Letters 5-19-13


Terrorism

The only way to be secure is surveillance

In a free society, killer nut cases are extremely difficult to stop. Two related issues make our future even more precarious. We do not have enough political and public will to protect our borders and reform immigration policy to prevent terrorists from entering. We are not going to commit the manpower to thoroughly screen every applicant — nor delay entry until fully screened for every applicant. Current politics take precedence over future risks.

So what should we do? Increase surveillance. There has to be more security cameras in public areas — not only recorded images but live feeds monitored by security personnel and state of the art facial recognition and behavioral software.

Recorded image cameras may not be enough of a deterrent for the terrorist who does not care if he is caught after the bomb explodes. However, live feed cameras monitored by security personnel (technology can cut down on the time and cost of actual personnel on the monitors) and/or facial and behavioral software on a real-time basis could prevent disaster.

For example, a computer-connected security camera makes a 99 percent facial recognition match of a suspected terrorist at a marathon and the computer assesses that he has placed a backpack or some sizable object on the ground. An alert is immediately electronically sent out to security personnel at the marathon to either clear the area or investigate.

While there will be resistance to more security cameras in America, that can be softened by laws that prohibit using these cameras against ordinary citizens. In other words, information gained from these cameras would only be used to prevent, investigate, capture and prosecute terrorists — not for minor speeding violations.

We do not know who the millions of people are that are sneaking across our borders. So obviously, some of them could be terrorists. And they do not need a massive international terrorist organization supporting them — all they need once here is fertilizer and pressure cookers to become mass murderers.

Leighton Loo

Honolulu

Homeless

It’s time to clean up Kailua-Kona

Clean it up. I agree with the current letter about the homeless situation in Kailua-Kona.

The north end of Alii Drive is a ghetto. I have lived here for 11 years, and I have never seen it as bad as it is now. We have lost two-thirds of our cruise line business, and people are afraid to walk down the street. I can’t even go get a cup of coffee in the morning with out being panhandled or harassed in some way.

Take a serious look at what is going on. Tante’s closed, Kokonutz closed, Falafels in Paradise closed, Boston Basils closed, Beach Hippie Grill closed (building condemned).

I currently work for a five-star resort on the coast and guests remark constantly about how they will not come to town because of how ghetto it has become.

Is this what we want ?

G. Horne

Kailua-Kona