Letters for Sunday, February 18, 2007

• Hello, pot?

• Open letter to Oprah

• A visitor bids farewell

• Science fair mahlo

Hello, pot?

This is the kettle calling

Jeez, all you folks who bemoan development and the ferry and basically everything that’s happened on Kaua‘i since you arrived. Don’t you see the irony of your protests? You want things to stay the same as they were since you moved here so as your version/vision of paradise is retained.

What about us locals? We want jobs, financial security, a safe place for our kids and families and an affordable home for ourselves and our descendants. All the money and gated communities and high-dollar resort and so-called agricultural subdivisions aren’t benefiting us (but I’ll venture to say that the big boxes are heavily utilized by local folks) but the malihini want everything to revert back to — well, exactly when I don’t know.

Land zoned for over 30 years as resort (and taxes paid on same) should be developed in areas that are already urbanized. Building agricultural subdivisions on open land is a questionable practice yet I don’t see a whole lot of folks in Moloa‘a bulldozing their homes.

Kaua‘i’s growing and I’m grateful for the resources — both natural and man-induced. There’s only going to be so much growth on the island. Tourism is a reality. The island’s population has doubled in 25 years.

If all the complaining malihini want to preserve Kaua‘i, then maybe they should consider demolishing their mega-homes and going home.

Ann Leighton


Open letter to Oprah

As a part-time resident of Kaua‘i, I would like to point out an important event that recently occurred on the island. We all know of your interest in the island of Kaua‘i and thought you might be able to help. Recently, there was a ruling that has taken away an access way to a pristine beach called (Papa‘a) Bay. It has always been a favorite of the local residents and has caused a bit of a rife in the community, since so much of their island has already been taken from them.

Access to the beach was removed in a legal case that favored the movie director Peter Guber. We have no cause to petition Peter, since he has a legal right to the property. The judgment just seems to be alienating some of the Hollywood-types to the local Hawaiian community. I have attached a copy of the write-up in The Garden Island. The reaction of the residents is the element that I bring to your attention.

Perhaps you could help us to find a solution. So much of Hawai‘i was fraudulently taken from the Hawaiians by the original Seven Missionary Families that the underlying attitude helped to create the word “haole,” which literally means foreigner, but really means “whites with an attitude of anger toward them.” Certainly this is not a unique attitude toward the white man. However, it seems to re-enforce the deep-seeded feelings and anger.

In any event, Oprah, I was hoping that you could take a look into this situation and help us to find a solution, since this island and the people are precious to you as well.

Ralph P. DeLuca


A visitor bids farewell

We have been visiting Kaua‘i since 1980. Since 1994 it has been a month’s visit every year. Only in the past six or so years, has it become apparent to us that “Paradise Lost” was becoming an accomplished fact.

The past couple of years seeing the miles of morning commute bumper-to-bumper traffic from ‘Oma‘o to Lihu‘e has greatly accelerated our view that all is not well in paradise. (The Lihu‘e bypass route makes sense only if Route 56 is closed for the last few miles.)

Speaking of closures or Route 56, that is becoming more frequent because of the inevitable increase in bad car/truck crashes resulting from the greatly increased traffic working in combination with drivers that are generally far more rude and aggressive than even as recent as 10 years ago. This applies to visitors and locals alike.

We have stayed in Princeville over the years. Twice during our most recent visit we would have been unable to get to the airport for hours because of closures of Route 56. The last closure occurred at Mile Marker 22 in Kilauea and lasted from 10 a.m. to almost 4 p.m. Had it been one day later we would have missed our flight.

The last straws for us, though: the terrible mess trying to use the Safeway store and other shops there. Anyone with a modicum of traffic engineering skills would have known what placing “10 pounds of resort onto a 5-pound parcel” at that location would do. Another is the “Stupid Ferry.” And, the tranquility of our little space at Princeville is finding its demise with the construction of a super-rich folks’ posh mega-timeshare.

Speaking of that timeshare, promotional artist’s renderings show the completed project as a true bit of paradise, with all existing buildings in Princeville missing. The illustrations carry the caveat, “Artist’s rendering — finished product may vary.” That should be Kaua‘i’s official county motto!

Locals are increasingly griping that Kaua‘i is becoming “another Maui.” I did a bit of topographical analysis. Maui has about 230 square miles of habitable land area. Kaua‘i has about 155 square miles. That is a big difference. So the dynamics of development affect Kaua‘i differently (and worse) than on Maui. In some ways, Kaua‘i is already more congested than Maui.

We’ve enjoyed our many visits to Kaua‘i. Alas, no more. We have a lot of the great Western U.S. to visit. Although there are growth problems in all desirable parts of our great country, those areas are not constrained with only 155 square miles of habitable land area serviced by a wholly inadequate highway system.

Wally Roberts

San Clemente, Calif.

Science fair mahlo

Thank you to all the supporters for making the Kaua‘i Complex Regional Science Fair possible. Applause goes to those behind-the-scenes who spent countless hours to set the stage for success.

Mr. Smith and Terry Reyes of the Kaua‘i Veterans Center set up the display tables and shared the center’s hospitality to the public during the science fair days. Barbara Baker, Kaua‘i District school renewal specialist, and Naomi Masaki, Central Complex secretary, organized and directed the regional fair. Generous sponsors and judges repeatedly helped fund and assist the fair to promote success in the educational endeavor. Appreciative visitors came to view the displays and praise highly the students’ efforts.Tireless parents and teachers gave continued encouragement to instill perseverance in students to pursue the scientific investigation process.

Without the many behind-the-scenes contributors and supporters, regional events such as the Kaua‘i Complex Area Regional Science Fair could not be possible. This event helped to encompass the vision of Kaua‘i’s future.

Blanche Sugimoto



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