State could have kept child from starving
I am writing to you regarding the horrific and sad story about the 12-year-old girl who was neglected and starved, allegedly by her parents (Star-Bulletin, July 13
). What those parents are accused of doing is gut-wrenchingly awful. But I would like to know, where was the state while this was going on?
Seven years prior to this the parents pleaded no contest to similar charges. I would think that after the state gave the child back to the parents, a monthly home visit would have been scheduled to be sure the parents were complying. This did not happen. I am very angry and ashamed of the state Department of Human Services.
Bringing criminals home won't protect us
Who believes that returning inmates will "make us safer" (Letters, Star-Bulletin, July 18
)? Forget the legislators; I'll express my opinions on their actions in enacting Senate Bill 932, mandating the return of criminals to Hawaii, at the polls next election. That's right, our "Hawaii" inmates are criminals. They're not socializing with a bad element on the mainland, they are the bad element. That's why they're in prison in the first place. Someone in the mainland is certainly opining that socialization with the dangerous Hawaii criminal element is bad for their inmates. They're all in prison for a good reason (murder, assault, robbery, rape, arson, burglary, drug dealing). The "aunties, tutus, children and other good people" they knew couldn't keep them out of prison in the first place and are unlikely to motivate them to any better behavior through their visits.
Moreover, exactly what research shows that "more and harsher incarceration does not protect us in the long run"? Au contraire. Someone in prison has no chance of bonking me over the head to steal my purse, breaking into my home, molesting my grandmother or trying to sell drugs to my kids. It staggers the imagination that someone thinks that returning inmates "gives crime victims a chance to heal." What? Tell that to the rape victim who lives in fear of leaving her house.
Rehabilitation programs for criminals are offered on the mainland as well. Apparently, letter writer Lorenn Walker can predict with certainty that "more than 50 percent of the people in prison will be right back in a few years." Exactly. Unfortunately, it's what they do to us in the interim that sends them there, and it's not making us safer.
Disabled man's abuser got off too easy
It's ridiculous that John Billam-Walker commits abuse and what amounts to terroristic threatening on a person with a cognitive disability for five months and gets only four months jail time ("Caretaker gets 4 months prison for abuse," Star-Bulletin, July 18
). The fact that the victim, a janitor, also depended on him for support, encouragement and training is all the more disgusting.
Billam-Walker should serve twice as many months as he abused his victim. In addition, he should be made to pay for the income that the janitor might lose or has lost due to the trauma. In addition, service providers should terminate abusers instead of passing them on to another victim.
The state and the courts need to be more aggressive in protecting the welfare of vulnerable people by pursuing harsher consequences.
Spend a little more to help local business
As the end of a Hawaii tradition draws near, I gaze at empty shelves that once held beautiful hand-etched glassware and feel a great sadness in my heart. Questions arise as to how such a talented company could go out of business, and what is going to happen to the remainder of the talented people in our beautiful and unique state ("Arts Hawaii Inc. concedes the market to cheap imports," Star-Bulletin, June 23
It is up to the consumers to be diligent. Please, support Hawaii talent in every way you can. The little bit of extra money you spend will keep our local talents in business, and you will gain a special piece of aloha made by hand, instead of an inexpensive foreign knockoff made with only dollar signs in mind. All it takes is to read the label. What looks like a local product could very well have been made in a foreign country.
It is also up to our local government to think about what will happen if our retail markets are overrun with foreign goods meant to represent Hawaii. Whether it is stricter regulations or higher taxes on these imported goods, something needs to be done now. Aloha and mahalo to the many loyal customers who we have had the pleasure to serve year after year.
Remember, people of Hawaii -- keep our local talents in business, or soon the signs will say, "Will the last handcrafter left in Hawaii please turn off the lights?"
Arts Hawaii, Inc.
New health-food store will kill competition
Why are people so excited about Whole Foods coming to Hawaii ("Whole Foods picks first isle vendors," Star-Bulletin, July 10
) when all they're going to do is rip us off? They're not dubbed "Whole Paycheck" for nothing.
Whole Foods does not cater to your average person. It caters to wealthy people. It doesn't hide the fact that it is expensive, but rather prides itself on its high-priced shopping "experience."
With its infamous reputation to eliminate local competition wherever it sets up shop, you bet it'll be targeting our favorite local health food stores like Down to Earth, Umeke, Kokua and Huckleberry Farms. Whole Foods might run these stores out of business, giving consumers no other choice but to shop there. Then, Whole Foods would dominate pricing for natural and organic products. Those of us who prefer these types of food will have no other option but to pay an arm and a leg for it.
And so what if they've got all this entertainment with their fancy pizza ovens and wine-tasting rooms? You're paying for it in the price of food! Who needs to pay double for apples and $36.99 a pound for fancy cream cheese? I don't, I've got bills to pay and a family to support.
Whole Foods has some nerve to tap into our hard-earned paychecks, where the cost of living already is one of the highest in the nation.
Impeachment would be a fool's game
I just had to respond to Alan Cummings, who says the Democrats should start impeachment proceedings against the president and vice president (Letters, July 16
). The reason, says Cummings, is to show that they are not afraid of him.
The reason the Democrats don't bring articles of impeachment against the president is because they don't want to look like idiots.