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Wednesday, October 18, 2000

Campaign 2000


Foes offer
‘fresher ideas’

East Honolulu voters will send a political newcomer to the state House as their next representative. Democrat Greg Knudsen and Republican William (Bud) Stonebraker III are vying for the District 15 (Kalama Valley-Hawaii Kai-Portlock) seat held for 12 years by Democratic Rep. David Stegmaier, who is not seeking re-election.

Knudsen, 49, has worked for the Department of Education since 1987, with a two-year interval at the Office of International Relations. His wife, Karen, is a Board of Education member.

He was born in Nebraska and has lived in Hawaii since 1978, including 18 years in East Honolulu. He has a University of Hawaii master's degree in communication. His two children have attended public schools.

Stonebraker, who will be 29 on Nov. 26, was born on the North Shore and has lived in Hawaii Kai since he was 11, attending public schools.

He is assistant pastor at Calvary Chapel of Honolulu and he coaches young wrestlers. His wife, Keren, was a special-education teacher until their first child was born a year ago.

Each candidate feels he'd do the best job for the district -- Knudsen because of his government experience and Stonebraker because he hasn't worked for government.

Knudsen cites "decades of professional and personal experience" relating to the district's interests."

Stonebraker says, "I'm not a government paid-for guy ... I think people want to see younger, fresher ideas in there."

Knudsen says education should be the state's top priority because half the state budget goes to lower and higher education and it's essential to provide a system that meets state needs.

He also believes government agencies, including the Department of Education, should be trimmed and modernized.

Stonebraker traveled to Poland, Russia, Korea, Israel and other countries as part of his ministry and wrestling careers and said he saw the effect of politics on the people.

He realized when he had a daughter that it was important to get involved "to make a difference and preserve what I consider is a good form of government."

The educational system "needs a lot of focus," particularly in view of critical state audits, Stonebraker said.

A diver and surfer, he also stresses the need to "take a strong stance on environmental issues" to protect the eastern side of the island.

Helen Altonn, Star-Bulletin


Kalama Valley, Hawaii Kai, Portlock

Greg Knudsen (D)
Department of Education communications director
Background: Head, East-West Center public affairs publications; joined DOE in 1987; two years at Office of International Relations; returned to DOE

William (Bud) Stonebraker III (R)

Occupation: Assistant pastor, Calvary Chapel of Honolulu
Background: Small business owner; Pacific Activities League and Kaiser High School wrestling coach

Power line heats up
District 18 race

State House 18th District candidate Wayne Gau says the residents of Palolo Valley, St. Louis Heights and Kaimuki don't want Hawaiian Electric Co. to put up its controversial Kamoku-Pukele 138-kilovolt transmission line anywhere in the district.

Meanwhile, incumbent state Rep. Calvin Say's said his main worry is making sure the project's power lines do not intrude on streets in the district.

"I think constituents here have made it clear that they don't want the line and that's pretty much the end of the subject," said Gau, a 52-year-old lifelong resident of St. Louis Heights.

"The Palolo residents don't want it underground, the St. Louis Heights residents don't want that thing going up Waahila Ridge," said Gau, a Republican who ran for the seat in 1998 but lost in the primary.

He noted that three neighborhood boards oppose the project.

Say said he opposes the placing of power lines -- both underground and overhead -- in residential areas but believes it would be irresponsible to reject the Heco project altogether.

Say, a 48-year-old Democrat and lifelong Palolo resident, said the best alternative would be for the line to go underground up the Manoa side of Waahila and then go overhead when it reaches forested areas.

"They're not going to be pushing St. Louis Drive, or Frank Street or Bertram Street up St. Louis Heights, or Palolo Avenue or 10th Avenue of Palolo Valley," Say said.

To oppose the transmission line entirely, however, would jeopardize the reliability of Heco's system, he said.

Heco spokesman Chuck Freedman said going underground was explored and rejected because of environmental, safety/security, access and aesthetic issues due in large part to the remoteness of the upper ridge area. It also would be more expensive than the current proposal, which calls for the line to go overhead through all of the ridge, Freedman said.

If reelected, Say said he would push through legislation that would provide state-assisted funding of private, long-term care. Different funding sources for such a program need to be examined, he said, including gambling.

Gau said that if elected, a priority would be to create a state inspector general's office incorporating the auditor's office, the Campaign Spending Commission, parts of the attorney general's office and the state and county ethics offices. Such an agency, he said, is needed to investigate employee wrongdoing at the state and city levels, such as the Ewa Villages scandal.

Gordon Y.K. Pang, Star-Bulletin


Palolo Valley, St. Louis Heights, Kaimuki

Wayne Gau (R)
Occupation: clergyman, Celtic Evangelical Church
Background: Member of Diamond Head-Kapahulu-St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board; former college instructor

Calvin Say (D)

Occupation: Legislator, small businessman
Background: House member since 1976; House Speaker since 1998; former teacher Election Results
State Office of Elections

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