Rat removal offers promise
I visited Kauai last week and I was very excited to see your Jan. 4 article on the monitoring of rats on Lehua Island. As someone that works on oceanic islands in the Pacific, I have seen the negative impacts rats have on native ecosystems, especially for birds on small islands. Rats are incredibly smart and difficult to completely eradicate.
However, in New Zealand there has been some really exciting work on methods of rodent removal and the immediate and long-term increases in native biodiversity.
I was not aware that rodent removal had been undertaken on Lehua Island but I think this is very exciting. Indeed, if monitoring for rats continues, I predict that the native seabird and plant species could rebound rapidly and hope local communities can witness this too.
Dr. Thomas W. Gillespie, Department of Geography, UCLA
HTA, please stop promoting Kauai
I would like to thank George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, for his rosy outlook for tourism in 2018. I would also like to ask him to please stop promoting our island. Our way of life is already threatened and your projected 10.9 percent increase in air seat capacity will turn our overcrowded island and overused facilities worse by, I’m going to guess, 10.9 percent.
I realize that tourism is the largest driver of our economy, but it has not always been so. Agriculture was for many years No. 1 and I realize those days are over, but we need some sort of balance. Relying more and more on tourism will eventually ruin everything that makes Kauai the special place that it is.
Let’s get back to growing food and hemp and other clean crops that will replenish the soil and bring some balance to the aina. Again, please stop, George.
Allan B. White, Hanapepe
Drive is only going to take longer
In the bad old days, before such improvements as the Kapaa bypass, contraflow and even the Hanamaulu Bridge, I could drive from Anahola to Lihue, without breaking the speed limit, in 25 to 30 minutes. Two days ago, the same drive took me 50. Nor was that the first time that this has happened recently. Is this progress or entropy?
How will things be when “improvements” like a housing development mauka of the Kapaa bypass, a reincarnated Coco Palms, yet another resort in Waipouli, or even (I shudder at the thought) a resurrected Superferry comes online? Has anyone with power over the planning process seriously thought about this? More to the point, has anyone in such authority regularly driven Kuhio Highway between Kapaa and Lihue recently? Somehow I doubt.
Were the visitors extolling Kauai’s slow-paced lifestyle, as recounted in TGI (Dec. 28), talking about the flow of traffic?Somehow, I doubt that, too.
Does anyone want to guess how long it will take to drive between Anahola and Lihue in five, 10, 15 years? Perhaps the county should organize a betting pool around this question. Participating in the pool could at least keep drivers mentally occupied as they inch their way along.
It might even be more profitable and less cumbersome for the government to administer than the proposed General Excise Tax (increase).
H.M. Wyeth, Anahola