***Commentary*** My Day In Court For Excessive Speeding

Yesterday I had my day in court for the misdemeanor charge of excessive speeding on Ainaloa Boulevard. I told you, I would be contesting the charge for the fact that I disagree with the police officer stationed in an unmarked vehicle in this area with an insensible posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour.

I gave myself ample time to get from Puna to Hilo, so much time I thought I could stop by Hilo Coffee Mill and grab myself my favorite breakfast (Mill Works) to go.  Once I got to the Mill, I ended up talking story with the staff, even engaging in a serious discussion with one of the owners about the front-page story regarding the Mossman plea deal for the 2005 Tim Sing hit-and-run fatality.  As we talked, I suddenly realized I didn’t have time to be talking, I needed to be on the road to get to court for my excessive speeding ticket!   “How ironic,” the owner was saying as I raced out the door. That’s what I was said after I got my ticket! And that’s what I keep saying.  It just never ceases to be ironic, really.

Is it just me or do you find that, inevitably, when you are running late, every stop light you encounter turns red just before you are set to pass through it?

By the time I fed the meter and went through security at the Hilo Judiciary, I was 15 minutes late. I reached the District Courtroom on the second floor, only to discover that my name had been called and Judge Harry Freitas had defaulted my case (meaning I was to pay the $142 fine).  I learned through whispers that I could stay until the end of the hearing, in hopes that the judge would decide to recall my case. So I did.

By the hearing’s end, I was wiping away tears — some of the people were so pathetic, with devastating stories to justify not having a driver’s license or car insurance.  My breaking point was listening to the story of the woman who had wheeled in a stroller with two babies, who appeared to be twins just a few months old, to plead guilty to driving with a revoked license.  Despite being on public assistance and seemingly without the means, the woman with the babies opted to pay a several-hundred-dollar fine in lieu of seeking out a public defender to contest the charge.  As she entered her guilty plea, she cried, and the deputy prosecutor assigned to District Court held the kleenex box out to her.  I lost it at that point, thinking, how lame is this!, she doesn’t even want to try to get a public defender because of a poor experience with one in the past. What’s wrong with the Public Defender’s Office?

I know what it is like to be a mother with at least one baby that young, I can imagine it must be all the more overwhelming with two.  I understood what she was trying to tell the judge that she couldn’t really take the time to try to track down a public defender to represent her, at the same time she is trying to feed and diaper those babies.  It sounded to me like a single mom, because she was telling the judge that she has to drive with a revoked license, that she has no one to drive for her. The judge encouraged her to get her revoked license situation sorted out. I just felt so sorry for her, and the pickle that she is in. But I sure wished I could have jumped up and whispered in her ear, “Girlfriend, fill out the form for the public defender!”

That was just one story.  By the hearing’s end, I had gotten so wrapped up in everyone’s stories. I was analyzing all their problems, trying to figure out the story behind the story on why they couldn’t get their shit together.  When the judge finally called me up, I told him honestly, “After hearing everyone else, I kinda feel foolish for being here.” Seriously, after a morning in District Court, I am reminded that I don’t really have any problems.  But at the same time I felt foolish for coming to contest my case, I believe the court system is such that I have a right to state my case, and I reminded myself, if nothing else, I was there on principle alone.  “Why were you late?” Freitas asked.  “I made the mistake of doing an errand before court, and I got caught up talking story at the Hilo Coffee Mill,” I said.  He chuckled and thanked me for my honesty.  Then he allowed me to state my position.  We philosophized for a time about the 25 mile-per-hour speed limit on Ainaloa Boulevard and through Eight Road in Hawaiian Acres, versus the 35 mile-per-hour Kahakai Boulevard.  He was clearly humored, but he noted that it was his job to enforce the County Code as it is written. He wished me luck in urging the County Traffic Division and the Hawaii County Council to change the posted speed limit in these areas.

He gave me the option of pleading guilty, no contest, or pleading not guilty and continuing on with this with him setting a trial date for me.  “Clearly, I was driving over the speed limit, I stated my case, and I don’t want to waste anyone’s time.”

“You’re not going to be wasting my time, I’m here everyday,” Freitas said.  I opted not to drag the case out any further.  But I did ask for some mercy on the fine and expressed a willingness to do community service. And so I got what I asked for — I was ordered to pay $57 and was referred to Hawaii Intake Service Center to sign up for community service. The judge set another court date for me to return and verify I had followed through on my community service pledge.  Initially, it was to be in late March, but I noted I would be giving birth around that time, and would like a little more time.  We decided on the end of April. I left the Judiciary building after paying the ordered $57, and went straight over to the Intake Service Center.

