Wrong decision made on Kauai Springs
On July 18 I was asked to participate in a special session of the Kauai County Council. This meeting allowed many people, including myself, to voice their support for Kauai Springs.
The amount of spring water that this small company bottles and serves its customers within one year is equal to the amount of water produced by the springs in one day. Close to 99 percent of the water produced by this spring runs off into the ocean each and every day.
I have been a customer of Kauai Springs since they started more than a decade ago. I also live with the auto-immune disease known as multiple sclerosis, and in turn I know the importance of good water.
The issue of the Planning Department not issuing the necessary permits for this company to continue its vital service is ridiculous. Kauai Springs has been serving our community for many years now. This company helps Kauai people live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle on this beautiful island that has no shortage of water.
This council meeting was my first and it really opened my eyes to the workings of our government. The Planning Commission representative was unprepared and unable to produce the requested documents that led to the decision in question.
We should ask ourselves this question: How can six volunteer public servants have the right to shut down service to hundreds of families that depend on the health benefits of this water?
These people are not attorneys and how can they go against the county attorney and the hearing officer’s recommendation to allow Kauai Springs to continue their service?
Lana Lopez-Lono, Koloa
TGI should have joined united front for democracy
I read the editorial in Friday’s paper, explaining why The Garden Island did not want to participate in defense of the free press. Here is what this reader thinks:
The editorial made some excellent points. Unfortunately, it also completely missed the mark. The two primary and crucial reasons to have participated in the united front in which approximately 350 other newspapers participated are: democracy and the Capital Gazette.
Most journalists do have thick skins. But they care about democracy. That’s why they do what they do; they dig out the truth, so people will have the facts they need to make an informed decision when they choose their government representatives to make the big decisions that affect their lives. Our lives.
However, nearly every day now we hear the terms “fake news” or “enemy of the people.” Historically, we have seen that this is straight out of the playbook of tyrants, fascists and dictators. It’s a phrase Hitler and Stalin depended on to delegitimize people and institutions in order to take away their power and credibility.
If journalists don’t have the trust of their readers (in other words, they don’t have credibility), it doesn’t matter if they “get the story right, and are fair.” If they are seen as the enemy of the people they will be ignored and shunned, and, as in the case of the Capital Gazette staff, actually gunned down. (Yes, the shooter had a disagreement with the paper, but we’ll never know if he would have done what he did had he not heard his president tell him the news media is the enemy of the people.)
My primary disappointment in your editorial is that you did exactly what you said you didn’t want to do: You made it personal to yourself. This isn’t about whether you or other journalists are seen as “whiners, like we can’t handle what’s going on, like we’re losing a fight and are calling for help,” as you seem to believe. It isn’t even about “standing up to him (Trump).”
It is about preserving the inalienable essence of facts and the truth. It is about preserving the credibility of an institution that is crucial to democracy.
Vera Benedek, Kilauea