Letters for Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017

• County shouldn’t approve drinking on golf course

• Whistle blower deserves respect

Bravo to Mayor Carvalho for having the good sense to veto the bill that would allow liquor sales at Wailua Golf Course. Let us hope that enough of the County Council members will wipe the dollar signs from their eyes to prevent an override of the mayor’s wise action.

While the prospect of besotted golfers careening their electric carts around the fairways seems risible, the prospect of them driving out onto a notoriously dangerous stretch of Kuhio Highway is not. On the contrary, it seems to be inviting disaster.

Those enticed by the possibility of swelling the county treasury through alcohol sales would do well to consider that one lawsuit by victims of an accident attributable to a driver who became intoxicated at the golf course might well eat up any revenue those sales generate.

Finally, consider the matter of moral culpability. Our community already has a DUI problem. Is it not then dereliction of responsibility to care for its constituents if our government encourages alcohol consumption? It would do better to set an example for present and future generations by promoting healthy lifestyles. Ideally, golf teaches mental discipline, appreciation of the outdoors, and friendly social interaction. These are virtues that government should support, and which benefit all our citizens, not just golfers. How can it benefit anyone to support the notion that drinking toxic waste is requisite for having fun?

Our lawmakers would do well to ponder the KPD motto to serve and to protect. To protect our people the county should stay out of the business of serving them alcohol.

H. M. Wyeth, Anahola

The “Jury Clears Warden” report of your paper on Dec. 21 appears to be one-sided, without a single sentence presenting Plaintiff Carolyn Ritchie’s perspective or intention.

When Ritchie was a social worker at Kauai Community Correctional Center from 2009-2012, a few female inmates confided in her about sexual humiliation and discrimination that they encountered in the county jail. Female inmates as a disadvantaged and vulnerable group have little voice regarding the mistreatment.

Out of compassion and professional integrity, Ritchie filed a complaint and thus lost her job. Margery Bronster and three other well-known attorneys believed that Ritchie had a strong case and represented her pro bono for public interest.

In the past four years, Ritchie not only lost her income but also suffered tremendous emotional distress that affected her health. Yet, she did not give up or accept a six-digit settlement offer. Losing the case does not necessarily mean the plaintiff’s claims had no merit. O.J. Simpson was found not guilt by a unanimous jury. Was he really not guilty? Only time can tell, maybe.

It’s understandable why some inmates were afraid to testify and only those statements in favor of the defendant were quoted. Even the warden himself admitted certain wrongdoings in the investigation and deposition. A fair and balanced report should present both sides of the story. A whistle blower should not be punished for doing the right thing. Ritchie deserves the respect of your paper, or better even, an interview?

Sonia Song, Kapaa


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