Letters for Wednesday, February 21, 2007

• Strict oversight needed for bottling water

• Pathway is a gift

• Mahalo to dirt bikers

• On our way to court

• Alice in ‘Kauailand’

Strict oversight needed for bottling water

I believe the planning commission was right in denying permits for Kaua‘i’s first water-bottling operation. Water is the life of the land and a public resource, and we rightly pay back to the County (which is us) for its delivery and the amount used. While that was not the case in past plantation times, that was then, and today to allow free access to the aquifer for profit would be allowing circumvention of the people’s oversight.

While it is likely this bottling operation, or even several more, would not now have a negative impact on the aquifer, private tappings of the aquifer does make accountability for its use difficult and opens the gate for future problems.

In olden England, the Crown set aside the Commons, land for ordinary people to use for their livestock and foraging needs, but it being free and owned by none of the users, none took care, and each took and used as much as he could, and even more and faster, lest his neighbor usurp his use by using first. The result was degradation of the Commons, and that is a common theme in today’s natural resource problems. Water is such a Commons resource. As more Kaua‘i waters are sold profitably, there will be more bottlers, and without some kind of water use accountability for each, eventual aquifer degradation is a real possiblity (like on O‘ahu).

There is nothing wrong with bottling public water per se, but it should be under strict oversight by the water authority, and with the companies paying fairly for the amount used (something like the old Kaua‘i soda works).

David Au

San Diego, Calif./ Kalaheo

Pathway is a gift

This letter is in response to Erik Danner’s letter of Feb. 20, titled Anahola says “No!”.

I think it’s very sad that instead of realizing that they are being offered a gift, he feels that people are trying to “take” from them. To me, saying “No” to the pathway is like saying “No”, I don’t want to preserve open space forever; “No” I don’t want a safe place for my family to walk or ride their bikes; “No” I don’t want neighborhood revitalization; “No” I don’t want to promote health and well-being; “No”, I don’t want to increase property values; and “No”, I don’t want to promote public safety.

By not putting in a pathway in hopes that you’re going to keep the visitors out of your town, you’d only be punishing yourselves. If you look past the politics, you would realize that the pathway is a gift that will keep on giving for many years to come.

Betsy Rivers


Mahalo to dirt bikers

Ron and Rina Barretto (Nala’s Towing Company) would like to express their gratitude to the friends who contributed and took part in the recent fun run to honor the memory of Johnathan Hirata.

Special thanks go out to Ricky Kaui of Kaui’s Hauling & Maintenance, Gil Salsis, Jameson Smith, Billy Rumion, Grayson Gonsalves, Ernie Gonsalves, and Matthew Tangelder, Lorren Van Fossen of All Star Realty, William Silva, Marshall Camara, Galen Itamura, David Taniguchi, Aquarius and Tanya Kalama, Sarah Rabot, and Shawn Aviguetero.

Also Tryten Rabot, Jess Quel, Joe and Loren Koerte, Micah and Ui Agena, Ken Martiney, Donya Raposas and Tony McKnight, Kaipo Asing, Mark Hamasaki, Roland Goo, David Amorin, Haku Rivera Jr. and Barry Simmons of Oasis Water Co.

Ronald and Rina Barretto

Nala’s Towing Service

On our way to court

Michael Mann’s letter (“The authority is there,” Letters, Feb. 16) regarding mistaken information that there is honest to goodness law to enforce beyond the leash law is felt by us all.

The poor dogs of Kaua‘i …

We have a situation in our neighborhood in Kapa‘a that Becky Rhoades and her team have tried tirelessly to solve — we are now on our way to court, hopefully with Rep. Yee’s new legislation helping us to stop the misuse and starving and abuse of dogs, that as puppies, could have been saved. Now they are better off put down. They live in tiny cages, ignored until there is a hunt. They are a hindrance night and day to the sleep and peace-of-mind to folks who pay huge amounts to live here, while the dogs’ owners, for the most part, skate.

Let’s talk to our councilmembers and get the laws we need — it is long overdue.

Su Haynes


Alice in ‘Kauailand’

When Alice in Wonderland came across some bizarre situation she would cry, “Curiouser and curiouser.”

What a gold mine she would have had with the lawsuit filed by the county to challenge the Ohana Kaua‘i tax charter amendment.

The lawsuit was initiated by the county, with the county attorney suing the mayor, the County Council and the finance director. It is the only known instance where a governmental body has sought to invalidate a measure duly adopted by its voters. “Curiouser and curiouser.”

The County Attorney’s office at differing times represented the plaintiff — the county — and the defendants — the mayor, County Council, and the finance director. This appears to be a clear violation of the ethical obligation of the office to avoid conflicts of interest. “Curiouser and curiouser.”

When the county decided that its County Attorney’s office was inadequate to represent it and wanted to retain outside counsel, the County Council authorized $235,000 for such counsel. As a defendant in the case the council was approving funds for a suit against itself. “Curiouser and curiouser.”

Let’s hope that this curious proceeding may soon be over.

Chick Lanphier



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