Baggage-area camera would reduce theft
Here is a simple solution to stolen, damaged and lost baggage at airports: Install numerous cameras overlooking well-lit work areas where the baggage inspectors and handlers work. Broadcast those images to large screens in a variety of areas throughout the airport. Travelers can oversee the inspectors and handlers as they handle the baggage while they move through the airport, sit in lounges and stand in lines.
William J. King
News media ignored Sierra Club scorecard
I am writing today to discuss the massive failure of the media outlets here in Honolulu. The Sierra Club handed out its 2006 legislative scorecards on 10 key environmental bills and most of the media ignored the event.
The Sierra Club is a key organization dedicated to improving the environment and standing up when no one pays attention. According to Jeff Mikulina, the director of the state chapter, one third of our Legislature received failing grades. This is unacceptable. In a state that supposedly holds such high regard for the environment, why did the media and why do our politicians ignore it?
Mental illness should not be an excuse
I am truly disgusted at how the news media are handling the Adam Mau-Goffredo case. He is being tried and acquitted by reason of insanity before the trial. Let's not forget he is accused of murdering three people, terrorizing three others and leaving two children fatherless. Paranoid schizophrenia? It seems he had enough presence of mind to realize he couldn't make a getaway in the slain taxi driver's car and had the foresight to steal another one.
City prosecutor Peter Carlisle won my respect and admiration in his handling of the Byran Uyesugi case and dispelling an insanity plea dismissal. I hope he can do the same with this case. I certainly hope we haven't regressed to the Massie Case or progressed to the gross inequities of California's judicial system where wealth and influence buy a "get out of jail free" card. Alcohol- and drug-enhanced mental illness is not grounds for dismissal and Mau-Goffredo deserves the stiffest penalties the law provides. Anything less would be a gross miscarriage of justice.
Ridge R. Ryerson
Suspect's father was pushed out of his life
In light of the Tantalus tragedy it is necessary to ask if this could have been avoided. The files of Children's Rights Council are full of stories where one parent has been cut out of their child's life, often with drastic or fatal results. Attorney Jim Wright, speaking for murder suspect Adam Mau-Goffredo's father, said his client has had "no significant involvement" with his son since a "bitter divorce" 18 years ago: "It was a battle, he gave up."
Statistics clearly show that children who have both parents significantly present in their lives are better adjusted and less prone to drug abuse. They do better in school and go on to have a greater percentage of stable jobs and marriages. Yet Family Court makes it so difficult for parents to stay involved with their children that many just "give up." The enormous expense of money, time and heartache forces good parents to just walk away from their kids, hoping that someday, the kids will seek them out.
Maybe this tragedy and countless others could be stopped if Hawaii Family Court punished parents who denied their children access to the other parent. Maybe Hawaii's kids would stay in school and not try meth or suicide if Family Court punished parents who tried expunge the other parent from the life of the child.
What if Family Court adopted the credo of Children's Rights Council, that barring domestic violence, the "best parent is both parents"?
Myrna B. Murdoch
Children's Rights Council of Hawaii
What happens here stays with her forever
How many times has Hawaii taken my breath away? I lived in Los Angeles quite for a while; however, the city never offered me the sensations I have had on this island for the past few weeks.
I arrived at the Honolulu airport two weeks ago, feeling thrilled and nervous. Yet the sweetest welcome with a fresh plumeria lei from my boyfriend, Tommy, blew away all my anxiety at once. I am now staying at his grandmother's house and attending summer school at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I have tried to cook some local foods, gone to dinner with his wonderful family and visited the most scenic places.
Experiencing genuine ohana during my stay in Hawaii has made me appreciate the family I have in Japan; Nana has been making my stay very homey, and Tommy has given me all the mind-blowing moments. I must say, celebrating my birthday this week in Hawaii is going to be the best birthday gift I have ever received.
Aaliyah Aya Ichino
Recycling a dirty job but we all should do it
Here in the islands, our resources are limited. We mostly depend on the resources of other countries for our needs. One way to be less dependent on extracting resources from our beautiful but fragile land is to recycle what we discard. Recyclable items will be sorted and turned into useful products rather being taken to the landfill or incinerated.
