Letters for Monday — October 24, 2005

• Dialogue doesn’t bridge differences

• It’s the economy

• Mahalo to all who made bazaar a success

Dialogue doesn’t bridge differences

John Patterson certainly has the right to express his views on the Olohena Bridge (The Garden Island, 10/14/05) but his remarks are not factual.

The Federal government’s share of any project that they participate in is 80-percent—not 70-percent. Thus, in his example, if we were to have built a bridge for $500,000 the Federal government would have paid $400,000 and our local share would have been $100,000. The culvert type and the Acrow style bridges would have been under $1 million so, even on the high side, say $800,000. the Federal share would have been $640,000 and our share $160,000. The other facts that Mr. Patterson seems to ignore are that by building either of the other two above options, Olohena Road would have been closed for ONE DAY for installation and NOT 3 1/2 months thus saving all users of that road millions of dollars in time and gasoline.

We citizens who thoroughly investigated other options found that the Acrow bridges are PERMANENT but made modular and can be moved if need be. The Acrow company builds these bridges around the world with local and Federal money and they are only removed if needed elsewhere. The Wainiha #2 bridge on the North Shore is an example of a permanent Acrow structure that will remain in place as long as they want it there—and, obviously the people don’t think it is an “ugly” structure.

By Lester Chang’s account in The Garden Island “our” local taxes paid $850,000 plus another $500,000 ($1,350,000) to build this bridge and the Feds share was $3 million. The total figure given at the Council hearings was $4.8 million for this Bridge and when everything is added up it will probably come closer to $5 million!! AND that 80-percent Federal match is still OUR MONEY—comes out of one pocket or the other!!

So, again, my “logic” is that we could have paid about $160,000 for this project instead of $1,350,000 AND had a bridge that would have been there as long as the Taj Mahal that was built!

Yes, Mr. Patterson, I am the strongest opponent of the multi-million dollar bike path being proposed that will be used by a few recreational people for walking, jogging, and maybe an occasional bike but won’t save gas money. In fact, this segmented path may never get finished as logistics, need, local opposition, money, and maintenance problems are ever present. But if you want, Mr. Patterson, sell your car, buy a bike and have fun pedaling.

  • Glenn Mickens

It’s the economy

This is in response to the letter published on Oct. 16, lambasting Kaua’i’s film commissioner. I attended Graduate School in Film Production at the University of Texas and have worked as an actress, writer, producer, director and in various film production positions in the film industry since 1982. I say this not in self-promotion, as I am certainly not interested in taking on the difficult job of the film commissioner, but to let you know that I feel qualified to express my opinions concerning this position and most specifically the performance of Art Umezu.

Mr. Umezu has been in this position less than one year. Although I cannot speak to the performance of the previous film commissioner, as with all governmental administration positions, he has inherited the legacy of the previous office holder.

Although there may have not been much feature film production on the island recently, I believe the reasons for this have everything to do with economic and financial considerations and little to do with the film commissioner. We all know how expensive it is to live on this island, imagine bringing a cast and crew and very expensive equipment here for months at a time. It is practically prohibitive in the current economy of filmmaking.

If a film requires a tropical location, companies do their best to use Southern California, Florida, or even Mexico or the Caribbean before they choose Hawaii. Even if they do choose to shoot in Hawai’i in order to capture our special ambiance, they usually go to O’ahu because it’s cheaper and it has many of the resources that are needed for filming, which Kaua’i does not.

Although we haven’t had much film production lately, there have been quite a few television and commercial productions and print advertising campaigns. These have brought a fair amount of investment in the local economy.

Finally, I want to speak about Art Umezu. In my experience, he deeply cares about this island and its people. Not only does he work hard to do a job that really should be done by more than one person, he is also interested in much more than bringing outside film production money into the local economy. He wants to encourage and do everything he can to help local artists, writers and aspiring filmmakers. He also has worked to establish programs to nurture the next generation, students who have few opportunities for education in the entertainment industry on Kaua’i. An example of this is his work in bringing legendary filmmaker Roger Corman to Kaua’i for the Hawaii International Film Festival at the end of this month. He has persuaded Mr. Corman to take the time to meet with local student filmmakers so that they may learn more about the current film industry.

In closing, I would ask that anybody who would wish to throw stones at another individual, first walk a mile in their moccasins. Let us all encourage each other to better performances and if you have something to offer to improve a situation, please constructively volunteer your knowledge and expertise. Remember this is Hawai’i, the land of aloha!

  • Nadya Wynd
    Garden of Eden Productions

Mahalo to all who made bazaar a success

On behalf of the Lihue Christian Church (LCC) Bazaar Committee and congregation, I would like to extend a big mahalo to all those who helped make our annual bazaar a tremendous success.

Mahalo to all of the businesses and individuals who generously contributed to our lucky number drawing including Meadow Gold Diaries, Big Save, M. Kawamura Farm Enterprises, Inc., Restaurant Kintaro, Mark’s Place, Kapaia Stitchery, Growing Greens Nursery, Hyatt Anara Spa, Kauai Realty, Inc., First Hawaiian Bank, Lihue Fishing Supply, Deja Vu Surfwear, The Gas Company, Kauai Athletic Club, Shimazu’s Hair Design, Wal-Mart, Russell Wada, Sherman Shiraishi, Wayne Miyata, Calvin Murashige and the LCC Women’s Group.

We are extremely grateful to all those who attended our bazaar and purchased goods. And of course, many thanks to our many volunteer cooks, bakers, crafters, gardeners, cashiers, and set-up crew, whom without their efforts we could not have produced such an incredible event.

Thank you again to all who participated in this special event. Your contributions will benefit LCC’s programs as well as its wider mission to support state and national ministries.

  • Lani Yukimura,
    Moderator and LCC Bazaar Chair

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