Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023 |
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• More bike path questions
More bike path questions
Our county administration has said over and over that the funds allocated for the bike path can only be used for the bike path. That, having been said repeatedly, I can grasp.
What the administration has not released is what the county’s cost to this project is. And I mean full cost accounting. Not the typical county computation that feels “we have to pay the employees anyway, so those salaries and benefits don’t count.
As a former deputy county engineer who was hands on in the daily operations, I would like to see a detailed accounting of what those costs are going to be. Additional personnel, plus the coverage for when they are sick or on vacation, cost of vehicles to support that length of walkway, fuel, mowers, handtools, trash cans and on and on.
The cost of litigation in defense of the plan and the effort to force it down the throats of those who don’t want it or don’t want the intrusion. What does that cost amount to? And don’t forget, enough personnel to pull or dig the weeds. People have said that in other areas, they witness a lot of people using similar bike/walking path facilities. What is the population base there? I would like to remind the politicians that be that after Hurricane ‘Iniki, there came this plan to build a resource buy-back center that was going to be pretty much a self-supporting function like the example given us from the San Francisco area.
I questioned hard and consistently and nobody would answer me with fact. I said that the San Francisco facility sees a good number of people and is self sufficient because of the type and numbers of people there. Those who use toilet seats as picture frames and toilet bowls as planters. I know the San Francisco area well and have seen those uses. But mostly I looked at the number of people who used the resource exchange/buy back facility and the population of the surrounding areas. I then provided a comparison of the Kaua’i population. I think the factor was something like less than two a week would come to the facility. The cost per person was nuts, but it was built anyway. Now we taxpayers pay a vendor to provide services there.
Then we had a rerun of the scenario with the car disposal. And again, we have to pay a vendor to provide the services. So what is the number of people that will use the bike path? Five a day? 15 a day? This is another County of Kauai “build it and they will come.” The “they” are the stray dogs foraging for food, the they are the clumps of guinea grass, weeds and the accompanying don’t spray the weeds. Here is a really good idea. Forget the darned thing, let the Federal Government take the money back. We all know that they can reallocate those funds where it is really needed. The recovery of Hurricane Katrina. Now that is a really good use of the funds and a savings of taxpayer money. We all paid for those federal funds and it is not free money and it is money needed sorely at a place that needs help. Give it up County! It might get you enough votes for reelection too!
No more double disasters
Hurricane Katrina is a double disaster. It is so painful to see the despair in the eyes of the victims and the apparent inability of our government to respond quickly and appropriatly to their needs.
One disaster was an uncontrollable force of nature. The other should have been a positive and reassuring response by FEMA and Homeland Security but instead has left us with no faith and a real fear that our federal government is unable to protect or help us during either a natural disaster or terrorist attack.
Where is the preparedness that our tax dollars supposedly purchase and the planning that we expect from those in command? The lack of both is a national scandal!
It seems reasonable if not necessary to support Senator Clinton’s legislation calling for an independent commisssion, with more real powers than the 911 Commission, to answer these questions. We can then, possibly, get unbiased conclusions and, hopefully, an understanding of how to do a much better job.
Let’s make sure that there will never be a double disaster on our island home or anywhere else in this great and beautiful country!
Support Sen. Clinton’s proposal
The federal response to hurricane Katrina is a national scandal and needs to be addressed so proper preparation and planning can prevent tragic loss in the future. As a country, we need to encourage our government to spend less time worrying about affairs overseas and make sure that our nation is safe at home. In order to understand how we can change policies to ensure safety it needs to be exposed where the government is currently making mistakes.
In order to make sure that all details are reported we need an independent commission modeled on the 911 commission to investigate what went wrong at FEMA and other agencies. Sen. Hillary Clinton is proposing legislation to establish such a commission, but needs support to make sure it is passed in Congress, instead of a private investigation that is being called for by Bush. We cannot let one political party — especially the one running the government — control the investigation of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. An investigation must be independent from the politicians and have its own budget and subpoena authority.
I strongly encourage the Kaua’i community to support Hillary Clinton and inform our congresspeople that we do. Especially since Kaua’i can empathize with those in the SE states. It could easily be us someday.
Demands a ‘refund’
“Nobody could have predicted this.” So we are told by President Bush, Director of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and FEMA head Michael Brown.
News flash to all of them: It is precisely the job of Homeland Security to predict such disasters. Otherwise, why spend billions of dollars on events “nobody could predict?”
Perhaps we should put Hollywood screenwriters and producers in charge. They seem to have no trouble imagining such “unimaginable” scenarios. In fact, at least one movie was produced in the past that pictured the exact disaster that occurred in New Orleans.
Of course, we can just forget all the Republican rhetoric about how safe we are from terrorist attacks and how this administration is protecting us.
I, for one, demand a refund of all the money wasted on “homeland security” since 9/11, and I call for the resignations of Bush, Chertoff and Brown.
Presidents can be impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” This was no misdemeanor; this was the worst kind of felony.
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