Letters for Thursday — March 09, 2006

• Project’s partner shares his view

Project’s partner shares his view

Reading Lester Chang’s March 1 article, “Developers must address traffic,” makes me feel that some of those who expressed concerns about traffic and infrastructure connected with the Coconut Beach development at the Feb. 28 Planning Commission meeting are on the right track but at the wrong time.

As one of the development’s managing partners, I couldn’t agree more that our community needs relief from congestion on Kuhio Highway. But first we need to finish the important work we have started with our community partners and obtain the necessary County and State approvals. Only then can we access the resources needed to alleviate traffic. That is the right track and the right time.

Now is not the time to hold up projects that could bring as much as $12 million for infrastructure improvements for our community.

We want to be good neighbors. That is why we have held more than 20 meetings with local business, government and community leaders since we began this process more than year ago. While we’ve heard a lot of community support, we also learned about people’s concerns. And we’ve been working for over a year-and-a-half to address those.

We recognize traffic congestion cannot be ignored, even though all studies indicate our project will have minimal impact on traffic. So we hired a traffic-engineering firm to recommend how to improve the situation. As a result, we’ve committed up to $5 million to pay for traffic improvements in our neighborhood.

We are also working with the County Water Department. We have agreed to pay 20 percent of the cost of a new pipeline from the tank to Kapa’a-Waipouli. We are also working on funding much-needed upgrades to the Wailua Wastewater Treatment Plant. These improvements will benefit the community as a whole, not just our development.

Our hotel management company will also participate in a hospitality industry training program at Kaua’i Community College and Kapa’a High School to help our young people develop the skills needed for well-paying management positions in the island’s largest industry.

Real leadership means bringing people together to address everyone’s concerns and finding solutions all of us can live with. That is what we are committed to.

  • Mitch Heller
    Coconut Beach Development LLC

Smarter to legalize pot

No matter how many jail cells and recovery programs we open, there will always be a demand for drugs. We’d be better off “picking our poison” than fruitlessly stamping out fires in the hope of eradicating drug use. In my opinion, our society would be better off with a cheap and legal supply of marijuana than with cheap booze and meth. Marijuana has been proven to be far safer than any other intoxicant, including alcohol. It appears that the popluarity of methamphetamine has risen as the availabilty of pot has declined.

Here’s something to ponder over your next Budweiser: would we rather have our kids smoking weed and eating cookie dough, or smoking ice, staying awake for a week, racing around in their cars and stabbing their girlfriends?

If human history is any indication, a certain percentage of people will get high no matter what we do. Let’s get smart for once and legalize marijuana.

  • Katie Rose

What about Kulana?

I was just wondering why there have not been any comments/concerns about the Kulana development project in regard to our overdevelopment. This also seems like a big problem for our beautiful small island. Please, everyone come to the Planning Commission meeting April 11 and help save our island.

  • LeAnn Jackson

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