Letters for Tuesday, March 20, 2007

• Think vacation rental issue through

• ‘Tis of thee

• Why doors off?

• More than ‘Kodak moment’

Think vacation rental issue through

We would like to add our perspective to the debate dealing with vacation rentals on land zoned agricultural.

Our family has stayed on Kaua‘i several times at such properties, as we don’t wish to stay in a traditional hotel (in fact, we probably would opt not to travel to any holiday destination if a hotel was the only accommodation option).

It occurs to me that the income that a vacation rental provides allows an owner to actually maintain their property as an agricultural pursuit. We hear much today about the economic difficulty of farming. Surely allowing a farmer to augment his income with rental income is in everyones’ best interest. The perception that vacation rentals compromise the status of agriculturally zoned land is erroneous; I ask that those who are scheduled to vote on this issue will think it through a bit more. Thank you and best regards.

R. Douglas and Linda Long

Lovingston, Va.

‘Tis of thee

I would like to offer a simple explanation, a personal one, for a problem that in actuality is heart wrenching and devastating to the whole world. This is in response to a plea for understanding from Michael Wells in Letters on March 17.

I am positive that in every church in every Christian community on our island and the rest of the nation the war is discussed, grieved for and prayed for. Children have an inherent gift to be loved without distinction of race, color or religion; the desire to protect and support them is universal.

I assume at this point in history that among the leaders of our churches there is knowledge and understanding of history. When America during the Second World War tried to stay neutral and let the rest of the world fight the battles without us, the war came to us; remember Pearl Harbor. We went to war with all the sad and ugly consequences thereof and freed the world which never could have happened without our help.

I have brothers, a sister and a lot of family living in Europe; the war is in their countries already. There are neighborhoods where middle easterners live and warnings are posted “enter at your own risk.” Others state: “stay out.”

They are forced to change their laws and allow things to happen in their countries that often are against their own national culture.

During 9/11 some of us understood that it was just to prove that America could be penetrated and destroyed, right in the heart of their own country. At this moment plans are being perfected and made fail proof.

As much as I have disagreed with the President at certain times, I see him desperately trying to protect us from what is already happening in Europe. He might not be successful because Americans are not in the mood to understand, but this man definitely has postponed massive disasters that were scheduled and planned for this nation.

It has nothing to do with Americans being the bad guys on the block; it has to do with the burning desire from fanatic Muslim traditionalists who have enormous oil powers to bring the world back to old Muslim domination by hook or by crook. I do not have to live in Europe to experience it; I was born and raised and left the biggest Muslim country in the world.

I thank you America for having me.

Paula Zina


Why doors off?

Why would the FAA license an air carrier to fly its tour helicopter with both doors off, if it is not a photo flight (charter)? Looking back at a job I did in Seattle where we flew on a photo mission to document the installation of a steel bridge with huge cranes on the Hood Canal Bridge. We needed a better angle so the pilot of the Bell Ranger changed direction because both doors were off. The headwind was then a sidewind which blew everything that was not secured out of the rear seats. The only reason my heavy leather coat did not fly out of the cabin is the fact that I was sitting on one of the sleeves. I sure did not want to take the chance of seeing my coat fly into the tail rotor of the helicopter. When I hear there was a “pop” or possible bird strike (like reported on the March 11, Inter Island crash in Ha‘ena), I think of a small camera strap or sweater getting sucked out of the helicopter.

If the doors were on like God said they should be when handling public tours with inexperienced passengers you could have eliminated any possibility that some debris left the cabin and ended up in the rear tail rooter. The FAA could then concentrate on the mechanics of the machine and not failure due to a debris strike.

I think that it would be safe and prudent to require that all tour helicopters fly tours with their doors on until this problem of the tail rotor failure is resolved on the Hughes 500’s since they are the only ones flying with their doors off.

Hans Hellriegel


More than ‘Kodak moment’

The other day I saw a feral hen at Po‘ipu trying to rip open a bag of garbage for her chicks. I had never noticed such behavior before. Realizing that a man and woman, who normally feed them, weren’t there, got me thinking …

The exploding population of feral chickens, due to human interference, is damaging our island. An over-abundance of prey for the feral cats is dangerous. As is the additional hosting of fleas, mites, etc. What all of this is doing to the fauna of Kaua‘i, I will leave to the readers’ imagination.

What most casual observers do not notice is the corresponding increase in dead birds, rotting eggs, and fowl droppings (sorry). Disregarding the uncertainties surrounding avian flu, there are still plenty of public health issues associated with all of the additional mess any “feeder” is helping to spread.

Then, there is the damage done to the flora of the island. Anyone who has ever tried to grow a garden here knows how damaging these birds can be. That same type of damage is happening in the bush. Native species can barely get a foothold and are continually getting pushed out by feral resistant growth. Is it any wonder that the predominant ground-cover in Po‘ipu bushlands is cactus? Between the pigs and chickens, not much else has a chance.

In their defense, I must state that chickens enjoy a well- deserved place in our society. They are a canoe species. They are beneficial when they are managed. Their main purpose, now, is to provide a “Kodak moment” for our visitors.

Fair enough.

Unfortunatly, the primary management seems to have fallen to folks who are breeding them into dangerous pests.

Please people, enough already.

Perhaps you chould trap your growing flocks and bring them home, so you can enjoy all of the aspects of responsible stewardship. Or, perhaps contact The Humane Society, which has plenty of “pets” that are much more manageable.

I just wish you would stop leaving your pilau opala for the rest of us.

Michael Maresco



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