Letters for Wednesday — December 21, 2005

• Dog courtesy

• Dogs need to be trained

• Traffic solution: Reduce your driving

• Critical difference

Dog courtesy

It’s refreshing to know so many of your readers are getting fed up with dogs and their negligent owners negatively affecting the citizens of this small island. Attacks and possible death by power dogs is the ultimate outcome, but quality of life is also affected by dog owners that don’t have a clue about courtesy. In public, keep your dog on a leash at all times. In public, carry a plastic bag and clean up your dog feces at all times.

Kealia Beach is a prime example of what can happen if the police and life guards don’t become proactive about the problem. At any given time on Kealia there are several unleashed dogs running and defecating at random around our playing children. I’ve stepped in dog feces twice this month on Kealia visits and have removed feces several times after discovering it near our chairs and towels. I’ve seen a dog bare its teeth and charge a small child that was getting too close to its owner’s chair. On that occasion I called the police. Within 20 minutes an officer walked up the beach in his boots and uniform for over 100 yards to the owner. As he approached, the same unleashed dog bared his teeth and lunged at the officer as the owner grabbed the dog. To my amazement the officer composed himself, talked very nicely with the woman and she went to her truck for a leash. That was it! No ticket. No fine. A waste of taxpayers’ money.

The problem would get attention if every time any of your readers sees a dog off a leash just call the police immediately. If everyone did it, every time, the police would have to respond and laws would have to be enforced. The problem would go away within six months.

If dog owners or the police and politicians of Kaua’i don’t get serious about enforcing leash laws, we will all pay — a few with the life of their child. The rest of us with a diminished quality of life.

  • Gordon Oswald

Dogs need to be trained

I feel horrible about Brenda Zafrides’ dog attack especially since I know her personally. However Mr. Mann was wrong in his letter stating that we do not have a reason for guard dogs here on Kaua’i.

The ICE epidemic on Kaua’i has made it essential for us to protect our property, homes and families – I know this well having had my home robbed last summer.It is essential to properly train and socialize any dog—but especially a guard dog, whether you do it personally or engage someone like Bill Woodard with Kauai Canine Academy.

People also need to realize that there are no bad dogs, just poorly trained ones, and that is the owner’s kuleana. I also believe that responsible dog owners should fence their yards or at least use electric fences.

I hope that the owner of the dog that attacked Brenda will make an effort to make amends to her.

  • Petrina Britt

Traffic solution: Reduce your driving

Howard J. Tolbe wrote that the frustration of drivers, like himself, went over my head when I suggested a driving strategy that smoothes out traffic by anticipating waves of congestion and acting to create “antitraffic”. Howard, like Eric Voorhies, advocates that slower drivers get out of the way of faster drivers, who obviously have a higher priority because they are driving fast.

Howard even suggests that when he is going to work, older drivers (unless they are going to the doctor) should stay off the road and that high school kids do the same. Both Eric and Howard should realize that they are advocating a high priority for their use of the road over the interest of others. It’s selfish, but Howard and Eric have pointed to something that is important.

People can choose not to drive frivolously. Whatever their age, people can choose not to drive to town to see if there is a sale on or not “cruise” from one fast-food joint to another just to be on the road. People can avoid or combine errand trips; bike to the post office and library; work at home or in their own town; etc. I work at home, and every day I don’t get in my car is a blessing to me (and I suppose to Howard and Eric). My wife and I lived in Kihei, Maui, before moving here. If you wanted to drive from South to North Kihei (three miles) at the wrong time of day you could face a half hour of bumper to bumper traffic. Biking was faster. The state built an alternative route mauka of town called the Piilani Highway. It didn’t have all the local cross streets. The same trip could be done in twenty minutes of creeping traffic. That’s a big part of why we moved to Kaua’i. But now, unfortunately, the Maui experience is coming here.

I doubt if Howard or Eric has spent much time in real traffic. I began driving as a teenager on the 100-mile Long Island Expressway in New York. It had six lanes of traffic and two service roads. The speed limit was 65 mph back then. The average speed (when traffic moved) was over 70 mph. You had to be willing to dodge through speeding lanes of tractor-trailers and speeding maniacs.

However, the well-chosen nickname for the LIE was “The Longest Parking Lot in the World.” A hub cap coming off a VW Bug would be enough to bring it all to a stop. Thick high speed traffic is subject to halting with only tiny interruptions. I could never live on Long Island again. It’s dead to me largely because of the automobile.

I am old enough to have witnessed several places that have been drowned in traffic (including Mexico City and Teheran, Iran). As an architect and planner, I have not seen any place build its way out of congestion. One real part of the traffic solution is to hold population down. Because of geographic constraints, with present driving habits, I estimate Kaua’i will drown long before it hits Maui’s population of 130,000.

Residents of Kaua’i will have to change their relationship to driving to solve the traffic problem. What pleasure is there to needing a second job to pay for a new V8 4WD pickup on an island as tiny as Kaua’i? Are you really getting anywhere?

After the New Year, as this cold winter grinds on in the northeast US, we will see fuel prices rising high again here. Five-dollar-a-gallon gasoline might solve our traffic problem all by itself. John’s Bike Shop, in Lihu’e, doubled its business when gas recently spiked at $4. Happy Motoring!

  • Juan Wilson

Critical difference

Richard McSheehy’s “Viewpoint: A department of emergecy response” in The GI Dec. 18, 2005, concludes with “it is time for our government to perform its true role — to secure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Exactly! But the problem is that the U.S. Constitution fails to specifically “PROTECT” life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Obviously, “secure” and “protect” mean different things, and this critically important difference must be acknowledged before Constitutional correction, fairness and justice is possible. Goodwill to you,

  • Triaka-Don Smith

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