Letters to the Editor
GRAVE ROBBERS MUST FACE THE STATE'S WRATH
The global annual revenue generated by the illicit antiquities market is anyone's guess. One estimate places the figure at $4 billion (www.savingantiquities.org). A billion here, a billion there; how can you quantify the black market?
For that matter how can you quantify the detestable lust that defiles Hawai'i's 'aina, its kupuna and its 'oiwi? How 'bout we just focus on the pillaging of kupuna? That is to say, how do you quantify the harm that is done to their burials, their iwi and moepu?
Let's start with jail time and fines. Regarding the Kanupa desecration: The state of Hawai'i must prosecute the two grave robbers identified by federal authorities. In addition to the federal crime of trafficking, they must be prosecuted for crimes committed under state law, which include: (1) criminal trespass onto state land; (2) disturbance of a historic site over 50 years old (Kanupa Cave); (3) disturbance of a burial site over 50 years old (Kanupa Cave); and (4) looting of a burial site.
To enforce state law would not be double jeopardy. No, the kupuna at Kanupa have suffered double jeopardy: twice being ravaged, grossly craved as mere objects.Myles De Coito
BADGERING HOMELESS PEOPLE RUINED PARTY
My friend had his daughter's 1-year-old lu'au at Ala Moana Beach Park in January. He went through the Department of Parks and Recreation to get a permit for that day.
We were on the grass near the 'ewa concessions, and from the beginning we were confronted by homeless people asking for food and handouts. We politely told them we were there to have a baby party, but the badgering continued and increasingly became more hostile to the extent that the police were called and the party had to end early because the guests didn't feel safe.
In broad daylight, in the busiest beach park in the state. Yes, we have a homeless problem, but it's not the one the homeless advocates would have you believe.
I lived paycheck to paycheck and ate noodles and peanut butter for more years than I care to remember, but I made it out by looking forward, persevering and working very hard. Enough with the woe-is-me stories told by the homeless and their advocates. Do they think they have a monopoly on loss, poor choices and bad luck?
It's what you choose to do after life deals you a bum card that will determine who you are and what your destiny is.Pat Kelly
WE ALL MUST WORK TOGETHER ON PROBLEM
As I was driving off the H-1 Freeway, I saw government employees cleaning up under the viaduct where numerous homeless had been living. I am glad that the state is finally doing something about the homeless taking over public property.
When I drive through Ala Moana Park and see all the homeless living there, I think what a sight. And kicking them out of our parks is only the beginning of the solution to tackling the homeless problem.
I believe that government, business, religious organizations and the community need to work together to fight the homeless problem. These people may need drug rehab, job training and a temporary place to live in. Once we get these homeless off the streets and turn them into productive people, the homeless problem will be fixed.Alan Kim
MOVING OF TRIATHLON ROUTE APPRECIATED
Thank you, Mr. Mayor, for helping to move the Honolulu Triathlon route.
Big sports events in Hawai'i are great for our economy. As a long-time East Honolulu resident, I don't like being trapped on the roads and hope that event directors work with the police to open them as soon as possible.
Thanks for listening and seeing what could be done to balance the hosting of large-scale events around the island. We all need to take our turn accommodating the runners, cyclists and triathletes.J. Emerson
CELL PHONE ADDICTS: ZIP IT UP ON THEBUS
This is probably a repeat complaint of sorts, but this situation is getting out of hand: A huge auwe to bus passengers who ignore signs on TheBus that say in big bold letters: Please limit your cell phone conversations, etc.
These people are virtually running at the mouth during the entire bus ride. It wouldn't be as annoying if they were discreet about it, but auwe — no way!
As a workday passenger, I not only speak for myself but also for others who do not want to know about someone else's "Inside Edition."Maureen B. Hanakahi
PUT ABORTION QUESTION TO A VOTE IN HAWAI'I
The editorial "Clearer abortion law deserves Isle approval" states "the political and legal landscape has changed considerably in the decades since Hawai'i's abortion law has passed." I agree, and that is why the proponents of this bill are running scared to try to fix the "loophole" that may come into play down the road.
Fortunately, Hawai'i's residents have become aware of the facts of abortion:
Since we all agree that the "political and legal landscape has changed considerably," why not put the question to the people for a vote now? Why wait until Roe is overturned?
