Letters for Sunday • May 21, 2006

• Help sought for White family

• Something else you can do on Kaua‘i

• Let’s beautify

• Tourism and development hand-in-hand

• Good food survives name change

Help sought for White family

On May 6, 2006, Jennifer White, a 32-year-old mother of three children, drowned while trying to save her sons. Aaron, 8, survived but his 9-year-old brother, Tyler, has not yet been found. The Whites also have a 4-year-old girl, Kiley. Jennifer White’s memorial services were held on Mother’s Day in Gunnison, Colo.

On behalf of all the mothers of Hawai‘i, I expressed our heartfelt sympathy and aloha to the husband, Chris White. He wanted me to tell the people of Hawai‘i how much he apporeciates the help from the Coast Guard, the searchers and all the people who cared.

Chris had built a large hope chest for his wife before they were married. He has turned this into a memorial for her, holding some of her things and the sympathy cards that they receive. Their church has set up a memorial fund to help this young family. Please take a moment to send your expressions of sympathy and, if you can, include a check to help them.

Send to:

Mr. Chris White

c/o New Song Church

P.O. Box 356

Gunnison, Colo. 81230

You can go to their church’s Web site to see their photo, www.newsongchurch.us. Let’s show this family that the people of Hawai‘i truly care.

  • Sally Lee
    Hawai‘i State Mother of the Year

Something else you can do on Kaua‘i

Recently completed our 14th visit to Kaua‘i.

There is a handout called “101 Things To Do On Kauai.” We feel it should be changed to “102 Thing To Do On Kauai.”

The added item would be to sit in your car on Kuhio Highway from Kapa‘a to Wailua River in a bumper to bumper traffic jam. And this happens on Saturday and Sunday as well.

A large complex is soon to be finished in Waipouli, which will add hundreds of cars to the area. Plans are also moving ahead for the Coco Palms which will add hundreds of cars, daily.

What is the plan to fix the problem? Who owns the plan? What is the timeline?

  • Edward Bailey
    Rochester, Minn.

Let’s beautify

My partner and I live in Kapa’a and have a business in Hanama’ulu. When can we expect to see some “beautification” take place in and around Hanama’ulu’s center of activity?

We like our location, which is in the “Shell Station” complex of businesses, but would like to see some improvements made. For example, the very poor and dangerous condition of the privately owned property in front of the Post Office annex and the roadside conditions along the highway.

We, as business owners, being there every day, would not even mind “pitching in” to make the area more pleasing to visitors. The necessity of public restrooms in the area is absolutely essential as well. How about more clearly marked bus stops and posted hours of operation for the people who use the public bus system.

These are just a tip of the iceberg suggestions for consideration.

  • Sandra Brightwell

Tourism and development hand-in-hand

The on-island anger over development and inadequate roads is understandable. Whether the blame belongs with the succession of Kaua‘i county councils is less clear. These councils, over a sufficient period of time, have certainly done the will of the voters. Perhaps most voters didn’t care until recent years, but that is irrelevant over a long period, such as 20 or 25 years.

My wife and I started visiting Kaua‘i in 1980. It has changed quite a bit in those 26 years, mostly not for the better. It is apparent from readily available local history that Kaua‘i was a lot nicer 26 years before our first visit.

We visited perhaps six times prior to Iniki. We took a timeout after Iniki, returning every year since 1994, most of the time for a month’s visit. So, for folks who do not own property there (nor could we afford to now) we have been there enough to see the changes and have a fairly good idea of what’s going on.

There was a time when I thought I wanted to move to Kaua‘i, but I think I have shaken that fever. The mountains, beaches (for the most part) and ocean are still “world class.” The climate is great, but annualized I’ll take my beach climate in San Clemente over it.

And, as bad as California is, as a retired couple who can exercise timing, we can still hit the road and be in the wide open spaces to the beautiful High Sierras or Rocky Mountains. No “island fever.”

No doubt the developers on your small island are “Public Enemy No 1.” But, who, or what enables them? What would be the sustainable population of Kaua‘i without the tourist industry?

Without tourists there probably wouldn’t be any industry on Kauai except for the Navy, NASA, and the Kauai Coffee Company.

Without tourism the population would probably eventually level off at 1930 levels.

But, tourism won’t go away (bird flu notwithstanding) and the Princeville Company will eventually plow up the “old” golf course for more timeshares.

  • Wally Roberts
    San Clemente, Calif.

Good food survives name change

For many years one of the favorite Chinese restaurants on Kaua’i was called the Panda Garden. Located in Kapa’a it was nearly always full of locals and visitors alike. In 2005 it was voted the best Chinese restaurant on Kaua’i in The Garden Island poll.

A number of months ago the new off shore owners of the shopping center in which the restaurant was located contracted with a national chain fast food Chinese restaurant of nearly the same name. The proprietor of the Panda Garden was required by the self serving new owners to change the name and the menu of his restaurant. The new name is Pacific Island Bistro located in the same place, with the same friendly owners and chefs, and with an exciting menu.

My wife and I ate there recently and were very pleased. The Peking duck was as excellent as before.

Much has been said and written about offshore owners being only interested in building the short term value of their properties just to sell them at a profit in a short period of time. As in this case, frequently what have been institutions for us residents are destroyed in the process.

I encourage all of the followers of the former Panda Garden to try the new Pacific Island Bistro and show that we care about the proprietors from our community even though offshore owners don’t.

  • David Stewart

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