Colt's eliminations could be worse
I don't normally read Kalani Simpson's sports column, but what he wrote on Oct. 4 about University of Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan
made me laugh. I saw him throw up for the first time during the Boise game on pay-per-view.
He didn't even bother to bend down. It was orange from the Gatorade he constantly drinks on the sidelines, and I saw no chunks of potato or other food. Maybe Kalani could ask him if he even bothers to eat before the game. Where does he get his energy? At any rate, it is better than having a bout of diarrhea on the field, isn't it?
Glenda Chung Hinchey
No one pays attention to Bush's terror alerts
President George Bush has dropped to a new low of 32 percent in his nationwide approval ratings, so it's time for another terror alert. It always seems to happen after a new poll shows he is hitting rock bottom.
We all hope that it IS another false alert, another case of Bush crying "wolf." But we must also remember that the more often he issues these alerts, the less attention people pay. What will happen if we have a real threat and a real alert? What if he drops lower in the polls, announces another terrorist alert, and no one pays any attention?
Surplus funds should go to public schools
How dare anyone say, "We're blessed with nearly a half-billion dollar surplus," and in the same breath walk away from direct responsibility to adequately budget for, fund and fix our schools?
We don't have a surplus, we have a deficit school system without needed allocations to repair brick and mortar and equip our schools with necessary supplies and computers. We have the opportunity to do the right thing now and into the future by putting available funds where they are so desperately needed. For as long as I've lived here our educational system has lacked adequate funding and our children have suffered. It's time to say, "No more."
Fair warning to all those who want to continue to play politics with our children's education and future. Your constituencies will have a long memory.
Member, Board of Education
Court needs quality judge, not a crony
Harriet Miers, President Bush's latest choice for the Supreme Court, having never been a judge, means we'll learn even less about her judicial philosophy than that of new Chief Justice John Roberts. However, her statement to a former Bush speech writer that the "President is the most brilliant man she has ever met" speaks volumes.
Loyalty, some might just call it cronyism or delusional thinking. is not a qualification for a life-time appointment to the highest court in the land.
Do we really want a "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva a job" type on the court for the next 20 or 30 years?
2 words don't change meaning of pledge
"I pledge alliegiance -- under God -- " means only that the one pledging alliegiance is doing so under God, under God's guidance, is God-fearing.
However, you can pledge, have alliegiance, loyalty, to your country whether you're God-fearing, practice voodoo, or are an atheist or Devil worshiper. Religion and God have nothing to do with alliegiance or faithfulness to your country.
The pledge did not contain the words "under God" when it was written. They were stuck in by Congress during the Cold War in response to Russia's banning of religious institutions (a drastic way to separate church from state!). It was meant to show Russia that we are a religious people, but it does not fit the intent of the pledge, and for that reason there were many protests against its insertion.
Taking "under God" out of the pledge does not take it out of our country.
Thief's criminal history warranted 10-year sentence given by judge
An unlicensed contractor with an extensive criminal record -- Henry Leo Kaiser -- was sentenced to 10 years in prison for theft in the first degree. The headline on Charles Memminger's Oct. 4 column
summed up his opinion of the sentence: "10-year term is ludicrously punitive."
Memminger's columns are often right on the mark, but this one was not.
In a prosecution initiated by the attorney general, Kaiser was indicted for theft in the first degree (a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison) and the misdemeanor offense of unlicensed activity. Kaiser's victim in the theft case was a homeowner on the verge of retirement who paid Kaiser $42,500 for roof and remodeling work. After receiving the victim's payment and gutting parts of the victim's home, Kaiser abandoned the job, leaving the home in an uninhabitable condition. The victim was forced to move out of his home for more than one year and pay another contactor $50,000 to repair damage and do work that he had already paid Kaiser to do. Eventually, the victim ran out of money and is now attempting to complete the work with his own hands. The victim had planned to retire in November 2005, but as a result of the financial losses caused by Kaiser, he must postpone his retirement.
Previously, the state Regulated Industries Complaints Office had issued two permanent injunctions prohibiting Kaiser from engaging in unlicensed contractor activities. Kaiser had been paid for but failed to perform contractor work for four other homeowners.
In a separate case brought by the Honolulu prosecuting attorney, Kaiser had been indicted in July 2003 for theft in the second degree for writing a check on his closed account.
With the advice of his attorney, Kaiser pled guilty in September 2004 to all charges in both cases, and sought to "package" the cases together for sentencing. Both the attorney general and the prosecuting attorney filed motions for an extended term of imprisonment on the ground that Kaiser was a persistent offender.
Kaiser's criminal history includes two convictions for robbery in the first degree (1977) and convictions of abuse of family and household member (2001), theft in the second degree (1994), DUI (1994), disorderly conduct (1991 and 1995), possession of firearm by person convicted of certain crimes (1982), resisting arrest (1982), promoting detrimental drug in the third degree (1982), unauthorized control of propelled vehicle (1982), theft in the first degree (1982), contempt of court (1981), and robbery in the second degree (1977). Kaiser had been given multiple opportunities for probation that were later revoked when he failed to comply with probation conditions.
Yet despite Kaiser's abysmal record, Circuit Judge Steven Alm was willing to give him another opportunity to demonstrate that he was genuinely remorseful and willing to take responsibility for his actions. At Kaiser's change of plea hearing in September 2004, Alm indicated that he was inclined to sentence Kaiser to probation with credit for the 80 days of prison time he had already served in the prosecuting attorney's case. Alm granted Kaiser's request to set aside his $12,000 bail and release him on his own recognizance until his sentencing so that he could purportedly continue to work.
In flagrant violation of the court's trust, Kaiser failed to show up for his November 2004 sentencing, and the court properly issued a warrant for his arrest. Kaiser remained at large until his arrest in July 2005, and was sentenced one month later.
Alm rightly considered these and other relevant factors in deciding Kaiser's sentence. Kaiser had every opportunity for a lenient sentence, but his conduct clearly demonstrated his lack of remorse and unwillingness to be held accountable for his actions. The sentence he received was fair and well deserved.
State Deputy Attorney General