Trustees were right
to drop water request


The Kamehameha Schools halts its bid to use Waiahole water for a Leeward Oahu housing and golf course development.

The Kamehameha Schools' withdrawal of its request to use water from the Waiahole Ditch for a Leeward Oahu development represents a significant shift in the trust's outlook on how it executes its mission to educate Hawaiian children. In retracting its request, the trust appropriately recognizes that the preservation of Hawaiian cultural and natural resources is as important as enhancing its financial assets in the effort to realize its goals.

The decision also quelled the potential for further conflict between the trust and opposing community groups, many of whose members are Hawaiians or graduates of Kamehameha Schools and whose way of life is close to that of traditional Hawaiians. The trustees were likely reluctant to deal with another volatile situation on the heels of last month's controversy involving admittance of a non-Hawaiian student at its Maui campus.

The plan for the Waiawa housing and golf course on trust-owned land is a remnant of the past, initiated 15 years ago when the then-trustees were largely focused on increasing financial worth. The trust had argued that because the ditch water ran through its land, it could lay claim to its use. However, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that water is held in public trust, that no one can own its flow.

The trust had sought 4.2 million gallons for landscape and golf course irrigation. Opponents said because the water would be used for non-agricultural purposes, Kamehameha Schools should look for other sources, such as reclaimed or surface water. The trust rejected those options as too costly when compared to the relatively inexpensive ditch flow.

With its change of mind, Kamehameha Schools has adopted a more holistic approach to its educational mandate. Waiahole Stream from where the water would be diverted supports a number of farms and taro cultivations as well as gathering sites. The valley remains as an ahupuaa, a mountain-to-sea ecosystem that early Hawaiians employed for sustenance. It is a living classroom for native culture and the trust prudently realizes that its stewardship of such resources goes hand in hand with extending its reach to Hawaiians and the larger community.

That the trust and community groups could find common ground is propitious. Kamehameha Schools appears to be at a turning point, thoughtfully plotting its path to include all the varied aspects of its service to educate. All parties should be commended for bringing the conflict to a harmonious end.


Humane Society is best
at handling noisy animals


Enforcement of animal nuisance laws has been shifted from the Hawaiian Humane Society to the Honolulu Police Department.

BUDGET shortages prompted the City Council to shift responsibility for responding to animal nuisance complaints from the Hawaiian Humane Society to the police, but confusion and reduced enforcement could be the result. Imposition of fines could pay for the cost and return the duties to the Humane Society.

The Council rejected a proposed $80,000 funding increase to pay the Humane Society for the enforcement of laws against animal noise, such as barking dogs or crowing roosters. The organization will continue to enforce laws regarding animal cruelty and neglect, stray and dangerous dogs, animal abandonment and pet licensing.

A city ordinance calls for fines of up to $50 for the first offense and up to $1,000, 30 days in jail or both for a third offense within two years for animal nuisance violations. A nuisance is described as continuous or incessant noise for 10 minutes or intermittent noise for a half hour.

Police last month responded to 80 animal nuisance complaints, but few if any resulted in citations, according to Assistant Police Chief Paul Putzulu. He says that could change, and it should. Responding to legitimate complaints and then failing to cite offenders and levy fines is both costly and ineffective. Through imposition of fines, the enforcement of nuisance laws should pay for itself.

"The Humane Society needs to use its donations for our animal welfare programs, not to underwrite the city's law enforcement and public safety functions," says spokeswoman Eve Holt. The society also should not be bashful about citing violators with the goal of making its enforcement operations self-sustaining. Enforcement duties should not have to be supported by donations.

The Humane Society has agreed to participate in enforcement of animal-related laws as part of its role to look out for animal welfare. Police are not likely to devote the same level of interest to enforcement of such laws. The society should not be expected to use donations to support those activities any more than police should rely on private contributions to pay for enforcement of other laws.


Published by Oahu Publications Inc., a subsidiary of Black Press.

Don Kendall, Publisher

Frank Bridgewater, Editor 529-4791;
Michael Rovner,
Assistant Editor 529-4768;
Lucy Young-Oda, Assistant Editor 529-4762;

Mary Poole, Editorial Page Editor, 529-4790;
John Flanagan, Contributing Editor 294-3533;

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