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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, May 20, 2010

Speaker's role


This responds to David Shapiro's May 17 column concerning leasehold legislation headlined, "Lawmakers interfering in private business."

First, I have not attempted to hide my affiliation with Tokyo Bento Nichiyo. My financial disclosure form filed with the state Ethics Commission clearly identifies the company as an income source for me.

Second, I do not have a conflict of interest regarding the leasehold legislation under House Rule 60.5. Under the rule, when a House member is among a "class" affected by legislation, there is no conflict. Since I am part of a "class" of 180 tenants affected by the legislation, I have no conflict.

Third, the Legislature does not automatically shy away from passing legislation simply because opponents allege that it has some sort of legal problem. The Legislature weighs such allegations against counter-arguments and other information before making its decisions. If the legislation is challenged, then it is up to the court to rule.

Finally, Senate Bill 2020, which extends the leasehold legislation, serves a legitimate public purpose. It was supported by many small businesses and passed by bipartisan votes of 25 to 0 in the Senate and 41 to 10 in the House. I refer your readers to the testimony and committee reports on SB 2020 at the Legislature's website at capitol.hawaii.gov/session2010/.

Calvin K.y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives



The teachers in this state are only part of the problem. I don't begrudge them for wanting to keep their money, but they should be held accountable for our state being at the bottom of the math and English scale nationwide. We don't have dumb children, we have a broken system.

The people who we should blame are the administrators who decide where the money is spent.

No one is camping out in their offices demanding accountability. The mismanagement in the Department of Education is rampant. They are just sitting back, out of the spotlight, watching, as the people of Hawai'i blame everyone but them.

If you want to protest, start with the DOE.

Paul Stegman



Mr. Richard Tolin (Letters, May 17) must have missed the votes from Democrats in the House and the Senate on the recent health care bill. Passed by Democrats who didn't even bother to read the bill, just voted as they were told. How do I describe this process? "Parroting" fits nicely.

I would venture to say that Mr. Djou supports our president. But, he won't vote just to not hurt the president's feelings. Mr. Djou has stated publicly that if the Democrat position is right, he would support it; if not, he would oppose. I have no reason to doubt him on this. I think that is a reasonable stance. Conversely, Ms. Hanabusa would be in lock-step with Speaker Pelosi, Sen. Inouye and the president.

I don't want a rubber-stamp Congress and neither should you, Mr. Tolin. A two-party system has its flaws, but it keeps one party from ramming ill-advised and expensive legislation through. Just look at the national debt/deficit to date and you'll see why this is not what the American people deserve.

Jim Fromm


In response to Richard Tolin's comments that Charles Djou "will vote the way he is told to vote," where has Mr. Tolin been living all these years? Look at the congressional vote on the Obama health care bill. How many Democrats dared to vote against that bill? This is exactly how the state of Hawai'i is being governed by our Legislature.

Our state is under "one-party rule" and the Democrat leadership demands party loyalty on bills that they have determined to be best for the state. Actually, those bills turn out to be best for the individual party leadership.

Look at the loss of ethics and "back-room" decisions that occur every day in the square building when the Legislature is in session. Out of 51 House members, there are only five seats held by the opposition party. In the Senate, there are only two seats held by Republicans. Is this any way to govern?

Change is on the way, and we the people are tired of the "same old thing," and we won't take it anymore. Yes, it is time for a change.

Phil Powers



I am writing to express my appreciation for the excellent performance of the Combined Military Band Concert, held at the Hawaii Theatre May 15.

For those who did not have the opportunity to attend this function, you missed a great presentation. I was deeply touched, as many others were, by the beautiful selections of music performed. Many of the selections brought memories of our lost loved ones in the military.

Also, I am deeply grateful to the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and TriWest Healthcare Alliance for sponsoring this wonderful concert, giving us the opportunity to hear such beautiful renditions by our military band.

Mahalo nui loa and hope to hear you again in 2011.

Lehua Mccolgan



Kudos to Stanley Lee and Curtis Murayama for nicely compiling the results and thoughts of the boys and girls who won their respective events in the state track and field championship (Sports, May 18). I don't recall if I ever saw the championship recorded this way. It was refreshing to read the thoughts and reactions of each event winner.

These young people are a window to the future of this state and it was encouraging to read how they accomplished their achievements .

Congratulations to all the participants and winners.

J.f. Hilton