Letters to the Editor
It's the lawbreakers who are complaining
Once again those who break the laws are proving to have more rights than those of us who try to obey them.
The only reason to object to these cameras is the knowledge that you are a speeder and may very well get caught at it. Now the city is backing down elections coming up, don't make waves and some idiots are even talking about raising the speed limit.
Yes, the freeways should be a consistent 55 mph, rather than 45 to 50, but our highways are not conducive to 60 to 65 mph.
Those cameras were the best thing that our public officials have come up with in a long time they save lives. And where we really need them are at the traffic lights where, every day, I see drivers running red lights. Even bus drivers do it. That has become the No. 1 hazard to drivers and pedestrians in our city.
Those of us who support this measure have been quietly watching, feeling certain that the "powers that be" would realize that the hue and cry was coming from the lawbreakers, so it must be a good thing. But now, to back down? Cowards!
There are situations when you have to speed
Since I drive the speed limit, I didn't feel the speeding cameras would affect me. Well, I was wrong.
Recently, I was the orthopedic surgeon on call at Castle Hospital. I received a call about a boy with an arm broken in two places and no pulse. Every minute counts when a hand is not getting enough blood. As I jumped into the car and drove to the hospital, I realized that driving at a safe speed on the uncrowded road could result in a ticket.
I don't have the time to fight a ticket and would pay it and deal with higher insurance rates. This does not seem right. If a police officer were to stop me, he would use judgment he would understand that blind, rigid enforcement of speed limits can harm the people they've sworn to protect.
I'd like to ask Marilyn Kali at the Department of Transportation: If your grandchild were in the emergency room without blood flowing to his arm, and I was the doctor called to care for him, would you want me to drive the speed limit?
I applaud Sen. Bob Hogue's legislation to reconsider the camera speeding tickets. By the way, I did speed, and the boy is doing well.
Linda Rasmussen, M.D.
Reasonable speed limits needed here
Our government is supposed to be "by and for the people," and I am disappointed that state officials have implemented these draconian traffic-enforcement measures.
In addition to violating our constitutionalÊright to privacy, the people of Hawai'i have been set up for failure by the state's refusal to establish reasonable speed limits based on the 85 percent formula on roads designed for higher speeds. We are probably the only state still stuck in the "dark ages" of 55 mph on highways of modern design.Ê
Highway statistics from every state show it is slow and negligent drivers who cause the most accidents, not trained and attentive drivers, regardless of whether they are driving 55 or 65.Ê
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publications report "no significant relationship between average speed and the fatality rate ... states with high average speeds do not have higher fatality rates than states with low average speeds." The major safety problem on our roads is not people who drive faster than the artificially low speed limit it is those who drive recklessly and irresponsibly.
We need police on the roads and highways to educate drivers and make informed decisions about each traffic situation, not robot mercenaries with cameras and laser guns. In fact, driving around O'ahu is now more dangerous since the photo-mercenaries have been in place because drivers with marginal skills wander aimlessly across highway lanes much slower than the speed limit, scared to death someone will take their picture.Ê
I am not normally interested in politics, but this traffic-enforcement debacle has motivated me to use every means available to urge votersÊto support candidates supporting reasonable highway speeds in Hawai'i and the removal ofÊtraffic cameras on the roadways.Ê
Mayor Harris should name his accusers
Mayor Harris claims there is a vendetta and a massive smear campaign against him and his campaign to run for governor, in regards to the accusations made by Robert Watada and the state Campaign Spending Commission.
Who are these conspirators? Are they fellow Democrats or Republicans? Are they state or city government workers?
Harris should name names. He is again using that age-old tactic of "the best defense is a good offensive." The people of Hawai'i are not that naive.
To give him the benefit of doubt, the FBI and a special prosecutorial team from Washington, D.C., should investigate these violations thoroughly. This would eliminate any assertion of local politics tainting this investigation.
Jennifer L. Sonoda
Kamehameha decision bad one for the kids
It is just unbelievable that Kamehameha Schools would drop J-ROTC so that they could retain their "Hawaiian blood" admission policy.
First and most important is the impact to the kids. The military provides an opportunity for kids here living in our sad economy to further their education, go to new places and serve our country. Just in case the powers that be over there have their head too deep in the sand, it's "in" to be patriotic; we are at war.
Second, the blood issue is a huge, bigoted joke. We all know of parents who want their children to attend who come up with any sort of story to gain admission. After all, we are not kennel-bred like prize dogs with papers.
I also cannot help but wonder why the educators, administrators and trustees are exempt from this Hawaiian blood policy.
I have lived in Hawai'i for the last 25 years and have experienced very little prejudice from the Hawaiian people. It's usually from other locals who have no more Hawaiian blood than I do.
Kamehameha decision was the correct one
I think it's very unfortunate that Kamehameha is dropping the J-ROTC program, but if it preserves Pauahi's vision of the schools being only for children of Hawaiian descent, then so be it.
