Letters for Sunday, March 11 and Monday, March 12, 2007

• Pilot fought for lives

• Postman rings more than twice

• An old soldier’s opinion

• Testify to Kealia subdivision

• Voting with wallets

• Fight growth


Pilot fought for lives

As a former Army helicopter pilot who flew AH-1G Cobras, I can appreciate the difficulties that Joe Sulak may have experienced flying without hydraulic assistance. If the pontoons were inflated at the time, this may have added to the difficulty of controlling the helicopter. I truly commend him for being able to return to the airport under extreme conditions. His actions surely saved the lives of the survivors. My condolences go out to the friends and families of the victims of this tragic event.

Bob Mandap

Mililan


Postman rings more than twice

We’d like to thank our Kawaihau Road postman for his long-time excellent service which includes an attitude our whole household very much admires.

This postman really takes his work seriously.

The Kapa‘a Post Office staff recently perservered and found a valuable “lost” item that did not make it through U.S. customs very well — thanks guys.

You gave us a reminder of great “aloha.”

Karen Navratil

Kapa‘


An old soldier’s opinion

I was a rifle company platoon leader in World War II in General Patton’s Third Army, fighting in France and Germany. I have firsthand knowledge of the horror of war but realize the necessity of militarily confronting and defeating our enemies.

Politicians who believe it is politically expedient to promise to pull our troops out of Iraq are wrong. This is not the answer to the conflict with worldwide terrorism. Certainly, I understand that Americans don’t like war. We don’t like to see our soldiers dying. But Americans are not quitters. We do not like to fight, but we fight to win. Our brave young men deserve our total unqualified support.

Some of us saw the growth of the Nazi and Japanese Imperial Army prior to World War II when our country chose not to become directly involved. We sat by until we were rudely awakened by the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Then we became involved too late.

The current war in Iraq is just a phase in the worldwide war against radical Islamists whose announced intention is to destroy those of us who do not subscribe to their beliefs. Osama bin Laden has stated that the main battlefield of this war is in Iraq. If they can get nuclear weapons they would use them against us and kill hundreds of thousands without hesitation.

We should brace ourselves for a prolonged conflict with these misguided Islamists. In the meantime we should resolve the Iraq problem by remaining steadfast on our commitment to a democratic Iraq. These terrorists who are prepared to die to perpetuate their beliefs are not unusual. In World War II we saw the German soldier who was ready to die for Adolph Hitler and the Japanese soldier who was prepared to die for the Emperor. In World War II we were told by General George Patton that we were not expected to die for our country. He said our job was to make the other S.O.B. die for his country. That still applies.

We should support our President George W. Bush who is doing his best to keep our country safe from terrorist attacks by carrying the war to the enemy. A lot of the anti-war propaganda circulating is aimed at destroying our faith in our president’s leadership. We must awaken to the fact that we are in the initial stages of World War III. Like it or not, it has begun.

Ernest A. Smith

Hilo, Hawai‘i


Testify to Kealia subdivision

Commercialization, the expanding visitor industry and the conversion of agricultural land to estates have taken precedence over the past decade. The results are gridlocked traffic, infrastructure overload and injury to our unique island lifestyle.

In Kealia (mauka), 2,000 acres of Ag and Open district land has been tentatively approved for 190 subdivided and CPR units pending a condition that the developer petition for a declaratory ruling from the State Land Use Commission (LUC).

The LUC, when petitioned, will rule as to whether the proposed “farm-dwelling” subdivision is consistent with statewide laws that protect the conversion of prime agricultural land to residential uses.

Tomorrow, at the developer’s request, the Planning Commission will decide whether to waive this valid condition that was imposed to ensure appropriate land use.

The Kealia ahupua‘a has significant importance for the island’s sustainability. Food self-sufficiency will not be achieved by experimental designer teas and cacao. What looks good in theory may not be of real benefit to Kaua‘i.

The social impacts of this development include a marginalized local population, exorbitant property taxes for the adjacent Kealia plantation community, and unfair demands on police, fire and other public services.

There are no guarantees in this plan that farming will be perpetuated. In good faith, the developer should designate this land as “Important Agricultural Land” (IAL). This dedication would do two things: prevent future subdivision and ensure agricultural use in perpetuity.

