Editorials for Sunday — August 17, 2003

• Na Holo Kai

• School spending

Na Holo Kai

The close finish at the Na Holo Kai outrigger sailing canoe race Saturday afternoon created quite a drama at Nawiliwili Harbor.

Sailing canoe captain Marvin Otsuji and his crew led the race with just several hundred yards to go. However, looming ahead was a huge Matson Navigation tug towing not just one, but two barges.

Marvin had a quick decision to make – go for it and risk the safety of his crew, or stop dead in the water and give up first place after a seven-hour crossing from the harbor at Hale‘iwa on the North Shore of O‘ahu.

Marvin, who is also an outstanding diver and dive instructor, made the right decision and stopped his canoe dead.

He sacrificed a hard-won victory for safety.

After the race, he took his crew’s second place finish in stride, as his team is still leading the overall Hawaii sailing canoe league season, and the second place finish yesterday was a real plus for them in that regard.

This example of making the right decision, even at great sacrifice, is a good life lesson that can be applied in all areas of life, and one that we should all contemplate when it comes to decision making. Is what we’re doing – whether we are making a political decision that would affect everyone on Kaua‘i, or if we are doing something that could go bad or good for our family or friends – the right thing.

The image of the sailing canoe waiting for the huge barges to pass by is one that will be talked about for years to come. This wasn’t a decision that led to defeat. No it was a decision of a true winner.

School spending

Gov. Linda Lingle’s release of millions in dollars for school maintenance and repairs is in focus this weekend. A long list of repairs was sent to the media across the state Saturday, with fine details on what school would be getting what.

The attention to detail in the list reflects how the governor is looking closely at many areas of state spending.

At the same time, the crunch in athletic spending for the schools is becoming a reality as the fall sports season grows near.

How the public takes to these cuts will surely have an effect on the governor’s political future.

The big question is if her austerity in keeping a balanced budget will help her or hurt her in keeping in the win column come the next election for governor.

While keeping the state budget in line with state tax income is important to the future of the state, some may perceive the tightening of the purse strings as too stringent.

With her honeymoon with the Legislature over, the governor may be facing another challenge in dealing with the public over the issue of education.


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