Editorials for Saturday — August 23, 2003

• Grubbing and grading

• Legislative awards


Grubbing and grading

What was once a common practice in the days when sugar cane plantations were being developed along the coast of Kaua‘i, has become an environmental problem for Kaua‘i.

Grubbing and grading lands that can run off into the ocean now requires county permits, and serious violations are drawing statewide attention.

In particular, the runoff from a project owned by Kaua‘i landowner Jimmy Pflueger was the center of attention at the state Land Board meeting held in Lihu‘e Friday.

Pflueger received fines in the tens of thousands of dollars, and faces additional fines due to the runoff at Pila‘a a few years ago.

New instances of allegedly unpermitted grading and grubbing in an area that can runoff into the ocean on the East Side has come to the attention of The Garden Island. This time the potential for another serious runoff into the ocean and across a white sand beach is being looked into by the county.

The high price Jimmy Pflueger is paying may in the long run be a blessing to the Island as county officials are more aware of the situation and local residents are more likely to report possible illegal grading work.

Watch for an update on this situation in Sunday’s issue of The Garden Island.


Legislative awards

Workers from Hawaiian Airlines and the federal TSA airport security organization received awards from the Legislature this week for their quick and brave actions following an incident at Lihu‘e Airport involving in June involving a gunman from the Kapa‘a area.

In particular, the action of Hawaiian Airlines first officer Ed Jones, a pilot, may well have saved lives, and defused a potentially explosive situation in the passenger terminal at the airport.

Recognizing the unselfish actions of these “heroes” was a positive step in creating a spirit of commitment to the safety of others at the airport, especially in these days of terrorism in the air and on the ground.

While the breach of security was a serious one, in the end the situation was brought to a safe end through the informed and sensible actions of Jones and others.

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