Letters for Tuesday, February 20, 2007

• Anahola says ‘No!’

• Water, water, everywhere

• We are well beyond absurd now

• Rock on, Dave

• Aloha, Ma


Anahola says ‘No!’

Why is the bike path continuing northward to Anahola Beach Park?

The one and only DHHL meeting with the residents of Anahola about a bike path through our community yielded a 100-percent negative reaction from the audience. Other than the DHHL employees themselves, not one person in the room stood up and said, “Yes! Let’s extend the bike path all the way to Anahola Beach Park.” Nor did I hear anyone holler, “Yeah! And while we are at it, let’s build a parking lot at our beach park that will accommodate tour buses!”

Anahola said “No.”

No to the bike path.

No to the tour buses.

No running a slab of concrete across our gathering grounds.

No to ignoring our wishes in our neighborhood.

No to opening up our community to be used, abused and commercialized the way Queens Bath, Kipu Falls, Spouting Horn, Deep Pond and other Kaua‘i treasures have been.

No Mayor Baptiste.

No Micah Kane.

No Linda Lingle.

A‘ole!

At a recent County Council meeting where some Anahola residents spoke out against the bike path, one councilmember commented that we should be happy about the bike path because “you can sell shave ice to the haoles.”

Anahola says “hell no” to that as well.

Anahola doesn’t need a bike path running through it. Anahola doesn’t need to open more of our trust lands to visitors. Give us the keys to the gated communities, then we can talk about a bike path.

Aloha is more than take, take, take.

Erik Danner

Anahola


Water, water, everywhere

So the county stops Kauai Springs from bottling some 5,000 gallons of water per day in hopes of saving our natural resources, yet one development the size of Waipouli Beach Resort and Spa uses, on average, 40 million gallons a year. And this is just one resort. Think of the many more that are in the works for the next year.

Where are our priorities here?

Mike Coots

Kilauea


We are well beyond absurd now

Howard Tolbe (“Small-box bellyache,” Letters, Feb. 19) seems to believe that just by converting one or more of their Big Save stores into a giant structure that they can automatically start charging low prices the way Wal-Mart does. This demonstrates a complete lack of understanding as to how Wal-Mart achieves these prices.

People, it is not magic. It is not the size of the building that “brings the manna from heaven” in the form of low prices. It is the business practices (often unethical, but unfortunately not illegal) that Wal-Mart’s board of directors uses to run the company.

They have a single-minded zeal for the absolute bottom line, with little or no regard for how it affects their employees, the communities they are in, or the cheap labor that gets exploited in other countries. It is the weight that they can throw around in the halls of government by virtue of their sheer size as a corporation.

Wal-Mart is the second-largest corporation in America, behind only Exxon (with their record 2006 profits), and despite their profitability (which doesn’t seem to be of great benefit to Wal-Mart’s employees), they still manage to squeeze tax breaks out of governments.

Tax breaks.

Ask yourself, why on earth does Wal-Mart need tax breaks?

It is also the pressure they can exert on their suppliers to force them to stock their stores for the absolute lowest cost, which then forces those suppliers to offshore their production and kill American jobs just to try to stay afloat. If they didn’t do this, Wal-Mart would just pick another supplier willing to do Wal-Mart’s bidding, and the supplier standing up for their own employees would go out of business.

So, the American economy gets depressed as more people are thrown into near poverty, forcing more people to need ever cheaper prices, continuing this vicious cycle downward. It’s all very good for Wal-Mart and the Walton family, but complete chaos for everyone else.

Yet so many people simply refuse to see it.

For Mr. Tolbe and others to try to argue that the Kawakamis or any other business owner on Kaua‘i can simply open a big version of their store and compete on the same playing field as a worldwide juggernaut like Wal-Mart is patently ludicrous. To suggest that Ishihara’s vs. Big Save is the same as Big Save vs. Wal-Mart is laughable. These arguments are well beyond absurd. I would suggest you actually do some research into where these low prices come from, then make your comments based on some facts.

Michael Mann

‘Ele‘ele


Rock on, Dave

Is it true? I read on the Internet today that “Mr. Koke‘e” David Boynton is no longer with us.

This is hard to imagine, as his candid humor and knowledge of Koke‘e was such a given. I remember when I was in fifth grade at Hanalei Elementary School making the trip to the Koke‘e Discovery Center. David would always be making jokes, telling scary stories by the fire and sharing his vast information of Kaua‘i’s unique plants and animals. Such a humble, free spirit, I cherish the dedication and passion David gave to Kaua‘i and its children.

When I was at Kapa‘a High and interested in photography, David offered to take me up to Koke‘e. He introduced me to nature photography, letting me use his camera and sharing his insight in photography as well as native species with me.

I will never forget David, and I know so many others who will remember his passion for life.

Going to Koke‘e and seeing the beauty that surrounds us on Kaua‘i is such an important aspect to learning how to take care of our island home. David Boynton helped me realize we all have to do our part to make a difference. Rock on, Dave!

Abraham Mitnik

Santa Cruz, Calif.


Aloha, Ma

We visited Kaua‘i 14 different years and loved it. We always made it a point to visit Ma’s. The food was delicious but the best part was the way she and her helpers always greeted us, almost like family. We would leave feeling the true aloha spirit.

Please, Ma, know how much we appreciated you. Enjoy your retirement.

Jim and Janet Mosier

Mendota, Va.

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