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Letters for Monday — April 17, 2006

• New info on Lum controversy

• Kapa’a can’t handle any more traffic

• The ongoing Iran war


New info on Lum controversy

I wish to praise the reach of The Garden Island to the caring readers on this island, based on the many messages from my unknown (and, unfortunately, largely unacknowledged) whistle blowers within and without the county government.

What these good citizens have supplied me will further clarify what has been going on in this government of ours. These new revelations have elevated the seriousness of the misconduct of certain parts of our government that I feel it is time for me to forsake the whimsical veneer to my exposés (to which some of my straight-laced friends have occasional taken exception) and revert to plain English.

It transpired that the Ethics Board did not, apparently, forward to the County Council (or the Clerk of the Council) the complete “Hearing Officer’s Report,” BOE No. 94-001 (a). The concealment went further than that, in that the Board of Ethics as well as the County Council did not, at any time, in reporting to the general public, reveal the fact that the Board of Ethics had conducted a contested case hearing. A contested hearing is, by its very nature, open to the public. Its report by the Hearing Officer is, again, a public document. The ethics board only referred to the hearing officer as a retired judge from some other island. Withholding from the Council and from the public the totality of the hearing officer’s report and not even telling the public that there had been a contested case hearing seems to be the height of unsavory and unethical conduct.

It is apparent now that we, the public, have the complete record, the last paragraph of the hearing officer’s report appears to be the very reason the Ethics Board chose to behave unethically! Here is that last paragraph:

“The evidence supporting these facts certainly tends to cast some doubt on the fairness of the selection process. Although this evidence tends to establish a bias on the part of at least some commission members, it does not establish any specific violation of the Charter or Code by Commissioner Ching individually.

For this reason, the hearing officer declines to conclude that the findings of fact set forth in Section D of complainant’s proposed findings establish a particular violation of the charter or code by Commissioner Ching.

Respectfully submitted this 23rd day of February, 2006.

(signed)

E. John McConnell

Hearing Officer………..”

One would surmise that Judge McConnell might not be too happy at the way his hearing officer’s report has been unethically emasculated by the Kauai County Ethics Board.

One interesting matter appearing in the redacted submittal of the EB to the Council is this: “Paragraph IV, sub-paragraph (2) Lieutenant Lum’s failure to act during the infamous ‘lap dancing’ incident was ignored;” Ooops! Why is the Ethics Board hiding this item from the Council? I am not privy to all the sordid details of this “infamous incident.” Perhaps some of my legion of whistle blowers will enlighten TGI readers.

One must wonder what new tricks the Mayor, the Ethics Board and the Council will now concoct to enable this farce to continue.

  • Raymond L. Chuan
    Hanalei

Kapa’a can’t handle any more traffic

As a businessman on Kuhio Highway in Kapa’a for nearly 30 years, I have seen the increase in vehicular traffic lead to bottlenecks, the loss of on-street parking, the backup of vehicles due to construction, and traffic jams due to auto accidents. So now we’re supposed to embrace nearly 1,000 more parking stalls?

In a front-page article in the April 14, 2006, issue, you wrote that Laurence Smith, a manager with Coconut Beach Development, said that those staying at the resorts are not all expected to be traveling on the road at the same time or during peak commute hours. Well, duh! This comment rates right up there with “this won’t hurt a bit” or “don’t worry, he doesn’t bite.” Visitors WILL be on the road at all hours of the day “doing their thing.”

One more vehicle on Kuhio High-way right now is one too many. I can’t imagine that any currently proposed traffic improvements would accommodate 1,000 more cars in the Kapa’a area. Add in vehicular traffic from the rest of the island plus all the delivery vehicles and you will still have major traffic issues. Your contributions will only shift the traffic congestion to another site.

The only way to influence traffic flow in and out of your property is to put up a sign at the parking lot exit that says. “No right or left turns between “5 a.m. and 7 p.m.”

  • Miles Lahr
    Kapa’a

The ongoing Iran war

Yesterday a fifth retired U.S. military general called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. Their reason was that he is arrogant and a bad planner who does not listen to experts.

Today, retired colonel Sam Gardiner appeared on CNN. Two years ago he participated in a war game focused on attacking Iran. That in itself is no surprise.

But Gardiner made clear that an air attack against Iran would be anything but surgical. The Iranian nuclear program is scattered and buried. At least a half dozen sites would need to be destroyed to seriously impair the program.

He also made the case that the Iranians would not take such an attack laying down. About 20 military sites would have to be hit simultaneously to keep an immediate air attack from imperiling U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait.

Even if we could disable Iran’s missiles and air force from striking our forces in Gulf Region, it is very unlikely that we could keep the Iranians from cutting off the Straits of Hormuz by using their Navy to lay conventional underwater mines.

After the first supertanker explodes hitting a mine or being hit with a torpedo, oil flow from the Gulf would dry up. Economic chaos will follow.

Moreover, the independent groups, like Hezbula and Hamas, that have been supported by Iran, would soon create many serious challenges to U.S. interests throughout the Middle East. In short, Sam Gardiner pointed out that any overt involvement in a conflict with Iran would escalate into an intractable regional war.

He also added that in his discussion with people who know about our covert operations, he sees evidence that the ground war against Iran has already begun. Rumors have persisted for over a year about U.S. military black operations in Iran. And recently there have been increasing reports from Iran concerning conflicts between U.S. forces and Republican Guards.

Obviously, a simmering regional war is going on throughout the Middle East. Now Bush & Company are leaking hints of using tactical nuclear weapons on Iran to see what the reaction will be amongst a war-weary population.

If you don’t want to see us ignite into World War IV, it’s time to reach out to your elected representatives and make some noise. Tell your Bush, Inouye, Akaka, Abercrombie and Case what you think before it won’t matter.

  • Juan Wilson
    Hanapepe
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