The woman who manning the receiving desk at the Intake Service Center said she didn’t have anyone available to meet with me and set up the community service arrangement until March 29. I tried to explain that I would be giving birth around that time, but she was really stern, warden-like for sure, and she was not having any explanation, March 29 was to be my appointment. She was trying to tell me that State furloughs have set the office behind, and she did not have any appointment for me, not just before March 29, after March 29 as well.  March 29 had to be my appointment, she insisted.  Then she told me, “You’re going to have to go to court and ask for a continuance.”  Huh?! I was bewildered.  My court date to verify I followed through on my community service pledge is set for nearly a month after that March 29 appointment.  There is no way it is going to take me nearly a month to complete 12 hours of community service.  But she just kept telling me that that was what I had to do — go to court at the end of April and ask for a continuance.

So, yeah, I have already lined up where I want to do my community service, I’m ready and willing to get started on it as soon as tomorrow, but I have to wait until I meet with someone at the Intake Service Center to start.  And then, once March 29 rolls around, I don’t know what that someone at the Intake Service Center is going to be requiring of me to start on the community service.  I can just picture how this is really going to drag out and drive me bat shit crazy.  I’ll be juggling my newborn baby, going to the Intake Service Center, going to court, and then trying to do 12 hours of community service  — all for this utterly-stupid speeding ticket.

To think, I could have started on my community service as soon as this afternoon and been done with it by the end of the week, without all this bureaucracy in my way. Instead, I am feeling regretful that I didn’t just pay the remaining $85 of the fine to be done with it once and for all.  I see the writing on the wall — the timing with that Intake Service Center appointment and then community service right after I give birth is going to be so bad that, I guarantee you, I’m going to be saying that the community service pledge was not worth it. And that’s really unfortunate, considering I really enjoy volunteering and giving back to my community on my own, without a judge ordering me to do so.

So, I was mulling all this over, and thinking back to that woman with her babies, crying as he entered her guilty plea and opting to pay a several-hundred-dollar fine for a revoked license, when I was making my way from Pahoa on Highway 130 and went to turn left onto Ainaloa Boulevard.  A truck turning right onto Ainaloa snaked me, failing to yield as I was trying to make my turn.  I was going slow enough for us not to collide, so I didn’t get too riled up about it.  I continued to reflect on that woman and her babies.  No wonder why she opted to pay the fine.  She has these brand-new babies, with all this legal drama swirling around her.  She barely has time to take a shower and brush her hair, and she is supposed to chase down a public defender to try and mitigate her revoked driver’s license case?

I traveled behind the truck up Ainaloa Boulevard, more conscious than ever that the speed limit is a stupid 25 miles per hour.  I was trying to estimate how fast the truck the front of me was going — probably about 35 miles per hour — as I  trailed behind, traveling as close to the speed limit as possible, without having the car behind tailgating me.

Poor woman, I thought.  No wonder why she just paid the fine. I wonder why she has the revoked license to begin with?

Just past King Kamehameha Boulevard, in the area of Tiki Gardens, Officer Kim, the officer who busted me and sent me on this journey through the court system that I’m on, traveled down Ainaloa in his unmarked silver car, and caught the driver of the truck in front of me for speeding. I could not believe it, right before my very eyes, there he was, there it was, yet another excessive speeding bust on Ainaloa.  Yet another person’s life being impacted by this dumb 25 miles per hour posted speed limit. To think, if only the driver of that truck would have yielded to me.  I could have been the one busted — again.

Seriously, I don’t think it is serving any good for Ainaloa Boulevard or Road Eight in Hawaiian Acres to have posted speed limits of 25 miles per hour.  I think 35 miles per hour is more realistic.  I think the Traffic Division and the Hawaii County Council have a responsibility to the public to look at these areas and see that 25 miles per hour may work for, say, Post Office Road in Pahoa, for Road One in Hawaiian Acres, but it doesn’t work for thoroughfares like Ainaloa or Road Eight.  It’s a problem, believe me.  Ask the deputy prosecutor assigned to District Court.  He will tell you I am not alone. There is enough of us, we could start a support group — or a lobbying effort.

40 replies
  1. Ken
    Ken says:

    I hear and feel your pain Tiffany.

    What continues to amaze me however, is the number of drivers who are either unaware of the police busting speeders in Ainaloa, or just don’t care.

