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Friday, November 26, 1999


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Mililani Trask doesn't speak for all Hawaiians

We are members of the Hawaiian Homes Commission. We are all Hawaiians, but Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Mililani Trask does not speak for us. Tasteless ad hominem attacks are unbecoming to Hawaiian leaders.

We have too much at stake to waste time demonizing anyone, least of all a U.S. senator who has done more than any other modern politician to bring aid to the neediest of our people.

Sen. Daniel Inouye has championed many Hawaiian initiatives over the years, including the Native Hawaiian Health Act, the Native Hawaiian Education Act and current legislation aimed at bringing federal funds to the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands so it can build homes for the most indigent Hawaiians.

All three of these initiatives are now in jeopardy due to the efforts of Trask, who is lobbying Congress to bring them under OHA's umbrella, and threatening to kill them if they are not.

This is an ironic position for Trask to take, after her years of attacks on OHA as an instrument of the state. It is most unfortunate that OHA Chairwoman Rowena Akana has chosen to support Trask's position.

Two centuries after Western discovery, statistics show that Hawaiians have higher rates of poverty, disease, homelessness and incarceration than any other ethnic group in the state. We have a huge task ahead of us to rectify these longstanding problems, and we cannot do it alone.

The upcoming federal reconciliation hearings offer the Hawaiian people a long-awaited opportunity to begin a mutual dialogue with the U.S. government on these and other issues.

These hearings are important. They may actually help to shape our relationship with the federal government for centuries to come.

This process is simply too important for any of us to waste a moment longer on personal invective.

Raynard C. Soon

Wonda Mae Agpalsa
Oahu Commissioner

Henry Cho
West Hawaii Commissioner

Tom Contrades
Kauai Commissioner

Rockne Freitas
Oahu Commissioner

Karen M. Holt
Molokai commissioner

Herring K. Kalua
East Hawaii Commissioner

Kathleen K.S.L. Thurston
Oahu Commissioner

John A.H. Tomoso
Maui Commissioner
Department of Hawaiian Home Lands

Trasks' America-bashing only inspires patriotism

This latest piece of impropriety from one of the Trask sisters should hardly be surprising.

It's not like they have any love or loyalty to America. One of them publicly referred to the United States military as an "occupation force." The only time the Trasks have respect for American law is when they attempt to use it as a weapon against the U.S. and its people.

If there's anything to thank the sisters for, it's renewing my sense of American identity and nationalism.

Kevin Gagan
Via the Internet

Trask showed importance of freedom of speech

Senator Inouye risked his life and lost his arm so that people like Mililani Trask would have the right to prattle on. Trask's reference to the senator as a "one-armed bandit" upset a lot of people, but I think it's fine, even great.

It proves that Inouye and our forefathers fought and died for something more than the vain, almost meaningless right to free, politically correct speech. It seems less obvious all the time, but the First Amendment is alive and well.

Keaka Parsons
Via the Internet

Comments undermine sisters and their cause

Contrary to what the other Office of Hawaiian Affairs members may think, neither of the Trask sisters has ever been known to possess tact or class. They say what they think with no thought to what it will do to themselves or others.

They have important things to accomplish and the intelligence to do so, but until they can control their negativity and bashing, they will find few people willing to listen and fewer still to support them.

Toni-Sue Lua
Provo, Utah
Via the Internet

OHA Ceded Lands Ruling



"Once I carved all the legs perfectly and had the hindquarters looking phenomenally beautiful. Then I did the head and it broke off. You can't even speak. You're thinking -- why, why?"

Cathy Berenberg
Kaneohe wood carver
On her self-taught, self-styled skill of sculpting wooden horses

"My little girl was pulling for me, but I think after the eighth hole, she went back to the pool."

Davis Love III
PGA player of the year
After he was defeated by Tiger Woods in the PGA Grand Slam of golf held in Poipu, Kauai

Gas lawsuit is unfair to Chevron

Why is Chevron being picked on as the bad guy?

In my 12 years in this industry, and keeping track of pricing at all levels of trade, I find the common denominator to be that when Chevron moves its price up, then the rest of the oil companies follow immediately. But if the price is going down, the rest of the pack takes its time in passing along the savings.

