Letters for Tuesday — April 11, 2006

• Eye pollution apology

• Revealing assessment mysteries

• Accusations are unwelcome

• A flood is a flood is a flood

Eye pollution apology

Last week, after a three-day stay in Wilcox Hospital to treat a kidney stone, I was released and pleased to find Kaua’i bathed in unexpected sunshine. My pleasure soon turned to dismay, however, as I noticed that virtually every telephone pole on the island was covered in obtrusive yellow paper posters advertising a certain “Damien Marley” concert in Anahola. My dismay was made worse with the knowledge that this event is being co-produced and co-promoted by my company, Ohana Productions.

I want to use this forum to apologize to Kaua’i, because although we did not actively contribute to this deliberate act of promotional ugliness, nor did we even know about it until after it happened (it was the act of an over-eager promotional partner of ours from O’ahu), we are the people ultimately responsible for bringing the group to Kaua’i.

Please know that we are as horrified if not more horrified than you by the rampant postering of the island. Ohana Productions has been doing shows on Kaua’i for over seven years. In this time, we have produced over 300 concert and nightclub events, which by and large have been over-whelmingly supported by the Kaua’i public. Having spent my entire life on Kaua’i, I would never deliberately act to hurt its beauty. Also please know that the people directly responsible for these acts have been severely reprimanded and that efforts are being made to remove the offending posters from the telephone poles.

That being said, if you are somebody who is excited about the upcoming event, please don’t be alarmed if you see people taking down these posters. The event is still going on. We are just trying to restore Kaua’i to its natural beauty. With sunshine should come flowers, not blatant salesmanship.

  • Noah Evslin
    Owner, Ohana Productions

Revealing assessment mysteries

Now that we have all received that little postcard bearing good tidings of the mysterious ways of the County Assessor, it is a good time to reveal some of the mysteries.

Chapter 5A of the Kauai County Code — the Real Property Tax Code — states unequivocally, under Section 5A-8.1, “(a) The director shall cause the fair market value of all taxable real property to be determined and annually assessed by the market data and cost approaches to value using appropriate systematic methods suitable for mass valuation of properties for taxation purposes, so selected and applied to obtain, as far as possible, uniform and equalized assessments throughout the county; …”

To the layman that is quite a mouthful! Nevertheless, the key words are “all taxable real property,” and “uniform and equalized assessments throughout the county.” With those words in mind, let us look at some examples:

The land my home is built on is assessed at $5.5 million per acre; and my neighbors on Aku Road all have about the same assessed land value. That would seem to conform to the “uniform and equalized” words. Then let’s look at some land also on Aku Road — specifically that in Multiple Listing #174608, TMK 4-5-5-2-120. On the county’s Web site this property’s land assessment is $2.82 million, for a land area of 2.19 acres, resulting in a per-acre assessed value of $1.29 million per acre — not exactly “uniform and equally assessment” per the Tax Code!

According to our Planning Department, the subject property is zoned R-4 and 9 dwellings and 1 guest house can be built on it. If you think this is getting bizarre, wait till you see pictures taken by neighbors showing egrets and ducks eating worms in what we call Lake Hanalei which, according to the map, pretty much covers a goodly portion of TMK 4-5-5-2-120. It is really quite a lovely sight, no doubt a good buy at the advertised price of $6.5 million.

All the above is no joke and no whimsy; but it does offer food for thought as we, who are foolish enough to derive pleasure out of probing the mysteries of this county’s property tax system, look to the future when, as the depopulation of Kaua’i residents marches on, we join the exodus.

  • Raymond L. Chuan
    A 38-year resident

Accusations are unwelcome

The April 10 issue contains a letter from Jean Talaro basically excoriating the people of Kaua’i and questioning their integrity because her sister’s lost suitcase has not been returned.

Now, I have some issues with this. First, they don’t even know where the suitcase was lost. Jean, just because you returned to the area where you thought it was lost and it wasn’t there doesn’t mean someone took it. It may just mean that you are looking in the wrong place. Second, the suitcase was lost just three days prior to the publishing of her letter, which means she must have written the letter only one or two days after the suitcase was lost! Is it possible nobody has come forward because nobody has seen the thing? It could be in a ditch or patch of weeds away from view for all you know.

Why does Jean blame all of Kaua’i when she provides no proof whatsoever that this suitcase was picked up by someone and spirited away? This is clearly the lesson we are supposed to take from her diatribe.

This is yet another example of people trying to find scapegoats and villains for their problems, and refusing to look at issues sensibly. Rather than think she has made a mistake in her assumptions, Jean has chosen to castigate Kauaians for losing their aloha spirit. Perhaps the thing that has changed most here is Jean’s attitude toward her home and its people. I think all Kauaians should let Jean know that her accusations are not welcome, and are unbecoming of a person who was “born and raised here.”

Yeah, Kauaians should be ashamed, but not of themselves. Not in this instance.

  • Michael Mann

A flood is a flood is a flood

This is to set the record straight after having it twisted by Michelle Carroll writing from Grass Valley, Calif. She criticizes The Garden Island for calling the result of the Ka Loko dam breach a flood suggesting it might more accurately be called “a reverse tsunami.”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary is on the side of the newspaper with the definition of a flood being “a rising and overflowing of a body of water especially onto normally dry land; also: a condition of overflowing (rivers in flood).”

What are you supposed to call it when a water pipe breaks and the basement is flooded?

  • C.M. Ashman
    Tri-Cities, Wash.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.