Letters for Saturday, February 10, 2007

• Ground control to Major Tom

• A call to disarm

• Who’s laughing now?

• Green is good

• More work to be done

Ground control to Major Tom

I am incensed beyond words (well not quite beyond, because I have quite a few to say) at the Guest Viewpoint by Mr. Tom Iannucci (“Is it the humane or insane society?” Feb. 9).

How dare he defame Dr. Rhoades, basically calling her a publicity hound and worse. Dr. Rhoades is one of the hardest-working, most dedicated people I have ever had the honor to know. We have a beautiful, modern humane society because of her and her wonderful staff’s dedication and perseverance.

Does she seek to publicize atrocities committed against the animals of our island?

You bet.

How else will some of our children learn how wrong it is to abuse animals? Obviously some are not getting the right message from their parents.

But the real problem here is defending the actions of Steve Cummings. If three children were found in a locked apartment, dead of starvation, and Mom said, “Well, I had a friend taking care of them,” where would the responsibility lie? You can bet the mother would be charged with at least manslaughter, child abuse and a plethora of other charges that public sympathy would require.

No, those dogs weren’t kids, but by the same reasoning, there is no way he is not guilty of the deaths of those dogs — they were his dogs and with ownership comes responsibility and accountability.

Mr. Iannucci, go to bed tonight and picture just one of those poor dogs, laying there starving and dehydrated, just waiting for death to mercifully take them. There is no defense for Steve Cummings.

Susan Straight


A call to disarm

Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka:

Are you still voting to “support the troops?” The argument for that spurious position goes like this: “We have to honor our dead troops by spending money to keep our troops in harm’s way, and then sending more troops into the fray to make sure those already there are more secure.”

That’s a self-destructive feedback loop. It won’t sell anymore.

Just remember, in 1975, after 10 miserable years, it took Congress cutting off funds to President Ford to actually end the war in Vietnam.

Juan Wilson

Hanapepe Valley

Who’s laughing now?

I really don’t see the reason to be “lighthearted” about people driving irresponsibly. I don’t see any reason to try to not offend people’s sensibilities on this issue. The people Mr. Shioi described (“Crazies behind the wheel,” Letters, Feb. 6) are putting everyone’s life at risk every time they get behind the wheel of an automobile. There is absolutely nothing funny about it.

Michael Mann


Green is good

I hope that Sen. Barrack Obama gets the Democratic Party’s nomination for president so that I can vote for him. As an Illinois State Senator, he was not privy to the sources of intelligence available to President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vice President Cheney, and National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice.

Yet, using his own intelligence, he not only opposed the Iraq war, but accurately predicted what has happened as a result of that disastrous decision by the Bush administration.

The Democrats are fielding an outstanding roster of presidential candidates, notably Biden, Clinton and Edwards, all of whom were stampeded into giving the president the option of invading Iraq, if he thought it necessary to the defense of the U.S. Today, when they are interviewed by Tim Russert and others, they have various responses to why they did what they did, varying from hedged admissions that they were mistaken, to abject confessions of wrong-doing and apologies for doing so.

With all their experience in public service, these candidates resorted to political expediency as the safest response to 9/11. Then along comes U.S. Sen. Obama, young, vital and courageous. Lacking the baggage of years of beltway experience, he is a fresh breeze from the hinterland, ready to blow away the chicanery that develops from years of infighting in the interests of self-preservation that is pervasive in the ranks of D.C. veterans.

The pundits will point to Obama’s “lack of experience” and his youth, not realizing that these attributes plus his education and intelligence, together with his ability to cut through the fog to make the right assessment of a given situation and to act upon it, are priceless assets.

I’m for Barrack Obama for president. How about you?

Harry Boranian


More work to be done

I agree with Kathleen Ardyess (“Mahalo for the road changes,” Letters, Feb. 9) that we should thank the Department of Transportation when they do something right. Mahalo! And thanks, too, for fixing the potholes as much as you can. We do notice, and appreciate it.

The traffic revision by the light at the Hanama‘ulu cutoff has been very effective. Northbound traffic used to back up to the airport on a regular basis and now it doesn’t, or not as much. A relatively inexpensive fix that really helped!

The bypass extension is a good thing. It has already cut down backed-up traffic going southbound in the morning. I wish it could have been two ways, then we could completely avoid Kapa‘a traffic on the return trip as well, but perhaps there were logistical reasons why that wasn’t feasible.

I don’t feel as good about the intersection by Safeway and the new condo unit built across the street. What a bottleneck it has become. The signage is unclear for the right-hand lane. The sign implies that you can either turn right into the condo or go straight ahead, but in fact there is a very short merge lane and everyone has to suddenly move left into the one center lane. If you know you’re going straight ahead you can stay in the center lane, but you still have to deal with the people trying to merge and that is a lot of people. Maybe a clearer sign that shows the actual merge situation would help with that.

Getting out of the shopping center is now a major pain in the neck because the center lane is backed up with cars that went through the light and had nowhere to go afterward. It took waiting through five green lights to get out onto the highway yesterday.

This is why people question the efficacy of allowing even more development in this area without increased infrastructure to handle the flow of people and automobiles.

I know I’m still lucky to live Kaua‘i and I’m banking on the spirit of aloha to help us all get home safely through the traffic every day. I see a lot of kind people working with each other, letting others in, being patient, slowing down. Mahalo to them, too!

Peggy Kemp



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