Crime, Crosswalks And A Salute

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - May 17, 2006

The 2006 Legislative Session is over, and all I can say is thank goodness for Attorney General Mark Bennett. He, with the support of the law enforcement community, was successful in shepherding through the most meaningful and substantive crime legislation in years.

The highlight was passage of the “Three Violent Strikes” bill. Although it appeared at times to be in jeopardy, the Legislature did the right thing and passed it out, and the governor signed it into law. Now those convicted of three violent crimes face a mandatory 30-year prison sentence. This law, if vigorously enforced, will remove those who pose the greatest threat to our community.

Another accomplishment for law enforcement is the increase in penalty for those sick and perverted miscreants who use the Internet to entice minors for sex.

The trolling for kids by the bottom-of-the-cesspool predator comes with a mandatory one-year prison sentence. I know - one year doesn’t sound like much, but it is better than before when these perps would walk away virtually scot-free. But here is the kicker. The sexual crime conviction will remain on their records for life. This is an appropriate sentence.

Thanks to those who voted for these bills, and kudos to Senate Judiciary Committee chair Colleen Hanabusa and others who fought to keep our community safer.

For those who did not support these causes, you will have to explain to your constituents why you represented political priority over the security of your neighbors.

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Here is the bottom line on crosswalk safety. It is dangerous in crosswalks because there is a lack of common courtesy between drivers and pedestrians. Some drivers bully their way through traffic, and this belligerent attitude extends to intersections.

Conversely, some pedestrians are just plain oblivious to their surroundings. Those walking will endanger themselves and others with rude and reckless behavior that sometimes leads to deadly consequences.

Drivers need to chill and pedestrians need to be more aware. Just remember, that person in the crosswalk could be your mom, auntie, brother or sister. How would you want drivers to treat them?


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May is Military Appreciation Month in Hawaii. I would like to see every month be dedicated to military appreciation. I am speaking with members of our military during the month on my radio show and am awed by the dedication and commitment these men and women exhibit every single day.

I always ask the question, “What can we as citizens do to support your mission?”

The answer is consistent. If you see a man or woman in uniform, they deeply appreciate a smile. Just a gesture of friendship. That’s it.

It seems to me it is the least all of us can do while we enjoy the freedom and liberties afforded to us as Americans. To all the men and women in the United States military: God bless you, and thanks.

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