    In the last 2 weeks, on three occasions I have had the car behind me as I stay between 25 to 30 MPH – right on my bumper – blowing horns – zig zaging back and forth – and on all 3 times – PASSED ME – of course giving me the sign that I am apparently number 1 in their book – only to see Mr. Police Office Silver Honda – pull them over.

    I just wonder sometimes who and what is more stupid.

  2. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    Tiff, thanks for the tale — more of us should watch the distict court proceedings.
    Sometimes you can do the volunteer work and ask for a retroactive credit — on the q.t., of course.

  3. The Casual Observer
    The Casual Observer says:

    For those who travel down the Stainback Highway who think that there are no cops on that road? Think again. Speed limit posted is 35 and they LOVE to wait for folks right near the bottom where most of us are zooming 45-55 in the morning. That’s an expensive ticket!

  4. Matt
    Matt says:

    yes, one sees pretty wild things at traffic court. so many people without steady income get caught for safety checks or registration issues or lack of insurance and then get fined far more then they can repay. Their license may get suspended and to get enough money together to pay for a provisional license they have to drive around to look for work, and can get pulled over again.

    the folks with the least ability to pay are just being punished additionally…and, once they get caught up in the “system” it’s bloody hard to get out…

  5. Doc
    Doc says:

    Can’t Fred Blas write a bill to change the speed limit?

    The Lord works in mysterious ways – if you would have been on time, you would have missed your opportunity to expand your capacity for compassion. 🙂 Mission accomplished.

  6. tehshiv
    tehshiv says:

    It’s my understanding that speed limits are set based on population density for the area that a road goes through. Do your research and find out what the reported population is….they might be using HPP’s population value and just applying it to Ainaloa because of districting or something like that. You won’t ever be able to have a speed limit changed unless you can go armed with some data. Besides, it’s also my understanding that insurance rates will be lower if a place choses to adopt lower speed limits (Nevada’s 75mph on freeways vs. Oregons 65mph)…I’d be careful chasing down the “let’s raise the speed limit” idea because it gives them just one more excuse to raise your rates.

    P.S. Your tale reminds me of when I was late for court in Waimea by 4 hours! Lucky for me they were way backed up and they called my name right after I got in there. The public defender was just finishing up the case that was called prior to mine and gathering up her things to leave when I starting talking with the judge. He was threatening me with $4000 fine, but luckily she stepped in and started negotiating for me without me even asking, and got the judge to accept $125 as long as I paid it right then…really cool lady, but I forgot her name.

  7. Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt says:

    Oh, yeah, Doc, it was surely God’s work. LOL. What’s that Christian saying, “The angels stop at 55”? In this case, it is 25 miles per hour. Yes, I have been bending the ears of staff for both Fred Blas and Brittany Smart. I’ve also been in dialogue with Ron Thiel and Aaron Takaba in Traffic Services. My “support group” could help by getting on the horn or emailing with testimony to back me up.

  8. Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt says:

    Thanks for educating me, Rick.
    I too wonder what Ainaloa residents think.
    I am aware that the Hawaiian Acres Community Association (HACA) on Sunday took up the matter of the 25 speed limit on Eight Road, but I haven’t yet heard what came of that meeting.

  9. Geoff Shaw
    Geoff Shaw says:

    The county should come up with a system for determining speed limits then go over the county road system and get all the signs up to date. If they could perform this relatively simple function that nearly everyone interacts with in a logical way it would go a long way towards regaining the publics faith in government. I can’t figure out why the public officials are so blind to how this affects people. Part of the problem is the Judge who seems to be sympathetic to the public but doesn’t want to mention to the people in charge that his job would be a lot easier if they did their job better. I think the people in public works become immune to whining of citizens who complain after being caught but if the Judge said something then they would take notice.

  10. dd
    dd says:

    I wish officer lee would sit in my driveway on 28th!!
    People use this as an unofficial bypass road. The limit is 25 and most people do not live in the park who race down this street in excess of 50 miles an hour. Get over speed limits. Just go the limit and no ticket. We are too speeded up.

  11. D.C.
    D.C. says:

    The problem I have is not so much the speed limit on that stretch of road, which I also travel on bec/ I live at the bottom of the Acres, but why would they want to enforce the limit there?
    I cannot see the need to solve a traffic problem on that part of the road so the only other reason would be that it is an easy place to trap people speeding so they can issue tickets. The Mayor testified that we have a Government that we cannot afford. Is he trying to balance the budget on our backs?

    Would it not be more effective to have the citizens impacted by this all call the Mayor’s office and complain that since we have a shortage of police officers would he please direct them to be addressing far more urgent problems?