I remember in the 9th and 10th grades. We used to have fun with our male classmates referring to Thursdays as "Pickle Day," which was the day they were to wear their J-ROTC uniforms. I'm sure the "Pickle Day" reference is still in use today.
My husband is currently a sergeant in the Marine Corps serving in Washington, D.C. I know that the military can be a great opportunity for many students who decide not to go on to college.
However, it was Pauahi's wish to have the schools erected for the children of Hawai'i (meaning children with Hawaiian blood), and that's exactly what the trustees are in their positions for: to preserve the sanctity of Pauahi's "Last Will and Testament."
I say "Bravo" to the trustees.
Napualokelani S. Wiley
1995 Graduate, Kamehameha Schools
Killers of horses must be arrested
A little over a month ago, two horses were maliciously burned to death in a barn fire at a small, quiet farm in Maunawili.
This unprecedented act of violence toward horses in Hawai'i has greatly alarmed the horse-owning community and animals lovers alike. We ask the community's help in solving this horrific crime and to not rest until the person responsible for this unconscionable act of cruelty is brought to justice.
The Hawai'i Horse Show Association expresses its deepest sympathy to the owners for the loss of their companions. The partnership with a horse epitomizes the bond between a human and an animal, with many hours spent together daily. The horses grow to trust and protect their riders. Whether riding in the hills or performing in the arena, there is a strong relationship that grows between a horse and rider and a terrible sense of loss when the horse dies.
The murder of these beloved companions has been devastating for their families and the entire horse community. Dr. Becky Rhoades, who raised 8-year-old Mulligan from a foal, describes her loss being like the loss of a child. Nicole Schnack, the teenager who owned Gentleman Joe, had planned to take him to college and is distraught with the loss of her best friend. Others are in shock with the discovery that the fire was set intentionally.
Please, if you hear or know anything about the evil person who murdered these horses, call Crimestoppers or the Honolulu Police Department immediately. Hawai'i's animal-loving community is at risk until the person responsible for this unbelievable act of cruelty is off the street.
President, Hawai'i Horse Show Association
Gambling won't fix Hawai'i's economy
When the 2002 legislative session opened last week, leaders of both parties voiced opening remarks about the wide array of problems that face our wonderful state, and the one solution was gambling.
Gov. Cayetano has supported a referendum in getting feedback about whether or not Hawai'i should legalize gambling. He is representative of only a minority of politicians who share the same beliefs on this matter. That goes to show that a majority of lawmakers are opposed to legalized gambling. What does that tell you, Mr. Governor?
Legislators who are opposed to gambling share the views and concerns that people in their representative districts share. Therefore, any attempt to bring a referendum to the people should be abandoned.
Gambling is not a top priority for Hawai'i, Mr. Governor. As this is your last year in office, your main concern is to find solutions to the failing economy.
Let us not allow Detroit and Las Vegas casino owners to tell the people of Hawai'i that gambling will solve Hawai'i's economic problems. Millions of dollars will be spent by pro-gambling lobbyists to persuade lawmakers that this is the right thing. Wrong!
Let us not allow Hawai'i to be marred by violence in the form of increased homicides, robberies, batteries, spousal abuse and alcoholism due to the negative societal implications that are associated with gambling.
Pinky Thompson's life one of accomplishment
Pinky Thompson's many contributions to Hawai'i were well documented in your Dec. 27 article. As one of his non-Hawaiian beneficiaries, I wish to add another dimension to his multiple accomplishments.
As a young, inexperienced executive director of the Queen Lili'uokalani Children's Center in 1962, Pinky wisely surrounded himself with knowledgeable Hawai'ian and non-Hawaiian advisers and staff members. Among them were noted Hawaiian author, composer and cultural expert Mary Kawena Pukui and Dr. E.W. Haertig, prominent psychiatrist and agency consultant. These individuals helped advance the concepts of contemporary use of native Hawaiian healing practices among agency clients.
Two volumes of "Nana I Ke Kumu" were published out of case studies viewed from Hawaiian and Western perspectives. The volumes are a classic among students and professionals working with Hawaiian families.
Pinky's desire to expand the services of the Queen Lili'uo-kalani Children's Center state-wide resulted in the development of a five-year plan a first among social service organizations in Hawai'i. His vision was realized when Lili'uokalani Trust resources became available.
Not content with just developing a major Hawaiian social service agency, Pinky also served as president of the National Association of Social Workers, Hawai'i chapter, and accepted chairmanship of the newly created state Land Use Commission. He was also one of the original founders of the Prince Kuhio Hawaiian Civic Club.
I was privileged to be associated with him. He hired me as his assistant in 1963 and recommended me as his successor when he became chief of staff to Gov. John A. Burns in 1967.
What a remarkable person, one who never lost his touch to be himself: unassuming, always warm on a personal level, always believing in the potential of ordinary people, always envisioning a better place for all of Hawai'i's children. We will miss him.