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Thanks to my math- and organizationally challenged Kid2, aka, Charlotte, I had to leave work early yesterday for a 2:30 p.m. meeting at Koko Head School. Work is busy, so I wasn’t real thrilled with leaving early. Besides, I KNOW my kid has these challenges because I was that girl years ago. There’s a line in one of the “Toy Story” movies where Barbie tells The Prospector about his new owner. We always customize it: “You’ll LOVE Charlotte! She’s an ARTIST!” Unfortunately, a kid can’t doodle her way out of grammar school. She might be able to doodle herself into a job in about 15 years, but, to get there she has to cover a lot of academic ground.
After our meeting, I went to Niu Valley Middle School to pick up Kid1, aka Sophie. No traffic, no problem. Why? Talk about dodging a bullet, or two.
According to the story across the front page of today’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser, a combo speed-chase, shoot-em-up, car-jacking, and attempted-murder crime spree spilled from the University of Hawaii at Manoa to the generally quiet neighborhood of Aina Haina, among our main East Oahu thoroughfare, Kalanianaole Highway. Granted, we have a lot of Type A drivers out in East Oahu, and the captains of industry are lead footed along Kal Hwy in their pricey vehicles. But I dare say not a one of them was prepared for what unfolded from about 3 p.m. and snarled traffic for hours and hours. And I bet neither were the Kalani High School students who were out on the highway waiting for theBus. When shots were fired, the kids scattered. How many parents ever stop to think that their kid waiting at a bus stop might need to go primal with instinctive survival techniques?
My in-laws, who also live in Hawaii Kai, had attended a 5 p.m. presentation about the Marshall Islands at Windward Community College, and then had dinner at Haleiwa Joe’s in Haiku with one of my sisters-in-law. After all that, they hit gridlock returning along the windward side on Kalanianaole Highway by Enchanted Lake that was merged into one lane at Waimanalo! That’s a long way from the actual crime scene!
One of the things I make a point to avoid when reading on-line stories at staradvertiser.com are the comments. Most of the time they are creepy comments by haters. But today’s story has a lot of shout outs and attaboys for Honolulu Police Department when it came to bringing down one of the gunmen and apprehending the other. One comment in particular, by captken, read like a Dirty Harry movie script. I get the feeling captken has some experience, given some of the lingo he used.
Today I got to work early to make up for lost time. I joined other drivers along Kalanianaole Highway. Traffic flowed without incident. I didn’t even notice anything. That’s how 99.99 percent of our commutes are and should be. I think a lot of people who witnessed yesterday’s events are scarred forever. Life in Hawaii isn’t like this. There might be shootings and thefts somewhere else, but in Hawaii life is good. What makes people steal, carry guns and drive wickedly? I think we know.