[ OUR OPINION ]
Outgoing top cop
served city well
LEE Donohue will retire as police chief at the end of June, having shown distinguished leadership during seven years as Honolulu's top cop. His job was made difficult by tight city budgets that caused many officers to abandon ship for higher-paying jobs on the mainland. Donohue was able to cope with the problem, prompting City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle at one point to ask that he cut back on the number of referrals for prosecution.
Honolulu Police Chief Lee Donohue has announced his retirement after 40 years on the force, with seven of those in the top position.
Donohue, 61, entered the chief's office at a time when the department had 400 vacancies because of the exodus of officers to the mainland. That shortage has been reduced to 250, and 220 recruits are in training. Through much of that period, Oahu's population rose by 5 percent while the number of crimes increased by only 1 percent.
Donohue also has had to handle problems within the department, topped by an assistant chief and a major being caught serving fancy meals to officers -- including an unwitting Donohue -- bought with money intended for prisoner meals.
"This job is not for the faint of heart," Donohue said. "There are always stresses ... It's a matter of how you deal with it." He was speaking figuratively; Donohue collapsed in 1999 from a heart complication while demonstrating martial arts to recruits, and he continued to serve effectively after his recovery. He plans to continue martial arts instruction during his retirement.
The Honolulu Police Commission won't be able to choose a successor before Donohue's departure, figuring it will need about four months and as much as $50,000 to complete the process. An outside consultant will screen qualified applicants, who then will be interviewed by four members of a community assessment team.
The four candidates chosen by the assessment team will be forwarded to the commission for the final selection. The commission will have done its job well if it can find someone with the capabilities of the outgoing chief.
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Got eats? Others don’t,
so please share
GENEROSITY has always been a strong characteristic among Hawaii residents. Whether through the influence of the host culture or because of our isolation from the rest of the world, people in the islands open their hearts and pocketbooks whenever a need arises.
The Hawaii Foodbank is collecting canned goods and cash today to feed the hungry.
Sharing food is so much a part of our collective traditions and lifestyle. Rare is the person who doesn't take a cake or a box of pastries when they go visiting.
Dinner parties invariably are de facto potlucks with guests bringing their favorite dishes to place on the table, so much so that few get to leave without a plate of leftovers when the festivities are over.
Those lucky enough to have bountiful mango or avocado trees or whose green thumbs coax abundant cucumbers or mustard cabbages from backyard gardens will often deliver to their neighbors some of their crops.
It is in this spirit that we ask for the community's help in filling the needs of those among us who don't have enough to eat, who may have to choose spending meager dollars on rent, clothes or medicine instead of food.
The Hawaii Foodbank, which feeds 118,000 people each week, makes it easy to give, taking donations of canned foods today at various Oahu locations including Koko Marina and Restaurant Row. After today, take canned foods to any First Hawaiian Bank branch, Oahu fire station, T-Mobile retail outlets statewide or King Windward Nissan. For more locations and information, go to www.hawaiifoodbank.org. The food bank wants meats and tuna, spaghetti, chili, soups, vegetables, fruits and beans. Cash donations also will be accepted at several locations.
So empty the cupboard or pick up a couple of extra cans of corned beef at the grocery store. All it takes is a little bit from each of us to help the hungry.