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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, November 15, 2002

Letters to the Editor

Why waste resources on 'Click It or Ticket'?

Less than 6 percent of burglary cases on O'ahu are solved. Less than 7 percent of motor vehicle theft cases are solved. Less than 11 percent of larceny-theft cases are solved. Only 3.5 percent of arson cases are solved.

Most of the rest of the crimes committed against our citizens — i.e., rape, forgery, fraud, vandalism — have well under 25 percent resolutions.

Will someone tell us why we are wasting our precious police manpower and resources giving tickets to motorists who do not buckle up their seatbelts? Unlike the victimizing crimes just mentioned, the non-belters alone suffer the consequences of their own behavior, should they get into an accident. Besides, even without the seatbelt campaign, we have better than an 85 percent compliance with the seatbelt law.

Wouldn't a "Nail Them and Jail Them" campaign by the Police Department against the real criminals be better than "Click It or Ticket"?

Stann Reiziss

Island Voices review of film judgmental

Kaili Chun, in the Nov. 12 Island Voices, writes that the Native Hawaiian film "Then There Were None" challenges people to engage in dialogue about the indigenous experience that " ... can either motivate the ascent to a higher plane of knowing (learning), or provoke a descent into a prejudicial framework structured to dismiss indigenous cultural perspective and practice."

I thank Kaili Chun for this wonderful advice. Next time I dialogue about the indigenous experience, it's good to know that if I agree with the Hawaiian activists' agenda, I will be "ascending to a higher plane," but if I disagree, I will be "descending into a prejudicial framework to dismiss indigenous culture."

Very open-minded of you, Kaili Chun. And all this time I thought only "newcomers" were the judgmental ones.

Dean Alan

'Written information' won't save us money

Now that our votes have been cast to affirm the state constitutional amendment allowing "written information" to replace formal indictment, let us consider a particular glitch in this inadvertent assault on the Bill of Rights.

The proposed change was pitched to us as a money-saving shortcut for prosecuting those charged with a felony. This new process gives state prosecutors a bypass to the formality of presenting their case before a grand jury. But Article V of the U.S. Constitution (which is part of the Bill of Rights) reads clearly: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury." What could be clearer?

Consider the following example: Suppose I am recently convicted of a felony and my case had come to trial via the new process of "written information" allowed by the new amendment. And let's say, for effect, that my trial has dragged on for several months and has cost the state so many hundreds of thousands of dollars (including a public defender because I couldn't afford a lawyer). Now, I am standing before the judge for sentencing and the judge asks me if I have anything to say before he pronounces sentence. I would say, "Yes, Your Honor, only a couple of questions. How can you pass sentence on me when my case has never gone before a grand jury? Isn't that an inalienable right guaranteed me by the Constitution of the United States?"

I think the judge would have little choice but to declare a retrial or, if the "double jeopardy" rule applies here, maybe I'd walk.

Does that sound like a money-saving shortcut?

I'm not worried that we will be stuck with this new amendment to our state Constitution. I'm confident it will be overturned. Maybe it will find its way to the Supreme Court. What does worry me, however, is how this proposition ever made it to the ballot. Haven't our lawmakers read even the basics of the Constitution?

Also, mildly worrisome is the strong "yes" vote to affirm Constitutional Amendment Question No. 3. How casually we toss away our rights of liberty and justice.

Richard Morse

Call off the witch-hunt against Evan Dobelle

Evan Dobelle's detractors need to call off their witch-hunt. So far his job performance has been nothing less than exemplary.

Obviously, calls for his censure are without merit and politically motivated. He did what he thought best for the university, as did UHPA. Both should be applauded for their political courage. Those calling for his head on a platter are fools to want a lackey in the president's office. Remember Mortimer?

Furthermore, no labor union solely represents the university. Have the Lingle-ites forgotten the students, the staff and administration?

We cherish academic freedom and the right to free speech. Criticism is understandable — but calls for disciplinary measures? That would be the course of action of a fascist state.

P.S. Whatever happened to Capt. Richard Soo?

Jerome A. Nicolas

For the Democrats, it's always about power

I've been a frequent critic of the Legislature and its amazing propensity to do very little. Its inability to address the truly serious issues of the economy, education and government inefficiency makes me wonder what its members are doing while they're in session.

Last year, their crowning achievement was an ill-conceived law to cap gas prices that doesn't even take effect until some who-knows-when future date. They have come up with no new ideas in 40 years.

Now we have a Republican administration that has a bold and exciting vision for Hawai'i. Will Linda Lingle be able to accomplish anything? Make no mistake about this — for the Democrats it always has been and always will be about power. They will do what it takes to get that power back, even to the detriment of the people of Hawai'i.

If you think the Democrats have done nothing in the past, you ain't seen nothing yet — and probably won't.

Mark Middleton

The old-boy network isn't all that strong

After reading a few of the letters to the editor on Nov. 11, I can't believe one woman who thinks the old-boy network (Democrats) is still strong while the majority vote for governor went to a Republican. Her letter sounded like a prisoner who was switched to a correctional facility.

I think the majority of the state made a mistake voting in Linda Lingle, but what's done is done. Let's get over it. Yes, she won; now, let's see what she can do for the state of Hawai'i.

