Letters to the Editor
Defendant better off with an unbiased judge
It's been said that a government prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. I've never heard, however, that a prosecutor could persuade a judge that there was probable cause that a ham sandwich committed a crime.
If I were a defendant, I would rather take my chances with an unbiased, independent, knowledgeable judge than with a grand jury that is usually ready to rubber-stamp whatever result the prosecutor is looking for.
Accordingly, I see no reason not to support Constitutional Amendment No. 3, which provides for a simpler judicial process to initiate a criminal case. It would greatly streamline the criminal court process while reducing costs and decreasing our tax burden. It would permit a process now in use by the more progressive states.
And even a ham sandwich would get a decent break.
Vote yes on Constitutional Amendment No. 3.
HSTA's stand wrong on Question No. 2
HSTA's point of view on Constitutional Amendment Question No. 2 seems to stem from a political awareness foreboding of Hawai'i's current economic situation and future legislative appropriations. But in spite of projected shortfalls and budget cuts, Hawai'i's public schools have always received top priority and will continue to receive funding.
Private schools are not so fortunate. Private schools must seek more innovative ways to raise their funds.
The root issue of repairing schools is not unique to either the private or public sector alone, but deserves support from both sides. Each side bears the mutual responsibility of maintaining our schools for all of Hawai'i's children regardless of their economic advantages. Opportunities in securing funding will be more attractive to investors and is a win-win scenario to this root issue.
Do not advocate the 'alamihi crab syndrome. It is not pono.
Supporting this constitutional amendment and the good that it can do should be our focus. We can choose to look at the bad side of an issue and we can choose to look at the good side. Each of us wants what is best for Hawai'i's children, and if things "do not make sense," take the politics out, look at the root issue, and if it is a good thing, then it deserves our support.
Good government drive well launched
The recent formation of an ad hoc group called Hawai'i Pro-Democracy Initiative to promote good government and legislation, as well as a campaign code of ethics pledge, is a welcome trade wind in this season of dirty, anonymous campaign smears and anticipated October surprises.
Many of the people I talk with expect an even worse campaign season than the 1986 gubernatorial primary election. Candidates for the general election were requested to read and answer the initiative's proposals, sign them and also sign the voluntary campaign code of ethics. Those who responded by Oct. 10 can expect to see their names listed with others in a newspaper open-letter advertisement sponsored by the stakeholders of this ad hoc group.
The group includes present and former officers of the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, environmental activists and longtime campaign-reform advocates.
Sponsors for a post-election survey of how legislative hearings and deliberations are conducted by the same individuals who signed the pledge and agreed to the proposals were announced at a recent press conference at the Capitol Rotunda. Volunteers and interns from public schools and colleges will be sought.
This will presumably be in a similar vein as that once championed by Rep. Patsy Mink in the 1970s.
Good luck to the Hawai'i Pro-Democracy Initiative.
Arvid Tadao Youngquist
Founder, Mestizo Association
Blame the Democrats for homeless situation
I just read your Oct. 21 article on the homeless situation here. While some of them are genuinely in need of our help, most of them are ages 20 to 50 and perfectly capable of getting some kind of job.
Most of them have not fallen on some sudden hardship; they are just lazy, taking advantage of the tools our Democratic leaders have provided all these years.
As far as the problem getting worse, of course it is, as it is with crime and drugs. In the last 10 years, I have seen the Westside turn into an ugly, crime-infested mess. And the police just let it happen by letting "these poor homeless folks" live in our parks and beaches on our tax dollars.
You want four more years of this? Drive to the Westside and see what our once beautiful beaches look like now. Then vote Republican. Time for a change.
Lingle represents integrity in government
On the outside chance that there are still a few undecided voters looking to The Advertiser Letters to the Editor for guidance, I think it is only fair to point out that Ry Barbin, the author of "Blowing smoke" criticizing Republicans in the Oct. 15 issue, is a past chairman for the Democratic Party on Maui.
His letter was followed on Oct. 16 by Jonathan Starr, Maui's current Democratic Party chairman. What are you guys smoking? Perhaps you should team up with ex-President Bill Clinton at the end of the month and (not) inhale together.
And how appropriate it is that Clinton, who did so much to diminish the office of the presidency, will be here to help Hawai'i's scandal-plagued Democrats.
I have had the opportunity to observe Linda Lingle throughout her political career. She has common sense, honesty, integrity and a direct way of dealing with issues. She also has leadership skills that allow her to attract the best and brightest people.
I vote for the best candidate in each race, regardless of party affiliation. Lingle will restore faith in Hawai'i's government.
Exactly what does Lingle want to change?
Linda Lingle promises change, but change from what to what? The Advertiser editorial had it right: Change is but a mantra unless we know who or what is being changed and why.
Government is a good target. There's too much of it. "Eliminate the waste" another mantra. But exactly where is the waste? Too many teachers? Too much airport security? Too many what?
Privatize, that's a good buzzword. Or do we want to make room for another breed of ideologies?
Come on, Linda, get real. Or is your change "small change" or perhaps even worse "loose change"?
