Brief asides


POSTED: Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Safety at Sandy's takes common sense

Safety improvements are welcome at Oahu's Sandy Beach Park, where ocean rescues have doubled since 2004, reaching 472 last year. A new four-speaker public address system will carry lifeguards' warnings louder, farther and more clearly than the old megaphones did. But the best safeguard remains common sense, which so many tourists seem to leave on the plane.

Hawaii is not Disneyland. Its natural wonders may pose grave hazards. Local residents get into trouble at Sandy's shore break, too, of course, but tourists' unfamiliarity with the area puts them at special risk. With the new public-address system, everyone should be able to hear the warnings. The critical part is to heed them.


Board elections need your vote

Threw away that flier about the neighborhood board elections and now realize you needed the PIN number it contained in order to vote online? No problem. Call the Neighborhood Commission Office right away at 768-3717, or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), and someone will help you before balloting ends on Friday.

It's important that neighborhood boards are filled with engaged, reasonable people who are committed to the areas they serve.


Sunday crashes remind us to take care

It was a litany of tragic news on TV's late-night newscasts Sunday.

One after another, a traffic fatality or serious accident on Oahu was reported: In Waipahu, where a tractor-trailer truck driver dies and his 12-year-old passenger is seriously hurt; in Kaaawa, where a motorcyclist dies and his 10-year-old passenger is seriously injured; in Hauula, where a bicyclist is critically hurt; and in Kunia, where three pedestrians are struck by a vehicle.

The four separate accidents contributed to the worst one-day traffic toll in recent memory. And the tragedies were particularly striking coming at the end of a Sunday, when coverage is usually benign or comprises positive community-fun news.

They jar us into remembering that no matter how distracted we get in our lives, no matter how busy or rushed, no matter how consuming these trying times can be, we need to pay attention to what's around us. As the sarge on “;Hill Street Blues”; used to always say from the heart: “;Let's be careful out there.”;