Authorities are using too much force
We have already had a great deal of media coverage and righteous indignation over the shooting of bipolar airline passenger Rigoberto Alpizar by federal marshals at the Miami airport. Will we have even a fraction of this outrage over the sad death of the homeless man who died on Hotel Street as a result of police confrontation (Star-Bulletin, Dec. 13)
and their use of pepper spray?
Both incidents, in my opinion, are tragic examples of overkill. The air marshals should have shot for the legs (a range of probably less than 50 feet) rather than killing Alpizar. The Honolulu Police Department officers should have certainly been able to subdue an unarmed, single suspect without killing him.
It will be interesting to see how the media coverage plays out. I do not expect to see anything further on the death of the homeless man. He is unimportant, right?
Bruce J. Matheson
UH player turned rejection to success
I would like to give acknowledgment to my friend and inspiration. Christopher Price-White, born and raised on the Big Island, is a junior transfer at Arizona State University. He walked onto the football team this fall and was one of five athletes accepted by the program out of 100 who tried out. Out of those 100 athletes, Chris ran the fastest 40-yard dash and now is one of three walk-ons who still remain on the team. The last three weeks of the season Chris was voted by the coaches to be the scout player of the week. He became the only player this year to attain such an achievement.
What is so extraordinary about all this? Chris trained here at the University of Hawaii for three years, but was cut from the football team -- twice. His love for the game, work ethic and overall character can match the best of optimists. His "never say die" outlook has carried him beyond the unobtainable and made it a reality. Just like Michael Jordan, Chris teaches us to never give up when someone says "you're not good enough." At some point Jordan decided he wanted to be a champion, and that way of thinking should be programmed into every young athlete alive today.
Congrats to Chris. He's not only living his dream, but the dream of countless others. He was never afraid of failure, never afraid of hard work, just afraid that life's play would go on and he would not be able to contribute a verse. His story should be a huge chapter in each of our lives.
Dirt bikers care about conservation, too
Regarding your editorial of Dec. 10 ("Trails need balance of protection, profits"
): I respectfully take issue with your statement that "dirt bikes and other motorized equipment on the trails would present safety risks to hikers, horseback riders and bicyclists along with noise, dust and damage to wildlife."
According to the Blue Ribbon Coalition, of which I am a member, this need not be so. Members of the coalition ride safely, are courteous toward other users and care about conservation. A properly managed trail system takes into consideration route design and diversity; route designation (limiting wheeled off-highway vehicles to specific roads and trails); and environmental protection.
If economic growth is a desired outcome of this proposed trail system, please consider the (slowly) growing popularity of adventure-tourism. As dirt bikers mature, they often seek off-road experiences away from their home terrain. To meet the needs of this market, responsible motorcycle tour operations have sprung up around the world, from Arizona to Peru and Vietnam. This could work in Hawaii, too. I took part in an unforgettable trail ride that crossed from Nevada to California and back, and will soon experience the back roads of New Zealand. I would be happy to report back to you on my "Kiwi Dirt Bike" adventure.
Paper blew 'Lost' story out of proportion
I was appalled by the front-page article about the stars of "Lost" and their apparent lead feet (Star-Bulletin, Dec. 14
). I was disgusted by the tastelessness the Star-Bulletin exhibited by brandishing these peoples' faces on the front page as if they were murder suspects. Driving too fast and getting caught is hardly newsworthy, much less important enough to make the front page. It seems the Star-Bulletin has decided it wants to sell papers much the same way the Enquirer or other grocery store gossip papers do rather than by building a reputation for fair and factual journalism.
Come on people -- everyone speeds. Everyone gets speeding tickets. Putting these peoples' faces on the front page of the newspaper and treating them like Hawaii's most wanted is not fair. I'm not condoning the use of excessive speed, but they are people full of flaws and vices just like the rest of us. They just happen to be on TV every Wednesday night. We should welcome them here -- because their being here brings tons of much-needed money into Hawaii's economy -- and treat them the same as you would expect to be treated if you were caught speeding.
Angela M. Britten
'Lost' actors aren't worth the risk
If these "Lost" actors want to speed and drive drunk on our roads, perhaps they ought to get lost. Any film industry benefits are not worth the risk to us or our family members. One of these idiots could kill someone as a result of their drunk driving.
Driving while drunk is not only stupid, it's terribly dangerous and a crime. They abuse our aloha.