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Monday, November 6, 2000


DOE could use more common sense

I wish Governor Cayetano would have the same word with Schools Superintendent Paul LeMahieu that he had with Health Director Bruce Anderson regarding the release of information (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 27).

Several parents have testified to the Board of Education and Le-Mahieu about the alleged abuse of their special-needs children in the schools. Yet no word has come out that would give them, and concerned parents everywhere, confidence that any independent investigation has taken place.

One parent testified that his child was fed dog biscuits, while another reported her daughter's mouth was washed out with soap. A year earlier, a parent testified that a principal allegedly choked her child. Recently, a mother said a teacher was put on administrative leave for something done to her child, but no one would tell her what had happened.

This abominable secrecy must stop. No school-union agreement can bargain away the people's need to know that schools are safe or a parent's right to know what was done to his or her child.

Governor Cayetano should have a word with the Department of Education about common sense.

Larry Geller

Faculty union is wrong in its opposition

The leadership of the University of Hawaii faculty union, UHPA, has expressed concern about a phrase in the proposed constitutional amendment for UH autonomy: "The Legislature shall have exclusive jurisdiction to identify laws of statewide concern."

UHPA interprets this to mean that the Legislature, not the courts, will have the final say in deciding what is of statewide concern and can therefore override the Board of Regents (BOR). UHPA is wrong because:

Bullet The state Constitution gives the courts the power to review all matters of legal interpretation. The term "exclusive jurisdiction" does not restrict the judicial branch's power .

According to this amendment, if the Legislature wishes to override the BOR, it must write a bill for consideration and public debate during the session and pass it by a 51 percent vote in both the House and Senate.

If the Legislature did this, the BOR could plead its case with the governor, who must sign the bill for it to become law. If the governor does sign the bill, the BOR can ask the First Circuit Court to review whether the Legislature's identification of an issue is, in fact, a matter of statewide concern. Ultimately, the BOR could ask the state Supreme Court to decide the issue.

In reality, this amendment shifts responsibility and accountability for UH's internal management to the BOR.

Eugene S. Imai
Senior Vice President of Administration
University of Hawaii at Manoa



"I don't believe we are down by as much as has been reported in the polls."
Barbara Marumoto
Skeptical of reports that Gore will easily win in the islands or that tomorrow's national vote is too close to call

"Unless an establishment is required to give a Breathalyzer (test), who can tell?"
Keith Kaneshiro
Denying the eatery's responsibility for the death of Dana Ambrose after the Kakaako business was named as a co-defendant in a lawsuit filed by Ambrose's parents. She was killed in a car accident on Oct. 7 involving Clyde S. Arakawa, an off-duty police officer suspected of drunk driving.

Quit writing about Bishop Estate trustees

While I have nothing but respect for your reporter's ability when it comes to the Kamehameha Schools story (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 31, "Former trustees funneled donations to lawmakers"), he's kicking a dead horse.

The former trustees have paid for their past transgressions with their jobs and reputations. They are no longer at Kamehameha; they haven't been for 18 months. The people now leading the schools -- including Adm. Robert Kihune, CEO Hamilton McCubbin, retired Brig. Gen. Dwight Kealoha and financial expert Constance Lau -- are ultimate professionals. They've done a tremendous job putting Kamehameha back on track.

After three years of controversy, surely your reporter can find another subject to write about and let Kamehameha Schools go forward with its mission: the education of Hawaiian children.

Ed Kalama

(Editor's note: Ed Kalama is an employee of Kamehameha Schools, but his letter reflects his personal opinion.)

Puns in headlines are sometimes in bad taste

Your newspaper likes to play on words in headlines. But sometimes I wonder if they are intentional. In your Oct. 26 issue was the heading, "New opportunities sprout from old sugarcane fields." Clever. But the one above it -- about United Airlines pilots ratifying a new contract: "United pilots approve ground-breaking pact" -- made me uneasy. Personally, I don't feel comfortable about the association between airplane pilots and breaking ground.

Ted Chernin

Noelani school is deserving of award

Noelani Elementary School recently won Hawaii's Blue Ribbon School award (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 31). Mahalo and congratulations to Principal Clayton Fujie, the faculty, and Kupuna Chock and the staff who guide our school ohana.

Noelani is a place where our children can learn, work and play together and see the wider community be so proud of their accomplishments.

Just as native Hawaiian plants flourish under Fujie's keen eye and care, so do our children flourish at Noelani.

Gail Mizokawa

Cayetano is out to change his legacy

The governor has reached new levels of arrogance in wanting to do away with the Ala Wai Golf Course. His reasoning that every major American city has a large central park is pure shibai.

After two inept terms as governor, Ben Cayetano is worried about his legacy. He hopes to be remembered as the person who gave us a big central park rather than as the second-worst governor in Hawaii's history, after the morally corrupt John Waihee.

Never mind that the Ala Wai is the busiest municipal golf course in the world or that many of the golfers are retired and depend on the facility for exercise and fellowship. Never mind the will of the people.

Coming on the heels of Caye-tano's ridiculous idea of spending $30-40 million on an aquarium in Kakaako, which will attract more flies than tourists, it's obvious what his priority is: Make Ben look good.

The only legacy he will leave behind is being remembered as Ben the Ruthless. Perhaps they will name a shark after him at the new aquarium.

Roy Frank Westlake

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