Letters for Thursday, May 18, 2017

• Better to vote at the polls • Stop being afraid, and stop crime

Better to vote at the polls

The Republican Party of Kauai opposes all-mail elections. Some of the many reasons are:

1. Integrity. All eligible, and only eligible, citizens should be allowed to vote. Election results must not skewed by ineligible votes.

2. Voter privacy and freedom from intimidation at home or in the workplace is difficulty to endure when not at monitored polls.

3. Ballot chain-of-custody is incomplete.

4. Convenience of all-mail-in balloting is tempting for both election office and poll worker staffing, but convenience does not supersede good methods.

5. It is estimated that there wold be budget savings. However, unexpected costs of an all-mail system may offset savings. Economy is commendable, but integrity and privacy needs outweigh the slight savings.

6. Going to the polls on election day increases the satisfaction of participating in the electoral process. This is our precious right and responsibility.

Continued improvement of the current system should be made. All-mail voting should be rejected.

Steve Yoder, chairman, Republican Party of Kauai

Nina Magoun, vice chairman, Elections and Legislation

Stop being afraid, and stop crime

Kudos to Police Chief Perry for his letter (TGI, May 11) setting the record straight on crime. We frequently hear and read the term “fake news” these days. Statements like those his letter contracts certainly fall into that category.

A few years ago, The Wall Street Journal published an article which asked why the 21st century American, who live in what is likely to be the safest culture in all of human history, are so fearful. A related question is implied in Chief Perry’s letter: Why have at least some of Kauai’s people become so afraid of crime that they believe statements about its increase to be true despite all reasonable evidence to the contrary?

Last year, for example, New York City, long notorious as a hot bed of violence, experienced fewer felonies than it had ever recorded. Gang-related killings had dropped to some 30 percent from the previous year, and shootings, like other felonies, were at the lowest level since the city began tracking them. With a few exceptions, such as Chicago, cities throughout the country have recently experienced similar reductions in crime.

New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill attributed much of this drop to “deeper problem solving” practices, including better engagement with the community, and greater citizen participation in crime prevention and detection.

A few months ago, a native New Yorker told me that crime in the city began to ebb when ordinary people simply decided that they were tired of living in fear, and began working to clear crime from their neighborhoods mentally and physically. In other words, they stopped being afraid. This was certainly evident in New Yorkers’ heroic response to 9-11-2001.

Anyone who reads the newspaper knows that we do not live in a violence-free world, or even on a crime-free island. Indeed, we never have. However, fearfully exaggerating the prevalence of evil will not eradicate it. In the words of an insightful 19th century thinker, Mary Eddy Baker, “We should master fear, instead of cultivating it.”

Mastering fear is not always easy, but it is something we can do. One way to begin doing it is to challenge false perceptions of crime’s pervasiveness.

Thank you, Chief Perry, for doing just that.

H.M. Wyeth, Anahola


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