Letters for Sunday, April 22, 2007

• Why all the resistance?

• Keep Young in

• Open the road

Why all the resistance?

The reconfirmation hearings of Department of Land and Natural Resources Director Peter Young have been a lesson in true irony. Testimony poured in praising his “open door” policies and efforts to make processes more transparent.

How did the Senate respond? They moved into executive session, making the process about as clean and clear as the Ala Wai.

This has been an extremely frustrating legislative session in many regards. But the public must not get discouraged. We must remember that there are individuals like Peter Young who are leading agencies and trying to ensure that public service agencies actually serve the public. I am confident that there are some very good people on the Senate who will do the right thing and reconfirm Peter Young. And in some regards, I am even encouraged by the painful road Mr. Young has had to endure on his way to reconfirmation, because we all know in this state, the more resistance you receive from those fighting to maintain a problematic status quo, the more likely it is that you are doing something right.

Peter Young is quite obviously doing something right.

Trisha Kehaulani Watson

Lecturer in History and Women’s Studies

University of Hawai‘i, Manoa

Keep Young in

Confirmation hearings at the State Capitol, particularly the one involving Peter Young, have become like something out of the old West: shoot first and find out the truth later.

Mr. Young has headed the Department of Land and Natural Resources for the past four years. He has done a great job. Now state senators have resorted to innuendo in an attempt to discredit him, when it is clear they can find no basis for the allegations.

They are making a mockery of the entire confirmation process, all in an effort to find some way to justify turning down Governor Linda Lingle’s cabinet member for another term in office.

It is clear, as Governor Lingle said, that they are throwing mud in the hope that something sticks. They are apparently set on destroying the reputation of a man who was not even in office when certain alleged violations occurred, and who was the one to call upon the Attorney General to investigate when he discovered, after taking over, that there might be some problems within the department.

The senators should stop playing politics, confirm Peter Young as head of DLNR, and let Mr. Young get back to running the department, for the good of everyone in Hawai‘i.

Marian Grey


Open the road

I am completely bewildered. Would someone please tell me why the last one mile section of the Koke‘e State Park roadway, between the Kalalau lookout and the Puu o Kila lookout, was expertly repaved, including the parking lot at the Puu o Kila lookout, yet the roadway remains closed to vehicle traffic? This situation has gone on for months now. Oddly, there was not enough asphalt to pave the entire roadway surface between the Koke‘e Museum and Lodge and the Kalalau lookout, nonetheless, motorized vehicles travel this near minefield section daily. To make matters worse, it is the citizen’s tax dollars that have paid for the roadway improvements that can only be walked by foot. Visitors must laugh at this everyday. Please, can’t somebody with accountability make a rational decision on this?

Dale Gearhart



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