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Letters for Thursday, May 29, 2008

• Commentary on police not deserved

• Race relations

Commentary on police not deserved

I would like to applaud Tom Iannucci’s comments (“Police Department operates in the real world,” Guest Viewpoint, May 27) pertaining to Juan Wilson’s recent commentary (“Toward a Kaua‘i police mission statement,” Island Breath, May 24).

I have sat here for 20 minutes trying to think of anything to add, but he said what needed to be said. Besides saying it extremely well, as only Ianucci can do, he is 100 percent right.

What is so infuriating about Wilson’s comments is that he approached his dissatisfaction from an adversarial perspective rather than making constructive community-oriented comments. It is almost as if he believes any problems with the Kauai Police Department are the result of some kind of insane conspiracy or perhaps complete incompetence on the part of everyone from the mayor, the County Council, Police Commission and the heroic policemen themselves.

I have only lived in this community for three years but have had the humbling good fortune to have a few opportunities to work closely with members of the KPD, the County Council and the Police Commission.

Over the past quarter-century, I have worked with hundreds of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. From my foxhole, from what I have seen and experienced, the KPD may not be the biggest police department and they certainly don’t have the largest, richest budget, but you would never know that from the professionalism and dedication of the officers and the commanders of the department.

How is it that complete strangers such as I can plainly see how hard working and dedicated the police on this island are? How is it I can see that they don’t get paid nearly enough but they are willing, literally, to put their lives on the line every single day. In a recent HUD study in 2008, the poverty line in this county was set at $66,000. The police don’t make that, yet they come running every time there is an emergency.

The cops know they don’t get paid enough; you can bet they do. But they do their jobs without complaint. They put up with all of the c— that is out there every single day. They also know that they are working at a manpower deficit. A deficit which might be alleviated if people like you would dig in and volunteer to find solutions rather than attempting to illegitimately make insulting comments in a public forum.

Speaking of pay; do you know that the police commissioners don’t get paid at all? Ask yourself why they would beat their brains out and work endless hours for this community. The reason is something Wilson probably will dismiss as a conspiracy and he would be right. It is a conspiracy of community. It is conspiracy of volunteerism and dedication.

Your protection doesn’t stop with the underpaid cops, may God bless them. Your protection continues with the members of the Police Commission, the County Council and the mayor. Most of these people give up lucrative endeavors to give to the community. Have you ever gone to a commission meeting or listened to one on the Kauai channel? I don’t understand how you could possibly treat these fine public servants to such dose of — help me here, Iannucci — er yes, buffoonery.

Let me make this real clear. I don’t like every decision or every action our community leaders make. But, somewhere along the way I grew up a little and learned that I may not know what the pressures, history, or considerations those officials have to deal with.

So rather than publically lambaste them, I think it is one hell of a lot better to find ways to support them.

Maybe, Wilson, you will grow up one day too.

William Barchers


Race relations

Why are you so offended that they used the word Caucasian (“Caucasian angst,” Letters, May 27)?

You can’t say they don’t use race to describe any other “potential criminals” because if you have been paying attention in “the years you have lived here” there are lots of criminals who aren’t Caucasian who have been described by race.

You think being Caucasian is so hard? Why not go color your skin and hair brown then go to the Mainland and see how you are treated there.

I know a lot of “Caucasians” who I have grown up with and they have no problem “fitting in.”

You see Mary, the thing is that it’s not about the color of your skin but about your attitude. If you have a bad attitude then you will have a tough time in Hawai‘i and anywhere else in the world, no matter what your race is. But if you are able to “live aloha” and not think that the color of your skin makes you superior, then everyone’s happy.

The word Caucasian was used to describe the man because obviously he wasn’t African-American, Hawaiian or Filipino. If he were then they would use the other descriptions. Caucasian describes all the different “white” races.

Would you have felt better if they knew exactly what race the guy was, like Irish, German or Portuguese? If it was a “browned-skinned” or “Pacific Islander” they wouldn’t be using those descriptions, it would be Filipino, Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese etc., depending on what the witnesses saw.

Mary Holly, get over it. Life isn’t hard in Hawai‘i just “because you’re Caucasian.” Maybe try having a better attitude and see what happens. I have numerous Caucasian friends and co-workers and I don’t see any of them “not fitting in.” And it’s because they don’t have the “I’m better than you” attitude. The majority of them have been living here for many years and have adapted to the ways of Hawai‘i (which is a mixed-culture environment).

I am married to a wonderful Caucasian/Japanese. I am part Hawaiian but I don’t treat Caucasians poorly. Because of my “brown-skin” I get treated poorly by “visitors” who come to Kaua‘i, and also many of the “higher-class” residents.

Try living in the lives of the other races that are considered “minority.”

Or better yet, try being a pitbull and see the way you get treated just for being a pitbull.

Sunny Sadaoka



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