Letters for Friday, February 14, 2020

The ultimate slap on the wrist

At times, when we would have political discussions, my Holocaust-survivor father reminded me of the virtues of democracy and what life is like under a different system.

“Democracy may not be perfect, but it’s much better than any other system out there,” he would say.

The impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump demonstrates what is both good and not so good about our democracy.

The citizens of the United States (and the world) have witnessed a remarkable process. The “trial” has ended as expected, with the acquittal of Trump. During this process, a number of senators acknowledged that Trump engaged in several “un-impeachable” transgressions.

And to this, some of them say, “so what?”

One of the greatest disappointments of this process is that nowhere in these proceedings has Trump been officially censured, reprimanded, chastised or even given a slap on the wrist for his questionable (bad) behavior.

In November, the voters have the opportunity to deliver the ultimate slap on the wrist and announce to Trump, “you’re fired.”

Michael Diamant, Koloa

Costco food court is accident waiting to happen

I would like to address a pedestrian-safety issue that endangers hundreds of people each day.

Right here, on our beautiful island, there lurks a catastrophic accident waiting to happen.

Each of us has probably stood in this line or sat at the provided picnic tables. The site of this potential tragedy that I am referring to is at our local Costco. The outdoor food court is the specific area of my concern.

I have personally visited this super store on other islands and the Mainland, noting that one glaring feature is missing from our Lihue store: there is nothing stopping a vehicle from driving into the seated and standing patrons at the food court.

At other similar store locations, the use of bollards is applied. A bollard is a vertical pipe or pillar planted a few feet deep into the ground, showing about four feet above ground level.

Strategic placement of the bollard prevents the intrusion of an errant driver or malfunctioning vehicle from crushing unsuspecting patrons.

Why do other store locations have bollards and not ours? I asked the local store managers and got the answer that “the bollards are not required by code.” So whose fault will it be when something does unfortunately happen at this location?

Do we need to have our Kaua‘i building code amended to require stores like this to install bollards for their customers’ protection?

Please, let’s not wait for that to happen.

It is my intention to expose this deficiency and for the store to rectify the problem. The protection of my and your ‘ohana is all I seek.

Roger Walraven, Lawai

6 Comments
  1. Jake February 14, 2020 4:03 am Reply

    Michael, the United States is not a true “democracy”….we are a hybrid democracy-republic.

    Ah, like, that is why President Trump was “acquitted”…..he did nothing “impeachable”.

    As far as “reprimanding” the President for doing nothing wrong, except triggering feelings and emotions……interestingly, and especially fascinating, will be the fact that President Trump will be reelected President in November, following an impeachment trial. A first!


  2. Jake February 14, 2020 4:08 am Reply

    Roger, I think you have seen too many movies. You can’t prevent every accident, only mitigate it. Let’s close half the beaches so we can have more lifeguards concentrated per person.


  3. Charlie Chimknee February 14, 2020 7:06 am Reply

    Roger, you’re right, it’s OK to go one or 2 up on the Building .Codes when it comes to SAFETY.

    In fact when it comes to Safety, OverKILL SAVES LIVES…!

    And while we’re are it check the stair and 2nd Floor hand rail in the State Building in LIHUE, it’s height is welcoming a medium to tall person to huli over the railing head first down to the unforgiving marble floor below…that’s insufficient code with insufficient architect design…maybe they were saving the Taxpayer some kala.

    Seems as well, the food itself at the food court at all the CostCo’s are a training ground for obesity and diabetes. One day Healthy Food Codes will become the norm, right now No Code is feeding the Disease Care Industry.


  4. james February 14, 2020 8:03 am Reply

    Whose fault will it be? The person who drives into the tables, obviously. Without any prior incidents, there is no duty for Costco to put up barriers. What’s to prevent a car from crashing into the front doors of Costco or running down someone in the parking lot? Let’s not get so afraid of life that we forget how to enjoy it.


  5. Kauaidoug February 14, 2020 11:04 am Reply

    Trump was impeached and yes, the voting public will probably be the his slap on the wrist. Then once he is out of office he can look forward to jail time like sooo many of his other buddies. He knows this and as Michael Cohen , his lawyer/fixer, said Mr Trump will not go quietly so beware the next election. Trump gets reelected or he’s going to jail!


  6. steve February 14, 2020 8:04 pm Reply

    What this scofflaw president needs on the wrists isn’t a slap but a pair of handcuffs, preceded by indictments and followed by a perp walk and a (fair) trial. While making a mockery of our system of justice he has sought to accomplish just that against a growing list of civil servants, leaving a body count of good names and careers in his wake. No other president has demanded such a paranoid sweep of all who serve in government beneath him, in effect demanding a “fuhrer pledge” of loyalty, or else face professional and reputational extinction. This is not how democracy functions, but rather its opposite.


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