Your Views for April 15

They don’t care

When Stacy Higa ran for mayor, the only thing I really heard in his ads was that he was going to fix our roads, because he knew they were busting up his suspension.

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I voted for him, and told everyone I knew to do so also, for that reason. Well, be that as it may, perhaps our new mayor will pick up that torch. Or maybe not. But now I am somewhat hopeful — with our new and improved president and his infrastructure improvements plan — specifically about roads and bridges.

Hawaii is in the top 10 states with the worst roads. I think it’s in the top three. How bad do our roads have to get before “they” do something about it?

They hire companies to “fix” stuff but make our roads even worse in their long, ongoing, and ongoing, processes, and do nothing, nothing, to make it better. They don’t live off these roads we have to drive every day, over and over.

My expletives won’t be printed, of course, but we all know them as we drive over their roads every day. And they obviously don’t care — they aren’t even there working on the roads! How many days I drive on them, and no one is there, and when they are there, they seem to just make them worse and drive away.

They have big trucks. They can handle the bumping and grinding, so why should they care? And those who are managers and above have nice paved-road sections in their neighborhoods. And the rest of use, well … we all know the roads we drive on, here, in paradise.

Mahalo for your hard work and consideration in working on our roads.

Shane. J. Vasconcellos

Hilo

Support dispatchers

This week, April 11-17, is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. It’s a time that our nation sets aside to honor the valuable contribution that our 911 emergency dispatchers make to the public safety of our community.

Here on the Big Island, we have approximately 50 dispatchers who answer all the emergency calls around the clock 24/7. They work through natural disasters and holidays and often miss important family events to ensure the safety of our community.

They work long hours and demanding shifts in a small, enclosed room with no windows and take call after call throughout the day and night. The calls range from the ridiculous to the tragic, and they take a toll on our dispatchers who are truly an important part of our first responder community.

While many people understand the stresses our law enforcement and EMS personnel are exposed to, few understand the enormous stress placed upon our 911 emergency dispatchers. Emergency dispatchers literally hold the lives of the first responders who respond to a scene, as well as the victims, in their hands.

They often go home second-guessing decisions they made during their shift. They worry about officer safety and wonder how that victim is doing when their job is done and the first responders take over at the scene. There is often no closure for them.

Emergency dispatchers often hear a dying person’s last anguished words and are haunted by it. Their job is not an easy one, and is not for the faint of heart.

Please take time this week to recognize and honor these unsung heroes in our community. If you know a dispatcher, do something kind for them this week and let them know they are appreciated for all that they do. Drop something off at our police or fire station for them.

Let’s let them know that their efforts do not go unnoticed.

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Renee D. Godoy

Police and fire chaplain, Hilo

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