Letters for Saturday, March 31, 2007

• Humane societies support pending legislation

• Only Kaua‘i can fix the broken system

• Say no more

• Another opinion on religion

Humane societies support pending legislation

On behalf of all the humane societies in Hawai‘i and their supporters, our thanks to Senator Clayton Hee, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, for his commitment to passing legislation that creates a felony-level offense for aggravated cruelty to pet animals.

Across the nation, communities have long recognized the importance of such a law. Sadly, Hawai‘i is one of only eight states that do not provide felony-level protection for animal cruelty cases. Since the 1970s, the FBI and other experts have recognized the link between animal cruelty and human violence. People who intentionally hurt animals are likely to hurt people too.

We have seen heinous acts of cruelty where felony-level punishment would have been just. Such cases include the purposeful starvation of 20 dogs on Kaua‘i, three died at the end of their chains; the Maui man who killed his neighbor’s dog with a machete; the O‘ahu man who was convicted on more than 50 counts of animal cruelty and charged with three counts of child endangerment; and the seven Big Island dogs who were left to starve.

Hawai‘i’s people treasure their pets, and those that knowingly hurt, starve, and kill animals deserve the toughest penalty the law will allow. The animal cruelty bill is crucial towards ensuring that the punishment fits the crime.

On behalf of the humane societies of Hawai‘i and their more than 40,000 supporters, we thank Senator Hee for his leadership and we urge the public to support the bill’s passage.

Mahalo a nui loa.

Pamela Burns, President and CEO,

Hawaiian Humane Society

• Josi Morgan, Executive Director,

Hawai‘i Island Humane Society

• Becky Rhoades, DVM,

Executive Director

Kauai Humane Society

• Jocelyn Bouchard,

Executive Director,

Maui Humane Society

Only Kaua‘i can fix the broken system

Some of our residents are asking the same question as Francine Grace (Letters, March 30) concerning the Planning Commission and their approval of affordable housing, and everything else Mainland developers want. Here’s the reality.

Mainland developers are not going to come to Kaua‘i and build affordable housing. They will make real money developing resorts and carving up our ag lands into “fake” farms and selling them to rich Mainlanders who will pay dearly for their piece of Kaua‘i’s paradise. The “affordable” housing carrot they use in order to make their real money on massive developments is an illusion. The reason the Planning Commission is figuring there will be a large traffic impact on the island with affordables is that they will not be bought by local residents. They will be bought by the middle class of California and elsewhere who also want their piece of the Kaua‘i pie.

This is how it works. The average local resident makes enough money to afford a mortgage of approximately $175,000. “Affordable” homes built by Mainland developers and used as an incentive for our Planning Commission to approve their massive projects will cost in the neighborhood of $250,000 to $300,000. You, Kaua‘i, can’t afford them. The result is Kaua‘i residents get screwed and the Mainland middle class can afford a home here and bring their cars. The developers make a ton of money and the Planning Commission, which is largely made up of real estate-related “professionals” are loved by the developers.

I do not blame the Planning Commission or County Council for the current mess this island is in. It is human nature for them to primarily focus on their individual futures over a debatable public good, and to rationalize their “Yes” votes. It’s extremely rare to find a leader of unimpeachable character and integrity who can objectively put the greater good over their individual focus. It’s you, Kaua‘i, who are the problem because of your lack of involvement. The system itself is broken, and you are the only ones who can fix it.

Gordon Oswald


Say no more

Thanks to Amanda Gregg for her enlightening and informative article about Byron Say (3/12/07).

Everyone who has an “End ice on Kaua‘i” bumper sticker, or who agrees with that message should be appalled at how the Prosecuting Attorney’s office has bungled this case. I watched Byron Say leaving the courthouse several times during the past two years … well dressed, chatting on his cell pone as he drove off in a new 4WD pickup ($30,000-plus variety). This man has no job and no visible means of support. Look at the numerous drug charges against him (amphetamine, methamphetamine, morphine, and heroin), and it is hard not to conclude that this is a drug dealer.

It is time for Craig DeCosta to explain to the citizens of Kaua‘i who elected him why he deserves to remain as the prosecting attorney. Because his office failed to properly file charges against Say, he goes free for maiming Lisa Wilson while he was high on amphetamine, methamphetamine, and morphine, plus in possession of heroin. Now to add insult to injury he chooses to offer a plea deal instad of trying Say on numerous drug charges.

Quoting Stan Godes, “As has often been said about this island, it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know. I am curious as to who are Byron Say’s benefactors.” Well, Mr. Godes, Craig DeCosta is definitely one of them.

Lloyd Silva


Another opinion on religion

It is obvious those Forum writers who voice the hair-curling edicts of fundamentalist Muslims have never read the Bible. There are, believe me, as many hair-curling edicts in this book as there are in the Qu ran. Believed wholeheartedly by Christian right wingers. Start with John 15:6 and Thessalonians 1:6-9. How about Deuteronomy 13:5, 13:15 or 13:8-9? These are passages you might not want your child to read. All the fundamentalists, of all the three major religions, might beware an American feminist or any bright, educated reasoning human being.

Here is a quote from a recent Christian publication Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul. “Brute manliness seems to be the new ideal in Christian men’s movement.”

Really? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I also don’t know about the rest of you, but I dislike brutes in any form. Christian. Muslim, Jew or anyone else..

Bettejo Dux



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