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LETTERS for February 26 issue

By Staff | Feb 26, 2015

Bishop’s legacy helps the Hawaiian people

Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop was a woman of intelligence, compassion and foresight who understood that her kuleana as a Hawaiian ali’i was to serve her people.

Pauahi Paki was born on Dec. 19, 1831 in Honolulu to high chiefs Abner Paki and Laura Konia Paki. She was the great-granddaughter of Kamehameha I, the warrior chief who united the Hawaiian Islands under his rule in 1810. She was an excellent student, gifted in music and known for her generosity and kindness.

At 19, Pauahi married Charles Reed Bishop, a young American businessman who had made his way to the Kingdom of Hawaii from Glens Falls, New York.

As the last royal descendent of the Kamehameha line, Pauahi inherited thousands of acres of land, much of it from the estate of her cousin, Princess Ruth Ke’elikolani. Her inheritance, about 9 percent of the island chain’s total acreage, made Pauahi the largest landholder in the kingdom.

When Pauahi was born, the Native Hawaiian population numbered about 124,000. When she wrote her will in 1883, only 44,000 Hawaiians remained. Pauahi witnessed the rapid decline of the Hawaiian population. With that decline came a loss of Hawaiian language, culture and traditions. She believed education would offer her people hope and a future, so she left her estate to found Kamehameha Schools.

After Pauahi’s death on Oct. 16, 1884, Charles, as president of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate’s Board of Trustees, ensured that his wife’s wish was fulfilled. He generously provided his own funds for the construction and added some of his own properties to her estate. Until his death in 1915, he continued to guide her trustees in directions that reinforced her vision of a perpetual educational institution that would build a vibrant future for her people.

When she passed away, Pauahi’s estate comprised 375,000 acres of land assessed at about $474,000. Today, it includes nearly 365,800 acres of Hawaii land, and combined with other assets, is valued at more than $9 billion.

Pauahi’s endowment supports Kamehameha Schools, which has grown to a statewide education system serving more than 47,000 learners annually at 30 preschool sites; K-12 campuses on Hawaii, Maui and Oahu; and through a broad range of community outreach programs.



Bus complaints not addressed

County Department of Transportation official Jo Anne Johnson-Winer ignored some of the major complaints I wrote about bus services, while glossing over some of the others with misleading and evasive replies in her letter.

Transit centers in Kahului and Lahaina are still over-packing the buses on this route, turning away locals so tourists could board and ignoring monthly passes for cash-paying cruise ship people to board.

The transit employees are still intercepting cash-holding cruise ship visitors to write them day passes, while monthly pass-holding workers and locals could not board afterwards. Johnson said another bus was added on this route, but we never found it. She said there was an extra one in the afternoon, yet the overcrowding is in the MORNING! It is also returning during after work rush hours with still overcrowded buses.

She mentioned new bus shelters for the Lahaina side but ignored the massive complaints about no shelters at the rainiest, windiest bus stops on Maui. These are in Haiku, Paia and Makawao. Why not move the ones where it almost never rains in South Maui to those stops? Why not replace the skinny, wobbly, one- to two-person wooden benches at some stops (built voluntarily by a resident) with real benches, like 100 percent of the bus stops we saw on the Mainland in three states?

Why are there no trashcans at nearly all bus stops outside of Kahului? Litter is all over the ground at those stops, and I consistently pick it up as a volunteer.

Why was the rain shelter bus stop at Haiku Elementary discontinued, so it’s a time-consuming, wet walk to the new stop? People get drenched with groceries and possessions Upcountry, courtesy of our county.

Another complaint is several drivers like to slam on the brakes unexpectedly, over and over, when there is nothing in front of them at all. Standing on overcrowded buses, I have been slammed into those metal poles inside and other passengers. Most drivers drive well, smile and offer friendly aloha. They should not give people dirty looks or ignore them.

Johnson missed the point on only having two bike racks for dozens of people trying to board with their bikes. I used countless buses in dozens of counties on the Mainland and never saw a danger or problem in buses with three bike racks on the front and three on the back of the bus. The problem is Maui County bureaucrats and politicians, who inconvenience commuters who need to get to work and appointments on bikes.

The great need for a reverse bus loop from Paia to Haiku to Makawao to Pukalani was also brushed off. Why should it take one hour or an hour-and-a-half to go from Paia to Upcountry, or Makawao to Pukalani, when these destinations are only 4-7 miles away? The current route involves a wasted, long round-trip from Upcountry or Paia to downtown Kahului, a wait for another bus and transfer, then go all the way back up the coast and Upcountry.

Also, why can’t some of the drivers shorten their cigarette breaks – or talk story sessions with other drivers – and stop for just 20 short seconds at Costco, K-Mart and the dozens of other popular stores near them?

Another quickie stop to help a lot of people would be the Lahaina to Kahului bus stopping for just a few seconds at the most popular beach park in West Maui, Launiupoko. Olowalu is also a real town with businesses, beaches, a surf spot and plenty of space for a bus stop. Bus breaks at the Lahaina transit center are often 10-15 minutes long; there is plenty of time for additional 20-second stops.

I have collected these complaints from hundreds of commuters over three years. There are still no results from the bus company and the county.



Support junior golf in Hawaii

The Aloha Section PGA and the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association ask your support to spread the word about Hawaii Junior Golf Day.

Hawaii Junior Golf Day will be held at 12 golf courses around the state on Saturday, March 21.

Please spread the word about this great opportunity for our Hawaii keiki sponsored by the Aloha Section PGA and the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association. This event is free, fun and educational for children ages 5-18.

Thank you so much for your support of junior golf and spreading the word about this wonderful opportunity. Let’s work together to get our youth involved in a sport for a lifetime and have them spend time on a golf course!

A special mahalo to the 12 host facilities across the state, including Kaanapali, Waiehu and Wailea Golf Course on Maui.

MARY BEA PORTER KING, President, Hawaii State Junior Golf Association