  12. Jerry Carr
    Jerry Carr says:

    D.C., it is my understanding that traffic fines go staight into the State coffers in Honolulu, so it’s probably not revenue driving the police action. The Ainaloa Hui might be a good place to find out the rationale for the 25 mph limit. Some of the most densely populated parts of Ainaloa are those nearest that road, so I’m sure that community has an interest in this.

  13. Kaaahi 3
    Kaaahi 3 says:

    Mike Middlesworth Says:

    “…traffic fine money goes to the state..”

    Not entirely accurate.

    County roads and private roads are HC’s.

  14. Ken
    Ken says:

    I don’t who or what gets the ticket fine money. Nor do I care about what the residents of Ainaloa want.

    It is the principal of just exactly what we as taxpayers and citizens want our police to be doing to earn their wages.

    Do you as a hard working taxpayer think Officer Lee is doing what he should be doing and you think he is earning his salary busting speeders on the last 1/2 mile of Ainaloa Blvd before it intersects Road 9? Do you think this is a real crime that deserves being ticketed and fined?

    Don’t you think more “bang for our buck” could be earned by Officer Lee setting up shop near the Long House where kids play and constantly are near the road – and where drivers more than likely are exceeding the speed limit?

    Or – don’t you think we could get a bigger “bang for our buck” by maybe having Officer Lee do some real police work – like solving murders or robberies? Or responding timely to accidents etc.?

    Here is a good example. The other day my wife along with some neighbors went to the Hot Ponds for the day. While there someone ran up and grabbed a tourist’s purse and ran off. My wife and the neighbor ladies all saw it and ran to her aid. One of the ladies got the license number of the car that the guy jumped into.

    My wife calls the Police. She is told it would be over an hour for an officer to respond. The lady decided to take the information of the car’s license plate and go directly to the police station to file a report.

    When my wife and the neighbors finally leave the Hot Ponds later on – and on their drive home they see an unmarked Police car busting speeders on HWY 132. They also find Officer Lee at the end of Ainaloa as well.

    My whole point is this is why we have plea deals issued for Mr. Mossman who while drunk murdered Tim Sing. Our tax paid Police do not have time to do real Police work. Nor do we have time to have an officer respond to a purse snatching. In my opinion – this is due directly to the direction given to our officers by the Chief of Police. Further, this is a symptomatic of County Subsidized car allowances. I can imagine the Police realizing that a purse snatcher at the Hot Ponds is probably someone you do not want to have to go arrest over that of sitting in a nice very quiet strip of desolation where you can nab 3 or 4 speeders an hour – never having to ever really arrest and transport an offender.

    Remember, it was OUR Chief who lead the measure to allow Police to enforce traffic laws on private roads. One has to ask what his real intentions truly were/are.

    And remember also, on February 25th a Fireman gets his hand slapped for committing murder.

    Are we really getting our monies worth here?

  15. Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt says:

    I’m learning that the blame should be on the dispatchers for saying it would be over an hour, and not actually radioing the information. They are prioritizing the calls for the police. But, yeah, I do see your point. And I think his name is Officer Kim.

  16. Nakona
    Nakona says:

    I believe the speed limits are set in accordance with the engineering of the roadway, area of roadway (residential, etc), and other factors such as pedestrian traffic and intersections. Obviously Ainaloa Blvd. runs through a neighborhood, was a poorly engineered “private” road – adopted by the County upon connecting the escape route.

    The line of sight and terrain at the mid section is horrible, the grades, shoulders, or lack thereof, numerous intersections, all contribute to the determination of the speed limit. Safety is the primary consideration – not convenience.

    The road is now “County” – and so is the liability. It is the roadway surfaces and environment itself that set the limits, based on safety.

    As far as the enforcement – Ainaloa is lucky to have Officer Kim patrolling its’ roadways. I believe he is a Traffic Enforcement Officer, and not assigned to the Puna Police. Basically a highway patrolman, primarily enforcing traffic laws, he is not a “Puna Cop”.

    When you examine the populations of the island and ratio of officers per district – Puna is has the worst ratio. With 6-8 patrolmen covering an area the size of Oahu, serving a population equal to the N&S Kona districts Combined- which is estimated by census to be the largest district population in the near future. Those officers are split between Volcano and lower Puna, covering calls.

    …”he said, adding the Kona District has just under two officers per 1,000 people”In the Puna district that ratio is very low at 1.1 per thousand.”

    The national standard for accreditation is 1.9 officers per 1,000 people. – Assistant Chief M. Kanehailua


    The amount of officers actually on duty – has not changed in years (scaled) as the population has grown significantly.

