Letters for Thursday, April 5, 2007

• Don’t let Kaua‘i become the ghetto

• Challenges ‘simplistic’ view of war

• Did ‘Say’ name cloud judgment?

• What’s special is Kaua‘i


Don’t let Kaua‘i become the ghetto

Most people who come to visit our island say it’s a beautiful island. Yet there are some who are disappointed after seeing the trash along the highway. (Besides the overgrowth of weeds, grass, and unwanted trees along the highway).

Isn’t this a sad thing? We have various people (some of them may be your children in scouting, Boys and Girls club, etc.) who adopt a highway and walk a couple miles picking up the trash only to see trash being thrown out of vehicles and onto the highway behind them.

Again, don’t let Kaua‘i be the ghetto of the island chain. Keep your opala in your vehicles until you can properly dispose of it (in a trash can or bin).

It’s still a $1,000 fine if you get caught.

Howard Tolbe

‘Ele‘ele


Challenges ‘simplistic’ view of war

Wake up America? No …Wake up, Jason Nichols! Your simplistic view of the war on terror is alarming and cannot go unchallenged.

What is your assertion that “the rest of the world hates us” based on? The amount of demonstrations or-ganized by Iran? North Korea? Venezuela? Or by socialists and anarchists in or own country?

You also claim that we are hated because we consume much of the world’s resources. Our government doesn’t consume resources, you and I, the people do! With these resources we also produce food for much of the rest of the world. The world looks to the USA for leadership, protection, aid and technological advancement. We are the most generous country in the world. We have given our blood and treasure to bring freedom to millions.

Your last statement that our government is the real cause of terrorism tells it all. This pathetic attitude is typical of the “Blame America First’” crowd. It is crystal clear in my mind who piloted those jets into the Trade Center and what they were trying to accomplish on 9/11.

They may have succeeded with you, but certainly not with me and many others in America.

Keith Smith

Koloa


Did ‘Say’ name cloud judgment?

All of you who are buying into the Calvin Say statement that he had nothing to do with his cousin, Byron Say, receiving any special treatment, raise your hand (House speaker Say estranged from cousin, TGI 4/4/07). If you believe that, you must also believe in the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny.

Calvin Say may not directly have had anything to do with it, but maybe indirectly by name association. Sounds like the name “Say” itself clouded the judgment of some key decision-makers in this case.

There just seems to be too many coincidences of so-called “luck” in this case.

The sad thing is where is the same “lucky” treatment for Lisa Wilson?

Francine Grace

Kalaheo


What’s special is Kaua‘i

I didn’t mind being poor, working in a restaurant, mowing lawns, for money that so quickly goes towards food and shelter. This seemed okay as long as I could live here on Kaua‘i where the quality of life seemed so much better than the O‘ahu life I left behind.

But my community is changing towards some kind of off-shoot of Disneyland, full of tourists and Californians who don’t even notice that Kaua‘i is part of Hawai‘i. And the people of Hawai‘i seem to be changing too, crying out for big box stores so they can buy more stuff.

Remember when we went to Village Variety to buy rubber slippers, rubber boots or Chinese Keds? On the island we can now buy any kind of shoe imaginable — are we walking towards more happiness? No. Having more choices to buy stuff is just a diversion from what is really happening.

People get seduced by the thought of acquiring more goods. Glamorous big ticket items down to little trinkets are presented as the keys to happiness. Meanwhile all the affordable homes are bought up by investors and either remodeled and resold to rich people and/or rented out to vacationers. While we weren’t looking, the houses that give us shelter, that belong to the communities of our people, have become the business opportunities of rich people who live mostly on the Mainland and these people belong to other communities. They couldn’t care less about our community.

Couple of years ago I read in the newspaper about a real estate agent who was buying run-down houses and remodeling them and selling these houses in the $700,000 range who was quoted as saying he was doing the island a favor. Sure, now someone can buy a nice remodeled home with big picture windows and stainless steel appliances and marble counter tops and wood floors — most likely that someone not being from this island. But I wondered, how could that be a favor? Are those things a link to happiness? What about living in a neighborhood where everyone knows each other and is governed by a healthy dose of respect?

Do the people who come here on vacation always remember that they are guests in our communities? Do they remember to pack their manners when they pack their suitcases? Do they treat the people, the culture, the history, the ocean, the flora and fauna, with curiosity and respect? No, most tourists are big, noisy intrusions on our rural lifestyle. And as we live in a community where everyday living presents something lost from our quality of life, do we really need more tourists? How much patience do we have?

I think that tourists should be reminded that they are guests who need to stay in designated areas. I couldn’t care less how much a tourist spends to come here on vacation, what I care about is how much more impact tourism is having on my life. Just because tourists spend money to vacation on Kaua‘i, does that grant them some special privileges to carelessness?

If tourists don’t think Kaua‘i is special, they shouldn’t come. Tourists are not special, Kaua‘i is special. Getting rich and buying fancy stuff is not special, Kaua‘i is special.

JoAnne Pinney

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