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Friday, March 31, 2000


Oil companies need stricter monitoring

The oil companies have been telling us for years that "competition" sets the price. Yet when their crude oil price goes up, they raise prices as fast as they can.

If that's the case, how will they set prices when the cost of oil drops? Will they set prices based on their costs or on what the "competition" is doing?

If gas prices don't come down, it will prove that there is no free market in Hawaii. This may be a rare instance where some judicious government regulation might help keep this essential commodity in line.

Al Connolley

Independent board should run UH

Take a look at Hawaii Pacific University. HPU brings thousands of students to this state from all over the world and turns a profit in the process.

University of Hawaii Then look at the University of Michigan, where I send my youngest daughter. In the worst of climates, Michigan attracts 40,000 students that keep the town of Ann Arbor employed. Roughly half of those students are from other states. They pay $25,000 a year in tuition, room and board.

Do the math. We're talking a major impact on the economy: 20,000 students equals a half billion dollars. We could do the same thing at the University of Hawaii.

How does Michigan do it? The public university's success is in the hands of an independent board, not subject to the problems that UH has had with the governor and the Legislature.

The best action the Legislature could take this year would be to set UH free from political interference and create a board of independent chancellors with impeccable qualifications to serve.

Let this board set the president's salary and the professors' salaries so we can recruit the world's finest. Don't believe me? Ask June Jones.

Creighton W. Goldsmith

Go to UH campus to see its sorry shape

I take exception to Fred Boll's March 25 letter supporting tuition increases at the University of Hawaii. He fails to mention that the proposed hikes would not only raise costs by $12 per credit hour, but eliminate the 12-credit ceiling for community college students. Currently, these students can take additional credits at no additional cost.

This means that, had the Board of Regents adopted the proposal, those students would have had their tuition raised by hundreds of dollars.

Boll also conveniently avoids the fact that the cost of UH tuition has risen every year since 1996. Yet what additional services, improvements or at least status-quo maintenance do we have to show for it?

Perhaps he and others who think like him should visit the UH campus. They'd see the decrepit and unused buildings, read up on the closed schools and consolidated departments, and learn about the university's woeful cost-cutting and downward spiral in national academic rankings.

Matthew Lum
Student, University of Hawaii



"I always read every word written about the Kennedys, like everyone else."
Bridgette Kelly
Actress and University of Hawaii student
Describing her fascination with Jackie Kennedy, whom she will portray in a Diamond Head Theatre production that opens tonight

"Benny's a big boy, and baseball's a game that's not always fair."
Bobby Valentine
New York Mets manager
Explaining that Mets outfielder and former St. Louis School star Benny Agbayani would be sent to the minor leagues despite hitting a game-winning, grand-slam against the Chicago Cubs in the major leagues' opening series in Japan

Mahalo for making ex-Marines happy

I want to thank Star-Bulletin reporter Gregg Kakesako and all the people of Hawaii for making the stay of my father, Bill, and his Marine buddies so memorable (March 16, "Marine Corps memorial to grace Kaneohe base").

My dad brought back sand from Iwo Jima, where he was wounded. Being a Vietnam vet myself, I totally understood what he went through 55 years ago and the memories that flooded him as he returned to the same spot where he had been injured.

Allan Lazzareschi
Johnston, R.I.

Senator is selective about listening to voters

The nerve of Sen. Bob Nakata for saying, "After all, they are the people who elected us in the first place" ("Unions' alliance against state reform draws scrutiny of schools," Star-Bulletin, March 27).

Somehow, he forgot that when the confirmation vote for former Attorney General Margery Bronster was before him.

Frank McCafferty

Questionable deal benefits Aloha Airlines

On March 15, a hearing was held before the House Transportation Committee and Economic Development and Business Concerns Committee on SB 2706, relating to taxation. At this hearing, representatives of Aloha Airlines announced that the state Tax Department had brokered a deal with Aloha, forgiving millions of dollars in back taxes in exchange for Aloha withdrawing its support for two House and Senate bills.

I have two questions:

Bullet How can the state give millions of dollars to one interisland carrier and not the other?
Bullet Is it legal for the Tax Department to make a deal that requires a citizen or organization NOT to be allowed to voice its opinion with state legislators? Isn't this what our country was founded on? Isn't this a constitutional right?

