Don’t Believe Everything

Larry Price
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Wednesday - December 14, 2011
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There are a lot of things to believe in this time of year, but there are a lot of things not to believe in as well.

Everyone appears to be in the holiday spirit, smiling and shopping for things to put under the Christmas tree. Of course, you can’t leave the Christmas tree lights on too long these days because the cost of electricity is unreasonably high.

There is a belief that the Honolulu Police Department doesn’t have a quota for its officers during the holidays so the population can relax and feel the joy. That’s just not true. In fact, they are more strict on lawbreakers at this time of year.

Nonprofit groups are trying to raise money to alleviate the suffering of residents with youngsters and seniors going to sleep hungry because they don’t have any income. The homeless don’t have a marketing department, but they seem to find ways to get their message out. For example, HPD was called Dec. 7 to investigate an alleged attack on the homeless occupying the sidewalks along North King Street. A complaint was filed by a 52-year-old homeless man, who claims he heard a noise at 3 a.m. and, when he got out of his tent, he saw a sedan speeding away and a bottle with a odor on the ground. HPD arrived immediately and the area was blocked off by the fire department’s Hazardous Material Unit. HPD blocked off side streets. It took all morning for the “acidic fluid” to be analyzed, traffic was snarled and residents in the area were unhappy. HPD initiated a “reckless endangering” and “manufacture of a prohibitive device” investigation.

The news was released: HPD closed King Street after “acidic fluid” had been thrown at homeless campers.

Meanwhile, back at City Hall, the City Council was in the process of voting on Bill 54, which would ban furniture, clothing and other personal property on sidewalks and in parks.

What a coincidence. Almost instantly, city administration says the bill is necessary to deal with items left in public places. All swear that it’s not the intent of the bill. The major concern of some City Council members was where the money to implement it will come from. Whose budget would take the financial hit, HPD, HFD or the Department of Parks and Recreation?

By noon, the word was split. Half of taxpayers wanted the homeless moved to shelters while the other half wanted more compassion shown for the homeless. It’s not the kind of story you want dominating the minds of hardworking taxpayers in the holiday season. Capturing headlines at this time of year has become an art form.

One thing you should know is that it is almost impossible to throw an open bottle of anything with any accuracy from a speeding car, let alone a 52-year-old waking up at 3 a.m., leaping from his tent and observing a speeding car fleeing the scene.

The point is, don’t be too gullible during the holiday season because there are those out there trying to take advantage of innocent citizens’ goodwill.

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