Hiring The Police Chief

We look like Putin’s Russia (May 9, 2018)

What’s the possible reward(s) for a mayor of Honolulu, a county that encompasses the entire island, in choosing the head of government (“Should The Mayor Choose Honolulu’s Police Chief?”) that oversees the gathering of evidence of crimes? Make a list.

The mayor also chooses the medical examiner whose independence when doing the science of forensics is not encouraged by that fact.

So if you have a suspicious death that would make the Democrats look bad, or the head of a powerful union. Well, you get the point.

HPD Police Commission meeting held at HPD headquarters.
The Honolulu Police Commission currently has the power to hire and fire the city’s police chief. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The structure of the system must impartially guarantee justice by removing political interests that categorically have no place in true justice and the rule of law.

This can’t be a case-by-case determination. Leave it to a structural separation of powers, so that justice be done.

There was a murder of a state legislator in the 1960s in his garage. Was that ever solved? How many homeless have died? Of what? Makes the state government look bad? I rest my case.

We need to stop being more like Putin’s Russia and be more like a true state in a Democratic republic.  

It’s not only justice that’s at stake, but the unchanging and uncaring monopolistic Democratic Party in Hawaii that has done very little for the low and middle classes, e.g., zero homes to buy for under $200,000 (below one-third cost of median priced homes for $700,000) for the last five decades. Gov. Ige tried to move the mountain, and failed.

— Susan Liang, Honolulu

Homeless Point In Time

The numbers are always undercounted (May 9, 2018)

I was homeless 12 years and was only counted three times. I have always believed the counts were low by a huge percentage (“Hawaii Homeless Numbers Drop By 10 Percent”). The last two years they were short volunteers to do the count.

Two huge groups of people have never been counted. One is the homeless that live in their cars. The other huge group are those that camp off the streets. The volunteers told me that they did not try to count those living in off street or road areas. 

Also, a lot of people avoid being counted because they distrust the volunteers and service providers. The first question they ask is your name and then where you sleep. If I am camping in the bush I am not going to tell you where that is. 

— Stan Webb, Honolulu

Homeless Perceptions

This reader is “shameless, blameless’ (May 20, 2018)

Neal Milner’s take on our perception of the homeless is trying to shovel some shame on we the housed for our separatism — sort of like the lords and the peasants of old (“Neal Milner: Stop Talking About The Homeless As If They’re Not Like Us”).

Sorry, but I feel shameless and blameless for those unhoused cases that are caused by substance abuse and addiction, or simply a desire not to accept shelter help because that always comes with some rules, responsibilities and restrictions. I save my misgivings for being a part of an aggressively capitalistic society that has made Hawaii housing unaffordable for so many who do accept the duties which come with housing.

If Milner is saying we should open our private properties to those on the streets as part of opening ourselves to all of humanity — well, he certainly can welcome a homeless family to his yard, but I am not ready to handle that kind of liability, which would seriously raise my umbrella insurance coverage cost. Or perhaps he has a spare bedroom that he can list for Housing First.

— Bob Jones, Honolulu

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