Letters for Friday, June 20, 2014

• Police doing best to catch ‘creeper’ • Yates brothers a remarkable story • Return of lost wallet a godsend • Tropic Care staff working wonders

Police doing best to catch ‘creeper’

There is a creeper in the Wailua area. He preys on young women and has broken in before and tried to molest a roommate before I moved in.  The community and my household have seven police reports against this individual. 

I chased him off the other night and called the police. Initially myself and an officer had some disagreements on what is private property and what self defense tools I am allowed to use.

I argued that the entire property is private and although I left my residence to look for him and warn others, I was still on private property. The discussion was heated and a lot of topics were debated. At the end of the day, the officers were very patient, professional and non biased despite my heated demeanor. 

I would like to personally thank officer Nero, officer Creighton, officer Higa and most importantly, officer Hamberg. Officer Hamberg went out of his way defuse the situation. He listened and he went above and beyond. Officer Hamberg is one of the finest police officers I have ever come in contact with. I would like to publicly apologize and thank him in particular.  He was patient and extremely polite despite the fact that I was short tempered about the whole situation. 

The creep was back again the following night and I was told the police were here within five minutes or less. Unfortunately, he got away. That is where the frustration on my part originated the previous night and I feel bad about taking it out on the officers. Regardless, they are Kauai’s finest and I feel safer with them around. They have a tough job and I feel they deserve to be publicly commended for their professionalism. 

Dan O’Flaherty, Kapaa

Yates brothers a remarkable story

What an outstanding story TGI did on Kirby Yates who has done what only one in a million baseball players who play the game ever do–reach the Big Leagues.

And to increase these incredible odds of getting to the “Show,” Kirby had to overcome two major surgeries on his throwing arm PLUS signing as a non drafted player — truly unbelievable!

As TGI said, “making the majors is difficult enough, even for those drafted high who remain healthy.”

I had the pleasure of working with Kirby’s brother, Tyler before he went to University of Hawaii at Hilo and got to know Kirby and the whole Yates family — wonderful people.

I would take my radar gun to these workouts and Tyler was throwing in the upper 80s with his 6’ 4” 230-pound body. As scouts say he had the ideal body for a pitcher. I knew that he could throw better than the 80s and saw him put a 98 on the gun when he reached the Majors with the Pirates. Tyler’s dad told me that his younger son, Kirby had the most talent in the family even though he was only 5’ 10” tall and weighed about 170 pounds.

As the official score keeper and arbitrator for the KIF I got to follow Kirby through his senior year at Kauai High. He was the only player to ever put   90mph on my radar gun (it is considered a “slow” gun) in my 25 years on Kauai so his dad was right! He was also a very good hitter and was the motor that make the team go. And, this is the same gun that I clocked Randy Johnson at USC and Mike Mussina at Stanford in the upper 80s.

Remember that the average high school pitcher in Hawaii throws about 75 to 78 (on my gun) so when Kirby could put a 90 on that gun you know what a fine arm he had.

One of my ex-ballplayers from UCLA was the head coach at University of Arizona, Andy Lopez. He had won the college world series with Pepperdine and again with Arizona, only done a couple of times in baseball history.  I told Andy about Kirby and said that he was a D1 player. Since Kirby was set to go to Yavapai JC Andy said to let him go there and he would get him the next year. But arm injuries and playing pro ball were on Kirby’s to do list so he had his work cut out for him. And again, against all odds he has made it to the top!

And, how ironic is it that two brothers from Kauai have been the only ones to ever beat the odds and make it to the Big Leagues. Remember that Tyler also had arm surgery and still spent several years in the Show.

The Yates family can certainly pop their buttons with pride over the accomplishment of these two young men — I am grateful to have been a small part of their lives.

And, I hope that their fortitude and will to succeed will be an inspiration to all ball players on Kauai to do the same. And not just in baseball but in any endeavor they hope to be successful at doing.

Glenn Mickens, Kapaa

Return of lost wallet a godsend

A big mahalo shout out to the kind person who turned in my wallet at Walmart on May 30. 

Not knowing where I lost it, I did not get it back that day, but I  did get it back and I am very  grateful to you. There were others that day that I am thankful for as well because in the whole crazy process of trying to deal with my lost wallet issues quickly, I had the pleasure of talking to some very nice, helpful people at driver licensing, the police department, the credit card companies and Walmart. They were caring and concerned and made it all less painful. Their general consensus was “hope for the best but prepare for the worst” and in the end it did turn out for the best! I wish the kindness you’ve shown to return to you tenfold! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Paula Alquiza, Hanapepe

Tropic Care staff working wonders

Kudos to the wonderful military people of Tropic Care. Their smiling faces and very professional work made my visit to the dentist a positive experience.

Since the doctor knew I was afraid of the needles, they went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and trusting. Some of the people worked eight hours without a break. The staff was picked from all over the Mainland. I urge you to go to Tropic Care at Eleele School – you’ll be taken care of.

Mahalo and God bless the Tropic Care staff.

Suzanne Pearson, Koloa

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