Letters for Friday — January 13, 2006

• Making Kaua’i smaller?

• Afraid for biodiversity

• Don’t let abused dogs be returned

• Solving our problems

Making Kaua’i smaller?

Some recent mail contained a request to fill out a survey. Grove Farm was making future plans for Puakea Golf Course and wanted my input.

How would I react if the golf club were made into a private club with greater amenities than now exist? Would I consider a golf membership with a one-time initiation fee of $40,000 and monthly dues of $275? Or might I consider merely a social membership with only a $25,000 initiation fee and monthly dues of $195?

Who are they kidding? I cannot afford such memberships; most recipients of this survey cannot either. But maybe 300, 350, 400 (cut-off point?) respondents can. And therein lies the game: exclusivity. By privatizing Puakea, most island residents would be walled out. A private enclave — sentry boxes, barbed wire fencing — would be created. Presto: Kaua’i would have its first gated golf course. The Haves could play with other Haves and not be bothered by riff-raff, or the Have-Nots.

A sign by the Po’ipu fire station proudly proclaims: ONE ISLAND; MANY PEOPLES; ALL KAUAIANS. If Puakea were privatized and made into an exclusive country club for the wealthy few, there would be less of an island for Kauaians.

  • Charles Cushman

Afraid for biodiversity

The foundation for the new economic revolution of Biotechnology is the “Bio-diversity of Hawaii.”

The traditional and cultural foundation for the Hawaiians in Hawai’i is that same Biodiversity.

Is Hawai’i’s Biodiversity a commodity, or a sacred gift from the gods?

What will be the reaction from the Hawaiian People when Biotechnology and Economics begin to impact on the Biodiversity, which has sustained them for over a thousand years?

How will the Hawaiians react to this new “mana mahele?” Will they again come out on the short end of the stick?

Existing laws and government agencies are not ready to resolve the many new problems biotechnology is bringing. The University of Hawai’i has already signed agreements, selling our marine biodiversity, patenting and selling the offspring of our taro to the Maui Lehua, trying to license the Hawaiian genome, and tried to change the genetic make-up of our Hawaiian taro. Giant chemical companies are now the dominant farmers on Moloka’i doing open field testing of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) with no environmental impact assessments.

It is clear who will benefit from the Biotechnology Revolution, but it is those like myself, who are now deathly afraid, that will determine its success.

  • Walter Ritte

Don’t let abused dogs be returned

It takes a lot to get me off my lazy duff to write a letter, but when something is just plain wrong, folks need to speak out.

I am referring to the travesty of justice and total ambivalence to animal welfare that I read about in today’s paper. Specifically, returning animals to an owner who has pleaded guilty to 55 counts of animal cruelty, so he may resell them at a profit, and possibly in the interim, mistreat the animals he has already pled guilty of mistreating. And this is after the animal shelters on O’ahu and Kaua’i have put out thousands of dollars in care cost to house them while the case was pending, not to mention the love and attention these dogs needed to overcome their abusive pasts and become good family pets.

The judge in the case not only did NOT request restitution for the costs of housing and rehabilitating his animals, he gave the admittedly guilty defendant a deferred judgment, so if he stays of trouble for a year, his record is cleared—so he may possibly run another dog mill!

A judge is hired to do a job, just like any of us. But the judge in this case missed the point. Where is the justice for the dogs, for the people who cared for and loved these dogs? I have come to know and respect the folks at the Kauai Humane Society. Dr. Rhoades and her staff do an often thankless job of providing shelter and affection to the many abandoned and lost animals of our island. They care deeply for their charges, and do wonders on a limited budget. Let’s not let their valiant efforts go to waste by letting this debacle continue. Do not let these dogs go back to their torturer, but be adopted out to loving and deserving families.

  • Susan Straight

Solving our problems

I enjoy reading all of the wonderful letters written to The Garden Island by its readers. It seems that many revolve around 3 major issues: Over development ruining the island, dogs out of control, and housing and taxation.

The desire of your readers, and the majority of us that live here, is that there be no more resort development, or other development that significantly detracts from the beauty of this island. Stop all resort developments in their tracks now. Resume when there is a concrete plan in place showing that the development will have no adverse impact on traffic, beauty of the island, or quality of life for its neighbors. More roads are not the solution unless there is an unbreakable requirement that there be no development on those roads forever. This island isn’t getting any bigger!

Dogs out of control? Absolutely. No dog on a beach or riding in cars that are not on leashes. Owners walking dogs must have a means in their possession to clean up as their dogs use our play areas as their toilet. Specific beaches, or inland areas, can be set aside for all dog owners to let their dogs run. All pit bulls must go! Not one child’s life is worth having one specific breed as a pet. Our police must start enforcing this now with real fines. The money brought into the county would be welcomed.

The county and state must provide housing for the poorest of its population. No free lunch, however. Those in need of housing that can work must work for what they get. Any drug or criminal offense and they lose this option. Taxation? Stop suing and adopt the Ohana Amendment, now.

There are two solutions. Kaua’i has over one million visitors per year from the outside. If you want to come to Kaua’i it will cost each person a $200 impact fee man, woman or child. Our one million visitors would drop to around 800,000 because some won’t pay. So what does this accomplish? Over 200,000 fewer visitors with their cars on the road. People visiting with the most disposable income to leave here. And 160,000,000 additional dollars for our government to beautify the island and return it to what it was a few years ago.

Enough money to get rid of the telephone poles and enhance the aging infrastructure we have now.

The second and most important solution? Vote everyone out of office that is currently in. Get rid of them all! Tell the next group of miscreants/puppets to listen to the people or receive a one-way ticket to civilian life where they will have to learn how to run a business or die.

  • Gordon Oswald

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