Letters to the Editor: 03-06-18

Senate Bill 2461 is bogus

Sen. Russell Ruderman, D-Puna, should do his homework, and find out what it takes to certify your animal as a legitimate service animal in the state of Hawaii first, before jumping the gun and creating Senate Bill 2461, that will fine someone up to $1,000, and up to six months in jail.

That is because, right now, for the Big Island, there is no service animal certification program here that you can take your dog, cat, or “peacock” to and get them certified, period. How are we supposed to do that properly, if there is no training facility to do so? You guys are putting the cart before the horse here.

I agree, I see some people with animals that you know are iffy, but a system, where there maybe is a tag of some sort from a national organization that can be put on an animal to prove the animal has been put through a training system, and certified, or approved by a physician, is needed. Remember, sometimes in the case for people with severe PTSD, seizures, etc., their dog may just be for emotional reasons, so we cannot be the judge. So, stating that “emotional” and “comfort” animals, are second class citizen dogs, again, is risky. They are needed for PTSD, seizures, autism, and/or other health related issues, so we may not know, other than their physician.

However, in reference to restaurants or other establishments, that want to change the law, such as Island Naturals, for example, and since you own Island Naturals, Mr. Ruderman, where that customer had a complaint of the aggressive Great Dane, and you are a senator, then you have to change the law, starting at the top. Get the law to include the owner, to carry a doctor’s note, as to why the animal is with him. If the animal was aggressive, the owner must be asked to leave for the customer’s safety, must be on a leash while in any establishment, etc.

However, creating a useless bill that you will get sued because you are putting the cart before the horse, because we cannot get our dogs properly trained and certified here on our island, even though they are approved through our physicians, and are needed for emotional and health reasons, is crossing a thin line. Create the certified service training facility first, then create the bill. It’s simple, (do this) before you start fining, and threatening to throw people in jail for six months.

It also doesn’t help your popularity with people that truly do have emotional and health disabilities, and do need their animals to be with them 24/7. So do something about it the right way, before you create a bill to take away our rights to have our pets that we rely on.

Leilani Pacheco-Datta


What were you thinking?

What were you thinking when you decided to print the racist rant from Robert G. Roosen, denouncing Hawaii’s citizens of Japanese ancestry?

Mr. Roosen signs himself Ph.D., but he evidently didn’t learn much at whatever university he got his degree from. Is he not aware, and did you not recognize, that his letter reads exactly like Nazi denunciations of Jews in the 1930s. Shame on him, and you.

Tom Lippman