Letters for Saturday — April 22, 2006

• Dog owner a good man

• Kapa’a traffic doesn’t only affect commuters

• What about Kamalani Playground?

• Date to get a date

• More questions on the dam


Dog owner a good man

Please accept this letter in response to your article dated April 18 entitled “Dog’s death defines problem.” I would like to express my sincere condolences to John and Pam Crawford for the loss of their pet Kiani.

This letter is to shed some light on what I consider to be a one-sided misrepresentation of hunters, animal lovers and neighbors in our small town of Kekaha. For most of my 40 years of life, I have had the honor of residing two houses away from Danny Smith, a man who I consider to be courageous, kind-hearted, humble, and most of all, a man of integrity.

For as far back as I can remember, Danny Smith has been a hunter and responsible caregiver to his animals. When I was a young child growing up in our quiet town of Kekaha, my brother, sister and I along with other neighborhood children would often venture into the Smith’s yard to play with their children. At no time did we ever feel threatened or at-risk from being attacked by their dogs. Later as I became a mother, I would often bring my children to the Smith house to introduce them to Danny’s dogs, mules and other pets who were around at the time. It was our neighborhood’s home-grown petting zoo. Danny Smith has always been conscientious about confining his animals to his property that is completely fencedin, and I have never seen them roaming the streets unattended.

Your article unfairly depicts hunters as law-breaking barbarians, untrained and lacking of compassionate skills required to raise a domestic animal. This stereotyping of hunters is unjust. On the contrary, the hunters in my neighborhood, with Danny Smith at the top of the list, exemplify the right amount of discipline required to control their animals. The dedication set forth by these hunters often finds them spending many hours tending to their kennels. With regard to compassion, I know of countless trips that Danny Smith has made in and out of the rough terrain of Koke’e to recover dogs who have lost their way.

As a reminder, prior to the modern conveniences of helicopters, GPS and other electronic tracking devices, the success of search and rescue missions on Kaua’i depended entirely upon the skills of experienced hunters/mountain men and their dogs.

A retired firefighter for the county of Kaua’i, Danny Smith has personally experienced the joys of saving lives, and the inevitable sadness due to loss of life. He has dedicated many years of his own life protecting the people of Kaua’i and knowing Danny Smith, as many others do, he undoubtedly feels terrible about this incident.

The situation that concerns me is the current upset of our once peaceful neighborhood. Developing trust and loyalty between neighbors, co-existing in a small town that supports strong moral values such as honesty and integrity, is not something that comes overnight. It has taken us many decades and several generations to sustain this balance of country living which we hold near and dear to our hearts. We’ve supported each other through economic adversity, natural disasters and just the every-day stress of life. The threat of upsetting this balance now presents itself and I for one, will not stand silently by and allow this incident to dictate change in our cultural values.

Danny Smith is a trustworthy neighbor who brings warmth, and as a result of his first-responder expertise, also brings a degree of safety to the people of Elepaio and Akialoa Roads. Further-more, the culture of our local hunters will continue to be at-risk, and unappreciated with the type of negative press that always seems to find its way to the front page of newspapers.

  • Brenda Kehaulani Sialana Jose
    Kekaha

Kapa’a traffic doesn’t only affect commuters

As a businessman on Kuhio Highway in Kapa’a I can see the writing on the wall as the traffic becomes more of a problem not only for commuters.

With Costco under construction, and Home Depot already open, what about the businesses that will be impacted and perhaps close down. Not because their services or prices are out of line, but just because it is difficult to get there. Cost-U-less, which has always offered great values, employees, and service is just one example. The island of Kaua’i thrives on small businesses, why are we trying to destroy them?

The plans for by-pass routes, feeder roads etc. sound great, but don’t happen. At least stop the increase in traffic until a solution is actually in motion instead of just talked about.

  • Danny Lepley
    Kapa’a

What about Kamalani Playground?

Over a week ago I wrote to Mayor Bryan Baptiste asking how the County planned to clean up the contamination of Kamalani Playground. I have yet to get any answers.

Raw sewage sat on that playground for days and the wood chips that fill in around the swings and slides were soaked in it.

Do we here on Kaua`i have to wait until someone dies of disease before we address this problem?

I would appreciate a public answer to this important question.

  • Kay Obloy
    Wailua Homesteads

Date to get a date

It has been over five weeks since the disastrous and deadly Ka Loko Dam breach and still we do not even have a date to get a date for the start of the debris clean-up from the county, state or federal government.

Residents affected by this calamity have been told that initial monies are available from the NRCS with 75 percent coming from the federal government and 25 percent from a local sponsor, which, apparently, is the county. Debris jams comprised of thousands of rotting trees and other materials, some forty feet high and forty feet wide, still impede the flow of the Wailapa Stream. Old cars, fuel tanks and household items continue to litter the stream bed and contaminate soil and water. Thousands of cubic yards of top soil have been washed into the Kilauea River and out to the ocean. Who is taking the lead here on clean up and erosion control? When are we going to see some action? When will we get a date to get a date?

  • Mary and Bob Capwell
    Kilauea

More questions on the dam

Can your investigative reporter tell us which real estate company sold the land where the dam broke? Can we see what was disclosed in regards to this potential problem on the sales agreement? Finally, can we see what political contributions were made to which politicians from real estate companies? You owe it to your readers to answer these questions.There is a reason why these politicians are showing up and we deserve to know why.

  • Jim Holbrook
    Koloa
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