Letters for Friday — April 07, 2006

• Our priceless photographer

• Try leaving undeveloped land alone

• Concerned by uncontrolled growth

• Appreciates ‘Uncle Louie’

• Stop and think before we drain

Our priceless photographer

Bravo Dennis Fujimoto.

At long last you were finally given an award for the magical, amazing pictures you take. Editor Adam Harju said it best — even though he has only been with The Garden Island a short time — “Dennis has the ability to translate abstract ideas into images that words simply lack the ability to capture.”

And, as he said, you do this on a daily basis.

Year after year I have watched Dennis go from Ha’ena to Kekaha in the same day — from a tennis match to a baseball game to a flower show and events in between — unbelievably using his cameras and, even more importantly, his experience and instincts to put world class photos on film. I told him long ago that he could put on a great gallery show of his amazing pictures and the people are still waiting.

Few remember when the Wall Street Journal called Kaua’i the “Garbage Island” due to hundreds of wrecked vehicles being dumped all over Kaua’i. Dennis was instrumental in keeping his pictures of these wrecks in The Garden Island and put pressure on the Kusaka administration to clean up their act. And, Dennis took his pictures for maximum effect with tact as he showed a beautiful Kaua’i landscape in the background with an ugly derelict vehicle in the foreground.

I have seen sports action pictures in newspapers from Los Angeles to Chicago to New York to Montreal to Tokyo and none of them can top the ones taken by the Happy Camper — keep up your great work. And whatever The Garden Island is paying you, the amount should be more. You do the jobs of three people and your accomplishments are amazing.

  • Glenn Mickens

Try leaving undeveloped land alone

As a frequent visitor to your lovely island, I am saddened to hear about all the flooding and the seven deaths. I hope Kaua’i recovers quickly.

I commend local radio stations like KKCR for all the work they’ve done to keep people informed during this crisis.

Personally, I feel over-development of the land is a major reason for the flooding.

Natural systems for water runoff have been blocked off by some poor planning and too much development filling in this space and that.

New homes and businesses should only be built where currently existing buildings are, not on undeveloped land.

This way, there can still be development (I call it re-development) but in a sound ecological way.

For example, if I want a home on Kaua’i, I will wait until an already existing house becomes available. Then I can either fix it up or rebuild another home on the same exact property. This gives Kaua’i’s local builders business, plus doesn’t burden Kaua’i ecologically since no new undeveloped land has been eaten up.

If a hotel chain wants a brand new spiffy hotel, they should just rebuild their existing hotel adding a floor and even upping the price of some rooms. This way, they stay in business in a sound ecological way.

The key is to leave the undeveloped land alone.

  • Gary Saylin
    Davis, Calif.

Concerned by uncontrolled growth

Attn: Planning Commission,

We are very fortunate to have been full-time Kaua’i residents for the last six years. We could not imagine living anywhere else. However, we have become increasingly concerned by the impact of uncontrolled growth on our island. Our current problems with our infrastructure — waste disposal, roads, land management, visual and physical access to public property — are made worse, not better, by large developments. The stimulus to our economy is overshadowed by the costs we will bear in the future. We would like to do what we can to help.

LeAnn attended the public Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, March 28, and was very disturbed by the presentation of the D. R. Horton/Schuler development project. We do not need to rehash the problems and objections. You were there and you raised most of them. It is unfortunate that so many people cannot attend the public meetings and even more unfortunate that others have given up hope of having any influence over the process that has such a large impact on their lives.

We will be attending future meetings and would be very interested in any suggestions that you have. There should be a positive role for citizens in these public meetings!

  • Sid and LeAnn Jackson

Appreciates ‘Uncle Louie’

I have known ‘Uncle’ Louie Almodova in ‘Ele’ele for over 20 years. I used to live in California and now in Canada. I met Uncle Louie through a friend and when I first spoke to him I knew he was more than special.

Someday when he is gone (I hope never), they should create a statue of him on Salt Pond Beach. He is the Aloha Spirit. He is so full of love and friend-his spirit remained with me when I got back to the mainland, and all I could do was to generate the love coming from Uncle Louie and the island of Kaua’i to everyone I met.

The people of Kaua’i are so lucky to live there and most of all to have this sweet man living there. He teaches all of us about life. He is a great philosopher. I wonder if he knows that. He is not judgmental, he loves the island and I know that he is there for a reason. He only said a few words to me about a serious problem that I was having. In those few words, he had me smiling and happy. We walked Salt Pond Beach and he went into the water and found some seaweed and told me to eat it. This simple gesture was so appreciated.

He knows everyone and I myself have traveled half the world, and a lot of people in all the places that I had visited know of him. Even in Egypt and in London, and I could go on with the list. If I ever get down all I have to do is think of his sweet smile and his love for the land and life becomes beautiful. Thanks, Louie, much love.

  • Barbara Kaufman

Stop and think before we drain

Before we go and drain all of our reservoirs, we should stop and think about our groundwater supply. Since cane went out and all of that irrigation stopped, I have read that our groundwater tables have fallen drastically. All of our reservoirs contribute to our ground-water. Before we freak out and do something drastic, let’s stop and think! Of course we can all go to Costco and buy lots of cheap water [from China] by the time we run out of our own ground-water. So I guess we don’t really have anything to worry about.

  • Kris Van Dahm

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