Letters for Friday — December 09, 2005

• About those chicken letters

• Speed: Is enough really being done?

• Customers will be missed

About those chicken letters

Don of Reno wrote in for the Dec. 6 issue that I supported Captain Meyers’ opinion about getting rid of the chickens, and that I supported this by arguing that tourists are feeding the chickens. This is not what I said at all, and I don’t think Don caught what Captain Meyers was talking about.

The chickens don’t bother me, and I wouldn’t care one way or the other if the chickens were removed (there are much more important issues on this island). I was disagreeing with the REASON Captain Meyers was giving to take any action. These chickens are not, in my opinion, a danger in terms of bird flu. We are more at risk due to people not practicing good hygiene and common sense, given the number of people that come here from elsewhere and potentially bring flu bugs with them.

As for the “tourists feeding the chickens” comment, once again, Don missed my point. I was positing that we should NOT take any actions about the chickens simply because some tourists complain about them—I often see tourists feeding the chickens, so one could say that some tourists actually LIKE the chickens. Plus, I don’t think the island should be changed in any way just to please tourists.

These were my points—quite different from what Don suggests.

Finally, I am not haole (not that there is anything wrong with that). Certainly not originally from Hawai’i, but now a Hawai’i resident. Nobody would mistake me for haole, though, upon seeing me. I don’t know what the native Hawaiian word for me would be (I’m not sure that I want to know).

  • Michael Mann

Speed: Is enough really being done?

In your article “Speed kills, again” in Tuesday’s paper, I must voice my concern that the KPD is NOT doing all that is necessary.

On Saturday evening, Dec. 3, a friend and myself picked up my wife at the airport. We were on our way home to Kalaheo around 8 p.m., and just before Lawa’i I looked in my rearview mirror and noticed a vehicle approaching at very high speed. The driver proceeded to ride my bumper, only 1 to 2 feet away while we traveled at 50 mph. I tapped my brakes in an attempt to get him to back off. It didn’t work so I tapped them again a bit harder. At this time he flew into a rage, hit the accelerator and proceeded to pass us on the inside, the passenger side, forcing me into the oncoming traffic lane.

This lunatic then proceeded down the road a couple hundred feet, all while I’m dialing 911, then locks up his brakes, stops in the middle of the road and jumps out of his car with God knows what in mind. I back up, not wanting a confrontation with this lunatic, and continued informing the 911 dispatcher all that was transpiring. At this time traffic was approaching behind me. The lunatic then jumped back in his car and roared off again toward Kalaheo at an excessive speed, which I estimated to be above 70 mph. I provided the license plate number of his vehicle and gave all my information and was told I would be contacted by an officer regarding the incident later that evening.

I was not contacted, so I called the police Sunday morning to find out what had happened and here is where the problem begins. First I was told it happened on a different shift so I had to call back after 2 p.m. I had previous plans so wasn’t able to call until around 7 p.m. and then no one answered the phone. I called again the next day hoping to find out what was being done and it was like no one knew what I was talking about. Finally, they said the officer involved would call me, and he did. Now try to follow this if you can, he says he sat in Kalaheo and never saw the car, then tells me the plate was from a rental vehicle. To this I said “and you are tracking this person down, right?” He then asks me for all the details again, including the license plate number. I asked, don’t you have all this on record from the 911 call, aren’t they supposed to be recorded? And if he knew it was a rental car, doesn’t he have the license number? He then proceeds to ask all my information again, and to top it off he wants my D.O.B. I ask myself what in the world does he need that for, is he checking up on me because I’m questioning his lack of professionalism in pursuing this case. Who is the bad guy here, the fool behind the wheel or the guy reporting his actions?

Be that as it may, he said he would contact me when he found out who the person was. I am writing this on Dec. 7 and I still haven’t been contacted. Speed kills, that’s true, but is the KPD really doing their part? Tomorrow I plan to contact the Mayors’ office regarding this officer’s apparent total lack of willingness to do his job.

  • Michael Brewton

Teachers bring about miracles

Will Durant wrote, “Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.” John Hoff, in his viewpoint (TGI 12/5/2005), would like us to accept him as an authority on education; but his writing reveals, instead, someone who is clearly in need of one.

Each of his demoralizing and disrespectful attacks on public education in Hawai’i begin by stating how many schools on Kaua’i that he’s worked at as a sub for a whopping five years now. His challenge to me was: “How about you, Pete? How many days have you taught…?”

Well, I’ve worked at more of Kaua’i’s schools, including private schools, for more years, and on a fulltime basis. That fact is readily available to anyone who knows how to do research; but, as John tells us: “I have done my own study, my own survey, my own ‘think tank’ researching.”

In other words, he has no data to support his claims. Let’s look at just one of those claims from the viewpoint. John says 15-20-percent of Kaua’i students are “professional rowdies” that “disrupt the learning process” and “need to be in other learning environments.” He doesn’t tell us who is paying the salaries of these professionals, how this large percentage was calculated, or, just how thick the bars would be in this sinister “other learning environment” for a fifth of our students.

Full-time teachers not only witness small miracles on a daily basis, they actually bring them about. Long-term teachers witness students returning Magna Cum Laude. They don’t need the poisonous comments of a bird that fouls his own nest.

  • Pete Antonson

Customers will be missed

Now that I’m in my first full week of retirement here on O’ahu, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful and loyal customers on my mail route, one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. I won’t miss the job, but I definitely will miss all of you people. Have a Merry and most Blessed Christmas!

  • Robert Mandap

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