Letters to the Editor
Monday, December 9, 1996

Safety of kids, community
paramount in Family Court

An article on three teens charged with defacing freeway signs with graffiti contained misinformation.

First, the three boys held for trial in detention did, in fact, "do time in jail" and may do more time, depending on their individual circumstances.

Second, contrary to the article, their parents' names and addresses may be given to the victim (in this case, the city) upon request, after adjudication. The city may then bill, charge or sue the parents for damages.

The fact that Family Court records and hearings are closed is mandated by law and does not affect the court's rulings. Judges apply an individualized approach to juvenile sentencing. This process takes into account the protection of the community as well as the rehabilitation of the juvenile.

The Family Court considers community safety concerns to be paramount. With a serious or repeat offense, jail time is often ordered.

Michael Broderick
Administrative Director
Public Affairs Office
The Judiciary

Something smells bad
about Waimanalo waste

Unisyn Biowaste Technology is a processor of putrefying fish entrails, rotting meats and grease trap residues known as "wet organic waste." This industrial waste facility was originally designed to use agricultural manure and is located on agricultural land in Waimanalo. The facility and the process produce a terrible odor and culture bacteria including hepatitis A.

The city enacted laws that will direct restaurant waste to this unlicensed facility beginning in January 1997. The state Department of Health is in the process of issuing a license to allow the processing of the waste and the composting of the waste in open windows. This is happening even before either the city Department of Land Utilization or the state Land Use Commission has issued permits to allow this activity.

Isn't this putting the cart before the horse? Unisyn currently accepts about 30 tons of this waste a day and will increase production by more than three times. It will produce three times the smell and airborne pathogens.

This facility is a hazard to health and to Waimanalo.

Joseph N.A. Ryan
Owner, Hilltop Equestrian Centre

Rabid special interests
are wreaking great havoc

Common Cause Hawaii is very disturbed by the trend of actions being taken by single-issue groups - whether focused on gun control, same-sex marriage or abortion, or public worker unions such as SHOPO. Especially distressing is how these groups target incumbents and candidates for public office by saying, "Vote for our issue or we will do everything we can to make sure you are not elected, regardless of all other matters."

This is wrong. Candidates should be judged on their overall competence, integrity and track record.

The virulence of some of these groups is drumming out some good candidates and alarming many people who would otherwise want a constitutional convention. They are doing a grave disservice to our democracy.

Desmond Byrne
Common Cause Hawaii

Ellis Island enshrines hope
for all Americans

A.A. Smyser recently wrote that the refurbished Ellis Island visitor center was too spic and span for visitors to really feel the past (Hawaii's World, Nov. 5). Having visited after it just opened, my feelings were the opposite.

On display in the main hall are suitcases, boxes and baskets used by the first immigrants to carry their treasures, perhaps one used by my father when he walked the same floor on his arrival in 1922. He often told me that America was the greatest place he had ever been, with streets paved with something more precious than gold - the opportunity to try and fail, and try again.

Perhaps Smyser needed the closure of the Heritage Centre in Cobb, where Annie Moore and her two siblings, the first to pass through Ellis Island in 1892, last looked at the green hills and rock-bound coast of County Cork.

Nonetheless, thanks for the article. I do agree that for anyone who visits New York, a trip to Ellis Island is a real chicken-skin event.

John Priolo
Pearl City

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