Letters | 6-5-14


Why the disparity in these two cases?

The May 22 West Hawaii Today had an article on page 4A regarding a grand jury indicting a Honokaa man who was responsible for a fatal crash. Alfred Berdon caused this accident 20 months ago and he killed two people, critically injured three women who survived and five others were treated and released. Ten people total. He gets a six-count indictment and his bail is set at $32,000.

In an article on page 5A of the same paper, another grand jury indicted Paul Gibson who stabbed a man. He received a nine-count indictment and his bail was set at $374,000, but the state is seeking an increase to $700,000.

The big question here is why did it take 20 months to indict Alfred Berdon and two weeks to indict Paul Gibson? Why is Berdon’s bail set so low after causing so much destruction to 10 innocent people? Seems like serious cases should be handled within a couple of weeks and bail denied. Berdon has a long police record and should not have been driving. Has he been incarcerated for the past 20 months while awaiting the grand jury indictment? How can it possibly take 20 months to get blood test results back?

I’d also like to weigh in on the tropical fish collecting. It should be completely banned.

Anyone with a scuba tank and net can collect tropical fish. No license is required, no overhead to pay like any other business. If they want to have a business of fish collecting, they should breed them and assume all the setup costs and everything else that goes along with owning a business.

The mortality rate of the fish collected is nauseating. The fish in the ocean are for all of us to enjoy. It is not fair that fish collectors can scoop them up and sell them. Businesses that deal with the tourists — scuba, snorkeling and boat tours — are hurt by fish collectors and so are the residents of Hawaii who swim and snorkel.

How is taking the tropical fish any different than walking into the California redwoods forest and cutting down trees? You would end up in prison if you tried that.

Jane Schneider

Kailua-Kona