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Letters for Thursday — March 02,2006

• Why I’m not a feminist

• Kudos for Officer Stulpe

• Airports similar to ports

• Paradise found

• Where’s mandated bridge?

• Council should have acted swiftly

Why I’m not a feminist

On Feb. 24 (The Garden Island, Forum letters), a writer claimed, “Feminism’s core theory does not stipulate or presume differences between men and women or similarities between men and women. It does not require excluding men and it does not aspire to only further women’s causes.”

If actions of feminist groups and their lobbyists truly reflected this quote, I would be a feminist, but I’m not, and for good reason. They don’t.

  • Danilo Dalugan

Kudos for Officer Stulpe

I want to commend the actions of Officer Stulpe of the Kaua’i Police Department. He brought a sense of safety to me and to my friends the other evening that allayed our fears. He was courteous, conscientious and above all, had a caring attitude. It is really wonderful to live on this island and feel such warmth and protection from a member of our police department. Something is going right with our County government.

  • E. Snyder

Airports similar to ports

I appreciate Stan Godes’ comments in his letter on Jan. 27 (The Garden Island, Forum letters). Everyone talks about security and how we, the U.S. will lose it. Let’s look at the facts. They are pretty simple. Dubai Ports World, an international shipping company controlled by the UAE, an oil-rich Persian Gulf state and one of America’s few allies in the Middle East, purchased a British shipping company and with it contracts to ONLY manage a small number of the terminals at major ports in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Miami.

Many foreign companies, including ones from Singapore and China, operate U.S. shipping terminals. Even so, government agencies — NOT the companies — remain in charge of inspecting cargo and ships. The dock workers are generally unionized longshoremen. And no one is farming out security to an Arab nation. In fact, many of the Dubai firm’s top executives are American, and the firm has worked with the USA at other ports.

Think of it this way: Airlines, including foreign ones, lease gates and even whole concourses at major airports. Saudi Arabian Airlines and Emirates — an airline based in Dubai — pay to use available gates at New York’s John F. Kennedy. And always, the federal and local authorities handle security. It works just about the same way in ports.

Let’s give it a try without all this hassle, time and money.

  • Stewart Burley

Paradise found

My son and daughter-in-law brought me from the Mainland to your beautiful Island the first week in February to celebrate my 80th birthday.

My daughter has lived in Kaleheo with her twin sons for three-and-a-half years so she took us to as many beautiful places as time allowed. It was the trip of a lifetime.

The lu’au was special. At ‘Anini Beach, I walked into the water up to my ankles, felt the sand move under my feet, and “sat” down on ‘Anini Beach. I loved it. Watching the sunset at Salt Pond was fantastic. Although money, and time, are short, I must try to come back to Paradise again.

  • Jane Bronson
    Redwood Falls, Minn.

Where’s mandated bridge?

At the County Council meeting on Feb. 22 council members Mel Rapozo and Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho each gave a brilliant, passionate dialogue on why our system is broken.

Specifically, they gave the history of a pedestrian bridge that was mandated to be built over the canal between the Safe-way shopping center and the Foodland shopping center over 26 years ago and to this day there is still no bridge in place.

Remember that it is a MANDATE — NOT AN OPTION — that was part of the permitting process when that project was first started. And yet, through 26 years and five planning directors — who are tasked with seeing that the laws are enforced — this mandate has been ignored.

As a citizen, do you think that you could get a speeding ticket and just ignore it for 26 years without any penalty? Also, as the two council members pointed out, the mandate stays with the permit no matter how many times the shopping centers change hands so there is no legal way to waive this law.

Being a lawyer, councilwoman Carvalho pointed out that there are both civil and criminal fines that go along with this ordinance being out of compliance and yet no one to date has been fined nor disciplined for this flagrant violation.

This is only one more example of our county system being broken and vividly points out why we need Councilman Rapozo’s performance audit as well as needing a County Manager type system that can correct so many irregularities and faults ingrained in the system the way it is.

  • Glenn Mickens

Council should have acted swiftly

A wise man once said, “A successful politician is one smart enough not to do something dumb enough to make the voters decide they’ve had enough.”

If that theory is true then a number of elected officials may have cause for concern this year.

Voters need look no further than our esteemed County Council when it comes time to say ‘enough already.’

It’s not an easy task to measure the effectiveness of our elected officials until they do something so boneheaded that it adversely affects the entire community. Just such a breach of the public’s trust took place last year when the council failed to act on the mayor’s request to remove a controversial police commissioner.

If the council had exercised its authority and removed Leon Gonsalves from his seat on the commission, it is unlikely things would have ever gotten this ugly. It’s also fair to say, by replacing Gonsalves with someone untainted by scandal, that the case (if indeed one ever materialized) against Lum would be devoid of the obvious prejudice that has spawned a federal lawsuit with the potential of costing the county so much, it may scare the council into permanent executive session.

It’s plain that while the council had the power to defuse an explosive situation, it lacked the courage to act swiftly and decisively in the public’s best interest. It also left open the argument that the county is unwilling to take action against racial stereotyping even when most everyone agrees the incident was too blatant to ignore.

  • Fred von Wiegen

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