Editorials for Thursday — July 24, 2003

• Helicopter crash

• Cable changes

Helicopter crash

The loss of five lives in a helicopter crash is a tragic event that last happened about five years ago.

The helicopter was flown by a Jack Harter Helicopters pilot, and the tragedy was the first the company has suffered in almost 30 years of operations on Kaua‘i.

Such crashes bring up thoughts of mortality among the public, and doubts about the safety of helicopter tour flights.

While the event will damper the local helicopter industry for a slight period, flights will surely continue.

The findings of the source of the crash by the Federal Aviation Authority should be carefully studied by all tour helicopter companies on Kaua‘i so the loss of the five lives might help make the entire industry safer.

All hoped the survivor of the crash would have survived, and everyone following the post-crash news yesterday felt a tinge of sadness at the news of the death of the passenger.

The sympathy of the Island goes out to the families and friends of the two couples who loss their lives, as well as to the family and friends of pilot Mark Lundgren.

Cable changes

News that a reshuffling of the order of cable TV channels on our dials is underway may through off some viewers for a while.

Oceanic Cablevision, a division of AOL Time Warner, is now the major owner of cable TV stations across the Hawaiian Islands, and this change is being brought about because of that fact.

The upside is that just about any TV hooked up to a cable system in Hawai‘i will have the same numbers for channels, making it easy for inter-island travelers to find their favorite programs.

The downside perhaps is the loss of variety in cable offerings that was once common across the state, and even across Kaua‘i.

However, the change is a minor problem compared to the reception problems faced by early TV viewers on Kaua‘i in the 1960s when limited reception was boosted by the work of Jack Wada and others in establishing a tower on Mt. Kahili that fed a primitive cable TV system.

More good news is that Oceanic is bringing its Roadrunner high-speed cable modem service to more and more neighborhoods on Kaua‘i. The system is opening up the world of streaming digital video to many, and is just a glimpse of what the future holds for our cable system.


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