Letters for Friday, April 20, 2007

• Focus on bigger problems

• Thought it was legal

• Curvy lines aren’t the problem

• Bee mites can be controlled

• There are two sides to VR story

• Roosters make vacation renters seem appealing

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Focus on bigger problems

RE: “No questions asked..”

What form of government do you ascribe to? This is still America, my friend. We all are still allowed a trial by judge or jury when charged with a crime (“Kula educators charged in drug case,” A1, April 18).

Wars have been fought against totalitarian, narrow-minded thinking such as that. As pertaining to this case, it appears that distribution of marijuana is not an issue here, only personal use. Prohibition of alcohol was tried in this country and failed. One day, pakalolo will be legalized as well, so get used to it.

Let’s focus our attention on problems of abuse of alcohol, smoking, and use of ice. Suspend them both for a period, then get them back to work. We need all the qualified, dedicated teachers we can get.

Mike Ferguson

Wailua


Thought it was legal

Marijuana … I thought it was supposed to be legal in Hawai‘i. I have a permit to smoke marijuana and being an alcoholic sober for 10 years I thank God for marijuana.

I have a place in Hawai‘i and have a hard time finding my pot there but no problem finding alcohol. Marijuana has helped my arthritis, my eating disorder, insomnia and spiritual healing.

Crime?

How many people rob banks on marijuana vs. alcohol. How many get stopped for speeding vs. alcohol. How many lose their lives from marijuana. Come on, really, legalize pot and tax it. I really don’t want to get arrested for smoking pot in Hawai‘i even though I have a permit in California, where it is easy to get but still controlled by a federal government that doesn’t seem to get anything right.

Jerald Tikkanen

Clearlake, Calif.


Curvy lines aren’t the problem

In response to the letters about the curvy lines in the road (Letters, April 16 and April 18): Are you people really serious? I like those lines. It reminds me of where I am.

Get a life, people. There are many more important issues on this island that need your attention, like the fact that it’s being destroyed by over-development, and that the kids that were born here can’t afford to live here as they come out of college, and there are a lot of families without homes. Things like that.

Not curvy lines on the road. Those are there to remind you that you are living in an extraordinary place.

Maynard Spencer

Koloa


Bee mites can be controlled

There is a lot of undue hype about the bee mites. The Mainland has had parasitic bee mites for many years and diligent beekeepers are managing just fine. Kaua‘i is lucky that we are far from the first in the nation to get these mites. Miteacides are well-known and used by all good beekeepers on the Mainland. Yes, it takes a little extra work, expense and time to manage bees with the addition of the mites, but it can be done relatively easily.

The real damage is to wild bee populations and uneducated bee keepers. My experience with bees includes teaching beekeeping at a major university, being a beekeeper and making my living as an apiary inspector with the Department of Agriculture for many years. It is truly sad to see that the mites have shown up on Kaua‘i, but it is good to know that there is a wealth of knowledge available and we can learn from Mainland beekeepers who have been dealing with these pests for many years.

Chris Webster

Kalaheo


There are two sides to VR story

Being generally critical of the VR industry, I carefully read Mr. Godes’ thoughtful rebuttals (Letters, April 11) to common charges against VRs. I think people should consider all such arguments, both pro and con, and try to think “beyond the box.”

Before I offer my view, let me state that though I primarily reside in San Diego, I have a vested interest in Kaua‘i doing the right thing because I have family on the island and have been paying property taxes there for over 40 years.

First, I say it is proper for local governments to plan and implement land usage for the overall good, even if doing so curtails some landowners’ freedoms.

In this case, the VR issue is the County’s concern about housing opportunities on the island and how much of it should be allowed to be diverted into a dispersed hotel room industry.

Remember that the purpose of residential and agricultural land zonings is to provide for homes and farming, not for visitor accommodations.

VRs do make land speculation easier, which has a downside for the community. Outside money, in effect, props up land values, making possible the keeping of those inflated properties, and thus gradually steering homes out of reach of local families and into the hands of the wealthy.

Of course, once on that market path, VRs are the most efficient way to go for servicing those land investments.

Still, I think people should be allowed to supplement their incomes with VRs. But there should be market disincentives too: VR operators should pay a fair business tax — which would serve to dampen VR-supported land speculation.

David Au

San Diego


Roosters make vacation renters seem appealing

I would like to echo the sentiments in Kinohimauloa Sparks’s letter (“Lesser of two evils,” Letters, April 18). I would also add that neighborhood vacation rentals do not have game bird farms in their backyards. They do not have 15 to 20 roosters crowing non-stop day and night interrupting conversations, phone calls and preventing sleep. They do not subject their neighbors to game bird training and mock bird fights. When I was awakened yet again at 3 a.m. by the dulcet tones of my neighbor’s roosters, the idea of having a vacation rental next door seemed really appealing.

Trudy Bauman

Kilauea

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