to the Editor

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Friday, December 7, 2001

Injured bike riders appreciate kindness

My wife and I recently returned to Canada after a 10-day visit with friends who live in Kaneohe. Since we are avid cyclists, our friends kindly loaned us their bicycles.

On the morning of Nov. 28, we were bicycling approximately two miles north of Kaneohe. We were riding at about 20 mph when, for some reason that we cannot understand, we crashed. The collision left my wife lying unconscious in the middle of the road. I was at the side of the road barely able to breathe. Within a few seconds, motorists stopped and began to provide first aid, call 911 and control the passing traffic. I could not believe how quickly and willingly appropriate assistance was provided.

I did not have an opportunity to get the names of anyone who stopped; however, I do wish to express my thanks. These prompt actions likely prevented further injuries.

I am pleased to say we received excellent treatment at the Queen's Medical Center and suffered only minor injuries.

To the good Samaritans of Oahu who took the time to help us in a most difficult situation: Your kindness will not be forgotten.

David Cole
Ottawa, Canada

Harrison left Fijians with memories, music

A couple of years ago, George Harrison and his lovely wife, Olivia, visited Lomalagi Resort on Vanua Levu, in Fiji. After a couple of days they asked if they could visit the nearby Fijian village.

The visit was arranged, with much excitement and anticipation by the villagers. When we arrived, they had a big area set up, with mats and cushions for all of us. Tea was served. Then the men put on a Fijian "meke" -- a beautifully choreographed war dance.

Following that performance, the "Lomalagi Band Boys" got out their guitars and a ukulele and began to play. George immediately jumped up and joined the band.

He played a couple of Beatles songs, then joined with the boys, playing along with them.

First he took the ukulele and began to play. After a couple of Fijian songs, he borrowed one of the guitars and played more Beatles songs, to wild cheering and applause. The concert lasted more than an hour.

The musicians' guitars and ukulele were very old and pretty beat up. About six weeks after Harrison's visit, a huge box arrived, containing three guitars, a ukulele, small percussion instruments for the band and for the school children, and lots of extra guitar and ukulele strings. A few days later, two more packages arrived, each containing a dozen Beatles cassettes.

George Harrison will be missed by all but his legacy lives on -- in the beautiful Fiji islands.

Collin McKenny
Owner, Lomalagi Resort
Vanua Levu, Fiji


"I don't think people are going to chase away the major part of their market to accommodate a few smokers."

Jon Yoshimura

City Council chairman, on the smoking-ban legislation introduced in Oahu, Kauai and Maui counties. The new bill, which follows one that failed to pass in November, would ban smoking indoors at bars and restaurants.

"They had to drop a bomb to stop him."

Carol Amerine

Mother of wounded Army Green Beret Capt. Jason Amerine of Honolulu, who was injured when a bomb dropped by the American military exploded near him in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Jason Amerine received shrapnel in his leg and a burst eardrum.

Ashcroft doublespeaks in Canadian pact

Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Canadian government have come to an agreement regarding security along the border to expedite traffic at the various crossings.

Ashcroft said that National Guard troops would be placed at the crossings and that armed helicopters also would be on patrol. He then said he was not militarizing the border. He did not explain how gunships were going to help trucks negotiate the crossing.

This is the administration that says it's protecting freedom by taking our civil rights away. The English language is my mother tongue, but I find this Orwellian doublespeak to be incomprehensible. Perhaps someone can explain it to me so that I can understand.

James M. Hykes

Camera cops unfair to Hawaii motorists

A letter to the editor in Sunday's paper mentioned the $25 "subpoena fee" if motorists wish to challenge speeding tickets. Many questions are raised by the use of these machines -- not least among them is how the state can go ahead with a program that is flawed and is bound to be challenged.

The public deserves an answer to these questions:

>> How do these machines improve safety? How can the machine know if a speeder is drunk?

If speeders, drunk or sober, are merely photographed and allowed to continue on their way, safety cannot be claimed to be the reason these machines are being used.

>> How can the state justify setting the machines at the speed limit when police officers allow some flexibility?

>> Other states using this system reportedly have reduced the time traffic lights stay yellow in order to catch more people running red lights. Who is watching to see whether traffic light times are adjusted down, and what will be done if they are?

>> A state transportation official said drivers who can prove they were not speeding "may recover their money." What does "may" mean? Shouldn't that be "will" get their money back?

Bob Kern

False alarm bill should target worse offenders

If the City Council passes the false alarm bill requested by the Honolulu Police Department, it will inflict financial pain on businesses and residents who own alarm systems or who intend to buy one to protect themselves.

The timing of this bill is unfortunate, given the economic hardships people are going through and the increase in burglaries and home invasions in the city.

The bill will require all alarm owners to get a permit for $15 and register the alarm. A business with multiple alarm systems will require a permit for each system. If you don't buy the permits, you will be fined $100. You will be allowed three "free" false alarms a year and fined $50 for each subsequent false alarm, even if it was caused by a technical problem. If you cannot pay your fines, the police reserve the right not to respond to any of your alarms until you do so.

We do need a false alarm ordinance. The police waste time responding to a few repeat business offenders who will not fix their systems because it would cost them money to do so. That being said, an ordinance should target repeat offenders. I believe this will reduce false alarms dramatically without financially burdening the innocent.

Mary Paulson
Owner, Security One, Inc.

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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.

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