Letters for Saturday • May 13, 2006

• Thankful for paving

• Shell game or just straight BS?

• Patterson hit ‘developer’

nail on head

• Let’s look at ethanol

Thankful for paving

It’s finally nice to see various areas being paved.

Only it’s sad to know that it took so long to make it right, after all our vehicles have been thrown out of line.

Oh yeah I forgot, isn’t it election year. HMMMM!

  • Howard Tolbe

Shell game or just straight BS?

I applaud John Patterson’s Letter to the Editor in Friday’s The Garden Island regarding developers on Kaua‘i.

First, let me say that I’ve only been here for seven years, but in that time, I’ve seen some of the most unscrupulous, manipulative and dishonest people in the form of developers that I’d ever witnessed on the Mainland. Perhaps [expletive deleted] smells worse when it’s on a smaller plot of grass.

How ironic is it that we, as an island, allow elected officials to make decisions that affect the minority of the population instead of the majority? Why is the county council and its members allowing any development at all? The ratio of the population reaping the benefits of these developments is far smaller than those who have to put up with the repercussions of the results.

There’s no coincidence that people appointed to positions of authority are also sitting on the County Council. Isn’t that what we in the real world call “a conflict of interests?” Wake up.

And why haven’t we heard from more of these developers in this forum? We’ve heard from a lot of citizens who’ve voiced their opinions on development, but to my knowledge, only one developer has come forward to defend their position.

I think John’s point about worker bees is completely valid. I’m not in the worker bee category, but I see the repercussions of this cyclical pattern more than ever before. People on Kaua‘i will continue to leave the island if they cannot attain positions that mean something and add to their quality of life, not quantity of work. As someone who runs a business on this island, I’ve seen person after person apply for a job that only keeps them in the same economic position they’ve been in for years. No aspirations for being anything more than what they already are. No hopes, no dreams, no nada. Why? Because they have to work so very hard to eke out a living here that there’s no time for higher education once they hit the job market, and they can’t afford to not hit the job market.

I think we outta take a good, long, hard look at these people we’ve voted into office. While I know many of them, and they seem to be very fine people outside of that council room, what happens when they cross that threshold? For years, lack of infrastructure and too much development has been an issue on this rock. It’s like a cancer. Just because it’s a little tumor doesn’t mean it’s not going to kill you.

What’s the problem with just saying “no”? No more development. No more. What’s the problem? Kaua‘i doesn’t need more jobs, it needs to offer better jobs.

Developers don’t seek out products and services from local business either. Shouldn’t that have been a requirement in their contracts with the County? I mean, if we’re talking about helping to build the economy of Kaua‘i through their developments, why do they outsource to Honolulu or the Mainland? I know this firsthand, and there’s nothing that can be said to argue it.

It’s what local government has allowed. It’s what we have allowed them to do. It’s what will continue to happen.

Let’s hear from the developers. Let’s hear from the County Council. Let’s talk about something more important than a footbridge connecting a shopping center. Let’s talk about councilmembers who have a conflict of interests that were appointed by US. Let’s talk about something other than the same ‘ol stuff.

I’m not some dirt-headed, peace-loving throwback to the 60s, but seriously, what’s wrong with a “walk on the city council,” a protest on the front lawn, a loud and clear “no” from all of us.

And you developers who think you’re flying just below the radar? Careful boys, flying that low may just get your throat’s slit by flying into a power line. There’s not a living soul on this island who doesn’t know who you are and what you’re all about. Think about it.

  • Jeff Hayes

Patterson hit ‘developer’ nail on head

I would just like to say “Amen, Brother!” to John Patterson for his recent letter “Developers don’t get it.” He hit the nail right on the head.

The only issue I had was the comment “Train us to be accountants, marketing executives, doctors and lawyers…” While I definitely agree that Kauaians need better jobs with better opportunities, you can’t just train someone to be any of the things mentioned in that list — they have to have a certain base level of education. For the occupations listed, that generally means a college education. Are we asking for developers to put our kids through college? And if we are, are we ensuring that our kids even have a sufficient education to be successful in college? If it were up to some people here (and we all know who you are), we’d be teaching our kids Intelligent Design rather than math and science, and that would not be a recipe for success in college.

I guess my question is whether or not the people of Kaua‘i are encouraging their kids to strive for loftier goals than catching a good wave and living an easy life — to go get their college education, suck up as much HARD knowledge about the world and the way things work as they can, and to then come back to Kaua‘i with their youth and newfound knowledge to create their own businesses right here. That is what I would like to see — Kauaians creating their own opportunities and building the community from within, so we don’t have to rely on tourism and tourism-related development — which is neither a sound nor stable economic base, in my opinion.

  • Michael Mann

Let’s look at ethanol

We, the folks who pay the taxes then spend our lives frustrated when we suggest better planning, dog laws to make our Island safer and jointly moan when traffic gets worse and slipshod development slips on in.

But lately the big issue for all of us are the gas problems and prices.

We respectfully want to point out, in this an election year, what Brazil has proven and the major magazines — Newsweek, TIME, etc. — as well this very week 60 Minutes and Dateline the successes Brazil as well as other places have had converting sugar cane into clean ethanol.

They totally succeeded … and are proud of it! Rightly so!!

Looking for a platform or a cause that everyone will support? And — oh yeah — this island is already set up for a quick grant-government backed conversion. Think of the heroism of being the first island on earth to be gas-free, cleaner in air, and able to all pull together to make it work.

It’d be magic, just like our wonderful island of Kaua‘i…

It’s one of the few things maybe we can all … Island residents and celebrities alike … can get behind together … in harmony.

Thanks for letting us make the suggestion. Let’s band together behind whatever gutsy politicos will help. November is a’coming.

With clean cheap thoughts…

  • The Haynes Family

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