Letters for Wednesday, April 18, 2007

• Lesser of two noises

• Waste to energy vs. zero waste

• On protoco

Lesser of two noises

In response to the recent letters on disrespectful vacation rental guests.

Before vacation rentals in our neighborhood, every neighbor was a full-time resident.

Some of the full-time resident neighbors played loud music or drummed at all hours of the day and night, manufactured and dealt drugs, increased traffic with fast and recklessly driven vehicles at all hours of the day and night. They kept six or more hunting dogs “packing,” running loose, intimidating people and defecating on other people’s property. Some had eight or more unrelated people living in one house so they could afford the high rent the owner required to keep his property here. Some homes and yards were poorly maintained and usually had a lot of poorly maintained or inoperable vehicles and other unsightly junk surrounding them. Some had a lot of strangers coming and going at all hours of the day and night. Noisiness was always a problem whether it was music with the deep bass pounding, pau hana revelry or a lot of little kids crying, screaming and hollering.

Now our neighborhood has vacation rentals. They bring none of these problems. The homes that are vacation rentals are well-maintained, rental visitors seem to depart from the vacation rentals early in the morning, in quiet vehicles, returning to the vacation rental to quietly spend the evening. They have all been excellent neighbors. They seem to be here on Kaua‘i to enjoy the peace and quiet of the surroundings. There are no children crying and screaming or full-time resident parents screaming at children. There is no loud music. Every now and then one can hear a Hawaiian melody quietly drifting on the wind. There are no hunting dogs running around. The night-time traffic has diminished. The vacation renters always wave or nod as they pass, seeming much more friendly than the full-time residents do. They drive slowly and safely down our country road. Many of the full-time neighbors rented, moving in and out frequently and were not really part of the neighborhood.

We are grateful for the vacation rentals in our neighborhood. We now live a much more pleasant and peaceful existence since they arrived.

The owners of these vacation rentals no longer complain when they come to visit the island, of the difficulty they have collecting their rent, how their property has been unkempt or destroyed. Nor do they receive calls about the misbehavior of their tenants.

As long as appropriate fees and taxes are paid, it is difficult to understand why there is such a big push to end the existence of vacation rentals in any Kaua‘i neighborhood. Who are they really bothering or denying? The big hotel interests perhaps? Certainly not the people who want to live peacefully in their neighborhoods.

Laws and rules can be put into place to manage misbehaving/nuisance vacation renters. What can be done to manage misbehaving/nuisance full-time resident neighbors? Vacation renters leave, bad neighbors are around much longer.

It is very unsettling to think the banning of vacation rentals in our neighborhood could possibly return it to what it once was, a neighborhood of all full-time resident neighbors.

Kinohimauloa Sparks


Waste to energy vs. zero waste

Our landfill problem presents an opportunity for us to help save the environment.

Waste to energy is being touted as an “alternative energy” possibility for our island. On the surface it sounds like a good idea. As a member of Apollo Kaua‘i ( a group of concerned citizens exploring alternative energy possiblities for our island) we looked into the process at considerable depth. Our unanimous conclusion was that burning garbage wasted more precious resources than the potential energy it could create. We concluded that maximum recycling was a much greener method of dealing with our garbage. Waste to energy is rather like “burning a dollar to create 25 cents.” In other words, a waste of energy, money, and valuable resources.

Zero waste became the new option, a philosophy that has evolved out of the recycling efforts started in the 70s. The island country of New Zealand diverts 78 percent of its waste to be reused. The cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz, Boulder, Seattle, to name a few, have all set goals and are on their way to zero waste.

Zero waste also focuses on the reduce part of the 3R equation: San Francisco has just banned the use of non biodegradable plastic bags in its stores. Ireland has slapped a tax on plastic bags and use dropped by 90 percent almost immediately. There are so many simple ways we can all help stop global warming.

As a citizen of this island and the planet, I am asking that you contact your mayor and each council member to please consider zero waste as a sustainable philosophy for the nurturing of our island. An efficient curbside system could be employed to turn our “garbage to gold” as many opportunities for new island businesses could be created.

As a county, let’s set a good example.

Pamela Lightfoot Burrell


On protocol

In Reply to “Did We have to Pay Extra,” Letters, April 16. I would like to express some thoughts on this issue. Kaua‘i apparently has a new protocol when it comes to resurfacing the roads. When they resurfaced at the tree tunnel, they were using a roll with premade lines, two guys would roll it out and then another stamps it down. No one seems to pay attention to the quality of the placement, until after. Then another crew comes out two weeks later, closes one lane, burns off those lines, and then actually paints on new ones surprisingly straight.

I thought for sure after this they would learn a lesson. Wouldn’t you know when the bypass to Po‘ipu was resurfaced, those ridiculously curvy lines were back. They didn’t wait though to add painted straight ones. We now have one set painted straight, and one set still curvy. It’s been a few weeks, so another crew should be out shortly (I hope) to pull off the bad ones. The new protocol must be screw it up the first time, then redo it at taxpayer expense. I wonder what else the protocol applies to?

Dan Richmond



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