Although buyers will be asked to submit Ag-use plans, it is up to the homeowners association (HOA) to enforce farming. But it is unrealistic that the HOA will bring lawsuits against any owner not engaged in income-producing Ag activities. Also consider that it is very likely that the HOA will change the bylaws and covenants to allow further subdivision in the future.

In support of agriculture, the requirement for a declaratory ruling is important — the LUC oversight should not be waived. If the county does, it would:

• Eliminate regulatory control over thousands of acres;

• Weaken the protection of agricultural lands;

• Threaten public trust resources and infrastructure.

It is imperative that the County Planning Commissioners hear from residents. Ask them to support a declaratory ruling from the LUC. There is no turning back once the way is cleared for this development.

Please write commissioners before tomorrow’s 7:30 a.m. subdivision committee meeting. Send fax to: 241-6699; Direct e-mail to: dcua@kauai.gov

Or, come in person at 9 a.m. to the full commission hearing at the Lihue Civic Center, 4444 Rice St., Moikeha Building, Meeting Room 2A-2B, in Lihu‘e.

Laura Marsh

Carroll Dana

Michael Fox

Ed and Shari Kunioka-Voltz

Marge Freeman

Cherry Midkiff Foxwell

Jimmy Trujillo

Laurie Quarton

Ken Taylor

Horace and Phyllis Stoessel

Gabriela Taylor

Cheryl Ringler

Wailua-Kapaa Neighborhood Association


Voting with wallets

While some people would like us all to believe that most people don’t want Wal-Mart to expand to a Supercenter, I beg to differ.

Each time that I go to Wal-Mart, the many shoppers I encounter belie the contention that “most” people on Kaua‘i favor blocking the expansion. There are often long lines to check out, the parking lot is full and carts full of goods are being wheeled along the aisles.

At the pharmacy, kupuna and young families alike stand in line to get reasonably priced medications. Most of the time there is a festive air as friends and family greet each other and talk story while waiting.

Certainly tourists shop at Wal-Mart. But the bulk of the shoppers are local residents, out shopping for necessities at affordable prices.

Even late at night, cars fill the parking lot.

It has been said that the Wal-Mart Supercenter would lead to more traffic at night because it will be open 24 hours a day. It seems to me that late at night would be a great time to shop. The roads around the island are not as busy, therefore traffic tie-ups would be less likely for late-night shoppers.

On Maui, I used to shop at Safeway after getting off work at 1 a.m. There was no waiting in line, cars were few and far between and shopping was a breeze.

Our council members should visit Wal-Mart at all times of the day and night to see local residents voting with their wallets.

Kristi Stephens

Lihu‘e


Fight growth

1000 Friends of Kaua‘i is seeking tax-deductible donations to its legal fund. 1000 Friends of Kaua‘i is a Hawai‘i non-profit advocating for and educating about slow moderate growth on our island since 1981. Our group is concerned by the recent surge in resort development of Kaua‘i.

1000 Friends of Kaua‘i has filed a lawsuit against the county planning commission. This lawsuit asks the Court to order that an environmental assessment was required before the recent county approval of a 547 room mega-resort to be built on the Waipouli shoreline. The planning department has just approved the development, but it did not require an environmental assessment. A hearing is currently scheduled for May 3.

1000 Friends of Kaua‘i along with many others was successful in opposing the developers’ latest request to delete certain conditions of the county-approved development. Although our attorneys have generously agreed to represent 1000 Friends at a reduced rate, litigation costs money. We will not be able to face the developer’s well-paid lawyers without your help. 1000 Friends of Kaua‘i feels that protecting our precious shoreline (and at least requiring an environmental assessment before such massive development) is a project worth of everyone’s support.

If you love the ocean views through old coconut trees, care about our shoreline, hate traffic of if you just expect that developers and the planning department should respect Hawai‘i’s Environmental Protection Act, we urge you to donate to our legal fund.

Please send your tax-deductible donations to:

1000 Friends of Kaua‘i

c/o: PO Box 742

Kilauea, HI 96754

Any amount helps. Thank you for getting involved.

David Dinner

President

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