Why depend on Hawai'i's so-called "leaders" and "smart legislators?" Unless, of course, abortion-on-demand supporters are afraid that, armed with the facts, Hawai'i's people will vote their conscience.Karen Shimabukuro
UNTIL SEWER FIXED
All construction projects must be stopped immediately. After the city and the state have guaranteed repair and/or replacement of all sewer lines and processing plants on O'ahu, halted projects can be completed and new projects can start only if those projects can pay for sewer upgrades to support their finished projects.
O'ahu is not a Third World country. Sewage on our beaches not only affects the dollars and the tourist industry, it also has a major impact on safety and health of the general population.C. Walther
WHY IS PROFIT WRONG?
OK, Smoky Guerrero talks about limiting the "evil" oil companies profit margin. I thought that we live in a capitalistic economy.
If making a profit is wrong — how is a business supposed to stay in business? The market should dictate what the price of gas is, not the government.Ian Gomez
TIME TO ADMIT MISTAKE
CAYETANO GAS CAP DEFENSE IGNORES KEY INDUSTRY FACTS
Former Gov. Ben Cayetano's op-ed (Focus, March 26) suggests that a study authored by House researchers is conclusive proof that the gas cap has saved money for Hawai'i motorists.
This is simply not true. I have been selling gasoline for more than 50 years and the notion upon which the study is based — that diesel prices can be compared to prices for conventional gasoline — is simply preposterous.
The two products are entirely unrelated except that they are produced from crude oil; they are refined differently, their purposes and prices are dictated by completely separate market conditions.
It's like comparing the price of table sugar to the price of rum; both come from the same substance (sugarcane) but with very different manufacturing processes, consumers and prices.
Even after all these years of "study," Gov. Cayetano and the other proponents of the gas cap fail to understand the oil industry or the facts underlying Hawai'i's gas prices. How else could he continue to claim that the cap is working? Even House Democrats understand that the law is indefensible and taking shots at Speaker Calvin Say isn't going to change that.
Members of the House have stopped citing the diesel-gasoline comparison study because economists have shown it to be misleading, while at the same time other studies of the gas cap confirm that far from saving people money, it has been sucking dollars out of their pockets faster than ever.
It takes more courage to admit the gas cap was a mistake than to continue to defend a poor idea. Sen. Ron Menor has tied his political aspirations for Congress to the success of the gas cap, yet the only public figures that seem to support him are Ben Cayetano and Rep. Bev Harbin. Even the oil industry isn't telling the public that paying more for gas is a good thing.Bill Green
LAW WOULD DETER VIOLENCE
CRIME 'STRIKEOUT' A JUST IDEA
The Advertiser's editorial on the proposed "Three Violent Strikes" bill could not be more wrong.
The bill is based on a proposition founded in logic and common sense: A career violent criminal who has been convicted on three different occasions, of three separate serious violent crimes, should go to jail for a very long time. Period.
The crimes we have proposed make a very short list:
* Knowingly creating or participating in child pornography.
The Advertiser claims that the bill is "too arbitrary, could be harmful in some cases and would tend to erode confidence in the justice system."
Sending violent career criminals to jail for a very long time is the antithesis of arbitrary—it is justice.
Arbitrary is the rape of a child or the murder of a law-abiding citizen by a criminal who ought to be in jail, but instead is on the streets terrorizing citizens.
Which harm in some cases is the Advertiser referring to? Is it the "harm" of protecting honest citizens? Is it the "harm" of protecting the weak and vulnerable? Or is it the "harm" of society saying enough is enough?
Erode confidence in the criminal justice system? That is the case right now, where ordinary citizens cannot understand how career violent criminals, convicted over and over again, are not serving the 30 years to life this bill mandates.
Far from eroding confidence in the criminal justice system, a "Three Violent Strikes" law would significantly increase that confidence.
The greatest flaw in the Advertiser's position, however, is its advocacy for making the 30 years to life sentence for career violent criminals discretionary because "only a trial judge has all the facts pertinent to the case to determine what is the appropriate sanction."
The pertinent facts are three serious violent crimes on three separate occasions and their impact on the community.
The Legislature has the right, indeed the duty, to weigh those facts and to weigh the grave danger to Hawai'i's citizens that career violent criminals pose.
The "Three Violent Strikes" bill has the broad bipartisan support of Hawai'i's legislators and her citizens. It is based upon common sense, logic and justice. It ought to be adopted, and I believe it will be.Mark Bennett
Attorney general, State of Hawai'i