Letters for Thursday — February 16, 2006

• Tough contest ahead

• Koloa trees and proposed new construction

• Where’s the flag

• Illegal wiretapping

• Keeping in touch

• Bush’s budget

Tough contest ahead

Good luck to Gary Hooser who is pushing the political envelope to its extreme by attempting to win a seat in the U.S. House with hardly one full term in the State Senate.

Hooser may be capable of handling the job, but it will take a massive grassroots campaign and a costly media blitz (in the neighborhood of $500,000) to match the statewide recognition of an opponent as well-heeled and politically connected as someone like Mazie Hirono, for example.

By jumping in early and spreading the word, Hooser is borrowing a page from Congressman Ed Case’s playbook, but where Case’s victory in filling the seat left vacant by the late Patsy Mink was not that surprising, Hooser leaping to the U.S. House from the State Senate would be nothing short of miraculous — particularly given his limited political exposure beyond Kaua’i. And, Kaua’i voters only accounted for approximately 10-percent of the votes in the last congressional election won by Case.

Winning the democratic nomination in September would only be round one of Hooser’s big adventure. He’d still have to face a Republican challenger in the November election since there’s no way the GOP will let an open seat in the U.S. House pass without a fight.

Someone might want to ask Gary if he would run for the U.S. House if he were up for reelection in the State Senate this year. If it meant giving up an almost guaranteed return to the Senate, would he still be so quick to throw his hat in the ring?

Now if Hooser stepped down from the State Senate, which he is not required to do, then his decision to seek such a lofty perch might carry more weight. After all, it will take all of his attention to raise enough money to run the kind of high profile campaign needed for any chance of winning Case’s vacated congressional seat. On the other hand, even a respectable bid to win the nomination cannot help but boost Hooser’s future political aspirations.

It may well be a pie-in-the-sky venture, but all things considered, it could turn out to be a smart political move, but Gary is right not to quit his day job.

  • Fred von Wiegen

Koloa trees and proposed new construction

There’s a Hawaiian proverb that says, “Mai ho’ale’ale i ka wai I lana malie.” Translated, it says, “Do not disturb tranquil waters.” We all hope for balance in transition of the old to the “new.” It is only wise to guard and protect the better, most wise legacy of the past and carry it into the future, ESPECIALLY in Hawai’i, where the traditions are so profound, so rich, so earth-bearing, nurturing and life-maintaining, sustaining. People come here to experience just that. Yet, developers now seem to want to just TOTALLY unearth and impose their vision on what is already there … which is not something new, but a true sacrilege when it comes to trees in Koloa town.

To quote a Tibetan Lama, “The soul is not a fast food joint.” To take the trees down for this Island is comparable to unearthing the Washington Monument to put in a Wal-Mart or Home Depot. While many people do not seem to care about deeper values of this Island, so many who are pro-foundly silent, the wisest voices, the ever-present, find it unfathomable, unspeakable that someone could be so ignorant to even consider, to even have the thought of, disturbing one tree, not to mention 15! It is one thing for a human being with invisible roots to move around. It is quite another in a place of great sacred and physical grounding, not 200 hundred years, but perhaps 11 million years old, to move a beloved tree and vision-bearer of the past and the very nature of the town of Koloa. To replace them with a shopping center is to take the very heart out of the body there, and for a shopping center with imported manufactured goods.

It is also shocking to me that a courageous former Mayor on the County Council had to go before the Planning Commission to remind them, or even to have them NOTICE, that there needs to be an overall circulation—plan for the town before considering individual dockets. A commission member tried to not-so-subtly shove the responsibility back to the Council and Ms. Yukimura stated clearly that it is the duty of the Planning Director to be in charge of an overall circulation plan. An Island this size with such incredible bounty and beauty and so many greedy harpies and land sharks grabbing for land calls for EXTRA — wise, patient, long-term, non-greedy, non-compromised vision.

A proverb from Pidgin English in West Africa parrots: “Trouble no de rin bel.” Or, “trouble doesn’t ring a bell.” This kind of trouble has been bell-ringing ever since I’ve been on this Island, 12 years, and it is getting louder and louder. To ignore it is to SINK the Island and its precious people in concrete and shopping malls. If the developers and UN-real estate venturers do not know the value of even one tree to Koloa, they need to go and develop somewhere else … like, inside maybe.

  • Leonora Orr

Where’s the flag?

As a visitor to your fair island this past football season, I noticed that there was NO American flag flying at the stadium in Lihu’e. I phoned the Mayor but he was very busy so I talked with his secretary and told her the problem. I am a Korean Veteran and find this to be very much of an insult. If Kaua’i can’t afford the price of a flag, please e-mail me and I will send $100 towards the the price of a flag.

  • Theodore J. Milenkoff
    Hobart, Ind.

Illegal wiretapping

Where is our Congress if they allow illegal wiretapping. Several members are beginning to stand up and say it is unconstitutional and good for them, but not enough of our Congressmen are taking this seriously enough. We, the people, cannot allow President Bush and his administration to spy on America. Even he isn’t above the law.

  • Catherine Hirsch

Keeping in touch

I truly enjoy reading The Garden Island newspaper. It is well organized and full of good information. Being away from Kaua’i, reading this newspaper I always feel that I’m there and not thousands of miles away. Mahalo.

  • Kawailehua Cotner
    Vienna, Va.

Bush’s budget

What is Bush thinking! Taking out funding for education and medicare and offering tax cuts for the wealthy. As an educator, I’m appalled! Another punch in the stomach for the middle class.

  • Marci Allen

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