Jack Wyatt remembered
Lei Ahu Isa responds to column
City shouldn't squeeze out beach usersDiamond Head Road does not have many parking spaces along the coastline for people to stop to enjoy the view or to surf ("Surfers fight Diamond Head plan," Star-Bulletin, June 16). What many people don't know is that there are two small beach parks at the foot of this road that do not have a single parking space. This, in effect, turns these two recreation areas into private parks for those who live close by.
The city's proposal to eliminate the four to eight parking spaces on the makai side of Diamond Head Road will have the similar effect of depriving all but those who live nearby from enjoying the grand view and challenging surf.
Saving these parking spaces will preserve public access and enjoyment of the Diamond Head recreation area.
Richard Y. Will
[Quotable]"She's proactive -- she's sometimes, I think, a step ahead of the board." Mike Nakamura
Board of Education member on State Librarian Virginia Lowell, who just received a positive job evaluation from the board.
Coach caused great pain by dealing 'ice'Don't squander your compassion on Mike DeKneef and his three-year incarceration in a federal "country-club" prison camp ("Drugs put DeKneef a long way from home," Star-Bulletin, June 16). Save your sympathy for those whom he helped set on a journey of drug addiction through his dealing of crystal methamphetamine.
Drug users disrupt people's lives and cause emotional trauma when they commit crimes to buy the drugs they crave. But these tribulations are relatively short-lived when compared to the harm caused by users who turn to dealing, and thereby draw others into lives of misery.
When coaches Vern Ramie and Ed Cheff tell their players about Mike DeKneef, it should be the story of the selfishness of a guy who dealt crystal methamphetamine and drew others into a spiral of degeneration in order to feed a cocaine habit, rather than the story of a guy who messed up his own life and those of his wife and kids.
Father's Day may indeed be hell for the "loving husband and father of two," but how many other once-loving husbands and fathers are now family abusers living on the edge of society because DeKneef's acts helped them get addicted?
DeKneef should recognize that his drug dealing was a far greater sin against society than his own use of cocaine and spend his time in prison searching for a way to atone.
Michael A. Ho
Father's Day deserved a happier storyFather's Day is a day of happy celebration for fathers and grandfathers. What did you print as the headline in the sports section? The story of a father who saw his former coach arrested on drug charges, but learned nothing from it; a father who knew it was wrong to sell cocaine and "ice" but did it anyway, not thinking of the consequences and how his family would be affected.
He is lucky to be alive and not serving more time than he was given.
Why not tell the story of a grandfather who is supportive of his granddaughters, who encourages them to enjoy and excel at sports and school, who goes on field trips with his granddaughter and her class because she wants him to and because her class enjoys his company? One who makes an effort to go to their games and cheer for them when they are playing? A grandfather who is proud of and does all he can for his granddaughters? He doesn't have to teach them right and wrong because he sets the example to follow. (Don't forget grandma, who is just as involved and caring as he is).
That is the kind of story you should print on Father's Day. It's the story about my uncle, who is the best father I know.
Green Harvest turned smokers into predatorsHaving growing up in Hawaii throughout the '70s, '80s and '90s, I must applaud Kat Brady's assessment that the disproportional use and arrest of "ice" users in Hawaii was a reaction to the eradication of pakalolo through Operation Green Harvest ("Arrested males on 'ice' top 35 percent," Star-Bulletin, June 12).
Green Harvest was a boon to lawmakers and law-enforcement agencies aiming to persuade the public that they were reducing crime. It was an easy sell because marijuana is bulky, highly visible and easily recognized, making it easy to eradicate and display on the 6 o'clock news.
Crystal meth, on the other hand, is inconspicuous, potent and much more destructive to the individual and society. It is easy to manufacture and readily marketable to those seeking the recreational drug high.
Anyone with basic drug education would know that this eradication effort would open the door to a much bigger problem, which we are now seeing through crime statistics. We have turned the weekend pot smoker into a high-strung, jobless, ruthless, desperate and addicted predator on society. Instead of ordering out for pizza, beer and a movie, today's drug user stalks people and property to fulfill the need for a binge.
