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Letters for Sunday — April 30, 2006

• Message to Joe Friday

• American awareness lacking!

• Don’t mix politics with entertainment

Message to Joe Friday

In response to Joe Friday’s where-will-it-end question:

Isn’t it kinda late to ask this question? I believe the administration and council, with the help of the union, will throw the department into the gutter. Then we’ll fish in the gutter and re-build the department from the ground up. And trust me, those ‘stripped of every rank and terminated’ will participate.

Months ago, I asked politely to inspect the apples in the basket, because about 10 percent of the apples are rotten. In addition, during this process, have a look at the basket, the shelf, the room and building where the apples are stored. As a farmer, I know the fungi spreads easily. I heard the federal soldiers are on the way with disinfectant for their firing squad.

Joe, you are a member of a para-military organization with your own rules and regulations, under civilian oversight. Some of your co-workers choose to ignore, and run to the political establishment. I have no trouble to lobby for and get rid off HRS 52D, give everybody a shotgun and tell them they’re on their own. Those who want to destroy the department will come up with a plan to spend the annual $13 million otherwise.

I have a dream where the cleaning lady is going through the department and, after taking a break, following the way slapped report papers are going to, and get that department ready for inspection of a possible clean-up, too. And I wake up to a nightmare.

As a good detective, you already found out that you must divorce the one bad third, and I do not care if the divorce is bloody or not. During the divorce, I would like to ask some people to stay away from the phrase “We are a society under the rule of law,” because they do not care about the objectives.

The main purposes of the police in a democratic society governed by the rules of law are:

  • To maintain public tranquility and law and order in society;
  • To protect and respect the individual’s fundamental rights and freedoms;
  • To prevent and combat crime;
  • To detect crime;
  • To provide assistance and service functions to the public.

I appreciate all the hard work you’re doing, and recognize the department is not perfect. Nevertheless, for that kind of money we pay, the job gets done pretty well.

Trust works in both ways, and some of your colleagues are corrupt. Take care of this. I will support you.

I believe it’s not the time for a Dear John letter. The department can be turned around for the better.

  • Richard O. Stauber

American awareness lacking!

In response to Councilmember JoAnn Yukimura’s statement concerning the ethics investigation. She states: “This should be a wake-up call. Any of us can make mistakes like this,” as she reflects on Michael Ching’s behavior as a commissioner. Well, what about her behavior as a councilmember, or better yet, about the behavior of the entire council and the mayor? Have you not learned from your mistakes?

Councilmember Yukimura goes on to say, “We need to be aware of the laws that govern our behavior in making important decisions.” Great sound bite! Where was your awareness in 2004 when 13,000+ voters approved the Ohana Kauai charter amendment during the last general election? Why were you not aware of the language of the charter that states:

“Should the majority of the voters voting thereon approve the proposed amendments to this charter, the amendments shall become effective at the time fixed in the amendment, or, if no time is fixed therein, thirty (30) days after its adoption by the voters of the county.”

I read this to mean that if a charter amendment makes it to the ballot it is a legal document, and if it wins it is to go into effect immediately, or no later than 30 days after the voters “thereon approve the proposed” amendment. How do you read it, mayor and councilmembers? Also, why won’t you respect the wishes of the voters for immediate property-tax relief? Why did you disfranchise those13,000+ votes and not the votes putting you in office?

“Awareness,” she said, “was the lesson to be learned.” I would not point the finger too quickly if I were any of the councilmembers or the mayor. Perhaps it is time for our elected servants to become aware of the County Charter and the state constitution.

Further into the article, reference is made of the “Chief Lum’s firing” situation. Referring to the headline, “Council criticized for firing Lum,” it is mentioned that, “Even though the council voted to terminate Lum’s contract, the official line is the council merely advanced the process and county finance director Michael Tresler will be the one to cancel the contract.” What in the world is going on here? Let’s not forget about “Awareness was the lesson to be learned” that Councilmember Yukimura mentioned. And what’s with this “the official line” remark? Some kind of spin game going on here?

Where in the County Charter does it state that the council or the director of finance is to be involved in dealings with the chief of police? I just re-checked my edition of the charter, and there is no mention of any other entity allowed to be involved in the hiring or firing of the chief of police other than the “police commission.” Not the mayor, not the council, and certainly not the finance director. Am I wrong? Is the charter wrong? Or do we have incumbent servants overstepping their bounds? Keep up the good work, The Garden Island. Kaua’i can certainly use all the “sunshine” we can get after the heavy soakings we have been receiving.


  • John Hoff

Don’t mix politics with entertainment

Earlier this month I looked forward to supporting women by attending the Wahine Music Festival. All went well until JoAnn Yukimura got up to speak. Within five minutes she had already made two derogatory statements about the (Bush) administration and Republicans in general. I was surprised to hear that Councilwoman Yukimura only represented Democrats. I thought she represented her whole district.

My friend and I walked out after the second verbal political assault, and we won’t be attending this event in the future. My friends and I attend as many concerts and events on Kaua’i as we can to support the island, but we will now have to carefully scrutinize the entertainers/speakers so that we will not be contributing to a political party not of our choice and listen to verbal abuse on the party of my choice.

mixing politics with entertainment, or is this the way it is done on this island?

  • Judith Vale

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