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Friday, May 4, 2001

McCorriston firm was not 'exonerated'

State Farm attorney Bill McCorriston should exit his glass house before casting his next stone about the failure to disclose relevant facts regarding his firm and the rules governing former judges.

In contrast to McCorriston's April 28 column, in pleadings filed by McCorriston's firm, it never disputes that a violation of the rules took place, it only challenges the "egregiousness" of the violation. The firm was not "exonerated" and the matter is on appeal.

As an examination of court records will confirm, State Farm has unsuccessfully done everything it can to prevent the case against it from going forward. McCorriston's claim that State Farm "did nothing wrong" rings hollow. If that's true, why did it use a former judge who heard the case to block the plaintiffs from discovering evidence the firm itself acknowledged was relevant? Of course, this is the same McCorriston who claimed that his other well-known clients -- the former Kamehameha Schools /Bishop Estate trustees -- did nothing wrong. Enough said.

McCorriston claims his firm "will cooperate with any investigation of our conduct in the Delmonte case." Yet I conducted an investigation and received none of the promised cooperation. McCorriston's statement that I engaged in "misconduct" in investigating State Farm's mistreatment of my client is false. The court did not make any finding of ethical misconduct. Neither I nor my clients are in a position to "harass" anyone. That, unfortunately, appears to be the tactic of State Farm and its apologists.

Terry Revere
Attorney for James and Sandra Delmonte


"Bud, as modest as he was, perhaps would have vetoed my proposal. Well, Bud, you can't edit me now, so here it is."
Dr. Norman Goldstein,
Editor of the Hawaii Medical Journal, announcing that the University of Hawaii School of Medicine has conferred an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree upon Star-Bulletin editor and columnist A.A. "Bud" Smyser, who died March 19. Smyser was a longtime champion of hospice care and death with dignity.

"We're debating a way to punish a school system that has over the years been deprived of funds."
Rep. Patsy Mink,
Democratic representative of Hawaii, debating a provision for school vouchers in President Bush's education bill. The House Education Committee voted to remove the voucher plan from the legislation.

Fluoride candy may be kids' best bet

Fluoride, for the purpose of strengthening teeth and preventing cavities, is readily available in many different forms. Pediatricians routinely prescribe tiny blue tablets, which are taken by children under 12. There are the colorful multi-vitamins, with fluoride added. Many popular toothpastes and mouth rinses contain fluoride. Specialty brands of bottled water contain it.

Most dentists recommend an external annual fluoride treatment. It is sold in stronger doses over the counter, or by prescription if needed.

Somehow, I just don't think it will be effectively consumed by many children here in Hawaii until it is spun into globs of sticky cotton candy. My suggestion is to leave it out of our drinking water, and spin it right into the "sugar-on-a-stick" at the annual State Farm Fair. That way the population who needs it most will be sure to get it!

Karyn Herrmann

Kerrey should keep his medals

In a war, there could be atrocities by both sides. Reasons or motives include survival -- kill or be killed -- masochism or revenge. Regarding the SEAL unit raid led by Lt. Bob Kerrey on Feb. 25, 1969 in which Vietnamese civilians in the village of Thanh Phong were killed, there are two versions: one by Kerrey and six members of his unit; the other by survivors and one member of his unit. Which version a reader believes is his or her own decision.

Let Kerrey keep his medals. He'll have them and his Vietnam memories the rest of his life.

How Tim Chang

Kahle goes too far in his cause

This letter is to all citizens of Hawaii who are tired of Mitch Kahle, president of the Hawaii Citizens for the Separation Church and State, and his efforts to dismantle Christianity ("Group wants removal of 30-foot cross," Star-Bulletin, April 26).

It's time that we stood as a group to counter what this sorely misinformed young man is doing. Any one with me in this effort?

F.A. McCafferty

The golden goose can lay eggs

Not long ago, I considered environmentalists and their organizations to be weird, nature-obsessive, John Muirists -- 19th-century romantics, hopelessly out of touch with the times. Like many Hawaii residents, I was horrified to learn that the Sierra Club had sued the Hawaii Tourism Authority to force a study of the impact of bringing a million more tourists to our state.

As an economic development specialist, I looked upon "tree-huggers" as enemies of progress.

No more. Now I have a different view and Hawaii Sierra Club chairman David Frankel is starting to make a lot of sense (Star-Bulletin, March 10).

Consider Manoa Valley, where I live. We're getting slammed on three sides.

There are times when Manoa Falls Trail looks more like the sidewalks of Bishop Street than unspoiled wilderness. Hawaiian Electric wants to turn pristine and historic Waahila Ridge into Pittsburgh, and traffic along the H-1 is developing an ominous Los Angeles appearance.

You've got to form a queue to get to the top of Diamond Head. A Canadian visitor I recently met described a cigarette-butt-ridden Waikiki Beach as a "giant ashtray" and vowed he wouldn't return.

We can keep our heads buried in the sands of that ashtray, or start giving some serious consideration to the impacts of tourism growth on our state before it's too late.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority and visitor industry executives may not want to hear this, but I believe the Sierra Club has given us a badly needed wake-up call.

For the sake of our environment, our economy and the future of Hawaii, we must give their efforts our most enthusiastic support.

C. Richard Fassler

State should get rid of 'baseball arbitration'

After the teachers' strike -- and after many past public employee strikes -- one of the root causes of such strikes should be addressed. That is the use of "baseball arbitration."

In such arbitration, unlike normal arbitration, the arbitrator cannot pick a reasonable wage increase, between the figures proposed by each side.

Instead, the arbitrator must adopt the proposal of one side or the other. Since the state always proposes no raise, or close to it, the arbitrator is forced to adopt whatever wage increase the employees' union proposes, even when that proposal seems too high.

Restoring the right of the arbitrator to pick a number between the two proposals would, it seems to me, help avoid future strikes, since an appropriate compromise would already have been reached by the arbitrator.

Robert B. Bunn

Letter guidelines

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.

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