women and Children's Sex Abuse Treatment Center.

How could an event where there are more than 150 women surfing Queen's have nothing but aloha? The sentiment was more accurately portrayed on "Backdoor TV" when these wahine gave their reason for entering this event as 1) to support women and 2) the (charity) cause.

The story then goes on to say that the reason women longboard is it "allows them to overcome their paddling disadvantage." Longboarding is a traditional sport in that it is an old style of surfing founded by alii. We choose to longboard because we have love for it, not because of our physical inability. Many wahine shortboard as well.

Diane F. Tachera
Co-Founder, Hawaiian Longboard Federation

Business still can't get a break in Hawaii

After recently discovering that our state has the least amount of aloha for entrepreneurs, it is comforting to discover we have great aloha for welfare recipients. Another just-published study revealed that of all the states we have the second lowest reduction percentage of our welfare rolls.

At a recent community meeting, a state official acknowledged that the more expensive option to expand passenger traffic to the Hawaii Convention Center on the Kalakaua bridge was chosen over a significantly less expensive stand-alone bridge.

Now the governor indicates he would like to raise the minimum wage rate in order to encourage more people to leave welfare. How many more businesses will be pushed over the edge and forced to close and how great will the net loss of jobs be? That "great sucking sound" seems to be increasing in volume.

Dick Morris
Via the Internet

Columnist indulged in gay-bashing

The last column by Cal Thomas (Aug. 11) on the recent decision to admit gays in the Boy Scouts was a flashback experience for me.

Thomas would have fit right in at the 1997 state Capitol rally sponsored by the Catholic bishop, which was just another opportunity to gay-bash. He could have been on the front lines leading the hate-filled chants with the other Catholic priests in their Roman collars.

Our son was a Cub Scout at Mauka Lani Elementary School in the early 1980s and my husband was the Cub master for one year. Thomas does not have a real grasp of reality when he continue to promote hate and misinformation.

I cheer the decision to bring the Boy Scouts into line with a message of respect for all of its members. It is past time for justice to reign in the Boy Scouts and our country.

Thomas was out of line and should be sued for inciting hate by denying social justice to take its rightful place in the Boy Scouts. His type of bigotry is a motivating factor in the abundance of hate crimes behind the shootings in Colorado, California and across our nation. This is what is not good in our country.

Carolyn Martinez Golojuch
President, PFLAG Oahu (Parents, Family and friends of Lesbians and Gays)
National PFLAG Board of Directors
Via the Internet


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