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Saturday, May 5, 2001

UH needs Dobelle's fund-raising expertise

Nationwide, colleges and universities collected a record $23.2 billion in 1999-2000. Now, with the sharp downturn in tech stocks, former Democratic Party Treasurer Evan Dobelle is needed more than ever to raise funds from University of Hawaii alumni and others.

Stanford University's law school netted $115 million in 1999-2000. Top fundraisers among public universities were the University of Wisconsin-Madison at $280 million in 1999-2000 and University of California-Loa Angeles at $253 million.

Richard Thompson

Only Ige is to blame for his troubles

The Star-Bulletin's April 25 story on Marshall Ige said:

"'Ige has served the community for 20 years in the state House and Senate and has had his family's name dragged through the mud. This has gone far enough," (his lawyer) Michael McCarthy said.'"

His name hasn't been dragged through the mud because something voters have done. It got muddied because of a number of things he has done. And he's angry because he was held accountable? He's lucky I wasn't handing out his sentence; he'd be a lot angrier.

The story continued: "Ige's legal woes continue in September when he goes to trial on felony charges that he took $30,000 from a Beverly Hills couple and laundered the money through a third party. He is also accused of taking $7,000 from a Windward Oahu farmer after threatening to evict him."

I wonder if he'll be able to dance his way around a jail term on this one?

Robert G. Devine
Ocean View, Hawaii

Foreign visitors need better airport service

My wife and I passed through Honolulu International Airport in 1994 and were surprised to find that credit card phones were not available. Of course, there were no facilities to obtain U.S. currency or change for the coin phones either.

Now seven years later (and how many millions of passengers?) nothing has changed. This time, however, the news stand was open and sells phone cards if you have U.S. notes obtained elsewhere. But still there are no card phones.

These facilities do nothing for Hawaii's or the United States' image of technological advancement.

G. Scott
South Africa


"It's not one of those prophecies I wanted to come true."
Virginia Lowell,
Hawaii state librarian, on the scheduled December completion of the Kapolei Public Library building, which will remain closed indefinitely because the Legislature did not budget for library furniture or books. Lowell, foreseeing one year ago that the library would not have a book budget, had said, "They can build it, but I won't come."

"Most people did exactly what they should have (to get off welfare). But you have this small group that I really feel never believed that this time would come."
Kris Foster,
Administrator with the state Department of Human Services, on welfare recipients who will lose their eligibility Dec. 1 under welfare reforms adopted in 1996 that halt payments after five years.

Alm will continue good works as judge

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Steve Alm for the outstanding service he has provided as U.S. attorney for Hawaii.

Under Steve's leadership, Hawaii has been able to make positive strides in the ongoing war on crime. By employing a combination of federal, state and local resources, he has fostered a synergistic strategy that has proven successful in reducing crime. One example is the Weed & Seed Program.

This collaborative effort teams federal, state and local agencies with the community to identify problems, weed out the criminal elements and seed in community-building elements. I had the privilege of observing his skills firsthand when Weed & Seed launched its program in Waipahu last year. The results were almost immediate, netting 31 individuals for drug trafficking and establishing community projects that fostered better relations between neighbors and created a sense of pride throughout the community. The success of the Weed & Seed's first site in the Kalihi-Palama-Chinatown area has been nothing short of phenomenal, reducing Part I Crimes (murder, negligent homicide, rape, robbery and burglary) by 75 percent and Part II Crimes (drug law, DUI, prostitution, gambling, family offenses, weapons and stolen property) by 69 percent. With such promising results we are looking for our successes to continue to build in Waipahu.

These examples are mere footnotes in what will undoubtedly be a prosperous career on the bench. Steve has proven his abilities as a protector of our community, and with his appointment to the Circuit Court, he will continue to serve the people of our state.

John DeSoto
Councilman, District 9
City and County of Honolulu

Hilton tower would be visual disaster

From the point of view of the betterment of Waikiki and the neighborhood of the Hilton Hawaiian Village, adding a seventh 350-foot plus tower just makes no sense. It would be a visual disaster adding materially to the "Chinese Wall" effect on Ala Moana Boulevard. It would fly in the face of the mayor's constructive plan to limit the density of Waikiki.

The additional traffic created by cars for 400 more rooms plus another stop light on already jammed Ala Moana Boulevard will create more noise, more pollution and more frustration. The argument that there would be more pedestrian access to the beach is specious. The few from the neighborhood who go to the beach on foot have plenty of access through Hobron and Dewey Lanes and Paoa Place.

Economically, it would add a small amount to the Hilton's profit and we have no objections to that. But because it would dramatically reduce the ocean views of literally hundreds of condominiums and hence reduce their value, it is not even a good deal from an overall financial viewpoint.

Hilton is just finishing the new Kalia Tower. That's enough. Let's leave the few relatively open spaces left on Waikiki alone and turn down this proposal.

Mr. and Mrs. Victor Cole

Pursuing Waahila makes HECO look bad

When will HECO's bosses give up their environmentally disastrous Waahila Ridge power line project? This community-opposed, scientifically unfounded, view-destroying monster is a public relations black hole for them.

Their shameful performance at the recent PUC hearing -- busing in uninformed "seniors" from the North Shore, manipulating hundreds of their employees to show up with yellow T-shirts, and trotting out some high-paid hacks from the electric industry from the mainland -- made it clear to all Hawaii residents the hard-ball, deceitful tactics HECO, the state's largest corporation, favors instead of honest negotiation with its ratepayers.

We all know that savaging beautiful Waahila Ridge conservation park lands is an assault on nature and people. We all know that archaic and harmful energy technology will only lock us into dependence on fossil fuels. We all know that renewables -- like solar, wind and fuel cells -- are the alternatives of the future. And we all know that in order to protect the beauty and livability of our aina requires undergrounding of all utilities.

How sad that the hardened minds of a few HECO executives can inflict such a scar on our community.

Nancie Caraway

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