I'm glad I'm in L.A.

Marissa Liu

Democratic Party has accomplished much

The Democratic Party has been the caretaker of Hawai'i for 40 years. It has earned an acknowledgement of accomplishments over the years that has touched our people through each person.

We have swept and mopped our house clean without sweeping the dirt under the rug. We are still doing it today.

This proud and humble Democrat can only acknowledge the past and have hope for the future.

Naomi "Sister" Correa

Legislature, Lingle must work together

D. Riepl's Nov. 12 letter regarding holding legislators accountable is almost right. He implies that the Legislature must rubber-stamp all of Gov.-elect Lingle's proposals, good or bad. Sorry, but that's not how it works. Their responsibilities go beyond that.

And the writer forgets that it's possible that the Legislature may come up with a good idea. Is our new governor going to veto or support? Will it depend upon whom the author of the legislation is?

Let's face it, it is going to have to be a two-way street in order for these two branches of government to work together.

Bill Nelson

Europe gives example of how to do it right

I recently traveled in Europe and used the rail transit systems in France, Spain and Belgium. They were by far the best way to travel — easy to use, efficient and full of local people.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to eliminate the need for so many cars and new freeways on O'ahu? Surely there must be a way to make this happen without gouging the taxpayers. I cannot think of a better alternative.

Judie Pavey

State trying to slip in boater fee increases

The Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation of the DNLR have mounted an 11th-hour attempt to implement the highly controversial Boaters Fee Increases Amendment before Gov. Cayetano's term expires.

Despite the fact that the last state Legislature rejected several legislative bills generated by DLNR-DBOR to increase boaters fees by 35 percent, and that this amendment was massively opposed throughout the state at its public hearings on Oct. 5, it was resubmitted to the BLNR for final adoption at today's BLNR meeting on Maui with only one of its many increased fees reduced.

What makes this bad situation even worse is that in addition to ignoring the public testimony and the Legislature, the adoption of the DBOR Boater Fee Increases Amendment would "fly in the face" of the governor-elect, who has clearly stated her disapproval of the proposed boater fee increases.

Because of the continuing strong public opposition to the DBOR amendment, we requested that the BLNR postpone any action on this amendment until the new administration has a chance to study the proposal more closely. To do otherwise would give the appearance of the outgoing administration "flipping" the new administration as it walked out the door.

This certainly would not serve the public interest of having a smooth gubernatorial transition.

William E. Mossman
Hawai'i Boaters Political Action Association

Get stuck in traffic and Lingle idea is sensible

When I first read of Linda Lingle's proposal to modify H-1, adding another tier to the existing route, I was taken aback by the thought of foreseeable construction delays and the impact on the scenery.

Later that day, however, I had 24 minutes to reflect while driving the 1.6 miles from the Middle Street interchange to the Vineyard Street off-ramp. Perhaps there is something to the governor-elect's idea to improve our traffic situation.

Paul Weide

Wal-Mart doesn't fit in community's vision

It amuses me when I read comments by people who would not be directly impacted by the impending Wal-Mart project, as they are not residing anywhere near the areas of its most impactful concerns.

Assuredly, every person desires convenience. But I ask you, what price are we willing to pay for it?

Residents in the Sheridan neighborhood are being asked to be the sacrificial lambs at the altar of this Mainland corporation juggernaut. We in the neighborhood believe we must require a larger vision for this community. Even Mayor Jeremy Harris in his "Shared Vision for the Future" exhorts residents to "take charge of their future and decide on the quality of life they want for their neighborhood."

In recent years, the community has also become increasingly vocal in its opposition to the inordinate number of liquor establishments and adult entertainment. We have continued to be vigilant against inroads to these types of unsolicited activities.

It is important to be well informed before making insensitive comments that may harm this family-oriented community's fragile environment. Might we recommend that Wal-Mart be relocated to letter writer P. Tachibana's 'Ewa neighborhood?

D. Nakamura
Sheridan Street resident

Kamehameha Highway badly in need of repair

While everyone is talking about improving our roads, I suggest our new governor-elect take a drive along Kamehameha Highway from Kahalu'u to Wahiawa. It's like driving on a Third World country road. There are thousands of potholes and very poorly patched repairs by construction companies. Who supervises and approves these repairs?

We need someone on O'ahu who responsibly oversees all road construction repairs and ensures that they are done properly so that drivers can pass over them without damaging their vehicles. Whoever is doing it now is doing a lousy job. It's not that difficult or costly to do quality work. Proper, acceptable patchwork should be a mandatory stipulation of any contract involving any company working on our roads.

The poor condition of north Kamehameha Highway (and most roads on O'ahu) is causing motorists (taxpayers) thousands of dollars of repairs for wheel realignment, suspension problems and tire wear. It should be an embarrassment to our highway division. I understand there is a possible class-action suit brewing by dissatisfied drivers to get something done.

Let's budget some money to put in a modern, concrete, properly paved road that will last for decades so that tourists and locals using Kamehameha Highway on their trip around O'ahu won't be rattled by patchwork. In the long run, a concrete road would be a good investment.

Bill Romerhaus