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January 2008


"Bones of Contention"  11/07

Senior editor Ronna Bolante's story delved into the many problems at the State Historic Preservation Division.

As a relative newcomer to the Islands, I still cannot come to grips with the local obsession about buried bones. I was born in Poland, whose history is much longer than Hawaii's and where it is recognized that you cannot populate the land forever with fresh cemeteries. So you pay to keep a lot for only 20 years. If, at that time, your relatives pay for another 20, then you can stay. If not, then the bones are removed and buried in a common grave.

Secondly [in "9 Most Endangered Historic Sites in Hawaii"], the Hawaii Medical Library building is about as plain and ugly as can be. I say good riddance, and let's have the library books installed someplace more demonstrative of their importance.

Thank you for helping raise the public's awareness of the many challenges that Hawaiian families, government regulators, landowners and developers face in addressing the sensitive issue of the preservation and discovery of iwi kupuna, or human burial remains, in the context of a development project.

General Growth Properties recognizes that this is a very difficult situation. We will continue to work with the descendant families to ensure that they are being consulted during the development of the Ward Village Project and we are working with full compliance with the approvals and directives of the State Historic Preservation Division and the Oahu Island Burial Council. It is our hope that through mutual respect we can collectively develop culturally appropriate protocols to ensure that iwi kupuna are treated in the most respectful manner.

"Houseguests from Hell" 11/07

Freelance author Jana Wolff had gathered some hair-raising tales of problem guests.

Although I have not had a "houseguest from hell," I must add that loaning your car is not the best idea. I was in the process of selling a car to my neighbor, and until she paid it off I refrained from signing over the title. Her husband had an accident and my insurance went through the roof!

Remember, here in Hawaii, the insurance does not cover the driver, it follows the car owner.

"Name Over?" 11/07

In her Afterthoughts column, managing editor Kathryn Drury Wagner notes a trend: People are trying to rename Chinatown as the "Honolulu Culture and Arts District."

Thank you for the excellent article on Chinatown. Chinatown is, was and always will be Chinatown.

Ahana Koko Lele

There was an error in our November story, "9 Most Endangered Historic Sites in Hawaii," in the updates of the previous year's list. A group of more than 30 leaseholders, or about one-third of the leaseholder community, and not the Kokee Leaseholders Association, is still in litigation and has appealed Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe's ruling that the leaseholders of the Kokee cabins never actually owned them.
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