Letters for Tuesday • May 9, 2006

• Dogs, drownings concern longtime isle newsman

• Anahola warning signs are essential!

• Lots of info available

• Bottom line on dogs

• Mauna did it on his own

Dogs, drownings concern longtime isle newsman

As a newsman on Kaua‘i for the last 15 years, I try to avoid getting involved in public debates, but in these two cases, I consider it my responsibility to weigh in.

Last Friday, a pack of hunting dogs wandered onto the playground of Hanalei Elementary School, where I was a visiting substitute teacher. The school dealt with the situation professionally, and promptly secured the children, contacted the owners and had the dogs caged before they caused any serious threat. But the potential threat still exists. What would have happened if these, or any other dogs, went unnoticed? What if the owners had not been contacted and the administration had not acted so quickly?

Our schools are well prepared for dealing with a tsunami, but a much more eminent threat, such as the one we experienced, there are no specific guidelines for. At the minimum schools should be equipped with pepper spray and a net.

In recent years I can recall at least a half-dozen stories involving dog attacks on Kaua‘i, including the tragic mauling death of a young child in Moloa‘a. (That dog was attached to a chain but the chain extended to the path that the child used daily.) The potential of a similar attack on a school campus is far too serious to be taken lightly.

On a separate issue, last Saturday I covered the drowning incident at Anahola. Everyone that I interviewed had one question. “Why is there only one sign on all of Anahola Beach warning tourists of the heavy rip current?” That particular sign is at the end of the beach in an obscure location and it is doubtful that the missing boy’s mother (who died Monday morning at Wilcox Hospital), ever saw it. Just because it is Hawaiian Homelands does not mean that tourists do not frequent that area. They certainly do. If there is no budget for new signs, perhaps they should take a few of the many signs from the east end of Lumahai Beach and put them in Anahola where they can do the most good.

  • Terence Moeller

Anahola warning signs are essential!

A few years ago my brother-in-law and my daughter almost drowned in the exact same spot as our Colorado visitors. How many more lives need to be lost in Anahola Bay before someone posts a “Caution Bad Current, Dangerous Swimming” sign?

I am a long-time resident of Anahola and it saddens me every time we lose someone in our own back yard. I am constantly warning the visitors I encounter on our beach to watch out for two specific parts of the bay that are well-known by locals for their undercurrents. One is on the Hanalei/north side of the existing pillars and the other is in the center of the bay called Middles. Resident surfers are constantly rescuing and warning tourists, but this is not enough.

It’s about time our county addresses this issue and puts up two permanent signs to warn these innocent victims. It will save lives, the integrity of Anahola and our tourist industry.

  • Aunty Aggie Marti-Kini

Lots of info available

Michael Mann proclaims his ignorance of what the Humane Society policies and programs have been (TGI 5/6/06); but does not let that stop him from assuming the worst, complaining about his assumption, calling the organization a farce based on his assumption, and referring to the director, Dr. Rhoades, as “Becky” in a derisive context. He then insists that, in return for this treatment, he is owed an explanation since ignorance is an excuse if you’ve traveled to the Mainland.

Well, Mikey, maybe I can help you out.

If you have a computer, go to the TGI Web site and do an advanced 3-year search in the Archives using “Humane Society Director” or other such keywords. You’ll get a plethora of articles that will fill you in.

If you don’t have a computer, give the Humane Society a call. I believe they’re listed.

  • Peter Antonson

Bottom line on dogs

There has been a very good debate about dogs and the public on both sides of the issue. I’ve had several dogs and can attest that it’s possible to love a dog just like they were a family member. One thing to remember, however, is that regardless of our emotional ties, dogs are not people. They are animals that react more on instinct and training than brainpower. Sorry to break this news to those who consider dogs their children with human rights. They are not.

Unfortunately, there is a large percentage of “Dog Masters” on Kaua‘i who are irresponsible to the point of stupidity. Because of this group of inconsiderate souls, the rest of us suffer. Wouldn’t it be nice if all dogs were well-trained and socialized, all owners carried doggie bags to collect their feces, and all owners provided medical care to assure no worms, fleas, or other transmittable diseases. If that were the case, dogs would be welcomed by everyone. It’s not. My family’s had a dog defecate less than 2 feet from my 3-year-old daughter and her sand castle. I’ve had a dog pee on my beach chair, and I witnessed a small boy being attacked by a dog at Kealia Beach because he ran to the water and got too close to a dog’s “Master’s” chair. The police were called.

Bottom line. You can bring your dog to the beach, and other public areas, if they are extremely well trained/socialized and have been taught never to jump on strangers; you have invented infallible “doggie diapers” and agree to change these diapers regularly or, you keep your dog on a leash and clean up their mess 100 percent of the time, and you have learned how to use a trash can. Until then, those irresponsible few who can’t even do the least of these have ruined it for us all.

  • Gordon Oswald

Mauna did it on his own

I recently read an article by Lester Chang that cited a quotation from my son Maunakea Higuera-Trask. He was identified as the son of Arthur “Pepe” Trask. I take issue with the patriarchy that continues to associate children to the line of their father and ignores the single mothers that bear them and raise them, especially in the case of absentee fathers. I am proud of my son’s accomplishments and he has achieved them on his own with the help of another woman, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop and Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate, for without her help and foresight Mauna would have had a much more difficult time protecting his beloved Kaua’i.

  • Norma Jean Higuera-Trask
    Green Valley, Ariz.

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