It is not the sole responsibility of the environmentalists, but ours, too, to fully participate in this program to care about the earth and our vanishing resources.
Think about what a big difference we can make if we think before we throw. Recycle now. It may be a dirty job but it pays off.
Felino B. Damo
Fix recycling bugs before new mandates
I am writing in response to the July 8 article
wherein our city administration is contemplating a "mandate to prohibit yard clippings from being put into regular household garbage." I agree with the environmental services officials who say the bugs still need to be worked out in curbside recycling before any mandate is put into place. Before this blue-bin system went into effect there were rarely any trash bags left street-side after the old three-man trucks came through my part of Kailua. Now there are trash bags left for weeks at a time.
With this new program, the city has lessened the amount of green waste we can dispose of at curbside. The blue bins hold a miserably small amount! Perhaps the city is trying to help those in business to haul green trash to the landfill -- because those of us who do our own yard work are forced to do just that when we trim trees or bushes in addition to mowing the lawn.
I recycle glass, newspaper, HI-5 containers as well as "green waste." I want to recycle. I believe we all must recycle. But the city has made it more difficult for those who do their own yard work. Evidence the city's own numbers where the green waste recycling pickup from 2005 to 2006 in the Kahaluu to Waimanalo run went down -- many of us do our own yard work and the pick ups available to us are insufficient.
Hawaii needs Coffee's fresh face in Senate
I congratulate Capt. Jerry Coffee for his July 11 announcement
that he is running for the U.S. Senate seat held by a Democrat for too many years. Unfortunately, "it is our seat" is what we hear from the Democrats. Rep. Ed Case says he should be elected to keep the seat safe in the hands of a new breed of Democrats. Senator Akaka says the seat is his and he should be allowed to keep it. Senator Inouye supports Akaka and doesn't know what to do about the family infighting.
While not new to the political landscape in Hawaii, Coffee understands the political climate and does not believe the seat belongs to anyone other than the people of Hawaii. A former prisoner of war for seven years in Vietnam, Coffee has had his mettle tested and has the backbone and resolve to take on the difficult problems facing this nation. While having a strong interest in national defense, his focus will remain on what Hawaii needs in the future and address those challenges with the determination that brought him through more difficult times.
As a Vietnam veteran, I do not pretend to speak for all those veterans in Hawaii; however, I am certain they are as proud as I am to have someone with Coffee's values, service before self, announce for this important national seat. I hope that those who examine this American hero understand his sacrifices, his integrity, his courage and his commitment. Coffee is the person we must send to the Senate to take on the challenges facing our nation and our beloved Hawaii.
Senators should be replaced occasionally
Why do we listen to the claims that the political candidates make when running for office? What difference does it make when, after they are elected, they don't follow their own positions for which we elected them, but rather they just vote with "the party"?
Why don't we elect our representatives and senators for life, like the justices of the Supreme Court? It seems that this is what we want in the Senate race. I thought the reason we elect every two or four of six years is so we have the option to change blood and get a person who believes what we do and does what is right for Hawaii.
I was astounded that in one vote, Sen. Dan Akaka voted because of his promise to the Alaskans whether or not it was good for Hawaii. I don't think Rep. Neil Abercrombie has ever voted for anything that is good for Hawaii and even votes opposite "the party" when they vote for something good for us.
Folks, it's time for a change. We can take control if we don't just vote the status quo!
Haynes for appeals seat must be opposed
From here in Honolulu, Washington, D.C., seems far away. But what happens there can affect us, and our representatives need to hear what we think.
Currently, they are debating the nomination of William Haynes to the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Haynes holds views on human rights that are intolerable. As general counsel to the Department of Defense, Haynes has advocated policies curtailing the rights of prisoners, even to the extent of supporting the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens by the Executive Branch without legal counsel or meaningful judicial review. These policies erode the very foundations of our freedom.
The nomination of Haynes must not only be opposed but even filibustered, if necessary, to keep his dangerous ideas off the bench.
Robert M. Schacht