Letters for Wednesday — January 11, 2006

• Drunken sailor, part two

• Thanks, from Kalaheo Elementary

• Senseless attacks

• Men need equal rights representation

• Perhaps Council should be investigated instead


Drunken sailor, part two

Our tax man, Lowell Kalapa, left out the important part of the “drunken sailor” metaphor. When Ronald Reagan used it as an example of out-of-control congressional spending, he immediately apologized to all drunken sailors who, after all, were spending their own money!

  • Leigh Josephson
    Ha’ena

Thanks, from Kalaheo Elementary

On behalf of Kalaheo Elementary School, we would like to thank Les Honda (Area Marketing Manager for Borders Books and Music) and Helaine Perel (General Manager of Borders on Kaua’i) and her terrific staff for the many hours they so generously spent organizing Operation Kokua (Kaua’i Offering Kalaheo Ultimate Aloha). This was a week-long event designed to help us replace the many books lost in the May fire which destroyed our administration building and several classrooms. This special program allowed the community to buy replacement books from Borders at a discounted price to donate to those who lost the contents of their classrooms. Our wonderful community and many thoughtful visitors donated 542 books, CD’s, and instructional items to our school which enabled us to start off our school year feeling appreciated and very grateful. Thank you Les, Helaine and staff, Kauai, and many visitors for supporting us and refreshing our spirits during a critical and difficult time. We will always remember your generosity and aloha.

  • Margaret Padilla
    Librarian, Kalaheo Elementary

Senseless attacks

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that most all of the dog attacks you hear or read about involve pitbulls of one kind or another? I’m sorry to hear about Beaux’s injuries when he was attacked by a pitbull. I know the Deckwitzs and they are really nice folks. It baffles me as to why anyone needs to have a pitbull? Is it a macho thing? Gotta be. Consider this. I’ve noticed when some people walk their pits, the dogs are on a chain big enough to lash down a trailer to a semi. Why?! Is it “just in case ” the pit-bull should want to bolt? Or does it just add to the tough guy image?

Ever noticed who has the pitbull decals on their vehicles? It’s usually seen on big, lifted monster trucks. Again, maybe the macho image? Come on … we’ve all noticed it. Now lest you think I don’t like animals, people who know me know that my wife and I have two large dogs and five cats. One cat has terminal cancer and the other we just adopted is partially paralyzed from the waist down because some idiot (and the word idiot is being very kind here) shot her in the spine and broke her back. And for what?! She’s a fantastic loving animal and she will always have a home with us. We have spent countless hours and dollars at the vet to care for our kids. Yes, I said kids because they are family. Point is, we love animals just as much as anyone else. So why a pitbull? Yeah, they’re cute when they are young, so is just about any dog when they’re a puppy. To me pitbulls are just too unpredictable. When was the last time you heard of a kid getting mauled by a pomeranian? A lot of people will be mad at me for this letter but I bet most of you out there would agree. My humble opinion is that if you own a pitbull you have an extra measure of responsibility because of the known nature of the breed. Now, I do not dislike the breed per se, but you don’t just go out and get a pitbull ’cause they’re cute ‘n cuddly right?

  • Steve Shioi
    Kapa’a

Men need equal rights representation

I want to thank Ryan Anakalea for his very informative letter to The Garden Island. Almost everything you or I can think of is gender biased in the favor of women. From nudity in the media to educational and sports scholarships. Men, we need to have local and national representation if there is ever going to be true equal rights for both men and women. I am willing to start a chapter locally. What do you say, guys?

  • Dr. Peter R Saker
    Lihu’e

Perhaps Council should be investigated instead

The Garden Island front page article of Jan. 6, reports numerous claims about the Kaua’i police force and its leadership and floats an unsubstantiated rumor of a federal probe. I do not know whether our police force should be considered in a “mess” as is asserted by County Council members or whether it is competently led. But I do know two things.

First, as contemplated by state law and under the Kauai County Charter the selection of the police chief is the function of the appointed Police Commission. After reviewing the alternative choices the Commission chose the current chief and it continues to support that choice. The Charter Review Commission is now in session. Neither the Council nor the Administration has suggested any change in this procedure.

Second, in a court of law a party is presumed innocent until convicted. But in the court of public opinion when government officials accuse a party or a body of malfeasance the opposite is true. The accusations being made by County Council members are having a seriously adverse and inappropriate effect on police morale and are impeding its operations. For almost a year the Council has been threatening to launch an investigation of the department and its leadership. This threat is taking its toll. Investigations are a valuable governmental tool. But safeguards are needed as the Council would be acting as the fact finder, prosecutor, judge and jury. To have credibility with our citizens an investigation must be made by an independent agency seeking the facts on which it can base its conclusions. In the matter at hand the County Council cannot justly say that it is an independent or impartial body as all of its members have already articulated their conclusions when they announce that the department is a “mess” and the chief is “unqualified” as was reported in the TGI article. Moreover the Council has obviously reached its conclusions and would simply be using an investigation to try to find facts to support them.

Clearly the Council has gotten things backward. It should have withheld its conclusions until it had facts to warrant them. As it stands maybe any investigation should be of the Council to consider how it performs its responsibilities.

  • Walter Lewis
    Princeville
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