Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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April 18, 2007 - MidWeek
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Conflict of interest

I disagree with Larry Price’s comments on Iwalani White. Unfortunately, Mr. Price has failed to disclose that his wife works directly under Ms. White’s supervision.

She, in fact, was involved in an investigation of a former deputy director who testified against Ms. White. Old school journalism ethics should have led Mr. Price to recuse himself from any commentary on the subject, or to at least publicly disclose his conflict of interest.

Mr. Price goes on to write that Ms. White’s rejection is based on being a native Hawaiian female. What an absurd statement. Gender and ethnicity never came up as an issue during the Senate confirmation hearings. Kamehameha School graduates Georgina Kawamura, director of the Department of Budget and Finance, and Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Department of Health, were easily confirmed. Both received plaudits in their hearings, and were approved by the Senate to return to their posts as directors.

The testimony against Ms. White led the Senate to the conclusion that in her brief term as interim director she created an environment of fear, mistrust and uncertainty in several sectors of the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Multiple bad decisions and questionable judgments also raised doubts about her leadership ability.

Although many individuals supported her, the opposition to Ms. White was unprecedented in recent political history. More than 21 persons testified against her. Within the department itself, many spoke against her confirmation, from adult corrections officers and guards to mid- and upper- level management, and professional staff.

Numerous mental health advocates and others outside the system also spoke against Ms. White.

Mr. Price’s column simply got it wrong. His wife’s employment with the Department of Public Safety may have biased his opinions. The Senate did its job fairly and properly when it rejected the governor’s nominee.

Sen. Will Espero Chair, Senate Public Safety


Just the Bush facts

Letter writer Loren Carpenter ignores the facts that the current GOP administration has - in the past five years - given us the largest government, the biggest debt and deficit in our country’s history, and a war-without-end. You can’t blame Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, who was just elected to office, for what George Bush and the GOP-controlled Congress and Supreme Court have done to us.

Now Bush has said he will veto the bill which gives him the funds he needs to escalate the Iraq war, simply because the Congress, over which he no longer has total control, used the bill to tell him how to end that war.

Let’s stick to the facts.

Keith Haugen


One-term Mufi?

For once I find myself agreeing with Bob Jones, at least a little bit. I agree that Mayor Mufi will be a one-term mayor, but not because Mufi inherited problems - everyone knew we had problems leftover from Mayor Harris - but because of the way he has decided to handle them. The electorate just cannot afford to fix everything all at once and build a $3.7 billion rail system that his own own analysts say will not reduce traffic congestion.

Mayor Mufi has to understand that we the people have our own repairs to make on our homes, that our families have bills, and that we cannot afford to be constantly paying increasing property taxes, sewer fees and GET increases and still maintain a minimal lifestyle. Many people on fixed incomes are moving away because of his increase in fees and taxes.

His mantra for getting elected was: Do we need it? Can we afford it? Can we maintain it? All an opponent in the mayoral election of 2008 has to say is: Do we need Mufi? Can we afford him? Can we maintain all the projects he has started? The answer will be a vote for whoever is Mufi’s opponent.

Garry P. Smith

Ewa Beach

No raise for Mufi

Mayor Hannemann hasn’t done anything but take, take, take from the citizens of Hawaii and he does-n’t deserve the 4.5 percent pay hike that is being proposed. He has been instrumental in raising our property taxes to an obscene level. He has increased our sewer fees. Now he wants a 4.5 percent pay raise. Why?

James Lee


Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by email to dchapman@midweek.com. Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
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