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Tuesday, April 18, 2000


Francis shouldn't aim for such high office

Russ Francis for congress? Whatever happened to the prerequisite of having years of legislative experience before assuming congressional responsibilities? He should stick to the broadcast booth.

Delbo Reed

Reporting was skewed on small biz board

Your March 31 article, "Lawmaker bids to save small biz relief plan," was biased. Your reporter interviewed me but didn't mention me and other Small Business Regulatory Review Board members who have stayed on and tried to make a difference in Hawaii's regulatory environment.

Solely quoting former board member Kenneth Ono was misleading and unbalanced reporting. Ono infrequently attended board meetings and missed reporting deadlines.

Why promote only the negative? Your article failed to inform readers about a number of significant regulatory reform bills before the Legislature.

For example, the board has advocated for HB 2360 -- prohibiting certain regulatory fines against small business without first attempting to mediate or resolve a problem -- and for funding the small business defender under SB 2473 and HB 1956. We have also commented on many proposed administrative rules to date.

Roy Shimonishi
Small Business Regulatory Review Board
State Department of Business,
Economic Development and Tourism

Who is benefiting from push for multitrack?

The state Board of Education did NOT approve a multitrack schedule for the future Mililani Mauka II Elementary at its last meeting, as reported in your April 7 issue. Instead, the BOE voted under its smaller schools policy to build the new school to accommodate only a portion of the projected minimum enrollment of 800.

By building new schools with a multitrack design (more space is needed for generators and venting for air conditioning, and a large administrative building and additional parking), the Department of Education is forcing overcrowding. Then it must go back to the board for approval to use the multitrack schedule under that policy.

The survey letter sent out to some parents -- asking if they preferred air conditioning with a multitrack schedule or no air conditioning on a regular schedule --was misleading. The DOE wants parents to believe that it is required to build schools too small in order to save money and that an adequate school would have no air conditioning, which is untrue.

The operational and personnel costs of a multitrack school are much higher, while adding a tremendous burden to parents in terms of day-care costs and scheduling.

When we asked why the DOE is working against taxpayers and parents to deliberately build more expensive, overcrowded schools, a savvy person told us the answer could be found by "following the money." We will now seek the audit trail.

Laura Brown



"Those guys are buried.
They're done. It's all over.
Let them live their lives."

Joe Souki

Who, according to a state investigation into the
former trustees, was treated to more than 65 meals
from 1992-97 by Bishop Estate personnel


"We are passionate about doing this.
Now, we are even more determined
to come to Hawaii to compete.
We are really scraping for everything
so we can make this trip."

Keli'i Chang

Scrambling to raise nearly $9,000 that was reportedly
given to a halau dancer, who told Chang she spent
the money instead of purchasing plane tickets for
the group to fly from Dallas to the Big Island for
the Merrie Monarch hula competition later this month

Quit bringing up Foley's DUI past

I was appalled that the Star-Bulletin would use such a headline as "Deadly DUI driver works for speaker" (Associated Press story, April 11). It did not reflect what the story was all about -- namely, what Tom Foley is now doing after a regrettable auto accident.

He has paid his dues, and one of Hawaii's most brilliant tax attorneys is now offering his services to the state where it would benefit most: in the drafting and review of new tax legislation in the office of House Speaker Calvin Say.

Why is it necessary to rehash all of the incidents of the accident instead of focusing on how he is now contributing? Is this the way we treat individuals who have served their time and who are trying to rehabilitate themselves?

Speaker Say should be applauded for hiring Foley.

Steve Hirano

Good teachers should be recognized

Teachers are by far the most important factor in the quality of a public school education. As a recent graduate of a Windward public school, I know that quality teachers -- not new computers or televisions or gyms -- were the driving force behind my success.

Quality teachers should be valued, if not praised and worshipped. Too many of the best ones are leaving for private institutions for reasons that rarely involve issues of salary. Frustrated educators often leave because of a lack of support from (take your pick) parents, administration, students and even other teachers.

Why don't we start treating teachers with the kind of respect that had previously been reserved for the school computers?

Gavin Yuasa

Think about struggle of Elian's mother

Imagine yourself putting to sea near Sandy Beach. Your goal is to sail to Haleakala except there is no Haleakala, just a large flat peninsula. The reason you're going there is because Oahu is under an absolute dictatorship.

You and a few others are so desperate to escape, you are willing to sail 90 miles in the open ocean in a boat barely fit for coastal use. You leave at night terrified of being caught. Capture would mean beating, prison or worse.

You move quickly to get more than three miles out to sea and fear of capture subsides. You get maybe 30 miles, about where Molokai would be, but there is no Molokai. Just ocean.

Your vessel starts to sink. Some people leave the boat and hang onto the sides while others bail out water. You can see the lights of land but it's 40 miles away and you're in the ocean swimming.

Elian's in the inner tube, while the weaker ones are falling farther behind. You push Elian and stroke, push and stroke, but you can't make it yourself. You drown and now Elian is alone.

The dolphins guard him; two fishermen find him. Now I ask you: Where is Elian's home? To whom does he belong?

Paul Mossman

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