It is a common belief that marijuana leads to use of harder drugs. Perhaps it was the lack of marijuana that led to harder drug use, no?
Former Hawaii resident
More job training would lower crime rateIn the article "Isles top nation for thefts" (Star-Bulletin, June 11), Capt. Carlton Nishimura of the Honolulu Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division said, "Unemployed people who have a drug problem need to substantiate their living through theft" and increasing treatment opportunities for drug offenders is a step in the right direction.
This is not a strong enough solution. If there are unemployed people, then there have to be more opportunities for training and employment for Hawaii residents. More vocational colleges should be established where people could be taught skills and earn a living instead of living off welfare, charity or stealing other people's property.
Also, instead of just treating drug addicts, the drug trafficking should be nipped in the bud; find the source, plug it and deal out harsh punishments for drug dealing. This surely would result in a much safer and happier Hawaii.
Disabled-parking rules should be stricterAs one of the original disabled-parking enforcement officers, I have given five years of service to the disabled community. I have been cursed at and lied to by those I cited. When subpoenaed, I have sat outside the courtroom, never called to testify but sitting out there when they come out of the courtroom with grins on their faces as they threw me the universal finger symbol.
I'm sorry state Judiciary spokeswoman Marsha Kitagawa missed these shows ("Judges drop many disabled-parking tickets," Star-Bulletin, June 19).
In many cases, the court does not know what the citation says because the prosecutor looks only at the front and never even glances at the remarks section on the back.
I have seen a woman in a wheelchair get soaked by rain because an inconsiderate individual with a placard was parked in the van-access aisle. I watched as another woman waited for some 20 minutes while a man parked in a disabled-parking stall went to get his children ice cream.
On occasion, we will get a "thank you" from a passerby who has a disabled relative.
The rest of the nation is increasing the fines for disabled-parking violations. Meanwhile, our lawmakers, who represent the most aging population in our great nation, want to decrease the fines. And remember, public hearings were not held on the decrease in the penalties.
Cachola willing to ask tough questionsI am quite disappointed in the Honolulu City Council's latest reorganization efforts that removed Romy Cachola as chairman and co-chairman several key committees (Star-Bulletin, June 7).
I don't live in Cachola's district, but I've watched Olelo long enough to notice that he is one of the few members of the Council who is willing to stick his neck out and take on the hot-button issues.
During the city budget negotiations, the questions and comments he directed to the administration and his colleagues were tough and forthright. It was clear, at least to me, that his intent in questioning expenditures was to save taxpayers money.
For him to be silenced is another example of how inept and distrustful this Council really is. The elections can't come soon enough.
Hawaii needs lower taxes, not price capsRegarding Martin Rice's letter, "Lingle's looking out for Big Business" (Star-Bulletin, June 17):
Rice concludes that government-imposed price caps on gasoline will benefit Hawaii's individuals and families. Nothing could be further from the truth; otherwise, why not have them now? Having these new regulations take effect next year is clearly intended to win votes in a close election race this November. Not too many people seem to be impressed.
Reducing taxes would benefit Hawaii's people immensely. This formula has worked well throughout the United States and the world. Lingle and the Hawaii Republicans favor returning control of our hard-earned money -- as well as our hopes, dreams and aspirations -- to individuals and families that make up the backbone of the Hawaii economy.
Socialism has been tried and failed. It's time to move on for the benefit of Hawaii's people.
Jeffrey Bingham Mead
Log Cabin Republicans
Common courtesies are vanishingWhere have respect and common courtesy gone?
I've seen young people sitting at the front of the bus, not getting up to let an elderly person sit down. I've seen elderly people carrying heavy bundles, passed by by healthy young men who don't even offer to help. I've seen bicycle riders on the sidewalk make pedestrians jump out of their way. I've seen people with personal shopping carts have to open and hold their own doors.
We have high technology, but we have lost our people caring.
Going after Saddam isn't worth the costInstead of making references to a preemptive strike against Iraq, as he did at West Point recently, President Bush should heed the advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who told him that a war against Saddam would be unwise.
They say an offensive in Iraq could endanger the lives of at least 200,000 American servicemen in bloody ground combat, and might prompt Saddam Hussein to use biological and chemical weapons.
