Monday | February 08, 2016
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Letters 12-14-2012


Police Department

I have recently been reading quite a few letters, both positive and negative, regarding police officers driving and the issuance of tickets for various violations.

I do not like to see any kind of language used that inflames various factions and doesn’t contribute to the issues at hand. That is what our country has been trying to educate and cure people from doing for the last couple hundred years.

Kanaka is not necessarily a bad word and literally means “human being,” but it can be used either favorably or have discriminating local connotations .

Haole can also be used to merely refer to a transplant from the mainland or can be a racist invective and is generally used in contempt. I don’t like to see letters saying there is a “hate the haole” mentality in Hawaii, but perhaps it has existed since the arrival of James Cook in 1778. Does anyone remember “Kill Haole Day” in high school? It was not an urban legend. Many boys stayed home from school that day. It finally led to legislation to discourage the hazing.

Mr. Gregory says he observed an officer driving erratically but Ms. Owens says they should drive that way because they are trained to do so and are better drivers. If the blue light wasn’t on, was he merely staying in shape for when the real call came in?

I would contend that a lot of transplants with experience driving the 110 and 115 freeways in L.A. can probably show him a thing or two.

The point was missed in the poorly written kanaka letter. The crux of the letter was that there are a lot of expensive tickets being written for minor infractions.

In these tough economic times paying $100 for coasting through a stop sign is a lot of money to a single mom working long days for low pay. It can literally make the difference on the quality of food set for the evening meal. I have to drive the Queen Kaahumanu Highway quite often and feel I am taking my life in my hands. I have been passed on the left and right by two- and four- wheel vehicles driving 100 mph. I have been run off the road by oncoming traffic passing on the double yellow line. I have witnessed scenes of horrible accidents. But I never see the road being patrolled.

Could it be because the police vehicles are privately owned and the owners don’t want to run up the miles and burn the gas?

Maybe this would be a good case for marked county vehicles. Lives could be saved if there were a couple of marked cars running between Kona and Kawaihae at all times.

I applaud the officers for their drunk driving checkpoints; we could use more of them. The roads are scary enough already. And bars should be disciplined for allowing obvious drunks to get in their vehicles.

M. Tilton