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Most mentally ill are not violent

I was glad to see that your stories covering the Cline Kahue assault case did not link violent behavior with every individual who has a mental illness. Individuals with mental illnesses are more likely to be attacked than to attack others.

In Kahue's case, I believe he wasn't receiving proper mental-health treatment, which may have contributed to his alleged violent behavior. Studies have shown that mentally ill individuals may exhibit violent behavior because of a lack of treat- ment and/or the abuse of drugs or alcohol.

The Kahue case may help our community address the stigma of mental illness. It is often due to the negative labels of mental illness that individuals avoid mental-health treatment. If the perception of having a mental illness is deemed negative, then seeking mental-health treatment also would be deemed negative.

Lynn Ma

Mentally ill can make our streets unsafe

The Cline Kahue murder/assault case sent chills up and down my spine. I work on South King Street and from my office window I see at least a half dozen homeless and obviously mentally ill "regulars" walk past my building every week. Some mumble to themselves while others gesture wildly and scream obscenities to unseen demons.

The fact that there are so many people like this just roaming the streets in McCully is unsettling enough. But having to worry about random acts of violence such as the Kahue case is very disturbing. How can we ever feel safe walking down the street again? Not until these people are taken off the streets and given the help they need. This is an election year; are any politicians listening?

Laurie Moore

Wyatt was good friend and great reporter

Jack Wyatt, the former Star-Bulletin sports writer who was attacked and killed last Tuesday allegedly by a mentally ill man, was a special family friend we will all miss. He had been coming to our house for Thanksgiving dinner for the past several years.

I grew up in Manoa and still frequently visit my parents' or sisters' houses who live very close to Jack. He always had time to stop from his walk and visit and talk. He always inquired about the family and had positive words to share that made me feel good and proud.

My family always has been involved with sports and Jack was very supportive of us at whatever venue we saw him. Jack's articles were great to read. It is true that athletes wanted to be interviewed by Jack. We wanted to be interviewed because we knew he would be fair and accurate.

Sarah Spoehr Jenny

Homeless problem needs new approach

I have heard suggestions that 70 percent of our homeless individuals suffer from diagnosed psychiatric disorders. It makes sense that many citizens in Hawaii are agitating for better health services for the homeless, along with more bed space and programs to move them back into affordable housing and jobs with a living wage. I support those voices.

On the other hand, we will never make a dent in our homelessness problem until we address the issue in our public and private schools. I know much research, and even outreach, is generated at both the university and K-12 levels of education on the subject of poverty. I urge that educators take this a step further and involve students, while they are engaging in service to or researching the homeless, in a systematic study of poverty.

This kind of teaching is called service-learning. Its intent is to expose students to the messy problems we face today, homelessness being one of the worst, while empathetically engaging people who are homeless.

While students confront these problems in academic settings, their service to the homeless becomes less patronizing and more reciprocal, more meaningful, more thoughtful, more grounded in experience.

My hope is that when we embraces this kind of learning, that homelessness, poverty, domestic violence and other social problems, will significantly decline. Students in these kinds of educational settings will be too outraged to let these messy problems go unsolved.

Joshua E. Reppun
Graduate Student
Education Foundations
University of Hawaii-Manoa

Airport security policy can be nonsensical

I couldn't agree more with your Insight report regarding "Air Angst" (Star-Bulletin, June 16). Since 9/11, my family of five has traveled three times to the mainland and neighboring islands.

We are a military family and I've spent my entire adult life ensuring the protection of this country. However, my family apparently is the picture of terrorism, especially my 3-year-old daughter who has been singled out for additional screening during every trip.

On my most recent trip, I was taking my cat back to the mainland. I had to pull the cat out of the travel case and walk with him through the metal detector. I explained to the security guard that my cat's collar would more than likely set off the metal detector. It did and I was instructed to place the cat in the travel case that had been X-rayed and cleared.

Then I was instructed to walk back through the metal detector. It did not go off. But since I had originally set off the metal detector (not me, the cat's collar), I then had to be wanded and searched, even though I had not set it off walking through without the cat.

I couldn't believe they weren't the least bit interested in what had really set off the metal detector -- my cat! I guess if I want to smuggle something through the metal detector, I'll just bring my cat again. How stupid can our policies get?

William C. Grund
Major, U.S. Air Force

Diamond Head Road parking should stay

The Star-Bulletin's June 16 story is the first I've heard of a vision team's proposal to eliminate the 48 makai parking stalls on Diamond Head Road. Perhaps that is because I live in Aiea. However, removing the stalls would affect all surfers, boogie boarders and sail boarders who use that beach.

The parking stalls should remain. I'm a 51-year-old surfer, and former biker and jogger, and I've never heard complaints from any of these groups concerning the access to this area.

I always believed in the saying "if it isn't broke don't fix it." Sometimes visionary teams get too visionary and they need to be reeled in.

Lee Sano

How to write us

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.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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