    In Puna, the biggest problem is burglaries and thefts. More burglaries occur in Puna than in Hilo, or in all of west Hawaii combined. I believe in 2009, Puna had more residential burglaries than Kona and Hilo COMBINED.

    With the current manpower, your looking at 1 officer covering all of HPP , Orchidland, and Tiki Gardens. Consider that HPP, the 2nd largest subdivision in America, with a population of 10,000 – is greater than the population of the Kau or Hamakua districts…

    Ainaloa and Haw’n Beaches are covered by a single officer. How busy and tied up on calls these officers must be with this population- leaving no time for actual patrolling.

    Given that Ainaloa has a population of about 3,600- you have this extra enforcement officer (Kim) essentially guarding your neighborhood along a corridor between mauka and makai.

    That’s not what his intent is, but is does have that effect. Especially since the connection to road 9 opened the doors to all kinds of traffic between the acres and above.

    If your a criminal that wants to go shopping in lower Puna – do you really want to run that gauntlet? Will Officer Kim give me a break on my stolen car, expired tags, arrest warrants,and bad driving habits?

    I think if Fred Blas is approached, what he will probably do is lobby for Officer Kim to spend more time in His neighborhood.

    While HPP, with 3X the population, and the most burglaries, continues to pay taxes – with no County roads.

    But then again, if criminals can’t drive into Ainaloa undetected or unnoticed – they cant get to HPP or HB.

  17. Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt says:

    You make some interesting points, Nakona. Definitely some to mull over.
    Initially, though, I have to refute the rationale for the uniform 25-mile-per-hour speed limit. I think there are some areas of Ainaloa and Hawaiian Acres’ Road 8 that merit a 35-mile-per-hour speed limit. I don’t think it should remain 25 and criminalize people. We shouldn’t be planning for people to drive 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. That is essentially what is going on in Ainaloa and Hawaiian Acres and Officer Kim, who you correctly point out is in a division other than Puna Patrol, is merely enforcing the law, but an illogical one, being a blanket 25-mile-per-hour speed limit in these private subdivisions.
    It is against the law to drive one mile over the speed limit, let alone 10 miles over the speed limit. As has been pointed out either on this thread or another, the common speed limit traveled on this route that has become a thoroughfare is at least 35 miles per hour. Yes, you are right in pointing out, “The line of sight and terrain at the mid section is horrible, the grades, shoulders, or lack thereof, numerous intersections.” I think that traveling 40 miles per hour is wrong. I do believe I was wrong to be traveling 42 miles per hour. But I should also point out that I was accelerating uphill, far different than coming downhill and, to me, the speed limit should reflect the road’s uniqueness — it shouldn’t be uniformly 25 miles per hour. Officer Kim isn’t in the wrong, so much as it is wrong to set up “traps” for residents. This is what I view as a trap: making speed limits so low and illogical that people are led into breaking the law and then an officer is stationing himself to capitalize on that illogical act. I hope 1 make sense. I’m in the middle of thinking and writing about something else, but felt compelled to respond.

  18. Darren
    Darren says:

    Actually, and as scandalous and threatening as it may appear — to people blind to the disabled livelihoods that result from our slavery to our motorized crutches (cars) — we’d sure be looking at some changes if we were to impose a 15 mph speed limit on all our roadways.

    Sounds nuts? Not really if you realize that such a tweak would lead to a much different approach to energy consumption.

    Why, we’d have ambitious pedal-powered taxis able to move along the roadways in greater equity, we’d certainly work to satisfy our needs for food, social exchange, education, healing, etc, in much more localized autonomous ways.

    Oh, did I mention the reduced carnage?

    Just a dream? Maybe. But I think today is as good a day as any to have a dream about moving to non-violence through reduction of the violations that have granted a radical monopoly to the automobile — and the general gluttony of energy that has brought us to an unsustainable, unhealthy, unedifying, and violent way of living.

    The status quo is going to change — whether through more acceleration, inequity, and violence; or through more self-determination, limits on energy, and cooperation.


  19. Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt says:

    @ Darren:
    “You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one”

    Dude, how long would it take you and your family to get from Upper Puna to Pahoa or Kea’au for groceries or a night out on the town if you were pedaling a rickshaw?

  20. Nakona
    Nakona says:

    Aloha Tiff,

    I understand your points and they are valid. But I do believe that the major factor in the determination of that speed limit on Ainaloa through Road 8 is the the fact that it is now a County roadway.

    Once adopted by the County its a whole new ball game and all the previously mentioned technical features and characteristics of the environment must be considered.

