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Tuesday, October 31, 2000


Kanno has close connection to unions

Recently, those of us who live in Makakilo, Kapolei and Ewa Beach received letters from Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono in support of Sen. Brian Kanno. She notes that Kanno has come under attack for being "too close to the unions."

Hirono doesn't deny this but tries to explain. The net effect of her letter was to send me to the Internet to check contributions made to Kanno's campaign. I learned that, this year alone, he's received $13,000-15,000 in campaign contributions from guess who. Yes, a variety of unions.

Not surprisingly, the Hawaii Government Employees Association led the way by contributing almost $3,000 to him. But other unions, like the Iron Workers, United Public Workers, Electricians, etc., were represented as well.

And, oh yes, the HGEA's Russell Okata, the man whom Kanno turned to for advice in the senator's decision to vote against Attorney General Margery Bronster's confirmation, also contributed to Kanno's campaign. So did Gail Okata.

Know what, Mazie? You are right. Brian is too close to the unions. Sadly, there were comparatively few contributions -- I counted 11 -- to Kanno's campaign from the 96706 or 96707 zip codes within his own district.

Joe Gardewin

Need should determine where parks are built

Will the Honolulu City Council please consider social justice?

I applaud the heart of Council members who want to buy parks in Waimea or Manoa (Paradise Park) for the future, but how about first saving children who are growing up in neighborhoods where park facilities are absent or near absent?

The Council should prioritize completion of parks in growing areas like Ewa and focus on completing parks in what fits the description of "at-risk areas," according to the state Department of Health.

After all, we are an island and what happens to the families in these neighborhoods will affect those even in the most affluent communities.

Carolyn Hildebrand



"His legs looked like chopped meat
and broken bones were sticking out."

Dr. Gunther Hintz
Describing Cambodian teen Sok Ouey whose legs
were mangled by a land mine. He came to Oahu to successfully
undergo six months of reconstructive surgery, skin grafts and
physical therapy at Shriners Hospital for Children.


"I can't print my own money."

Tim Johns
To Kauai's tourism leaders during a speech in 1998.
Johns acknowledges that state parks on the Garden Island are in
bad shape but says there isn't enough government
funding to fix them up.

OHA shouldn't renege on housing funding

The move by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs board to rescind $6.6 million for our revolving loan fund is a complete surprise (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 26). Our program, which loans affiliates up to $20,000 toward construction of self-help homes, has helped provide shelter for 16 low-income families on Oahu.

This loan program, unlike a grant, must be paid back to OHA within 10 years. It has jump started home construction for families formerly living in what can only be described as Third World poverty.

I wish OHA trustees and staffers could have seen how the Kaleos of Waimanalo, and the Piis and Gomes of Nanakuli, were living before they became partner families. They are hard-working and pay back mortgages to our organization. Nobody gets a free ride.

We are devastated by the potential loss of this funding. We are current with all of our loan payments and financial obligations, and are audited every year. It is incredible that this multimillion-dollar agency, whose charter is to assist Hawaiian families, would see it fit to balance its books on the backs of the poorest of their constituency.

Our board has just initiated a major push to increase the level of our building program to a goal of 300 homes in five years. We were counting on OHA and the loan program as instrumental in this effort. In fact, several grant proposals identify the OHA program as a major source of funding. We ask its board to uphold the agreement we have with it.

Joseph Uno
Honolulu Habitat for Humanity

Cast OHA ballots for Hawaiians only

As non-Hawaiians, we have struggled with the issue of voting in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs election. We decided to listen to the kanaka maoli, both leaders and common folks.

The result: We will vote on the OHA ballot and only for qualified Hawaiian candidates.

We can assume there will be a significant bloc of votes for non-Hawaiian candidates, some of whom are anti-Hawaiian and against the native people's self-determination.

The Akaka bill, which will provide by far the best gateway to eventual Hawaiian sovereignty, is still undecided. These two factors and the counsel we received provide us with compelling reasons to vote for Hawaiian candidates who support Hawaiian self-governance.

James and Yoshie Tanabe

State should track how child support is spent

In Hawaii, there are people like me who pay child support yet we get no feedback from either the state Attorney General's Office or Child Support Enforcement Agency about how our child-support payments are being used.

We have a right to know how this money is being spent -- on our kids or their custodial caretakers?

If the state can spend money to track down deadbeat dads, it should be able to investigate how child-support payments are being used. After all, it's for our kids.

Ronald Ewe

Police are at risk when liquor is being served

Concerning alcohol consumption at Aloha Stadium during University of Hawaii football games or at other public venues: Maybe the Honolulu Police Department's fee schedule for off-duty police officers should be set relative to the risk involved to officers.

Insuring a business where alcohol is being served usually requires a substantially higher premium due to the obvious increased risk.

Likewise, since Honolulu police officers are subjected to greater risk and potential harm where alcohol is being consumed, their fees should be reflected accordingly.

Harris Okuda

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