Other UH students have also been killed
The assertion in the Oct. 13 paper that Jake Elmore's was "the first and only student death in seven years related to drug and alcohol use" is incorrect.
On May 27, 1999, Ka Leo O Hawai'i reported that 20-year-old Reuben Paulsen fell to his death from the fourth floor of a UH dormitory. Campus security officials and witnesses both claim alcohol and the drug Ecstacy were factors in the death.
While deaths may be "rare on the UH campus," now-deceased UH swimmer Tammy Tye was less than 500 feet from the UH campus when she was fatally struck by a car in March 2001. According to police, the driver of the car smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and could not count back from 20.
In May 1997, Paul Ulrich was bludgeoned to death with a hammer less than 100 feet from UH-Manoa's Sinclair Library. Hawai'i Supreme Court Justice Victoria Marks concluded that the killer, Monte Young, "abused drugs and alcohol" at the time of the crime, which the state argued "triggered his psychosis."
Beverly Creamer's article was informative and served a public need. The facts regarding UH deaths should not, however, be discounted.
Bali horror brings home terrorism war
How quickly my views on what we need to do to stop global terrorism have changed.
My wife and I were on our annual trip to Bali when some madmen killed children and our sense of security. We always felt that even though there was trouble in other parts of Indonesia, Bali was safe.
These fundamentalist groups must be stopped by force. There is no peaceful way to deal with people who target our children. The majority of the dead and wounded are under 25 years old. The sight of the walking wounded at Nagari-Rai Airport was horrible.
Thank God we decided to not stay at Hotel Bounty this year. The carnage in that area is unbelievable to anyone who has ever been to Bali, because once you have been there, you, too, would think Bali was safer than Ala Moana Shopping Center.
Now we all have to be vigilant in the fight on terrorism. Stay alert, America: They want us all dead. If it happened there, it can happen here.
I hope President Megawati realizes that these groups want to throw Indonesia into anarchy in order to overthrow the moderate government and install a fundamentalist regime.
My prayers and condolences go out to the families who have lost their children and to the Balinese people. They are the kindest people I have ever met and will be forced to pay for this because their tourist-based economy will tank.
Early release from drug court working
U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo's report to a presidential commission cited alarming statistics on methamphetamine use in Hawai'i. The judiciary has taken effective measures toward reducing recidivism to crime with the implementation of the Hawai'i drug courts, which divert felony drug offenders from incarceration into intense, court-supervised drug treatment requiring daily drug testing and counseling, monitored by a judge for up to 18 months.
Judges use intermediate jail sanctions for program noncompliance and provide incentives for clients upon their success throughout the program. Offenders' criminal charges are dismissed upon successful completion. With only a 14 percent recidivism rate on a national average, drug courts are proven to be the most successful way to treat drug offenders.
County funding has enabled the Maui drug court to be the only drug court in Hawai'i to implement an early release program for sentenced offenders to re-enter the community before parole eligibility, under the supervision of the judge. Funding is needed for the expansion of such diversion and re-integration programs within the state's drug court and prison system.
For every dollar spent on drug courts, 10 dollars are saved from incarceration.
New 'Hawaiian nation' isn't justified by history
The Honolulu Advertiser's Oct. 14 editorial, "Let OHA take a stab at Hawaiian nation," seems to suggest that carving up the state of Hawai'i and removing it, in part or entirely, from the reach of the U.S. Constitution is somehow justified. History does not support that conclusion.
Before Capt. Cook arrived in 1778, ordinary people in Hawai'i, like ordinary people in many countries in the world at that time, had little control over land or their own destinies. The land and people on it were the spoils of conquest. Under the kapu system in Hawai'i, workers, women and children were harshly oppressed, subject to forced labor without pay, dispossession, infanticide to keep blood lines pure and death at the whim of the ali'i.
By 1840, Hawaiians themselves had rejected the kapu system and adopted Western culture and forms of government in which persons of all ancestries had certain inalienable rights. As a result of those wise decisions by their ancestors, people of Hawaiian ancestry in Hawai'i today have more individual sovereignty and opportunity to achieve prosperity and better lives than they ever had under the kapu system.
OHA was a bad idea, badly carried out. It should be consigned to the dustbin of history along with apartheid, ethnic cleansing, the Holocaust, the kapu system and other governmental schemes based on racial discrimination.
All of us, whatever our ancestry, should thank our lucky stars to be living in Hawai'i with the freedom, security, equal opportunity and aloha for all that comes with being citizens of the United States.
H. William Burgess
Small airports should be left in service
It is a terrible idea to close or privatize five of the state's small airports. At Dillingham Airfield, there is a glider flying service called Soar Hawai'i. I am taking lessons there to get my license. If they close Dillingham, I will have to go to Makapu'u Point and fly there.
I have a different reason to keep 'Upolu Airport on the Big Island open. If you look at an aircraft flying chart, you will see that the closest airport to 'Upolu airport is the Waimea-Kohala airport. But they are planning on closing that one, too. So if you have an in-flight emergency along the Hamakua Coast, you would have to fly all the way to Hilo or Kona.
We general aviation guys have got to stand up to the state and tell them to back off.
Pilot, age 15