• To do in 2006
• Super Dennis the superhero
• Letter had problems
• Why would we cut-and-run?
To do in 2006
Rather than dwell on blame, let’s enter the new year with a resolution: to be resolute in acheiving progress towards solutions. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Energy Costs: The island is a perfect place to be self-sufficient. With solar, wave, wind, hydro-electric and bio-diesel, there is no good reason except the lack of vision and political will that we cannot be self suffiicent in energy. Bill Gates is putting 65 million into an ethanol plant in Caliting California.
I challenge his old rival Steve Case to match that and more to create bio-diesel, solar and wind right here on Kauai. He has the land and the money. How about 100 million, Steve? That should be a good start. And don’t give me any crap about it’s more expensive than oil-based energy. When you add pollution and the defense costs, not to mention the human costs, oil based energy is the most expensive and most immoral fuel on earth. We don’t have wind here because the vested powers of tourism don’t think the tourists want to look at wind towers. We don’t have more hyro-electric because somebody decided the tourists wouldn’t be able to see waterfalls. To continue to think this way is just plain stupid.
2. Traffic congestion: What do you want, less cars or more roads? Both present issues but nothing that with a little change of thinking, couldn’t be achieved. Temporary relief can be had by staggering work and school hours. Cutting connecting roads to the Kapa’a bypass from Foodland, Safeway and Big Save will immediately relieve the gridlock through Kapaa and Wailua. Small army temp bridges will suffice over the creek. Adapt a can do instead of no can attitude and this could be done in a month. While you are at it, open the existing emergency bypass NOW! Traffic congestion is already an emergency. Long term solutions demand a bridge over Wailua river and a road to go direct to Lihu’e from the Homesteads. Another road can be built from Kukui Grove along the base of the mountains both west and north and east, giving four lanes total. With two different two-lane roads the rural ambiance is maintained and traffic decentralized. The state and county seem to want four lanes on one highway. This reflects their lack of vision and in the box thinking. We should have decentralization in most things.
3. High taxes: This is so simple. First, close down all government offices and services on Monday morning and Friday afternoon. Acheive an immediate 20 percent savings in labor and overhead. If the workers go on strike replace them with someone qualified and happy to have such a good job. Rebate the immediate savings to taxpayers. Eliminate the general excise tax and replace it with a 5 percent sales tax. Implement the will of the voters and stop litigating the Ohana Charter Amendment. The most creative and simple solution I have heard to solve the ever increasing rise in taxes due to increasing property values is to annually REDUCE the TAX RATE by the same percentage of appreciation as the average increase in property values. This results in a net zero gain in taxes. Of course, the hogs at the trough won’t like this anymore than they did the OK Amendment but they get new tax revenue from all the projects they are greenlighting(with no consideration for infrastructure) so they can’t complain too much. After all, they put us in hock to build the new court and police complex where they can toil in air conditioned comfort so why not give a little!
4. Increasing garbage on the highways. Get the inmates at KCCC off their butts and instead of marching them around the correctional center, march them down the highway picking up trash. Get a public works crew to stop their card game long enough to supervise. Then, at least they could pretend to do something.
5. Landfill and recycling. Mandatory curbside recycling should be required immediately. Implement a 10-20$ a month charge(the hogs will like this!) to pick up trash and no pickup if not separated. Repeal the bottle deposit bill. Do it as we used to do in the good old days and how its done in almost every other country: Pay a deposit when you buy, then return the bottles or cans or plastic to the same retailer and receive your money back or a replacement. Retailer returns items to distributer who returns to manufacturer who either reuses or recycles. Too simple? Well then get a garbge to energy plant going. Garbage is one of our growing natural resources. I can tell every time I go to Moloaa beach in the winter. There are more bits of plastic than sea shells, a sad commentary on our paradise lost.
So, lets get going with some solutions for 2006 and beyond. Anyone out there got any better ideas? Anyone out there awake?
- Michael Wells
Super Dennis the superhero
The Nawiliwili Yacht Club would like to acknowledge and thank Dennis Fujimoto for all the wonderful photographs and articles he has published through the years which feature the yacht club’s races and community service events. Dennis has been tireless in his coverage and is always such a positive presence at the events. Thank you, Dennis, for all your hard work. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2006!
- Susan H. LeHoven
Publicity Chair, Nawiliwili Yach Club
Letter had problems
Mr. Antonson’s letter questioning why Pacific Legal Foundation’s Hawaii Center is representing four Kauai homeowners in their appeal regarding the Ohana Kauai Charter Amendment (TGI 12/27/2005) contains a number of inaccuracies.
PLF’s Hawaii Center is a tax-exempt, charitable foundation funded by local Hawaii sources. As such, PLF Hawaii does not engage in political activities, nor does it lobby in the executive or legislative halls of government at any level, but instead, performs its legal work in the courts when it appears that government is exceeding the limits imposed on it by “we the people” in the Constitution.
PLF is representing local people and businesses who are concerned that Kauai officials have manufactured a “shibai” lawsuit in which the County Attorney sued the Mayor and Council to achieve an illogical — and we believe, unlawful — result, rather than accepting the judgment of the people who strongly supported the Ohana Charter Amendment at the ballot box. To top it off, the officials used taxpayer money to hire private lawyers to strike the Amendment down in court. Kauai government officials apparently think “they know better,” and decisions about property taxes are simply too important to be trusted to the people.
PLF Hawaii believes the people of Kauai are informed enough to decide how their property tax system is structured, and that the Hawaii Constitution gives them that right.
- Robert Thomas
Pacific Legal Foundation Hawaii Center
Why would we cut-and-run?
Let me see. There are more people going to good schools in Iraq than ever before. Women are voting and rising up to take their rightful place in those schools, and society in general. The electricity, water, and phone services have never been better. Democracy is beginning to flourish with over 70-percent of Iraq citizens voting in their Parliament, and all are living under a new democratic constitution. The Sunni’s, Shiites and Kurds are talking and settling differences through dialogue and not guns. The Iraqi people are speaking out against the insurgents and turning them into the police in record numbers. The hospitals are operating and providing better medical care at unheard of levels. The latest polls show that Iraqi’s are more positive about their future than at any time in recent history. Nearly 75-percent feel the future looks positive.
We have a very difficult job ahead of us. Yes, there are still bombings and some loss of life. The liberal left predicted hundreds of thousands of deaths during the lead up to the war. Tens of thousands of American soldiers would come home in body bags. Now what do they say? Two thousand deaths are too many. The last time I checked, there are about that many killed with guns in Americas major cities every year.
Would the “cut and run” Glen Mickens of the world please give the majority of us a break. Why are you so negative about everything? Our troops need you to be positive, now more than ever! Yes, we need to get our troops home as soon as possible. Yes, every loss of life is tragic. Yes, to leave now and let the country fall back to a dictatorial Iran style religious fanatical empire, with incredible wealth, is too dangerous to contemplate. There is only one way to assure that the sacrifice of our brothers and sisters in uniform is and has been worthwhile. Leave Iraq when it is a dependable and stable ally operating with democratic efficiency. Those who espouse “cut and run” are a disgrace to the memories of those who have so valiantly made the ultimate sacrifice for what they correctly believed was in the best interest of us all.
- Gordon Oswald