to the Editor

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Friday, March 5, 2004

Amendment would free up more cops

It's a shame to see uniformed police officers sitting in our courts' hallways when we need them out on the streets. They are simply cooling their heels while they wait to appear before a judge to reiterate what they already have said in their written reports, which in 44 other states is all that is needed. This antiquated system is a huge waste of police officers' time and our tax dollars. Worse, it provides the bad guys with one more loophole to slither through so they can get to their next victim.

We almost put an end to this wasteful system when Hawaii's residents voted in favor of the "Information Charging" amendment to our state Constitution. This enlightened amendment was overturned because of a technicality, and now it is up to the Legislature to put it back on course. Senate Bill 2861 needs to be passed now.

My company deals with thousands of visitors every day and one of their main concerns is street crime. For example, visitors who are victims of street crime often do not return to Hawaii to appear in court and once again be traumatized. Information charging helps to prevent this breakdown in our legal system. It is pretty clear that our current system works against the victim and in favor of the criminal. Why are we one of the few states in America that still uses this archaic system?

It is time for Hawaii to catch up. We voted to do this in our last election. This amendment to our Constitution is good for everyone but the criminals.

Bob Hampton
Waikiki Beach Activities

Prayer alone won't fix Hawaii's problems

Once again, at 6:30 Mass the priest asked everyone to pray for people suffering in Africa, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and a few more places. It was a noble thought -- for someone with his eyes closed.

Meanwhile, 10,000 people are homeless in Hawaii. There's not a church or a religion on the island (or, I might add, a newspaper, radio or TV station) doing anything about Honolulu's homeless. I noticed recently that the soup kitchen associated with St. Augustine's Church in Waikiki is "closed until further notice." What's the "further notice"? When the homeless finally, magically go away?

How effective would Mother Teresa of Calcutta have been if she lived in Brazil and prayed for the people in India? Mother Teresa had the unique idea that she actually had to help and work for others while praying for them at the same time.

Does anyone in this state ever get tired of the baloney? Hawaii has serious problems. The only answer is prayer (as the good priest is doing for Africa) and good works. People in Hawaii have to start doing something about their terrible, shameful problems.

Martha M. Hashagen

'Little angel' gave the greatest love

Thank you for this most beautifully written article ("'Little angel' charmed folks with big heart," Star-Bulletin, March 2). What courageous parents, and a brother who must know that "no greater love there is than one who lays their life down for another." Yes, Charlotte was a keeper.

Miki Nagahisa
Kapaa, Kauai

Navy obligated to try to protect children

After reading the Star-Bulletin's March 2 article "'Little angel' charmed folks with big heart," my heart wrenched at the loss of this precious little girl. As a former Air Force security policeman, I responded to many cases in which dependent children were involved. Hearing this case struck a chord with me as it could have been prevented. It seems the Navy was well aware of the hazardous conditions this particular rain catchment basin presented.

It is high time the Navy get off its duff and listen to the residents of their housing areas. Military members need to know that their families will be safe should they deploy. The Navy needs to act now to ensure no other child dies needlessly.

I'm saddened it took the death of this child to shed light on this dangerous situation. I hope Charlotte Schaefers' death will not have been in vain.

Jason Redulla

Education solutions lie beyond the obvious

The perceptive letter by teacher Scott Powell ("Local school boards won't help teachers," Star-Bulletin, Feb. 29) about the real solutions to the clearly failing public school system reminds of the story I often told my students and colleagues when they were stalled in trying to solve a difficult problem:

A man was coming home one night when he spotted a fellow walking around a lightpole in his neighborhood. Being a good neighbor, he stopped to offer help. Learning that the man was looking for the key to his home, our good Samaritan joined in the search. Failing to find the key after a couple of circles around the pole, our G.S. suggested he could help the man get through a window or something to get into his home.

"But I can't do that," the man said. "This is not my house!"

"Then how come you've been walking around this light pole?"

"Because this is the only lighted spot in the neighborhood," he said.

So, here we are in Hawaii looking for the silver bullet to cure our school problems by walking around a lightpole, when the real problems and their solutions lie outside that lighted circle, just as teacher Powell suggested.

Raymond L. Chuan
Hanalei, Kauai




Does Honolulu need a city museum,
and what should be in it?

Does history matter? If so, whose history? Bishop Museum is one of the leading cultural museums in the United States, but it is not a history center. Honolulu seems to be the only state capital city without a municipal museum. Does Honolulu need a city museum? What should be in it? Where should it be? Should such a museum be a collection of artifacts or a learning center? Would such a museum be geared for Hawaii education or for entertaining tourists?

Send your ideas by March 17 to:

Or mail them to:
c/o Nancy Christenson
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

c/o Nancy Christenson


How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). 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 and include a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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