    I don’t think that they can raise the speed limit without violating regulations and codes governing roadways, and if they do, they (County) assumes liability if anything goes wrong and can get sued.

    Any attorney would immediately cite the aspects of the roadway and then question why a higher speed limit was authorized.

    Now the “private subdivision roads” do have different speed limits in some place, but not all. The drives leading into HPP are wide and have considerable line of sight and visibility, so they may be higher. Even though they are privately maintained, they also have to adhere to the regulations for safe operating speeds, and they do, as the subdivisions cannot risk that liability.

    While we’re on the topic of “private roads”, I’d just like to say it is my opinion,- it is a misnomer.

    They should be called “Roads-that-lead-into-development-areas-to-build-a-tax-revenue-homeowner-base-while-the-County-legally-abdicates-responsibility-to-provide-infrastructure-to-said-revenue-base”

    Seriously, 10,000 people in HPP alone, again, more people than in the Kau district – and not a single street light or traffic sign. They just did major construction on Road 8, and even pick up trash along the roadside regularly.

    I would gladly drive 25mph to have the County upgrade and maintain the roads and actually spend some tax money they farm off of us – on us.

    I’d donate the fine amount of 1 speeding ticket a year for that, – it’s cheaper than road fees for “private roads”.

    As far as the enforcement aspect, I don’t know what else to say but maybe talk with him and let him know your concerns. Ask him where he lives 😉

  21. Darren
    Darren says:

    I think you are…laboring under a convoluted logic there.

    In the scenario of a 15 mph speed limit, the distance which we travel for groceries or a night on the town would necessarily have to become less. So too would the considerable time and money that we spend on our cars become less. Do you know that the average commuting schmo spends, like, 7 weeks a year sitting in his/her car?

    Anyway, such a change in energy would require a paradigmatic shift in people’s notions of what constitutes a satisfactory life.

    Renouncing our appetite for energy probably isn’t gonna happen voluntarily — ain’t even on the radar of most folks. However, if’n the collapse of the current car-as only game in town-continues in its logical course, we could do worse than to recognize the disabling and culture-squashing of high-energy systems.

    Queries such as, “Dude, how you gonna even transport your Digiorno’s and HoggyDog home before it melts are not really the salient questions to ask, heh.

  22. mackenzie
    mackenzie says:

    Hey Darren, Nice.
    Hey Tiff, keep expanding…how do things need to be.
    Food from where? We can do this however we want.

  23. Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt says:

    @ Darren
    @ Mackenzie

    When you guys get your rickshaws, let me know and I’ll trade my Honda in for one too.

    In the meantime, I’ll keep “expanding.”

    Is it a figment of my imagination, or are you guys just a little bit condescending? I don’t mind dreaming and scheming, but I don’t appreciate the insinuations that you are wiser than me for advocating for the village life, at the same time you are getting in your cars and driving to the same stores and restaurants I frequent.

    We all have cars, right?

    @ Nakona: thank you for the education. I actually am being swayed. We really have some challenges in Puna with all these private subdivisions and substandard roads.

  24. Darren
    Darren says:

    Condescension’s got nothing to do with my rap. I was merely reflecting on Dr. King’s rejection of violence and juxtaposing it with subsequent ideas of inequity and impotence perpetrated through the imposition of high energy systems, and the screwed up institutions that come about as a result. Looking at the alternative to this — as in, low-energy, vernacular, and largely rejecting of current unsustainable, unhealthy, and not particularly fun-aspects of a corporate defined consumer society-is not meant as any disgrace towards you. Sorry if it appeared as such.

  25. Ken
    Ken says:

    Wanna see real violence?

    Try drive 15 MPH on the 405 in Los Angeles.

    While I can appreciate alternative means to just about anything, I can not fathom taking technology such as the vehicle, which revolutionized the world and trading it in for bikes and rickshaws.

    That is not advancement that is quite frankly lunacy.

    Make the car solar powered – make it run 55 MPH – and make it last a long time and make it economical. It can be done – it would take a much different paradigm of thought on everyone’s part.

    My father’s brother and his wife – my uncle and aunt were dairy farmers in Wisconsin. In their day, in 70’s and 80’s they milked – by hand – 250 cows 2 times a day.

    Today, my cousins and their kids – on the same land, milk – all by computer and automation – 2,500 cows 3 times a day.

    My uncle – who is now 85 years old – and still “helps” on the farm every day – says he worked much harder milking those 250 cows 2 times a day. He tells his sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters that they have no clue as to what hard work really is.

