Letters for Tuesday, February 27, 2007

• Driving safe around big rigs

• There must be some confusion here

• The court of public opinion

• I have the solution!

Driving safe around big rigs

Regarding an article in The Garden Island on Dec. 28, “Truck kills Kapa‘a woman”: The word “truck” as people see it implies to big rigs. As motorists we share the road with many different types of vehicles.

AAA studies show some 500 deaths and 140,00 injuries are caused by dangerous driving near commercial trucks and tractor-trailers. According to federal studies, we, as motorists, have better accident avoidance abilities but drivers of cars and light trucks cause at least 70 percent of fatal car/commercial crashes. The primary error car drivers make is not paying close attention to their driving. If you are tired or under the influence, pull off the road! These are two main reasons people wander out of their lanes.

Here are a few tips to be safe around big rigs:

• Trucks take twice as long to stop as cars. Never cut closely in front of a truck and brake abruptly.

• Never cut between the curb and a slow-moving truck.

• Don’t tailgate. Stay back at least two car lengths distance. Remember if you can’t see the driver’s face in the mirror, than the driver probably can’t see you either.

• Passing on the driver’s side (left) will make a safe pass.

• Blind spots — if you think you are in a truck driver’s blind spot, accelerate or decelerate to a safer position.

• What you can do when you see a driver that is not safe is write down the license number and call the police. Report them before a tragedy happens.

We can all share the roads safely! Most professional truck drivers are extremely safe drivers. They transport all our goods. They are required to attend a yearly defensive driving course and a physical every two years.

The logic of safe driving is to treat big rigs with respect.

We, as motorists, have a responsibility when we get behind the wheel: prevention from collisions and fatalities.

Ed Martin

Instructor, Kauai Safety Agency, Lihu‘e

There must be some confusion here

I think Mr. Contrades (“Where is this heading,” Letters, Feb. 26) misunderstood my letter (“The authority is there,” Letters, Feb. 16) concerning enforcement authority granted to the Humane Society. My point was that Mr. Iannucci appeared to be making a blanket statement that the Humane Society was never granted any kind of enforcement authority under any circumstances. This is clearly not true, because they do have such enforcement authority in regards to the county’s leash law. Picking up strays is the enforcement power granted to the Humane Society as well as to the KPD (I believe they also have the power to levy financial penalties). I wasn’t arguing that the Leash Law was pertinent to any particular case Mr. Iannucci was discussing (i.e., Mr. Cummings), but only to the more general issue of Humane Society authority to enforce laws pertaining to animals. Even if there is no specific law on the books regarding animal abuse (and I freely admitted that I was not aware of any such code), you can bet that the Humane Society is at the very least going to be consulted in regards to any animal abuse case.

What I find interesting is that Mr. Contrades concludes his letter with the very same offense he claims I committed. He is angry and afraid of “court-sanctioned access” to the property of Mr. Cummings granted to the Humane Society to try to protect the remaining animals, and he somehow makes the leap that his own constitutional rights are being violated.

Mr. Contrades, has the Humane Society come onto your property? Have they even threatened to come onto your property? How have your constitutional rights been violated? You aren’t abusing your pets, so the Humane Society has no need to be concerned about you.

Finally, where on the Humane Society Web site do they state that the “lifestyle of a hunting dog” is substandard compared to a “loving companion home?” I could not find such a statement anywhere.

Michael Mann


The court of public opinion

I would like to respond to Craig Contrades’s letter (“Where is this heading?” Letters, Feb. 26).

I think what amazed me the most is that Mr. Contrades used so many words to say so very little. Is he a politician?

Or maybe he is hoping one of G.W.’s cronies will read what he has written, and will hire him.

What struck me as odd was his thinking that posing a question is rhetoric, i.e. questioning why Mr. Iannucci (“Humane or insane society?” Guest Viewpoint, Feb. 9) goes to great lengths to defend Steve Cummings’s rights, but never mentions the rights or suffering of all of the dogs who were abused, starved and killed. Or for that matter the desire to seek justice for the one dog who starved at the end of a chain for god knows how long?


Craig Contrades then goes on and on to tell us how Dr. Becky Rhoades should not be allowed to make sure Steve Cummings’s “friend” does not abuse the dogs she brought back to health, and most probably, life.

Hello … Earth to Republican, Steve Cummings’s original “defense” was that a “friend” was supposed to be watching over his dogs as they starved to death slowly, while Steve Cummings was off somewhere forgetting all about them.

Or did you even know that, Craig?

It takes time and effort to abuse and starve dogs. It does not happen overnight; it takes weeks.

How long would it take you to starve at the end of a chain?

Would it be someone’s fault?

If Steve Cummings gets off, it will be because he has a lawyer with moral and ethics similar to someone like Craig Contrades seems to have.

And a judge like Mr. Iannucci.

Dennis Chaquette


I have the solution!

The Big Box Superferry. The Superferry should be bought out by Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart can then have their big store, and the ferry can go back and forth, with goods for sale on Kaua‘i. The Wal-Mart Superferry can easily go straight to Asia and pick up all of the China-based products, and sail straight to Kaua‘i. Customers can drive straight to the ferry at selected interval times and pick up their orders, carefully coordinating their times of leaving the docks as to not cause too much traffic congestion.

It can also offer up trips around the island instead of a bike path, and a section of the quarters can be made into affordable housing, transitional housing or emergency housing — quake and tsunami proof, ocean view!

Oh, not to forget the solid waste — bring it on board, so we can dump it in the ocean like we used to!

I’m joking!

Alton G. Amimoto



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