Letters for Tuesday • May 23, 2006

• A bill of bad goods

• Public hearing is a joke on the public

• Principal extends apology for illness after carnival

A bill of bad goods

The controversy never ends … leash laws, Lum, property taxes, speed bumps, traffic lumps, affordable housing, and vacation rentals. The letters keep pouring in. Let me pose a simple question … how important is family… and how many of today’s graduating class will be able to live on Kaua‘i four years from now?

Yes we hear the plan is in place. It was a bill of goods for the sake of us all. The general update plan has carefully decided our future. Well, it was initially put there when we were all going to the beach and twiddling our thumbs, hooking big ones, hitting tennis balls, tossing horseshoes on Sunday, and waving to each other on Monday morning. We thoughtlessly played with a Kealia sunrise, a Hanalei moon, or a Kekaha sunset. And this precious general update plan was made public back then, when Nixon or Ford and Southeast Asia was still making headlines. And somewhere buried on page 13 back then read a Kaua‘i update plan with a population projection of over 100,000 by the year 2010. Now way back then it all seemed quite laughable when our population was only 25,000 and actually dwindling because of Maui’s growth and a Waikiki boom.

And at that time the promise of jobs, the promise of no kids having to go barefoot, the promise of a higher standard of living seemed as attractive as an Allerton Garden in full bloom. Or a hike along a clean, quiet, and deserted Kalalau Trail. That was then, and it even sounded nice to me, the long-haired haole boy on the block. Only one major problem. The plan never envisioned the traffic, the pace, the taxes, the growth, the greed, the erosion of our communities and need for two or three menial jobs to feed those hungry mouths and pay those precious taxes simply to remain on this island. Yeah, we all got slippers but now we need money for plane tickets to move.

We all now seem to agree, from the clerk to the manager, from the senior citizen to this year’s graduate that life on Kaua‘i has not improved. We are not short of jobs, we are short of Aloha. We have no patience for these absurd changes. Changes that were part and parcel of our precious general update plan. A plan that subliminally implies if you live on Kaua‘i and you do not already own a piece of the rock make room for those who can afford to.

With the wisdom we have gained through experience let this entire island unite, knowing it really is time for a change (now how many times have you heard that one?). We either change the zoning and update the update and get our act together or we all fly to Ka‘ula Rock and start all over again. And the first in line with the most building permits wins again and again and again.

Sorry, folks, Kaua‘i is too precious; the ‘aina is too sacred; the ocean was once too pure and our families are far too important to break apart, for these very quick bucks.

I am an optimist, a possibility thinker, I know we can control our destiny on this little speck in the Pacific … we can make the proper changes but it will take more than letters and words. Who is strong enough to stand up and be heard, not just on this page of malcontent, but on a ballot, and in the chambers and on the streets and on our roads and in our faces and not in someone’s pockets wherever and whenever it counts. Stand up … and I will support you 100 percent. I give you my word, my vote and maybe even a heck of a lot more.

MY name is Andy Melamed and I approved this message.

  • Andy Melamed

Public hearing is a joke on the public

This much-advertised public hearing at the Planning Commission on the matter of vacation rentals (TGI Sunday, May 21) is the biggest joke yet this county government has foisted on the public. n keeping with the long-established ATFP (pronounced atfip) principle of controlling growth — ATFP being the acronym for After The Fact Permits, the county will now legitimize all the vacation rentals (or to use the more general term — Transient Visitor Accommodations) no matter where they are located — in or out of the VDA (Visitor Destination Area), SMA (Special Management Area) and whatever. The County will even embellish these motels or hotels or whatever, by allowing them to put up signs and lights, thus creating real Motel Rows all over the island.

And, to make sure our esteemed officials do not alienate the motel operators, nothing is said about their having to pay commercial tax rates to the county and Transient Accommodation Tax to the state, even though that would bring the county and the state millions of extra dollars in tax income which could help reduce property tax on the true residents of this island.

While perpetrating this big joke on the people, our officials completely ignore the fact that the county’s zoning ordinance says: “Vacation rentals are permitted only in the Vistor Destination Areas.” VDAs are such places like Po‘ipu, Princeville and the shore area near the Wailua River.Common logic, as well legal interpretation say clearly that if something is only allowed in some area, it means that something is not permitted elsewhere. Ah, but our Planning Director (who himself operates a vacation rental in Hanalei), acting like a legal expert, would tell us that since the law doesn’t specifically say vacation rentals are not permitted outside the VDA, they are okay everywhere else!

The public hearing next Tuesday is going to be quite a show! Be sure not to miss it!

  • Raymond
    Chuan Hanalei

Principal extends apology for illness after carnival

I would like to take this opportunity to extend a most sincere apology to everyone who became ill at our recent school and parish carnival. We are so sorry for the discomfort, and inconvenience that this experience may have caused you.

We are working very closely with the Department of Health to determine the cause of the problem and to make sure that it does not happen again. Thank you for your support during the past years and we hope to see you all at the carnival again next year.

  • Carol West
    Principal, St. Catherine School

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