Letters to the Editor

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Police chief is smart to reactivate beat cops

Great news! Honolulu Police Chief Boisse Correa plans to re-implement the foot patrol officers in Chinatown and Waikiki. I cannot understand why this was not done a long time ago.

For more than 10 years I kept hearing about the drug dealers operating in brazen openness along Hotel Street, Nuuanu Avenue, Pauahi Street, Smith Street, River Street and throughout Chinatown, and I wondered, "Where are the police foot patrols?"

This is the first-line, on-the-spot defense. When the cops are near, the bad guys disappear. But with the foot patrols inactivated for all these years, it's no wonder the drug dealers and crime in general ran rampant in Chinatown. Waikiki will surely benefit from these patrols also.

Kudos to Chief Correa for this extremely wise action that will definitely enhance the safety and security in Chinatown and Waikiki.

Hank McKeague

That 5 cents per can is hard to collect

I purchase between $30 and $50 worth of canned or bottled beverages a month for my workplace. In November, when I started paying an additional 6 cents per container, it took a little chunk out of how much I could buy. But with promises of getting a deposit of 5 cents per container back, I hoped to recover some of the money.

Last week I went to a designated recycling center to get my deposit back. With no instructions posted, I waited in line. After 15 minutes under a warm Hawaiian sun it became obvious I needed to put my containers in a giant gray trash can. After 25 minutes in the sun it became apparent that the containers with the "HI 5" marking on them needed to be separated from the ones without.

After 40 minutes in the sun I stood at the front of the line. The man looked through my cans and told me they were not all marked. I could step out of line and separate my cans, or just settle for 5 cents per pound.

Instead of 5 cents a can, I received 5 cents a pound! I walked away with 35 cents and a good suntan.

I then went to three different grocery stores to buy a case of soda. Each time I asked the cashier if I could return my cans to them and get my deposit back. One cashier told me immediately, "no." Two cashiers did not know the answer and had to check. One told me I could, and when I asked if she was sure, she finally brought me back the bad news that I would have to go to a designated recycling center to get my 5 cents back. But I had been there, and that is not true! I did not buy the case of soda.

I am still looking for a grocer from whom I can purchase all of our beverages and who will be willing to give me my deposit back.

Jeff Ilardi

U.S. should fix its own democracy first

If you watched Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," you watched a disgusting display of elected senators' indifference to the 2000 election problems. Finally, a senator objected to the 2004 election results in Ohio. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California stood on the Senate floor Thursday and did what no man had the strength to do: question democracy. Before 1920 a woman couldn't even vote in the United States, let alone become a senator.

President Bush claimed we are spreading democracy in Iraq. One of the hundred senators thinks we should get our democracy in order before we start spreading it throughout the world.

Ted Obringer

Tsunami center should have used CNN

Rob Hail of Honolulu asked in his Jan. 2 letter, "Where was the media?" The same question immediately came to my mind when news of the tsunami disaster flashed across the world. If the seismic warning was properly interpreted here in Hawaii and in Colorado, surely there was some window of opportunity to save lives.

Later we heard from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center that they did not have contact numbers for governments in the vulnerable Southeast Asian nations. Then why not the obvious solution -- try to contact CNN, which is seen in resorts around the world? Certainly our local stations would have assisted the transmission of such disaster warnings! This is the age of instant messaging, for heaven's sake. Can someone explain this puzzling lack of initiative at the Tsunami Warning Center?

Patricia Kowal

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