Thursday, August 13, 2015
Out of the mouths of babes: Compassion for Honolulu’s homeless in Kakaako
Adia Dunn: “Build a shelter but increase the money you pay to the homeless people who work there so that they can save up and get their own apartment.”
Angelica Sanders: “Help them find housing or apartments — but not shelters, because people want their privacy.”
Sunshine Vannatta: “Stop sweeping them, because then they have to start all over again and they can’t save the money they need to get an apartment or a plane ticket.”
Rain Longoria: “Try not to be so hard on people, especially people who are alone.”—girl scouts quoted in Lee Cataluna’s column in 8/12/2015 Star-Advertiser
by Larry Geller
I’m pretty sure that the Star-Advertiser needs Lee Cataluna much more than she needs them. So she can say whatever she wants in her new column. She’s probably also the best writer the paper has at the moment.
Yesterday she demonstrated the only compassion that has appeared in the newspaper with regard to the people staying at the Kakaako homeless encampment.
Even though the Star-Advertiser ran an oversized picture of girl scouts visiting the Kakaako encampment on its July 29 front page (and another on the continuation page), the story was only about plans to (apparently) forcibly remove the campers. That story certainly lacked any compassion at all as it discussed how to get rid of them. Isn’t it odd that the article itself did not even touch on the subject matter of the two giant, featured photographs that accompanied it?
So Lee Cataluna has, so far, a monopoly on compassion in the newspaper towards those forced to live on the streets in Kakaako.
Dan Nakaso, who is the writer generally covering the site, has been emphasizing that there is crime there and repeatedly cites the assault on Rep. Tom Brower just so we won’t forget. He recently reported that Brower was attacked by a “mob.” So now we have a mob instead of two teenagers—based on what evidence, Dan?
One of the girl scouts wants the sweeps stopped. The paper wants to completely sweep Kakaako. City Councilman Carol Fukunaga authored a bill to expand sit-lie at pedestrian malls which will, of course, push more people into the pressure cooker that is the Kakaako encampment.
It would be wonderful if some of those girl scouts choose journalism as a career one day. Compassion in our news coverage would be refreshing.
Nakaso might write (if he is allowed to do so, he’s not Lee Cataluna) about the effect of packing more people into a limited space where they compete for food and other resources. Since city workers illegally seize and destroy ID, cash, medicines and other personal possessions, the stress level among those the City has exiled to Kakaako is high. If there was crime among them before, it can be expected to escalate. The City has created the ghetto conditions that the newspaper now complains about. So say that, please, in the news coverage.
It’s a privilege to expect those we have ill-treated to treat us with respect. Why does the newspaper chronicle their incivility while neglecting to mention the shoddy treatment the City has afforded them? Should they thank the cops politely for standing by as city workers illegally steal their possessions? Why would they not be stressed and nervous as the City talks about forcible removal, most likely to be carried out without consideration of their civil or human rights? See It’s unconstitutional to ban the homeless from sleeping outside, the federal government says, (Washington Post, 8/13/2015).
Since there is not enough shelter space to accommodate everyone in Kakaako even if they agreed to go to a shelter, the City action will export the campers, and whatever crime the newspaper feels goes with them, into Kalihi, Moilili and other neighborhoods.
That’s ok with the City, apparently, as long as they don’t go back to Waikiki or Ala Moana Park (see snip at right, S-A 7/29/15).
So once again: appreciation for Lee Cataluna for bringing a refreshing voice of compassion to our daily newspaper.
I read that article too. It shows you how lump sided the Staradvertiser is. The headlines: Real Estate Priced going up. Kakaako crime rate skyrockets. I look at the last names of those authors who write these articles and wonder what their grandparents and great parents are thinking of their grandstanding to appease the dollaretts.
Hope karma kicks all of them (for there are many) in the ass.
Every community has one, a pilau ki'o. That legislator is the definition of a pilau ki'o. Those who propagandize the evilness of the homeless are pilau ki'o too.
The Feds hae spoken and the Mayor and City Councl can now be the ones who will have to start over...