Letters for Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Military could have helped

I realize that your response (Carol Ann Davis, letter to the editor, TGI, April 19) was to support Ms. Yukimura but you failed to comprehend that I was on PMRF and saw with my own eyes what went on. While yes the military did come down, they did not take over the island and proclaim martial law. This would have allowed them to do all the things that they wanted to do without needing our mayor’s approval and acceptance.

A good example to prove my point, Kauai went through a horrible flood due to the weather and the military came. Why? Because our major today asked for help.

Ms.Davis, you grew up on Oahu and at the time of the hurricane you were only 19? Where you living on the Westside so that you could experience what she did to the people there? Saying you’re not a newcomer is not the point and it has nothing to do with this issue. Listing your family’s history is to prove what? That they held positions of status and ran companies that controlled the state? But that again proves my point on who you are and why you stood up for Ms. Yukimura.

Just in case you didn’t know the definition of martial law, it is the imposition of direct military control of normal civilian functions of government, especially in response to a temporary emergency such as invasion or major disaster, or in an occupied territory. Which never happened on Kauai!

John G. Rita Sr., Koloa

Golf trumps keiki and kupuna

Recent letters to the editor rightly question our county’s priorities. At a time when many need services and county aid, expanded bus transportation services are not to be funded. Did the people ask for increase bus services? Yes, they did.

TGI reported the large turnout at the Wednesday, 5 p.m. county council budget meeting. The testimony requesting an increase in weekend and holiday bus service to match the weekday schedule was compelling. People from Westside to North Shore made their needs known. More than 150 signed a petition to expand bus service. The petition was presented to the council. A second petition was presented to the council the next day. That petition had been circulated in 2017 to support the increase in excise tax for expanded bus service. When the bill passed, increasing the excise tax in 2017, the new revenue was specifically designated for land transportation. How much new revenue does it generate for the county? $12.5 million in 2018 and $25 million next year.

The public hearing made it clear that people on Kauai have been asking for expanded bus service for years. On weekends and holidays buses stop running after 4:30 p.m. Wilcox Hospital employees testified that they can’t take weekend work because they can’t get home after their shift. Young people who work in restaurant, hotel and the tourism industry, are hitch hiking and walking on the shoulders of unlit roads to get home. Many older people, who no longer drive, testified why increased bus service was so important to them.

When the council convened to act on the mayor’s proposed budget last Thursday, more testimony was given requesting the council exercise its amendment rights and fund expanded bus service. Where could the council get the money? The council did approve $1.1 million to subsidize the Wailua Municipal Golf Course. That’s $1.1 million paid by taxpayers, so golfing residents can enjoy an unlimited monthly pass at a cost ranging from $9 to $60.

In response to more than a year of public requests for better bus service, Councilmember Yukimura asked the Transportation Department to calculate the cost. The agency informed her that it would cost $950,000 to increase weekend and holiday bus service to match the weekday schedule. With the new $12.5 million in revenue for land transportation, Yukimura proposed an amendment Thursday to fund the public’s request for increased bus service. Unfortunately for Kauai, Yukimura stood as the lone member requesting funds for expanded bus service. The rest of the council voted the amendment down.

Ken Taylor, Kapaa

  1. kauaiboy May 16, 2018 7:37 am Reply

    Who is John Rita from Koloa and why does he rate having his biased LTE re-printed for the second time?

    It is complete with the same typo of his first identical letter, calling the Mayor a “major”. Something tells me Mr. Rita really identifies with the military, and thinks they can do no wrong. And something tells me that the Garden Island is either biased in choosing to re-print his letter or just incredibly careless in allowing that to happen.

    Does anyone other than Mr. Rita really think that the military should have the right to unilaterally declare martial law when a disaster hits Kauai? I, for one, would prefer to have my local government ascertain the need for help, rather than some military bureaucrat from afar.

  2. Joe Public May 16, 2018 10:27 am Reply

    I agree with Mr. Rita, if you did not live it, don’t speculate. Those of us that lived on the westside and worked at PMRF know first hand what Yukimura failed to do….LEAD!

    1. Just Saying May 17, 2018 2:26 pm Reply

      I don’t care if every single PMRF janitor from 1992 comes forward with his own story (rural legend). All you have is the conspiratorial musings of troops, waiting endlessly to reinforce other troops in the field. The more important they make their supposed villain, the more important they think it makes them!

  3. andy May 17, 2018 11:08 pm Reply

    Didn’t anyone else notice that Mr. Rita totally misread Carol Ann’s letter? She said she was a “55 year resident” of Kauai: that means that she has lived HERE for 55 years, which obviously means she was here during Iniki. I was also here during Iniki (and for quite a few years before Iwa as well) and I remember very well, as a Westside resident, the excellent job that Joann Yukimura did in the difficult aftermath of Hurricane Iniki. Ms. Yukimura definitely has my vote (AGAIN!) for mayor this year.

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