Letters for Wednesday, March 28, 2007

• Theft of plants saddens business owner

• Following up on reports might make a difference

• A few observations

• Wants Kauai Springs back

• Random unwarranted search is wrong in free society

Theft of plants saddens business owner

Digital Arts of Waimea recently moved into the retail space formerly occupied by Waimea Video Rental and we try very hard to make the store something that will be an asset to the community. A small part of that was some ornamental flowers under our front window to make the area a bit more inviting and pleasant.

Last night (Monday) someone decided they needed the flowers more than the community did … and so they dug up and stole them all, sometime between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., right on the main street. While the plants cost around $100 (plus my associate’s TLC in getting them started and maintained … she’s heartbroken), it’s not really the money that saddens us.

There were two peperomias, two crotons, one dark pink anthurium, one brown pansy, one purple pansy, an orange zinnia, a pink geranium, two purple dianthus, two light pink polka-dots, and two dark pink.

If you notice someone who has suddenly “planted” this particular assortment, please call KPD and reference report number 2007-7797.

Elaine Albertson

Digital Arts of Waimea

Following up on reports might make a difference

A few weeks ago The Garden Island printed my letter to the Forum about my 14-year-old grandson being “false cracked” by another 14-year-old in the Dry Cave on July 4, 2006, sending my grandson to the hospital and that there has never been any follow up-by the police.

Perhaps, if reports were followed up on when the “angst-ridden” youth are still young enough (say, 14-years-old) we could head off this type of behavior.

Pam Engstrom


A few observations

Okay, so everyone’s always complaining that the motorists are not looking out for the pedestrians. Well, I’d like to make some observations on pedestrians not paying attention or following the rules of the road themselves.

While exiting Lihu’e McDonald’s one afternoon, I nearly missed hitting a bicyclist who was zooming down the sidewalk. Another near miss at the KFC/Hilo Hattie’s intersection while making a right turn onto Kuhio Hwy. from Ahukini; two female tourists crossing against the “Do Not Walk” signal. Another observation would be of people getting off the cruise ships, jaywalking everywhere in the Nawiliwili area and what’s up with people jaywalking on Kuhio Hwy. in front of McDonalds? Do you people have a death wish with the cars zooming by? I try to go 25 mph as posted with the “Speed Limit” signs and I have people tailgating and zigzagging in and out of the lanes like I’m not moving.

A totally different subject, but let’s kill two birds with one stone (just a phrase, all you animal lovers); why are cars allowed to park on Rice Street during non-parking hours. I believe the non-parking hours are from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m.to 5 p.m. I occasionally see police officers ticketing them, but usually they’ll just swerve around them like everyone else. Shame on you, business owners on Rice Street, who fought to get those parking stalls saved, but will allow patrons to park during non-parking hours. I know you can see them through your front windows as they park to patronize your business. And if someone were to careen into one of those parked vehicles during non-parking hours, who’s responsible for the damage and/or injuries?

Just my observations…

Francine M. Grace


Wants Kauai Springs back

Let me see if I have got this straight. A local family develops a business utilizing a local product that is currently being imported from off-island. The family jumps through all the necessary bureaucratic hoops, establishes a clientele of satisfied local customers, and even donates said product to numerous non-profit community organizations.

One would THINK the County government would hand out some kind of award to this family. But, oh yeah, it’s Kaua‘i, so instead, they are shutting down this business for reasons that seem incomprehensible to me.

Apparently our county government is against Big Box, Small Box or Any Box that isn’t already deeply entrenched in the politics of the island.

We want Kauai Springs back!

Dain Spore


Random unwarranted search is wrong in free society

Once more the lieutenant governor of our state has raised the spectre of random drug testing in public schools. In the first place, this is a violation of the constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure. I am aware that the legal system has allowed random sobriety checks on our roads based on the flimsy excuse that they are not selective. I believe that the road checks are unconstitutional also. Stop cars that are driving erratically or breaking traffic rules — and during the stop, check for seat belts, sobriety and whatever. Random unwarranted search is wrong in a free society.

A case can be made for searches for weapons or potential weapons when cars are entering airports or government parking lots and when people are entering airports and government buildings. Technically, these searches are illegal also but since people go there voluntarily and the type and location of the searches is common knowledge, they become voluntary in nature. Another thing about contraband searches is that there is no threat of punishment — just confiscation of the banned item. Of course, a person ticketed at a road check and ordered to go to court faces double search jeopardy.

On the other side of the spectrum, the ACLU and vocal liberal radicals have been complaining about government agencies ‘spying’ (i.e. without a judicial wiretap order) on the overseas calls made by or to citizens who are suspected of terrorist activities. These same groups also rail against other forms of government surveillance and data mining. The hue and cry has been aimed at the data gathering only and I have not heard of any instance of innocent citizen being hassled or otherwise harmed by the evidence thus collected.

Why should potential terrorists or money launderers be protected from searches not specifically authorized by a judge — when the flying public, drivers on the road, people entering public buildings and now public school students are not so protected?

I certainly don’t condone the use of alcohol or drugs while driving, or working, or going to school. This is especially true for public transportation operators, airline pilots and other key positions. Unfortunately, drug tests do not necessarily measure how impaired the testee is, which is what we should really be checking. Drug tests do not determine when the substance was used — and off-duty use of alcohol and other drugs is another issue altogether. Using chemicals to make one feel better has been around throughout recorded history and will continue to be so. Modern medicine even encourages parents to give Ritalin to their rambunctious keiki while taking Prozac themselves. The war on drugs, unlike the war in Iraq, is unwinnable. Why don’t the anti-war folks hop onto that bandwagon?

Stan Godes



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