Letters for Tuesday — April 25, 2006

• Proposed moratorium is a farce

• Better set rules first

• Auto dealers need to sell autos not education

Proposed moratorium is a farce

Jay Fufaro, JoAnn Yukimora and the rest of the county council have been approving all kinds of development with total disregard to the infrastructure (roads…) since taking office. Now (all of a sudden) they are proposing a moratorium against the development that is “out of control.”

Who do they think have been the ones to approve all of this “out of control” development? Do they never look in the mirror? Typical two-faced politicians wanting to take credit for the “economic development” and then wanting to “save Kaua’i from all of the development.”

  • Chris Webster

Better set rules first

I read with interest the request for use of state lands near Anahola for off-road dirt bikes and other ATVs. I live in an area in Kapa’a with a birds-eye view of the antics of at least six dirt-bike riders. Here in essence is what I see daily of the total irresponsibility of these particular bikers:

  • Speeds of 50 – 60 mph on Mailihuna road in front of Kapaa High School with a posted speed limit of 15 mph when school is in session
  • “Wheelies” at these high speeds apparently to impress the school kids
  • Noise levels that surely exceed the allowed limit and all this with children present.

Let me say I am certain not all bikers on Kaua’i fall into this category of disrespect for speed and noise levels, but these guys certainly do. If you want understanding and cooperation from the public, show respect to the public. And to those of you around the proposed lands … better set some rules first.

  • Patrick Smith

Auto dealers need to sell autos not education

This is in response to the article in The Garden Island on April 23, 2006, “Auto dealers laud education bill.” I am quite shocked and angry that our state legislators are actually considering Senate Bill 3059 from the Hawai’i automobile dealers. Imagine — auto dealers wheeling and dealing in education! That is ridiculous! The bill, if passed, would be harmful to our students and education. One of the functions of the bill they are lauding is to establish a core curriculum that would be imposed on all our kids — a core curriculum that would be shallow, elitist, one-size-fits-all, and culturally insensitive. It would have a very narrow vision of what true education of our children is.

I am just finishing up a masters degree in curriculum and instruction with 27 other esteemed and bright teachers, resource teachers, and principals on Kaua’i and we, along with the many other knowledgeable and professional teachers in Hawai’i know curriculum isn’t a “car dealers’ education.”

Curriculum is much more than being able to sell autos. It is much more than the elitist and narrow vision of E.D. Hirsch, Jr. who without a doubt, involved with this bill and in establishing a core curriculum in Hawai’i and making a profit from the books on the “supposed” curriculum he has authored.

The bill is insulting to teachers who should have the main voice when there are discussions of curriculum. We know the educational needs of our students best. Shame on our legislators for even considering this naive and potentially harmful bill! Auto dealers need to stop wheeling and dealing in public education!

  • Michael Kline
    Teacher at Kilauea Elementary School

Regarding full-time members

While I very much respect our Kaua’i council members and very much appreciate all their enormous contributions and trying and difficult efforts; I have mixed feelings about the shift to full-time council members. Here’s why.

The current council appears to be well-educated with very good thinking minds and far-reaching (but undisclosed) visions. Making our council members full-time would require more and more aptitude on each of their part to keep up with the horrendous amounts of reading materials and mental demands placed on all of them, today and in the future.

But here’s the concern: as the degree of qualifications to be a council member soar past the average citizen, as we move further each year into modernity, we are preventing some of those without these educational qualifications to serve our community.

Those precluded from serving all of us may actually in the long run be those very people who could serve in the best interest of the future of Kaua’i.

While we are being served at all levels of county government by astute individuals elected, appointed, and hired; we cannot overlook, ignore, or pass over the many problems our community struggles with.

What I am saying is that perhaps it would be best for Kaua’i to keep the system simple. Allowing perhaps those less educated, but no less capable of steering the future of the aina, a chance to participate … and save Kaua’i before our quality of life deteriorates further. We need leaders who can honestly say “Enough is enough.” On Kaua’i more is not necessarily better. Part-time councilmembers with two-term limits may be our best chance at quality of life.

  • Jay Trennoche

Dog park isn’t the answer

In response to Bobbie Love’s letter of April 24, do dogs have a “socialization switch” that is turned off when they are on a leash? This must be “new biology.” Since when is it not possible for dogs to socialize with other dogs while at the end of a leash being held by its owner?

I believe a dog should not be off leash unless it is contained within boundaries where it can be safe and others can be safe — i.e., within the house in which its owners live or within the closed yard its owner owns. A leash is the only surefire way of protecting your pet and making sure it is not doing something to endanger itself or others. A beach or park set aside for dog use is devoid of ANY guarantee of safety, especially if dog owners are going to use this as an excuse for abrogating their responsibility for watching their pets.

  • Michael D. Mann

School calendar switch cost too much

Could someone explain the $24-million cost of switching over to a single school calendar?

Seems to me a simple note to parents and news reports stating the schools calendars should be sufficient and way less costly. Must be a “scam” of some kind.

  • Ralph Ross

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