The ordering of the mental evaluation for the woman who was charged with murder and other offenses in connection with the death of a 6-year-old Kona boy on Halloween 2018 stirs up many emotions of sadness and loss.
Halloween is an anticipated event for many children as it promises dressing up in costumes, candy and community activities. There is tremendous retail pressure for families to wade through in every store and to view in television advertisements.
Community groups and faith-based organizations must help our families to focus on slowing things down on the pressured commercial side of Halloween. They should create activities where families can be together in a healthy and supportive environment and do fun activities like arts and crafts or watching positive videos.
Events promoting community-based festivals or “trunk or treat” gatherings is a safer alternative for the youth and the families wanting to share in the experience that for most was a magical and safe event for all ages.
On the last day of September, I went for a run at about 7 a.m. This in and of itself is not unusual. I often go for runs, and I have accumulated plenty of beautiful and a few dicey or unpleasant experiences over the years.
Unfortunately, a despicable thing happened to me on my last run.
Where I happened to be running, there is no sidewalk or shoulder and, because it was a weekday, there were cars racing off to Hilo for work or to drop their kids off at school. Cars filled with people in them — people who have places to go and things to do, and so maybe this woman, who drove extremely close by to me, resented me since I obviously had some free time on my hands and was getting exercise.
As she passed me, she screamed, “Stupid!”
One could argue that, yes, I was stupid for running on a road with no shoulder or sidewalk. But this applies to so many roads in Hawaii, and I didn’t feel like taking the back roads with loose gravel and muddy potholes as big as ponds.
This incident reminds me of a run I did about a month ago on a back road in North Kohala. A lonely road with very little traffic.
And so I guess I was stupid in this case, as well, because I was running alone, and a man in a car started to stalk me.
He would drive very slowly past me, saying things like, “Hi, Baby,” and then wait for me at the next crest or turnout and then say something equally disrespectful.
He did this four times, going back and forth, before I gave up on having a peaceful run and sprinted back to my car to call the police.
When, the policeman came, he said, “Well, what do you expect? You were running by yourself.”
And I never heard back from the officer, even though I had memorized my stalker’s license plate number and reported the number and described the stalker in detail.
What should I expect then, as a runner on the roads of Hawaii? To be verbally harassed and physically threatened? Do these roads exist exclusively for cars? Or, more inclusively, for human beings who happen to be in cars, or on bicycles, or on foot, just trying to get from point A to point B safely, or — God forbid! — maybe just enjoying some fresh air and exercise?
And how are we supposed to do our little part to reduce global warming and send a good example to our keiki if we become bullies behind the wheel, with no consideration for pedestrians, runners, cyclists, skateboarders, dog-walkers, etc?