    Why would we ever desire to work much harder for much less?

    I know, my idea of what “constitutes a satisfactory life” must be way off base.

  26. Darren
    Darren says:

    I share your bewilderment at the particular actions to take, or not take, as the case may be.

    Still, I can’t help but notice that in the subdivision where I live, Eden Roc, there is a whole heck of a lot of potential for forging useful connections among the residents. And yet, while the benefits and resources to be shared are obvious, most residents remain largely unaware of one another, for whatever reasons.

    While I’m not one to see gov’t necessarily as a great fix for things, I’d like to see our county gov’t take a more active role in promoting and aiding in efforts aimed at sustaining community connections.

    Ms. Smart is our newly elected rep on the council. Whereas the previous rep allowed that he didn’t quite know where Eden Roc was, how about if part of Ms. Smart’s task were to foster a community integration program utilizing available communication technology to foster beneficial connections within her district?

    From a larger standpoint, why in the world isn’t the county interested in supporting non-commercial community radio for and concerning the island?

    The more cynical ones in the crowd may very well be right in assuming that good ol’ boys only remain in that club if others are not allowed participation. But aren’t the looming economic challenges making it clear that solidarity and cooperation is where hope lives?

    I’d suggest that a good start is to avail this technology to open up participation in and amongst our community.

    County sponsored community radio.

    It makes sense in every way — disaster, economic, democratic, energy, convivial, health, education. The only one’s it wouldn’t make sense to are ones that simply do not care about the public interests, and those are parasites that would drag us down to further collapse.

    By the way, anyone reading this in Eden Roc, drop a line if you care to: darren @ islandnotes . org

    Same for any others looking to make an effort to work on community radio, etc. mahalo!

  27. Nakona
    Nakona says:

    Aloha Tiff,

    Lovely chatting with you.

    I passed Ainaloa earlier and took the opportunity to drive that road again.

    I remember back in the day when it was a cinder road, once they paved it- Dukes of Hazard time!

    Even with the recent engineering/reconstruction, it still really is one crazy looking road.

    It was kinda busy, so driving between 25-30(ish..lol) lowered the stress and was alright. I don’t think I would have been stopped keeping it in that neighborhood.

    The highway intersection is just scary when busy. The main thing is to get you and your family home safely through these overloaded roadways, – nothing is more important than that.

    Btw, truly funny story about your court appearance.


  28. ANGELA
    ANGELA says:

    Aloha Tiffany,
    I just wanted to let you know that it was me that you saw in the courtroom with my 7 1/2 month old twins. I cried because I know that it is impossible for me to get my license and how in the world do they expect me to get around if I have no one but my babies. Yeah we have the Hele on bus but its not as advanced as Oahu’s transit system. Could you really see me walking down Ainaloa Blvd with my twins every week just to go food shopping? My reason for not wanting to get a public defender is because the most that could come out of this is just a smaller fine which I doubt it, because that wasn’t my first time being caught without a license. I rather just take the fine, pay slowly instead of going back to court and back again and again and again, The first time I went to court, I went throughout my whole pregnancy all the way until the babies were 5 months old. Then I got caught again, and yes that is when you seen me. Really, honestly filling out the form for the public defender would have been a waste of my time. You see, my last name begins with Q, and usually I wouldn’t get called into the court room till about 11am, but when I go in with my twins, I always try and ask the bailiff if they could call me early because I have my babies and they usually do, I fear that soon there will come a time where they will actually make me wait until my name is suppose to be called and that is what I don’t want. Those 2 can barely stay still for very long, they were crawling all over outside of the courtroom that morning. I was gonna opt to do community service but I was not sure I would have a babysitter, or a babysitter I could trust with my twins for that matter, and then dealing with the waiting process, they make you wait forever for an appointment date, then tell you to go look for a place and get it okay with whomever, in the meantime ur court date is coming up again and you have to once again go to court just to let them know you are still in the process of setting up community service, then you have to go back again when they think u will be finished just to show that you completed ur community service…so crazy! So yeah that is why I opt to pay for the fine..I like how you put it but yeah I have time to shower and brush my teeth and hair just don’t got time for the legal drama. The story for my revoked license is too long, but just say its crazy and like one of the people that comment once you get into the legal system its hard to get out.

