Holding on to Kaua’i’s aloha

To the Forum:Recently, a man told me he was moving to Kaua’i from Maui.

He said “There is no aloha left on Maui.” It made we wonder how will we keep

what is left of the aloha on Kaua’i?

What makes up the spirit of aloha? It

is the history of a native people with big hearts full of love, generosity,

always welcoming to all visitors, with a desire to share whatever they had to

give. It is the spirit of the land, the incredible beauty of nature untouched

by man which speaks to people’s hearts.

This is what draws people to the

North Shore of Kaua’i. What can we, the residents of Kaua’i, do to preserve

this?

In 1980, my husband and I came to Kaua’i for a vacation. I had never

been to Hawai’i before, but had a vision of what I thought it would look like.

As we drove from the Lihu’e airport toward Kapa’a, I silently said to myself,

“This is not Hawai’i!”

I was so extremely disappointed until we passed

Princeville and I looked down over Hanalei Bay. “Yes, this is Hawai’i!” When I

placed my first footstep in the clean warm water, felt the touch of sand like

velvet, and looked up at the sky and the mountains, I fell in love with Kaua’i.

The love grew even deeper when I discovered Ha’ena, Tunnels Beach, Ke’e and the

Na Pali Coast. To me this had to be the most beautiful place in the

world.

Now 20 years later, my family and I have been living in Ha’ena since

1992. We came after Hurricane ‘Iniki to see what we could do to help the people

and the island which had been so generous to us for so many years. Prior to

1992 we came for extended vacations, staying in vacation rentals in

Ha’ena.

Since 1980 1 have seen so much of the North Shore change, the

forests and lands cleared to make way for more homes, more shopping centers,

more restaurants, more people coming to see Kaua’i than ever before.

Just

think about the huge amounts of garbage and waste continuously being generated

on the island right now. Now is the time for us to do something to protect,

maintain, conserve, and preserve what is left of that beautiful Aloha spirit

that we all love about the North Shore and the island of Kaua’i. Now is the

time to speak out about:

1) Planning for the expansion of one of the

few remaining beautiful rural islands left on this earth is a mistake!

Maintenance and preservation are what is needed for the future of Kaua’i. There

are unmaintained roads, unmaintained beach parks, sacred sites uncared for,

cultural preservation programs needed, a need for more Island self sufficiency,

better education programs needed, Native Hawaiian families need affordable

loans so they can keep their lands. With all these present problems needing to

be solved, how can there be plans to expand and build more of what is not

needed for this island’s best interest?

2) Moratoriums on any more

commercial building in Hanalei. It has become too congested. It is spoiling a

very charming small town.

3) Designated sinqIe family homes to remain so

and not be allowed to condominimize. Limiting the amount of single family homes

vacation renting so residents can continue to live here. Many of the vacation

rentals that are single family homes have begun to operate like hotels, renting

to 15 or more people at a time. This has a major impact on local residents,

myself included.

4) Mandatory recycling program for all waste whether

profitable or not. Have part of the tax money cover the cost of recycling. The

island cannot afford more waste in the land fills. If tourism is the main

income for this island all vacation rentals, hotels, and visitor facilities

must have recycle programs. There is a 10 percent hotel tax charged to all

visitors, have part of this money cover the recycling, or increase the tax for

this purpose.

It was explained to me that recycling programs for plastic

and junk mail are discontinued because they are not profitable. The island

cannot afford to not have recycling. I was told garbage was being thrown in

recycing bins, making it even less affordable.

Each recycle location needs

full time employees to oversee the proper distribution of recyclable material.

Can’t afford it — then taxes should cover it, a tax for the purpose of

recycling.

(I have been sending my plastic in suitcases to the Mainland to

be recycled for years — we can only recycle #2 plastic here — “not profitable

enough.” I have one bag of compacted garbage every two weeks because I recycle

cans, plastic, bottles, newspaper, cardboard, and all junk mail. Now I can’t

recycle the largest problem-junk mail)

5) Conservation zones need to be

maintained. The amount of trash at Ke’e beach alone is unbelievable. Tourists

are feeding reef fish Kentucky fried chicken. I have seen this myself. They

feed the chickens like pets, The chickens are multiplying into a mass of pests.

This is on sacred grounds, in precious clean waters, this is our beautiful

island.

Most of the rest of the world has polluted oceans that you cannot

even swim in. What can we do? We need volunteer programs to raise funds for the

continual maintenance and preservation: If the state cannot provide this, the

county of Kaua’i should.

If the idea is to make a large parking lot at

Ke’e so more people can come there than now, what will become of it without the

care and the maintenance that it needs?

The answer to the island of Kauai’s

future lies in us; the residents, to make sure that the county and its

government, the mayor, and the state know that what we want is to see the

preservation and maintenance of the beauty of the island as it is now, and not

the plans to expand, enlarge, increase, and develop it, or it will become just

another concrete jungle and then Kaua’i will no longer be the Kaua’i we know

now. The aloha will be gone.

Karen Silberman

Ha’ena

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