Chevron is a community and market leader in Hawaii's petroleum industry. Besides, Chevron's output is so much less than the other refinery (PRI, then BHP, now Tesoro).

If you chase Chevron away, our state will lose a valuable, generous and responsible member of the community.

Lynell Takeuchi

Service station owners should support Young

As a retired Chevron marketing employee, I believe Frank Young represents more than his family's K&Y Chevron. The broader issue is that all oil company dealer leases are being tested for endurance and temperance.

Many Chevron and Shell Oil dealers are grumbling about the ever-changing abusive terms of their leases but are silent for fear of retaliation from their companies via local management. So, if Frank wins, all dealers win, including the public.

If Chevron wins, the silent dealers won't be singled out as being disloyal but will be further abused anyway, as the oil companies expand on their abusive leases and marketing policies across the nation.

It's time for service station dealers to stand up for themselves by supporting Frank Young, and to be accountable business people for all of Hawaii!

Birch Akina

Stevedores deserve reward for hard work

Who grieves for Arley? Recently, we buried another brother on the waterfront, our sixth funeral in less than a decade.

To those who knew Arley Shigemitsu, he was an uncomplaining tireless worker in his prime, working 80-hour weeks, every week, a good golfer who gave the game up to take care of bedridden family members.

Was Arley overpaid as critics suggest? Most stevedores make nowhere near the annual salary that was leaked to the media.

Yes, it is possible to make close to a six-figure salary after years of training and promotions, but only if you choose to work the 60-80 hours per week that is commonplace in sectors of our industry.

If the lights are on at Sand Island, we're working. We come home at night to children who have been asleep for hours and we leave for work before they get up in the morning.

When you are eating your dinner, look toward the burning lights at Sand Island and say a little prayer for Arley.

Chester Shinsato
Stevedore, Matson Navigation Co.

Show exposes horror of shark finning

My sincere thanks to actress Brooke Burns and the cast and producers of "Baywatch Hawaii" for airing a recent episode exposing the greed and money-driven horror known as shark finning.

There are a lot of people who are very interested in stopping this catastrophe in progress, and this show will reach them around the world.

Bart Cahoon

What is the rationale for prison on mainland?

I have a request for the governor about construction of a new prison on the mainland. As a taxpayer, I want to be sure my money is being spent wisely.

It is hard to tell right now just how well thought out the decision is. For the benefit of the public at large, I would like to see a written rationale for an out-of-state prison which takes into account the impact of the loss of spending in the local economy.

I voted for Cayetano in the last two elections, and generally have a favorable opinion about his accomplishments over the last five years. But this decision seems to be motivated more by spite than by rational deliberation.

I would certainly appreciate having an evaluation by a group of unbiased economists and accountants on the relative merits of the two alternatives. Can the governor do that for us?

Roy R. Thompson
Mountain View, Hawaii

Corporate insensitivity may lead to violence

Instead of focusing on gun control as the answer to violence in the workplace, professionals should research and analyze the reasons for the recent increase in shootings. Even if all guns were banned outright, those intent on violence would find other ways.

What may be common among these incidents is increased frustration due to job turbulence and threat of unemployment even on the mainland, where more jobs are available than in Hawaii.

Mergers allow for wholesale dismemberment of captured companies and their components, in some cases ripping apart long-term associations where workers were once happy. All this, just to satisfy a company's efforts to increase efficiency and improve its bottom line.

Employees are often considered expendable and information about company plans is usually kept hidden from them for too long. This does not excuse the killings, but corporate insensitivity may be worth examining as one source of the problem.

Ed Cesar
Via the Internet

Football memories fade; education is lasting

St. Louis School trustees Walter Kirimitsu and Margaret Oda reflect a lack of professionalism, educational aloha and simple class in their handling of the termination of Father Mario Pariante.

The behavior of the football team and coaches in the recent past are evidence that the values of education and standards of leadership are waning at St. Louis School, and students and their parents are being shortchanged.

Pariante will be remembered after football trophies are discolored with dust and corrosion.

Cy Barker
Via the Internet


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