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Wednesday, May 3, 2000


Hypocrisy permeates Forbes Cave debacle

Incredible! So Don Hibbard, State Historic Preservation Division administrator, does not plan to prosecute Hui Malama for the illegal disturbance and alterations of the Forbes Cave?

Hah! I still remember those years when I worked with Hui Malama's Eddie Ayau in the SHPD's Hawaiian Burial Program. The mere mention of anyone possibly violating the Hawaiian burial protection law (Chapter 6E, Section 11 ) would send Eddie into a full-charge persecution, full of pomp and legalese. "To the fullest extent of the law" still rings in my ears.

Uncompromising and hookano (haughty) to alleged "perpetrators," his intimidating, abrasive tactics are well known within the SHPD and archeological community. Now, not only is the shoe on the other foot, it reeks of hypocrisy.

L. Lau



"These questions of autonomy, independence, freedom of the native peoples really is a decision that belongs to those persons living those problems."

Rigoberta Menchu Tum
1992 Nobel peace prize winner and a Mayan indigenous rights leader from Guatemala
In Honolulu for speaking engagements, urging Hawaiians to continue their fight for recognition as an indigenous people

"They're all hoping for the second coming."
Eric Gill
Newly elected secretary-treasurer of the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Local 5
Referring to an unsuccessful vote recount requested by incumbent Tony Rutledge and his supporters for leadership of the powerful Hawaii hotel workers' union

Unions have made a mess of Hawaii

I say shame, shame, shame on the unions in Hawaii. Recently, they have come out in large numbers at the Capitol to demonstrate and voice their opinions.

They think that being a state of strong unions makes Hawaii great. But they are partly to blame for causing the mess we are in.

Government workers abuse their overtime, paid vacations and sick leave days. They do sub-par work and cost taxpayers more money each year. And now they want a raise? This kind of selfishness the state doesn't need.

Tell the unions who really has the power -- not them, but the people of Hawaii. We need to elect candidates without union backing, so there will be no more political favors.

Alan Kim

Stronger civil service system is needed

More than 30 years ago, Ronald Reagan began campaigning against big government. Since then, it has been fashionable to use public workers as handy political scapegoats for many of the problems of society.

In reality, the lowly and much disparaged public workers are the backbone of civilization. Think of what our lives would be like without the public services and infrastructure they provide and that we all take for granted.

Imagine a world with no police officers, firefighters, paramedics, teachers, social workers, judges, correctional workers, lifeguards, park workers, sanitation workers and thousands of others. Think about life with no pure drinking drinking water, paved public roads, parks or public schools.

Remember that the civil service system was created to control political corruption and interference with necessary public services, and the appointment of incompetent political cronies to the public payroll.

Perhaps we need a stronger civil service system, with fewer politically appointed exempt positions, not a weaker one controlled by politics.

Gary F. Anderson

Brain drain is fed by UH budget cuts

As a Hawaii resident studying aquaculture at the University of Washington, I was deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the demise of the Marine Options Program at the University of Hawaii<.

At UW's School of Fisheries, I am privileged to enjoy a new, multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art building and am helping to choose four new faculty positions.

Unfortunately, at the same time at UH, the $150,000 MOP is being done away with and faculty members are diminishing.

And local politicians wonder why there is a brain drain.

Kenneth Liu

UH Marine Option Program

Luckily, trustees didn't buy newspaper

Regarding Sunday's "60 Minutes" report on Bishop Estate: The former Bishop Estate trustees controlled the governor (you know which one). They controlled the legislators, and the judges were theirs, too. Darn, they should have bought the free press.

Absolutely correct, Henry Peters. Thank God for your stupidity and for the Star-Bulletin.

John F. Parker

Sugar growers in Hawaii need help

The April 17 Scripps Howard News Service article got one thing right: Sugar prices are down 25 percent since last summer and growers are hurting.

This is creating a severe economic crisis for Hawaii sugar companies. Plantation closures in the islands would cost hundreds of jobs directly and thousands indirectly.

The price decline has been brought on by several factors beyond the control of sugar growers:

Bullet Under international trade agreements, the U.S. is obligated to import 1.5 million tons of sugar, whether needed or not.
Bullet Greater Mexican access to U.S. markets under NAFTA is pushing down the market.
Bullet Freedom to Farm legislation has permitted growers to switch from other crops to sugar.
Bullet Exploitation of an import loophole has led to hundreds of thousands of tons of sugar being imported under the guise of molasses.
Bullet A delay last fall by USDA in announcing the import quota for the year put downward pressure on the domestic sugar market.

In the past decade, not one penny of taxpayer funds has gone to sugar growers. In fact, since 1991, sugar growers have paid $279 million to the U.S. Treasury in a special marketing tax.

Unless sugar prices increase, the government could be forced to take up to 600,000 tons of forfeited sugar under a loan guarantee program that Hawaii sugar growers do not even take part in.

A smaller government purchase of sugar now would avoid the need to take the forfeited sugar and would be cheaper for the taxpayer. A government purchase of sugar will, in the long run, save the taxpayer money and help Hawaii sugar growers.

Rep. Patsy T. Mink (D)
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.

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