    Today, 1/24/11, i was driving home from picking up my twins from a sitter, coming through the back road heading towards Tiki Gardens I am well aware of that Silver UNMARKED Honda police car, as I am going over 25 because its so lame, I am like wow he isn’t here today, he must be off, then all of a sudden I see POLICE LIGHTS on the side of the road, guess what, he pulled someone over a couple of roads away from Rainbow Drive, I am like there he is, it never fails…he needs to get a better job, they need to learn to take care of REAL crime, like those drug dealers, child molesters, thefts, and murder or something besides an easy job like sitting on the side of the road, catching INNOCENT drivers from going a little over the speed limit, ugh i could go on and on, they should learn to wear their seat belts, stop talking/texting on their cell phone and stop speeding themselves. Of course they could do whatever they want, they are the law, ne ways, thanks so much for thinking about me…lol…its crazy, and i never in my life would think that i would have someone write about me…i just had to respond because as you see what i did i just pleaded guilty and then when you had ur turn and asked for community service and got all that warden like attitude and about asking for a continuous, that is exactly why i just opt to pay a fine..hey $5.00 a month is something and something is better than nothing…

    take care!

  29. Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt says:

    Wow, I never cease to be mystified by the power of the Internet.
    Anela, how did you find this writing?
    I’m glad you can now participate in this discussion. I’m just totally amazed that my writing came full circle like that.

  30. Isis
    Isis says:

    Aloha Ms. Tiffany-
    well well…. how I stumbled upon this is still a mystery to me!
    However, things are rarely as they seem.
    Much to say about this one.
    Lets chat sometime.

    Hugs to you – Isis xxx

  31. Keith Fortley
    Keith Fortley says:

    The cops had speed traps on Road 8 this past summer.

    I picketed the cops with a sign at their speed traps and complained to Sgt. Hatten. They (cops) left the scene everytime. They didn’t want to have a confrontation with me, part owner of all the roads in the Acres.
    County does NOT own the road.

    The cops now stay off our PRIVATE land in Hawaiian Acres. Due to my complaint and Pressing them at their speed traps.

    That is why they trap NOW on the County road in Aniola which is public.

    They tried their hardest to ticket and trap on Road 8.

    But they are illegal on our road.

    They can not ticket on Road 8.

    I took my case to Sen. Kokubun and they contacted the police and they stopped.

    But the Police Chief is a CROOK and will try his hardest to get his officers to do his illegal dirty work.

    Harassment to the landowners is his way of intimidation.

    Ten miles over the speed limit is the LAW.

    Judge will not let officers come to court with anything less then 11 miles over.

    I can drive next to a cop speeding 10 over without fear.

    But watch out for that additional mile, they will snag you.

  32. Keith Fortley
    Keith Fortley says:

    PEAR Road (Puna Emergency Access Road)

    The Cops don’t use Road 8 as a by-pass anymore since my picketing.

    It is bad/sad how the Police abused our private road.

    Not anymore.

  33. Keith Fortley
    Keith Fortley says:

    But we are used to the abuse the Cops have delt the communities and its citizens over the years with the Green Harvest Helicopters.

    The Chiefs and their Indians will pay with their jobs.

    Praise Jesus!!
    only by the Blood.

  34. mrskailuakona
    mrskailuakona says:

    Went to Traffic Court in Kona with someone that had a ticket for not producing their current insurance card so that ticket was dismissed. How disturbing to hear the HORROR stories of the tons of people driving WITHOUT a driver’s license. If you have infants & your driving license was revoked you broke the law. There is NO excuse I don’t care if you have triplets! Obey the law then you won’t get a ticket. The 30+ drivers were involved in accidents with injuries not to themselves to innocent drivers driving with revoked licenses without any car insurance. One minute Tiffany is hollering about speeding down her street while breastfeeding with TWO cars give me a break! So the rubberized speed humps are installed then she’s defending the speeders so Tiffany talks out of both sides of her mouth! The HORROR stories like one woman who said she’s no a criminal yet broke the law by driving without a license let’s keep it real it’s a criminal act the judge told her. She was arrogant this judge didn’t place her in jail where she belongs along with another 30+ dangerous drivers. Why have driver’s licenses in the first place? Why have car ins.? It’s the law. Obey it & you won’t be facing jail time LOSERS. If you decide to have babies make sure you have your license or someone to drive you around. You don’t need a kid to have a license too bad Darvin’s Theory. Dumb & Dumber

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Immediately after court, I walked downstairs and paid the $57.  Then I headed over to the Hawaii Intake Service Center.  You can read about my ordeal on my blog (www.bigislandchronicle.com/2011/01/14/commentary-my-day-in-court-for-excessive-speeding/). […]

  2. […] just wanted to let you know that it was me that you saw in the courtroom with my 7 1/2 month old twins. I cried because I know that it is impossible for me to get my license […]

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