Letters for Sunday, March 18, 2007

• Oye como va

• Give us a Supercenter

• Can’t stand it anymore

• Hear me now?

Oye como va

A few days ago I was able to meet the legendary Carlos Santana. I just wanted to thank him for giving my co-worker and I the time to talk to us and give us his autograph. If you are reading this Carlos (or his friend who was with him) I just wanted to say that it was such as honor to meet you. You are a very wonderful man and I love your music. It inspires many people and I am very glad I got to see a legend in person. Thank you also for your wonderful words about the rain. It was very inspiring and it made my entire day beautiful. Mahalo and Gracias.

Sunny Sadaoka


Give us a Supercenter

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 Kauai 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


Can’t stand it anymore

My wife and I just returned from a nine-day stay at the Princeville Resort. This was our third visit to Kaua‘i.

We remarked to each other that, although the area between Lihu’e and Princeville has visibly remained very much the same from visit to visit, the traffic has not.

We were appalled at the traffic congestion along Highway 56, especially in the Wailua-Kapa‘a area.

We were informed that the “Alternate Route” at Wailua had just recently been opened for traffic and wondered what sort of hell the residents of this island had been experiencing before this diversion had been made available.

We have lived in the Los Angeles area for the last 29 years and felt very much “at home,” especially when we were literally caught in a traffic jam in a parking lot of a small shopping center for 15 minutes.

My motivation for writing this letter is to pose the following question to those in positions of authority on the island of Kaua‘i : When will you put an end to building resorts, condos, vacation rentals; when will you do what is necessary to limit the human population on this island; and when will you come to the realization that failing to confront and find equitable (for residents as well as visitors) solutions to these pressing problems will result in disaster for this island’s economy?

The residents of this uniquely beautiful and diverse island depend nearly 100 percent on tourism dollars. It is very likely that many of Kaua‘i’s more recent visitors have come to the same conclusion that we have, “Why visit Kaua‘i when we can sit in traffic in our own city?”

Richard and Lynn Woerpel

Simi Valley, Calif.

Hear me now?

I am a frustrated parent with a son who is addicted to this evil drug known as “meth” or “ice.” This drug affects all, no matter race or gender, rich or poor.

This drug situation started in my son’s teen years and after spending countless days that led to months communicating with agencies I was able to get him into a program on Maui, not on Kaua‘i. Being a single parent with other children to care for, financial funds were hard for me to come up with in order to pay for rehabilitation.

My son was accepted in a 12-week residential program, which he couldn’t complete due to physical concerns, so he returned home. Nevertheless the concern of “will he return to drugs or not” was on my mind on a daily basis. I knew treatment in a residential environment was still crucial but Maui said they fulfilled their requirements.

I have turned to government agencies and have been given the same message. “We aren’t able to do anything until he gets arrested.”

Does this mean I should wait until he hurts himself or an innocent person — or even worse, in his despair decides to end it all in suicide? Our governor states, “The war against ‘ice’ or drugs in general is under control.” Is this for the island of O‘ahu only?

I beg to differ.

Time has moved on and my son is presently 20 years of age with the same problem. You always hear, “But he must seek help on his own.” The question is, “How can he seek help when he can’t even understand he needs help?” I am not placing blame on anyone for my son’s addiction but where do we go from here?

So what do I do when no one really steps up to the plate? Loving my son is not the answer for rehabilitation but help is.

I am only one parent of many who are going through this problem, which has created havoc on our communities, and in our personal lives.

“Do you hear me now?”

When will the person or persons with the answer I want to hear for my son step forward and be accountable in giving treatment he should have now.

Thank you for allowing me to be able to share my family’s personal battle with the fight against “ice.”

(Name withheld by editor)



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