The Joint Chiefs surely realize better than anyone that war is not only fought on a strategic battlefield, but it also takes a human toll. Bush should ask himself whether ousting a weaker, and by some accounts more cooperative, Saddam Hussein is really worth thousands of U.S. and Iraqi lives and regional instability.
Cyclists should have to wear helmetsAs a physician who drives a car, I applaud the Honolulu Police Department's "Click it or Ticket" program. We all know we should wear seat belts and rigid enforcement encourages compliance.
And as a physician who rides a motorcycle, I am nevertheless appalled that wearing a helmet is not a requirement of the law. Because it is voluntary, any casual observer can note that the majority of motorcyclists are helmetless.
Especially since motorcycle riding is inherently more dangerous in that if there is an accident, injuries are more likely to be severe. This is why the injuries seen in motorcycle riders, who make up only a small portion of the riding public, are disproportionately high compared to automobile injuries.
I imagine HPD agrees in that their own solo bike officers wear helmets; and all training programs including bike programs require helmets when they can. While we pride ourselves as the "Health State", we are in the minority of states by lacking the requirement and further lacking the enforcement of this sound and healthful habit, causing us to lose millions of dollars a year in federal highway funds as a result.
Jack H. Scaff Jr., M.D.
President, Hawaii Sports Foundation
BACK TO TOP
Slain runner was
familiar part of Hawaii life
Good friends met in a terrible momentJune 18 was an incredibly sad day for many of us. A mentally ill man pushed a runner into the Ala Wai Canal without provocation. The victim struck his head and died there. Later, two other persons were assaulted for no apparent reason in the same area; thankfully, they are OK.
The runner who died was Jack Wyatt, a retired sports writer for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and one of the kindest, gentlest and most amiable people you could ever meet. He always arrived at sporting events on a bicycle, in shorts and running shoes, looking trim and tanned. Jack was always cheerful and took the time to chat with everyone, not just the athletic stars. He exuded genuine warmth and aloha.
Star-Bulletin photographer Dean Sensui recalled that years ago, Jack was out running and was struck by a motorist near Ward Avenue. He got up, waved to the motorist to indicate that he was fine and just ran off -- giving a new meaning to the term "hit and run" accident.
Jack's goal in life was to have a minimal impact on the Earth, leaving only good things. He achieved that and much more. He was an accomplished and insightful sports writer who never had an unkind word in print or in person, which is why he could walk in to any athletic event and be among friends. He was getting his daily exercise when he was killed, a sportsman to the last moment.
My sadness was compounded when I discovered that the person allegedly responsible for Jack's death was another longtime friend.
The mentally ill person arrested was a dear boyhood friend, Cline Kahue, a schoolmate at Punahou from my intermediate school days. He was one of the gentlest, most soft-spoken, polite and mild-mannered people you could meet, a scholar/athlete and gentleman. In all those years, we never heard a harsh word or saw any anger in him. He developed schizophrenia in mid-life. He and his family have struggled with it during the past decade.
Knowing Jack Wyatt, he has forgiven Cline Kahue and would have felt only compassion for him and the illness that ruined a once-promising life.
I pray for Cline's recovery, although I know when he is well, he will be devastated to learn about the life his illness has apparently caused him to take.
Aloha, Jack, please forgive Cline -- although I know that you already have.
Wyatt always had time to enjoy life and workAlthough I didn't know Jack Wyatt very well, I can personally say that his gentleness and kindheartedness are things that made a significantly positive impact upon my life. Wyatt wrote and edited stories about my brother and me -- competitive swimmers -- every occasionally as we participated in high school and collegiate athletics.
My family and I also would see our community neighbor walking or biking near our home in Manoa Valley. He enjoyed taking his time, soaked in the beauty of nature, and usually stopped to talk. The last time I was home, he told me how proud he was of his new grandchild.
I am deeply saddened by this tragic event and I pray that his time here on Earth be not forgotten.
It is my hope that all who grew to know Wyatt sincerely take the time to thank him for the positive smiles and words of encouragement that he shared with all of us. I hope he and his family know that they -- and other victims of crime -- are in my thoughts during this time of inexplicable loss.
