Letters for Friday — January 27, 2006

• Kaua’i threatened by development • Proposes new cooperative • Google search • Eye for an eye?

Kaua’i threatened by development

I have been visiting Kaua’i for almost 20 years now, and based on my recent trip January 2006, I am deeply concerned with the rapid rise in development and growth that I observed most recently. The level of congestion in the East Side exceeds what should exist on Kaua’i. I hear locals bemoan a new golf course that may be built near the road to Spouting Horn and ask myself, how many golf courses that residents cannot afford to play on does Po’ipu need? I hear that the golf course zoning was championed by slick developers from Scottsdale, Ariz., approved by a soft council and mayor.

Let me share with you the results of Arizona-based developers: Phoenix over the past decade has been turned into a 100-mile soulless concrete disaster with gridlock traffic covered by a dark smog that envelops the city. My nearby home, Tucson, is now being assaulted weekly as beautiful riparian desert gets razed for yet another strip mall. With each individual project, the developers assured us that their project would be different and would harmonize with our environment while incorporating citizen concerns. And like your council and mayor, our political leaders went along like lambs to slaughter, as developers in the mainland have made huge amounts of profits while destroying one area after another.

Unlike Arizona, Kaua’i is a small island, and simply cannot afford continued, indeed accelerated development without permanently changing the character of the island. Presently, it is evident to me that the majority of your present officials seem more focused on pleasing a developer from Scottsdale than caring about your homeland.

I write this letter as a friend from Arizona who is saddened to see your beautiful island being threatened by over-rampant development, greed, and short-sighted politicians. I urge all islanders to stand up, research election opportunities, organize, and aggressively push out of office candidates who support the irrational practice of accelerating land development on a small island. If this action isn’t taken soon, I’m afraid that Kaua’i will forever change from being a Garden Island.

  • John Miranda
    Oro Valley, Ariz.

Proposes new cooperative

I propose legal recognition and formal protection of the “Natural Rights of Sovereignty” of every adult Kauaian in an enlightened, authentic political order. It requires that the Kaua’i County Charter, which is a “corporate” body, be replaced by an entity owned by all Kauaians equally called a “cooperative” — the KAUA’I PUBLIC COOPERATIVE (separate from Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative).

Natural Rights of Sovereignty proposed for “Article I” of the KAUA’I PUBLIC COOPERATIVE are”

Section 1 – The Individual shall be Protected from the Initiation of Physical Force, Coercion, and Fraud.

Section 2 – The Individual Right to Self-governance shall be Protected.

Section 3 – The Individual Right to defend against Physical Harm shall be Protected.

Section 4 – The Individual Right to Justly-acquired Personal Property shall be Protected.

Section 5 – The Individual Right to freely Travel, Trade and Associate with others shall be Protected.

Section 6 – The Individual Right to freely Express Oneself on Public issues shall be Protected.

Section 7 – The Individual Right to participate Equally and Vote Directly on Public Issues shall be Protected.

Section 8 – The Individual Right to disassociate from any Principle, Policy, Program, Practice or Person shall be Protected.

Section 9 – The Individual Right to be free of human-contaminated Air, Water, Soil, and Food shall be Protected.

Section 10 – The Individual Right to have Equal Access to Public Places and Public Information shall be Protected”.

Supporting Articles II, III, and IV for the proposed KAUA’I PUBLIC COOPERATIVE include “Human Services,” “Coordination,” and “Protection.”

  • Triaka-Don Smith

Google search

In response to Mark Perkel’s letter on 1/22/06 — The Bush administration is trying to defend a 1998 law called the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). It’s designed to protect minors online, and as the administrator for a popular on-line community I can attest to the fact that it really does work! The reason the Bush administration is requesting search engine information is because of a US Supreme Court ruling in June 2004 requiring “the parties to update and supplement the factual record to reflect current technological realities,” so painting the picture that this is some kind of evil “Bush Administration” deed is quite inaccurate.

Another inaccuracy in Mark’s statement is that “Google has a stronger commitment to civil liberties.” This is the exact argument that Google will NOT use, because there is no evidence supporting it. Instead, in a letter dated Oct. 10, 2005, Google lawyer Ashok Ramani objected to the Justice Department’s request on the grounds that it was “unduly burdensome…”

The third fallacy in Mark’s letter is once again painting a picture that this is another instance where the oh-so-scary “Bush Administration” is spying on us. Oh no! Fortunately, that is not true. All the Justice Department is asking Google for is a “random sample of 1 million URLs” and “copies of the text of each search string entered onto Google’s search engine over a one-week period.” Mind you, that’s a random sample of 1 million … out of about 24 BILLION. And copies of search strings? I hope this isn’t shocking, but Google displays a list of live search terms on a screen for visitors at its headquarters.

SearchEngineWatch and Dogpile even lets you review LIVE search terms of the same type that the Justice Department wants to see. None of these logs are tied directly to your computer, so if you, say, search for information on marijuana cultivation, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Is this “turning over search information to the Bush administration to support their policy of spying on The People”? Hardly. This information can barely even be construed as “spying,” since any geeky Joe could theoretically find it out with a computer and a spreadsheet.

And whether or not Mark’s statement that “Google understands that freedom is important” holds true in places like censored China is a totally different matter.

  • Josh Duvauchelle

Eye for an eye?

So, the former shareholders of Grove Farm feel taken advantage of by those more knowledgeable and sophisticated than themselves? Perhaps they can take solace in knowing that what goes around, comes around.

  • Ray Smith

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