Letters for Friday — October 21, 2005

Mean-median-mode

Garden Island headline on Oct. 11: “Median home price hits 750,000.” I wonder how many of your readers know that the median is not the average (which is much more indicative of home sales).

If one was to list the selling prices in order of value, the median is the middle value. For the average (or “mean”) one adds all prices and divides by the number of sales.

Example: If sales were $100,000, $750,000 and $800,000, the median is $750,000. However the average is $100,000 + $750,000 + $800,000 divided by 3 which equals $550,000.

As a former math teacher this is my contribution to the importance of awareness of statistics. (If you’re bored someday, look up the third statistical indicator … “mode.”

  • Michael Erickson
    Kilauea

Take bird flu threat seriously

Are you concerned about disaster relief? Don’t worry, George Bush (who appointed horse expert Michael Brown to oversee what happened during and after the Gulf Coast Hurricane) is still in command. Mission accomplished!

But what about that bird-flu epidemic that might break out any moment? Surely, George has put someone knowledgeable in charge this time. Guess again.

Stewart Simonson, the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has no public health management experience.

Well, if you are concerned, a letter to your congressman is a good place to start.

All you have to do is to ask that the Bush administration take the threat of this epidemic seriously, to put a person at the head of Public Health Emergency Preparedness who knows what he’s doing, and to spend no less than the $2,000,000,000 a week that the Iraq war is costing us to deal with this very real threat to your life and mine.

  • John A. Broussard
    Kamuela, Maui

Hats off to Officer Joe Kaauwai

Lots of grumbles lately, who’s not doing what and what’s not being done. OK, OK, here’s one, where’s a cop when you need one? Or … here’s a cop when you don’t need a cop. Guess who? Right. Busted again! Oh no, Officer Joe Kaauwai with his radar, road inspections, school zones, truck inspections or whatever, 24 hours, seven days.

This is one officer who has a personality of his own, known from Kekaha to Hanalei. Why? Because he, Officer Joe Kaauwai, takes his job responsibility beyond. Is there an officer who can say and do apply themselves in so many ways (with a smile) to be effective and known as Officer Joe Kaauwai?

Well, Officer Joe, you’re the trainer and recognized by your peers as out-standing. The respect you’ve shown for drivers, local people and visitors. Sharing safety guidance and island spirit. The people who know Officer Joe Kaauwai know that he is sincere with concerns about life on Kaua’i, implementing ideas as keeping traffic flowing at peak hours at the Hanama’ulu turn-off, sharing with other organizations as Department of Transportation Mr. Frank Kakazu, keeping knowledgeable about Kaua’i and vehicles, whether we like it or not we have to adhere to the laws. Click it or ticket, speed signs, pedestrians and “the other driver.” Hopefully, Officer Joe Kaauwai, you’ll always be involved and have concerns about serving and saving lives on Kaua’i.

  • Ed Martin
    Kapa’a

Alternative debate forum

I’ve been reading many letters in our paper about those ‘arguing’ the basis of “Intelligent Design” and “Evolution.”

I’m not going to say much on this matter other than this:

For those of you who really are interested in learning and discussing the matter, I challenge you to attend a conference that’s being put on this month by an organization called Reason to Believe. Yes, I will admit that this conference is also being sponsored by many churches on the island. But if you truly want to investigate the facts on the matter, you should attend. There will be Q & A time where you can challenge their beliefs if you have questions.

They are offering a free night on Friday, Oct. 21, at Kauai Performing Arts Building at KCC from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. They also offer a more in-depth one for a fee on Saturday, Oct. 22. In addition, they are offering a youth one on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Just an idea for an alternative to ‘arguing’ through the paper :).

  • Tiffany Pattillo
    Kapa’a

‘ Mahalo’ for the sign

Mahalo to the person who put up the “$4.2 million” signs at the Olohena bridge, just to remind us each day as we drive across our new bridge what we paid for it … lest anyone forget soon the price-tag for that little jewel.

  • Kris Van Dahm
    Kapa’a

Response dodges the substance

Like lawyers often do, Thurday’s writer from Princeville characterized my charges while dodging their substance. Then he changed the subject to one of his choosing. Why? Because he can’t deny that for 10 months we’ve been treated to letter after letter, all by members of HIS group, that direct unproven accusations of crimes and conspiracies, along with all manner of namecalling, toward County Council members.

Councilmembers cannot respond in kind because their position carries an expectation of respect and civility towards all citizens, even those undeserving of it. Taking advantage of this is cowardly. The Princeville writer refers to HIS group, without revealing his membership, as a “citizens task force.” HIS group is actually a special interest group founded by conservative, retired, white men with property. Politically outnumbered 7 to 1 on Kaua’i, they disguised a conservative agenda (a Proposition 13-style Charter Amendment) as a populist campaign for Ma and Pa Homeowner. Most of their tax savings would be realized by Kaua’i’s largest and wealthiest property owners. Their measure also threatened our future with the same kind of financial crisis California now faces because of Prop. 13. Their campaign has delayed more rational measures of Council-supported tax relief for years now. When the members of this special interest group begin debating their opposition with respect and civility, then they will get it from the rest of us.

  • Pete Antonson
    Kalaheo
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