Kathy-Lyn (Allen) Binkowski
Running community loses 2 greatsOahu has lost two solid citizens of the running community. Jack Wyatt wrote many Star-Bulletin running and sports stories. He always said "hi" as he met you on a morning workout or at a racing event. I read his write-ups because they were descriptive, and even though I may never have participated in the sport it was simple language to understand.
Hunky Chun of the Hunky Bunch was another member of the great Honolulu running community. As his wife, Connie, once said as they passed me on a marathon training workout, "He's Hunky, I'm the bunch." Anyone who can do 28 consecutive Honolulu Marathons is super! Just ask those few remaining consecutive Honolulu Marathon finishers.
Both men led by example.
Jack Wyatt was the gentlest of menJust about everyone in East Honolulu at one time or another has seen Jack Wyatt. He was that tan, gangly guy in running shorts, sans shirt, striding sockless in ragged running shoes. He had a gentle air of preoccupation of one pondering the nobler aspects of the human being.
He was the personification of a "low impact" person. He walked almost everywhere he went. He lived a life of minimalism and with a tremendous respect for all beings. He will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by his friends and colleagues.
Aloha Jack. Happy trails.
Wyatt was a fixture at the finish lineJack Wyatt was the kindest person I knew. His death is such a waste. I have been an athlete for many decades and have come to know Jack through the years. I have enjoyed his articles and his honest interest in just about any sport.
I will miss him. The finish lines will be empty without him, not to mention the streets of Honolulu that he loved to walk.
I am one of the original Tinman participants and have asked the organizers to dedicate this year's Tinman to Jack's memory. It seems so little to do for a man that has given sport in Hawaii so much for so many years.
He paid attention to 'other' sportsI was shocked and extremely sad to read about Jack Wyatt's death. He was one of the most unique, interesting and wonderful people that I met in my years in Hawaii. I saw him many times walking along the Ala Wai as I paddled canoes in the morning and evening. He took a real interest in people and I loved the way that he did so much for the "other" sports.
The June 19 column by Cindy Luis was very appropriate. Jack will be missed.
BACK TO TOP
Lei Ahu Isa: Column
was unfair to me
I am not the devious, greedy person that John Flanagan makes me out to be in his June 18 Talk Story column ("When personal interests coincide with public ones"). He compared me with the "Guam legislator who was called to task after he voted for government purchase of some land he owned." On the contrary, I have always declared a conflict of interest before voting on anything I thought I would benefit from personally. When I have, the speaker would declare "conflict" or "no conflict" before I was able to cast my vote. I have always done my best to represent my constituents before my own interests.
Furthermore, almost everyone knows that I work in the timeshare industry as a real estate agent. Just as my colleagues who are attorneys, accountants and real-estate agents, we are there to serve people as elected officials. Because we are not full-time legislators, but people with experience who hold other jobs, why would Flanagan want to persecute us?
His statement "... at least we know where her paychecks are coming from" seems to say that it is a bad thing to work for a paycheck in Hawaii ... to actually work for a living so I can support myself and my family. I do not have the privilege of being born to rich parents. I grew up in public housing, worked at two jobs while I earned my master's and doctoral degrees as well as being a single parent to two children.
I have had honest jobs and have struggled all my life to set a good example for my children. Why would I want to jeopardize my reputation? Why would Flanagan want to jeopardize my reputation with such a column insinuating that I am committing devious acts?
Helping stimulate the economy has always been a major issue for me. Tourism is the engine that drives our economy and provides jobs for many of our people. Good economic bills were passed out of my committee, only to die in the Finance Committee.
Governor Cayetano forgets that the subject committee is just the first committee in the process, and his take on my weakness is mainly because his administration bills did not pass, not because I was a "weak" chairwoman.
Flanagan's description of my decision to become a Republican as my passage to the "Dark Side" was interesting. If the "Dark Side" means that changing political parties would give this state more balance, then I guess he is right.
For your information, not one of my Democratic friends has made a negative remark about my decision to change.
Rep. Lei Ahu Isa
27th District (Alewa Heights, Liliha, Nuuanu)
The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.
How to write us
Letter form: Online form, click here
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813
BACK TO TOP