I oppose House Bill 2109, which would increase certain penalties for the crimes of assault, burglary, criminal property damage, and theft by one grade, because of its financial ramifications compared to benefits. I would support more taxes for enforcement.
Penalties matter less than enforcement. Assume the death penalty for assault or robbery, with the chance of getting caught or prosecuted at .002%. I’d bet my life that the penalty would deter no one.
If the probability of apprehension or prosecution is slight, than the penalty doesn’t matter. I was assaulted and, lacking the resources, the prosecutor decided there were more important cases to prosecute. So what good would a stiff penalty have been?
Stiff penalties only restrict people from society for a longer time. We have to pay for that. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. What rehabilitation efforts will accompany this bill? This bill will accomplish nothing but cost us money.
Difficult to manage dangers of mentally ill
It’s great that the issue of handling the mentally ill is being discussed with the City Council by Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard following the recent tragedy at Diamond Head (“Honolulu police chief offers plans to curb violence,” Star-Advertiser, Feb. 7).
Jails and hospitals are busting at the seams. A huge problem that is not seen is that judges are sending the mentally ill to hospitals without orders to treat. In turn, they are housed there until they show aggression and then the psychiatrists can petition for such treatment. This can take months to years.
Giving HPD the authority to bring them to a place for assessment will not be effective.
Unless these individuals show immediate danger to self or others, they will be released back into the community. It is only when they do commit a crime or become dangerous, can they be arrested and committed. By this time it is usually too late, as seen by this recent tragedy.
Choose red-light cams over convenience
In defense of red-light cameras, the facts show that states that use them have a measurable decrease in traffic accidents (“Red-light-camera bill advances in Legislature,” Star-Advertiser, Feb. 3). When they are removed from use, the reverse happens.
Granted, we all need to get where we are going, but not with an increased risk. It’s pretty simple: Use red-light cameras if you want to preserve life. Don’t use red-light cameras if convenience trumps all.
Dillingham Airfield led to career in aviation
At age 12, my son was enrolled in the Hawaii Civil Air Patrol cadet program, and from then until age 17 he learned about radio communications and glider flying at Dillingham Airfield. Because of his extensive glider-flying experience, he was accepted at Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz., and graduated with honors in 2005.
He enrolled into the Navy flight program, excelling at every step to become one of fewer than 5% who are chosen to fly fighter jets. In this capacity he has served with distinction as an aircraft carrier-based F/A-18E Super Hornet pilot for the past 13 years.
He is, in my opinion, second to none in his flying ability, and I have no doubt that the fundamental training he received as a CAP cadet flying gliders at Dillingham gave him an exponential advantage, and provided the elemental groundwork for his success.
Crimes against Japanese tourists taken lightly
I remember 30 years ago when assaulting a visitor from Japan could mean 30 years in prison. Today, it means 30 days in jail.
My 18-year-old daughter sees the judicial system and says that anyone can get away with anything. She believes Hawaii is a very scary place and that “Hawaii is going down.” Drugs, criminals, homeless people — she wants nothing to do with Hawaii and has left for college on the mainland.
I must agree that our police and judicial systems are so screwy that Hawaii is no longer the safe place it used to be. Just ask that poor Japanese tourist who was sexually assaulted multiple times with no repercussions (“Man pleads no contest in sexual assault of Japanese visitor,” Star-Advertiser, Feb. 10). Darrell Dorch will be out in six weeks, able to prey on another Japanese visitor. The judge thinks this is all fine. How long can this go on?
Trump has cult-like status among supporters
A Donald Trump supporter and I got into a spirited debate about the president. I asked, “How do you feel about lying?” He responded, “Trump didn’t know the facts and was taken out of context.” I asked, “What are your feelings about a 70-year-old man bullying a 16-year-old girl on Twitter?” He said, “Trump never bullied that climate activist!”
I never said Trump’s name. I wanted to know their feelings about lying and bullying. I’m sure some of his followers are good people. They must have morals and principles.
However, it’s like President Trump has taken part of their soul. They have to defend him from all enemies both foreign and domestic. He has taken their values. Others share his racist, divisive rhetorical agenda.
Now I understand. It’s a cult.
Robert K. Soberano