I find it hard to believe that Governor Cayetano and the state Legislature are allowing this deal to go through.

Don Hackman

DBEDT is not barring access to documents

In your March 27 issue, letter writer David Rezachek suggested that the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism is unfairly limiting access to public documents by charging an unreasonably high fee. I'd like to clarify some points:

Bullet DBEDT is complying with all requirements of the Uniform Information Practices Act, which provides for charging fees for the searching, reviewing, segregating and production of requested documents.
Bullet DBEDT's estimate of costs is based on Rezacheck's very broad request, which covered voluminous material on alternate energy, technology, funding, contracts, consultants, staffing and budgets spanning five years.
Bullet DBEDT is not withholding information. The law provides for the assessment of reasonable fees to cover the cost of providing requested materials, so as not to burden taxpayers.

Philip J. Bossert
Deputy Director
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism

Alii counted on museum to preserve collections

The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum was founded with the collections of our alii and others who trusted that their possessions would be held in safekeeping and now that trust is lost, thanks to Donald Duckworth and Elizabeth Tatar. They are the reasons that others, such as Edward Ayau of Hui Malama, are there and destroying what little we have left of the ancient culture.

What they do not realize is that it was the wishes of so many people to have their things preserved for study at the museum in the first place. A true Hawaiian and respectable scholar would and should understand that and know that the wishes of the alii are to be carried out. What is so hard to understand about this? When egos get in the way, not much else must make sense.

Ikemaka Kaulanui

You need to predict future to fill out census early

I read with amazement the article in March 28 Star Bulletin about the census stating that 45 percent of households in Hawaii had already sent in their census forms. The first question on the form asks how many people were in the household on April 1, 2000. How can you answer that question before April 1? After all, your auntie could be the next Pali Highway pedestrian fatality.

The Census Bureau should reject all the forms received before that date because it is obvious the people who filled them out are incapable of following directions. I bet they don't though -- clearly the Census Bureau couldn't care less about doing an accurate count since they are going around encouraging people to send in the forms early. You don't need a Ph.D. in statistics (which I have) to see that the Census Bureau is run by a bunch of incompetents.

John P. Wendell

Pali Highway's guard lights will be visible to only a few

Regarding the LightGuard system that has been installed on the Pali Highway: It's reported to have a visibility of up to 2,000 feet but, because those lights are sunk into the highway, the lights will be blocked from a driver's view if there are cars in front; only a lead driver, with no one in front of him or her, will be able to see those lights from 2,000 feet away.

The lights should have been installed overhead so that all approaching drivers would be able to see them. This is a typical Band-Aid approach that the city or state always takes rather than immediately getting to the root of a problem and solving it.

Jeffrey Herman

Senator Kawamoto arrogantly killed bill

It's disturbing when two state senators kill a bill that had broad public support and which passed the House by a 49-1 vote. Sens. Norman Mizuguchi and Cal Kawamoto destroyed the opportunity to test a system of voluntary public financing of the 2002 Honolulu City Council election.

This bill had strong support from former legislators, nonprofit service groups, environmentalists, Hawaiians, students and others. In the House, the bill passed in two committees and on the floor.

When it crossed over to the Senate, Mizuguchi wrongfully assigned it to Kawamoto's committee. Kawamoto declined to even hear it, saying his members didn't want a hearing. Yet when two students talked to the members, six said they would hear the bill. When this was brought to Kawamoto's attention, he cursed at the students in the vilest manner, in front of women and children.

Kawamoto personifies the very need for campaign finance reform. He raised 20 percent of all money raised by senators during the last election cycle: more than $250,000.

Fifteen senators signed a support statement for this legislation if it got to the Senate floor. They were Sens. Whitney Anderson, Robert Bunda, Avery Chumbley, Suzanne Chun Oakland, Carol Fukunaga, Colleen Hanabusa, David Ige, Les Ihara Jr., Lorraine Inouye, Andrew Levin, Matt Matsunaga, David Matsuura, Bob Nakata and Rod Tam; the 15th declined to be named.

George Fox

Online edition keeps 'mainland-bound' sated

While tinkering online, I wanted to know if your newspaper was still publishing. To my surprise and excitement, I found your online edition to be fully functioning. Wow!

I was born and raised on Oahu but now live in Washington state. Although I know what's happening in my family, I don't get the local connection I need to sustain my awareness of the islands.

