Letters to the Editor
Friday, December 26, 1997

DOT has gone overboard with new traffic lights

With two new traffic signals being installed on Hawaii Kai Drive, less than 100 yards apart, one has to question the impetus and motives behind this expenditure of scarce resources. Was this the result of the will of the community as a whole or to pacify some special interests?

Granted, Hahaione Elementary is a few blocks up the street from these signals. But do we really need more lights at "T" intersections that already afford good visibility in both directions, along a street that already has a 25 mph speed limit? Plus, there are crossing guards stationed there at appropriate school times. I can think of 100 other places where stoplights would have been more beneficial.

Don Jones
(Via the Internet)

Pakalolo users are just as bad as crack dealers

With respect to Paul Power's Dec. 17 letter about going after crack dealers instead of pakalolo users, I can't help but wonder where this sudden revelation came from.

Drugs, from "minor" things like pakalolo to crack, are still classified as "illicit" and their end product is detrimental to our society.

For a state such as California to condone such action is an atrocity and marks the decline of ethical standards.

Instead of jumping on the green bandwagon, let's hope that our government has the sense to do what it preaches, for once, and "just say no."

Reid Seino
(Via the Internet)

Police can't prevent crime everywhere

Richard O. Rowland's Dec. 15 letter claimed that the police failed to protect his friend from being victimized and even blamed them for not apologizing. As I understand it, police officers help us to protect ourselves. They have many effective programs to do just that.

Rowland and his friend might want to contact the Community Policing Team (CPT) in their district. The CPT can help him organize a Neighborhood Security Watch.

They can be shown how to protect their valuables through the Operation Identification Program. CPT also has a very helpful handbook, "How to Protect Yourself and Your Property from Crime."

Rowland asked if HPD lacked leadership. No, it has good leaders. That's why community policing was introduced on Oahu and that's why many communities are finding a drop in the crime rate.

Ask not what HPD can do to keep you safe; ask what you can do to help the police keep your community safe!

MaryAnne Long
(Via the Internet)

Whale sanctuary was not wanted, necessary

For the longest time the majority of the people involved in the whale sanctuary issue have said that -- between the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Protected Species Act and state regulations -- a whale sanctuary would do nothing more than create another big black hole to dump federal and state money into, with no additional benefit to either the whales or the people of Hawaii.

Now, in a Dec. 11 article, Allen Tom (who runs the sanctuary) endorses our beliefs. He says that there "are no new regulations contained in the whale sanctuary."

Well, gee, then why did we need a whale sanctuary rammed down our throats? Was it politics or just a warm, fuzzy issue that made some think they were doing something constructive?

The whales don't need our help. We've eliminated whaling, which was the reason for the decline in their numbers. The state banned thrill craft that could harm them. And all these other federal regulations added to their protection.

The long and short of it is that, in five years, the whale sanctuary will have done nothing more than waste money that could have gone to a great many other marine-related projects desperately in need.

Bob Endreson
Hawaii Fishermen's Foundation

Hickam has special aloha for nation's POWs, MIAs

Ronald L. Edmiston's Dec. 11 letter about POWs makes many valid points. That's why I'd like to extend to him and his father an invitation to join us in September 1998 at Hickam Air Force Base's annual National POW/MIA Day ceremony.

The military does not forget its past. We embrace it, learn from it, and press on with our mission to protect the peace. At Hickam, we hold a special place in our hearts for all former prisoners of war and those still listed as missing in action.

In 1973, during Operation Homecoming, 591 former American POWs first touched U.S. soil at Hickam after their release from North Vietnamese prison camps. We are also home to the U.S. Army's Central Identification Laboratory-Hawaii (CILHI), the largest forensic/archeological lab in the world, and the only one of its kind within the Defense Department.

CILHI has already identified the remains of more than 720 servicemen, helping to bring closure to surviving family members who have often waited decades for news. But their mission to search, recover and identify mission servicemen is a formidable task, because there remain more than 78,000 unaccounted for service members from World War II, 8,100 from the Korean War, 2,100 from the Vietnam War, and 131 from the Cold War.

Along the Pearl Harbor Channel behind our officers' club is a memorial dedicated to former POWs and those who remain missing and unaccounted for. The memorial consists of four aircraft in the missing-man formation -- an aviator's tribute to our fallen -- and serves as the backdrop to our annual POW/MIA Day ceremony, where past guest speakers have included Al Frumkin, president of the Hawaii Chapter of Former American Prisoners of War, and Army Col. Jim Colvin, the CILHI commander.

We, too, conduct a Dec. 7 ceremony every year, because the Hawaii Air Forces had 700 casualties at Hickam, Bellows and Wheeler Fields, and of the 234 assigned aircraft, only 83 survived the attack. Hickam alone had 189 airmen killed and 303 wounded.

Although Pearl Harbor suffered greater losses, our grief was no less.

Col. Ann M. Testa, USAF
Commander, 15th Air Base Wing
Hickam AFB

Electing judges would solve today's Bishop controversy

Whether the trustees for the Bishop Estate are appointed by the five justices of our state Supreme Court or by the judge of probate court won't make much difference. As long as our judges are appointed, directly or indirectly, by legislators and the governor, the judges are subject to political obligations/pressure as shown by the appointment of past and current trustees of the Bishop Estate.

Like some governments in the other 49 states, judges should be elected to office by the taxpaying citizens, just as we vote for our city prosecutor.

Wilbert W. W. Wong

Bishop Estate Archive

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