Letters for Saturday — April 29, 2006

• Dog beach a delight

• Another plea for controlled development

• O’ahu has reader wondering

• Dog meeting ‘a big failure’

Dog beach a delight

Bobbie Love’s article about a place for dogs to frolic and socialize is a subject that has been on my mind for weeks. We have always had dogs rescued from the pound or humane society, and when we moved here 10 years ago from San Diego, we thought “How wonderful that dogs are allowed on the beach.” But, as she said, that didn’t last very long before someone complained and the leash law went into effect.

The idea of dog beaches is an excellent idea, and one that we had personally experienced in San Diego. There were three beaches that we used: Mission Bay, Ocean Beach and Coronado, and there were lots more. Saturdays and Sundays, these places bustled with people and dogs. At the entrances to the beach were “put-and-take” boxes for excess plastic bags with which to clean up after your dog, and a large trash can for deposits. And not all the beach-goers were dog-owners, either. Some just enjoyed watching the animals running and swimming together.

There were hardly ever any fights, because the dogs saw this as neutral ground and shared it. Friendships were formed between folks who met there every weekend. All in all it was a win-win situation. Dogs enjoyed it, people enjoyed it and, most of all, the city enjoyed it because it created less problems. Presently, we have three dogs (all from the humane society) who love the beach, but I don’t take them because they can’t run free there, so they are better off at home where they can run free. But I feel it’s a shame, and we really do need it here.

Dr. Rhoades is always talking about socializing dogs, and this is a great way to accomplish just that. We really need designated dog beaches here.

  • Elizabeth L. Ferris

Another plea for controlled development

The many zoning changes and the continued building taking place on the island, and the most recent projects proposed in Po’ipu and Koloa, are of concern to residents who question the rationale for zoning changes that should be approved by the Land Use Commission prior to the county considering these building-permit requests.

Development in this area should be controlled for the following reasons:

1. Both the County Council and the Planning Commission have talked about a moratorium on the new developments for several years. Not only has there been no moratorium, but there has been up-zoning to permit more and more development.

2. Traffic impacts are negatively impacting this area, and nothing is being done to mitigate them. Any new building would worsen traffic to an intolerable level. The lack of parking space is negatively affecting businesses, and there are no sidewalks, making it difficult and unsafe to walk around Koloa town.

3. There is no benefit to the local people who live in the area. The historic feeling of Koloa is being lost by overbuilding. Lovely old trees, appreciated by residents and visitors, would be removed. There is little increase in affordable housing, including housing for workers in the new developments. There is an overall loss of agricultural lands, and loss of view planes. The few beaches in the area have become overcrowded. This crowding impacts Hawaiian monk seals who need quiet beaches on which to haul out and reproduce. Habitat, critical to their survival as an endangered species, must be a major factor to consider in development plans for Koloa/Po’ipu. The very things that tourists come to the island to see are being given away to outside developers.

4. Much of Po’ipu is in a flood zone, as evidenced by flooding during Hurricane ‘Iniki and the past weeks’ flooding. The flood zone is exactly where much of the proposed development would occur.

The overall effect of building in Koloa/Po’ipu must be taken into account before decisions for expansion can be considered. This is an area that has clearly reached its carrying capacity. Any zoning changes should be brought before the Land Use Commission, with hearings held, so community members living in the vicinity can attend. Until such zoning changes are approved by the Land Use Commission, it is premature to consider issuing any building permits requiring changes in zoning.

  • Marge Freeman

O’ahu has reader wondering

I keep thinking about the grand jury and FBI investigation of the Honolulu police officers and others involved in gambling (cock-fighting) on O’ahu.

Cock-fighting is illegal in Hawai’i, as is cruelty to animals. We human beings are supposed to be a cut above animals. How can anyone knowingly and willingly participate in animal cruelty — especially by supporting the attachment of razor knives to the legs of roosters and watching them fight to the death? What would those people say if they had to explain their behavior to their children?

  • Carol Curran

Dog meeting ‘a big failure’

Please allow me one more comment about the dog meeting at the humane society last Thursday (April 20). It was, in my opinion, a big failure, an event that featured shouting and statements unrelated to the task at hand. Dr. Becky made it very clear at the beginning that this was not a hunting-dog issue but a dog issue, and we were gathered to collect suggestions how to prevent future attacks on animals and possibly humans. There were three distinct groups present with different viewpoints. The largest, of course, (was) the pig hunters, who feared that their dogs were accused of being the criminals and that this meeting was the beginning of “let’s stop hunting 250-pound pigs with the help of dogs.” So there was an isolated tragedy, but they have been hunting with dogs since Kamehameha days, and should continue to do so. It is just part of this island.

Another group, I call them “the song-and-dance people,” does not understand that a vicious dog attacks and injures simply because it is chained and never socialized with other dogs, in other words, it has been made into a killer. Now there are a few of us who ask to have the present laws on the books obeyed, and owners punished according to the seriousness of the crime. Yes, we went to court and the judge fined the owner of an attack dog that injured our dog $50 for violating the leash law, and ordered her to pay me $67.95 (for) vet bills which have yet to arrive. That pit had done it before, and will do it again. So, do not walk your animal on Kaehulua Road or, if you must, carry a big stick. In our case, humane society, the prosecution and the judge dropped the ball, in that order. How come on the Kirkland side of Seattle there is a “For dogs only park” called Marymoore that has up to 50 dogs in it on any given day, and they all get along fine? Thanks, Bobbie Love, for your comments.

  • Fred F. Deckwitz

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