I am so happy that the Star-Bulletin is still around. Now I'll be able to catch up on the latest news from Hawaii on your Web site. Thanks for hanging in there and making the lives of "mainland-bound locals" happy.

Danell Cascio
Toutle, Wash.

Building a tunnel at Waimea is the safest solution

As a former 29-year resident of Hawaii, I read your online edition with great interest every evening -- including the many stories about the rocks falling off the cliffs near Waimea on the North Shore.

Has anyone every thought of building a tunnel to avoid future problems? While such a solution may be expensive, it would be the safest while preserving the scenic beauty of the area.

Such tunnels are commonplace throughout Europe and many parts of Asia, and have probably prevented many accidents. It would seem that spending a few more million dollars would be money well spent.

John R. Baumgartner
Scottsdale, Ariz.


OHA logo

More on OHA and
future of Hawaiians

Nation-within-nation is not the answer

Hawaiians understand that we are not autonomous individuals severed from the past with no connection to the future. Instead, our culture acknowledges that we are part of a sacred continuum and thus have a responsibility to build upon our nation's past, as well as to perpetuate and safeguard its future.

At this time, the living nation of Hawaii has been entrusted with a momentous choice to either abandon our ancestral obligation or to accept our responsibility to restore an independent Hawaiian nation. What choice should we make?

A private corporation is unacceptable, as a high percentage of Native Alaskan corporations have been bankrupted, leaving shareholders with nothing.

Nation-within-a-nation status is not the next step to independence; it is a bureaucratic maze designed by the elitist power structure to delay the inevitable.

If anyone believes this "status" will end our land struggles, remember Wounded Knee. If anyone believes that our living conditions will markedly improve, look at the conditions of those already living with that "status."

Anyone who believes that nation-within-a-nation is all we can achieve is suffering from internalized oppression.

Napua McShane
Kurtistown, Hawaii

Is governor accusing trustees of misconduct?

Governor Cayetano's remarks regarding the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in your March 17 issue are outrageous. OHA trustees have done very well in maximizing our trust assets for our beneficiaries, as opposed to the governor and the state of Hawaii, which cannot say the same.

By stating publicly that he sought to protect OHA from the trustees, is he now accusing OHA trustees of misconduct? Is that why he says we must be removed? Was the first target Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, and now the public trust?

If the governor seeks to NOT be labeled as "anti-Hawaiian," he should prove it by releasing state revenues derived from airport landing fees, settling land claims and preserving the rights and entitlements of the Hawaiian people.

The vehicle by which this could be accomplished is through the governor's close relationship with OHA Chairman Clayton Hee, who was elected to represent the voices of Hawaiians and speak on their behalf.

Now, it appears as if Hee is speaking with a forked tongue, as Hawaiians have not yet benefited from this political relationship, when it could have been used to leverage more equal footing for Hawaiians.

Rowena M.N. Akana
Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Future must be decided by all ethnicities

R.W. Levy's March 17 letter, questioning whether Hawaii's leaders have any concern for the rights and interests of non-Hawaiians, needs to be presented to your elected officials for response. America is a land where the rights of the minority are and always will be protected.

But what about the rights of the majority? Lately, all I've read about from Hawaii is that a minority must decide your state's future.

This is all disturbingly similar to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's position on Kosovo. He believed that the province had been overwhelmed by non-native Serbs and needed to be cleansed.

I happen to own property in Leeward Oahu, and the sovereignty movement has greatly diminished its value. I can imagine many Hawaiians taking great satisfaction in this. In response, I'd like to paraphrase what one leader of the sovereignty movement said recently: "We're being screwed, blued and tattooed, too."

Sam Sallome
Richmond, Va.

Definition of native Hawaiian is cloudy

The Rice vs. Cayetano decision got me thinking: What exactly is a native Hawaiian?

Is it anybody with a smidgin of a drop of Hawaiian blood?

Is it somebody like the Trask sisters, who have one Hawaiian parent and one haole parent?

Or is it someone like those who reside on Niihau, who have not bred outside their race and who have kept their lineage pure?

This question is most perplexing.

Mike Waggoner

OHA Special

Rice vs. Cayetano arguments

Rice vs. Cayetano decision

Holo I Mua: Sovereignty Roundtable

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