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Your Views for May 26

How to fix UH

What is the University of Hawaii administration? It is a titanic, multi-stationed bureaucracy with characteristics of a welfare state.

What is the University of Hawaii administration not? It is not a sharply operated business entity. The administration would be insolvent but for the fact that it is subsidized.

Downsizing and focus are the two keys to success for an organization in such straights. The relevant skill set is the key to choosing an effective future leader.

Close perimeter stations and focus on academics, exclusively. Raise the standards. Matriculating should be a privilege, not an entitlement.

The relevant skill set is indispensable for the next chief. Understanding the landscape is the first imperative skill. Only someone who has lived in Hawaii for a number of years is going to meet this requirement. Business talent is the second necessary skill. At a core level, the university is a business.

Courage is the third requisite skill. This will be a difficult skill to measure. It will be a more difficult skill to fulfill. True grit is uncommon.

Remember Michael Jordon? Great basketball player. Not such a great baseball player. Different skill set. Hiring a nutritionist or microbiologist to run a multi-billion dollar business is like putting a baseball bat in the hands of a basketball player.

And entities in trouble need to downsize and focus on the core mission.

David Ashley Mihaila


‘People know best’

I’m all for safety while driving, but, come on — mandatory seat belts for all passengers? Now the state is telling us what to do in our own vehicles.

So why is it we’re responsible for our own registration fees? You pay them since you want to order us to do, or don’t do, this or that with our own vehicles. As long as we’re paying outrageous taxes and fees on our vehicles, we truly don’t OWN them.

Why is it the state mandates how we live, yet we, as voters, aren’t given the right to vote on issues regarding cutbacks, pay increases, etc? Sure, we have elected officials, but sometimes the people know best.

Nina Bayliss


Silly opposition

In (a recent Tribune-Herald), someone from the CAVE (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) Party whined and objected to the proposed energy-generating solar plant in Ocean View, calling for an “environmental study.” How much more frivolous and ridiculous can one get?

Solar energy (which our star, the Sun, produces by nuclear fission all year round) is the cleanest source of energy there exists! Hydroelectric generation, although “clean,” may have unwanted environmental effects downstream. Geothermal energy seems to be controversial on our island for reasons that are not entirely understandable.

The Public Utilities Commission, in all its wisdom, has set a high price for the proposed solar energy: 22 cents per kilowatt-hour. It may still be worthwhile if HELCO passes the saving on to us, the consumers! Of course, HELCO does not have favorable record of doing so. But that does not seem to concern this representative of the CAVE Party.

Pradeepta Chowdhury


Beyond petroleum

Permit me to correct a statement made on page A4 in the May 23 edition. It reads, “Affordable, low-carbon alternatives (to petroleum) aren’t widely available.” This is grossly incorrect.

Alternatives have been available for over 30 years; many are extremely affordable. Remembering that CO2 levels are at a worldwide toxic high, one realizes it is the petroleum that is unaffordable.




Look in the mirror

A recent Samsung advertisement sparked cries of sexism from men, as it featured a man displaying the stereotypical “male” behaviors: staring blankly at a TV, munching chicken wings with his mouth open, and laughing at his own flatulence. His wife fantasized about “evolving” him into an equally empty-eyed house-husband who did all the household chores while she sat and did exactly as much work as he was before the “upgrade.”

In response to this controversy, Dr. Gail Dines of Wheelock College in Boston stated that “it can’t be sexist. Just like a black person can’t be racist.”

If racism is defined as “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race …” and “prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief,” then we can easily find arguments against such statements.

How many of us are aware that “white men can’t jump,” or notice disproportionate racial distribution among professional athletes? How many of us have been yelled at to “go home, haole” or felt that the reason we were denied a job or promotion was because we WEREN’T a minority?

Despite what a map of Hilo might suggest, most roads go both ways. Regardless of the facade we put on in public, we all have some sort of bias.

Please take the time to look at yourself in the mirror before accusing others of prejudice.

Michael Valentine


Voters won’t forget

Dear County Council: If you think supporting Mayor Billy Kenoi’s large and painful property tax increases (10 percent!) will get you re-elected in two years, guess again.

We are watching, and we won’t forget how you vote on this one.

Most of us are too busy to attend council meetings to voice our opposition. Don’t be fooled into thinking there’s support for these increases.

Mark Moniz



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