Letters for Friday — October 28, 2005

• Beaches endangered by ‘foot path’

• Expenditures were ‘complete obscenity’

• End of discussion, but ….

• Why can’t the members know?


Beaches endangered by ‘foot path’

Why am I against the so-called foot path along Kaua’i’s shoreline? Through the years I have witnessed the destruction of our many beautiful sandy beaches of Hawai’i nei. As a young boy, I lived in the School Street, Pauoa and Nu’uanu area of O’ahu.

My grandparents, George and Ada Robinson, had a home and beach property on the windward side of O’ahu. The property was within a small “ili” named Makaua II, next to Kahana Valley and “Crouching Lion.” I spent many a vacation and some weekends enjoying the country. It was no easy journey to travel, no paved road from Kaneohe to my grandparents’ home. Somehow, my parents managed with their 1927 “Essex.” They avoided travel in stormy weather or at high tides. The dirt roads would become impassable as much of the former foot path, now road, became inundated due to wave action—areas such as He’eia, Waikane, Kaaawa, and Punalu’u.

Kamehameha Highway was originally an ancient Hawaiian foot path along the shoreline which was converted to a horse and buggy road and eventually constructed into the present-day highway. It was paved with concrete beginning in 1929, a slow process, and is presently made of macadam.

The paving of the road did not stop the flooding, and caused erosion in the low-lying areas. Protective sea walls were built and this was the beginning of the end of many of our sandy beaches on the windward side of O’ahu.

I have a sister and nephews with families who still live on family lands at Makaua. Kamehameha Highway and the protective rock wall fronting the property are still there but the beautiful sandy beach is long gone. Auwe!

A destructive example of hardening of our shoreline taking place on Kaua’i and approved by both the County and State, is the solid rock wall built in Aliomanu in 1981. Insultingly, this wall is owned by private parties, yet sits in the middle of Aliomanu Bay, and on State land, our Public Beach.

Citizens of Kaua’i, go see for yourself.

  • Paul D. Lemke
    Kapa’a

Expenditures were ‘complete obscenity’

After reading the headline story in The Garden Island, Sunday, Oct. 23, about the expenditure of money to purchase an expensive home, furniture, and vehicles for the Chief Executive Officer of KIUC, I went into total shock. With people here working two and three jobs just to keep body and soul together, this is a complete obscenity!

All nine members of the board of directors, the chair of the board and this chief executive officer should be fired. KIUC is OWNED BY ALL OF US, so let’s get rid of the bloated pigs who are getting fatter (and richer) by feeding at the public trough.

SHAME ON ALL OF THEM!!!!

  • Kay Obloy
    Wailua Homesteads

End of discussion, but ….

Aloha, Jay Trennoche. I suppose that our dialogue re this “White Elephant” bike path could go on forever but you won’t change the FACTS that I give you and I obviously won’t change your “feel good” ideas.

But just to put a cap on this friendly exchange, please let me FACTUALLY address a few of your misconceptions about this path.

1) Yes, Jay, I did mention the “bike” path from Pono Kai to Otsuka’s that was built in 1988 and seldom used by bikes. Though mostly covered by sand and weeds it is still there and still seldom used by bikers so traffic today or 17 years ago has no relevance to usage. I also cited the path along our highway that has been there even longer but hasn’t or won’t get people out of their vehicles.

2) I was here through Iniki and your analogy that a bike path could somehow be used in future emergency situations is as much a pipe dream as the bike path. First, the path as proposed would probably be wiped out by storm surge and wave action and second, would you propose that bikes be used for emergency transportation to carry people and supplies—come on, Jay!!! We do need to get our cane haul roads paved and open so that we can have alternate routes for emergencies and to ease traffic on our highways—as was done with the Kapa’a bypass road.

3) If looking at issues factually and not through rose-colored glasses makes me a “naysayer” then I plead guilty. My “nitpicker” friends and I TRY to initiate change on Kaua’i that will benefit the masses—even you, Jay—and not to just help a select few.

4) And in closing, you and a few feel-good people can say it over and over that a bike path is an idea that has come but that won’t make it true. Let’s support Chief Lum and the KPD in their positive crusade against the drug problem which is probably the cause of 90-percent of our crime; let’s get the audit done on our government departments that Senator Hooser and Councilman Rapozo have pushed for; and let’s support our Charter Review Commission—seven outstanding citizens as they volunteer their efforts to make our Charter a better document and Kaua’i a better place for all of us to live. Go after these issues, Jay, and so many other problems that confront our Island and forget using your energy on a dream world bike path.

  • Glenn Mickens
    Kapa’a

Why can’t the members know?

The Oct. 21 front page TGI article “KIUC explains travel costs—vague” says it all. Our utility cooperative does not follow Open Records Law (Chapter 92F Uniform Information Practices Act) in its bylaws.

KIUC will comply sometimes, but not as a rule. As KIUC leaders say, detailed financial disclosure “is not normally made public”. Why can’t the members know?

Questions arise about large travel funds, expensive marketing, and rumors of expenditures, investments, and costs that are not fully explained in the annual report available to the public. Open records is a key democratic principle.

One of the seven principles KIUC should follow is that cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership. Part of accountability is open records, so that members know what decisions are being made.

The Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative bought Kaua’i Electric from Citizens Communications of Stamford, Connecticut, for $215 million dollars in 2002. In 2005, the KIUC board must, according to President and Chief Executive Officer, “govern a $140 million company”.

If KIUC had used private investor monies to purchase the utility, there would be no justification to require the entity to comply with open records laws. However, this ad hoc, non-elected group used our tax dollars. We are now indebted.

Let’s see this as an amendment to the bylaws on the next ballot so that members can vote on it:

“The Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative shall comply with Open Records Law HRS-92F Uniform Information Practices Act.”

  • Carol Bain
    KIUC member
    Lihu’e
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