Letters for Saturday, December 31, 2005

• Residents share grief for pilot • More to Self-Help story • War or Peace?

Residents share grief for pilot

The residents of Sun Village want to let the family and friends of the young pilot, Jonathon D’Attilio, who lost his life in an effort to help others, know how they feel about this tragedy.

Many of us watched him land just outside of our parking lot and confer with the fire officials about what had to be done to help put out the wildfire in the valley that caused many of us to be evacuated from our homes. We watched him take off and head out to the reservoir to pick up the water to dump on the fire. When he did not return in a reasonable time we figured he was probably called to somewhere or someone else who needed him more.

We were all shocked and dismayed when we heard that he had crashed, and died of his injuries.

Maybe he was called to somewhere or someone who did need him more.

  • Nancy Candela and residents of Sun Village

More to Self-Help story

As a founder and the director of the Self-Help Housing Corporation, the agency has been able to assist 540 low income families throughout the state to become homeowners through the team self-help effort. SHHCH provides the full range of services from financial counseling to homeownership education to instructions in building skills.

Unfortunately, the Dec. 26 article in The Garden Island gave a negative and erroneous picture of a self-help project. Over 21 years only a handful of families have not been successful for various reasons. Ms. Blair continued to be uncooperative over a period of several months, changing the construction in the house when the Supervisor left repeatedly, refusing to accept the instructions of the Supervisor, and the direction of the corporation. There was nothing wrong with the survey and there were no encroachments. An adjustment had to be made on the layout to accommodate the carport. SHHCH contracted with a civil engineer to assist Ms. Blair to choose another layout. She refused to cooperate. For several more weeks she refused to follow the instructions of the Supervisor to make corrections, but insisted on having the entire house torn down. Therefore, she was terminated from the program in December 2003.

From that time forward she was supposed to work out an agreement with the lender. Apparently, she was uncooperative with the lender as well, as the house has been deteriorating for two years.

Over the past 20 years only a handful of families have not been successful in their endeavor because of various reasons. It is unfortunate but SHHCH staff must put their efforts in with families who are willing to work and follow the directions of the program.

  • Claudia Shay, executive director
    Self-Help Housing Corporation of Hawai’i

War or Peace?

It is how you frame the problem/crises that shapes the answer.

If you say we are in a war then the answer to the crises or problem will be one that is war like.

Keeping this in mind what are we trying to do about terrorists? Why are we directing HUGE money and assets against these organizations and people?

I submit to you it is because we want to preserve our way of life. We want our American freedoms and life-style saved.

To do this it seems to me means we need to preserve, protect and respect our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These two documents have guided this country for over 200 years.

So keeping the true goal of preserving our freedoms in mind, does it make sense to take them away, restrict them, or impair them to arrive at our goal?

For example should we agree to a “Patriot” Act that allows our well-meaning government and police to search your house without telling you, or without legal process? Does this lead us to our goal of keeping our freedoms and way of life?

It reminds me of the title of a book by Gore Vidal.


  • Scott Robeson

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