Letters for Monday, April 23, 2007

• Big Box bill limits the truth

• Expanded Wal-Mart would be a big help

• Insult to the Hawaiian Nation

Big Box bill limits the truth

The flyer these supporters of Bill 22-03 sent out this week was nothing more than an insult to the intelligence of every hard-working person on this island — you are working, in a lot of cases, two jobs at tourist-oriented service pay to buy groceries to feed your families. Protectionism does not work in any society. To protect the weakest link in these days is nothing more than a recipe for disaster.

Small island or Mainland, if you can’t make a better mouse trap you have to get out of business. These supporters of this bill are not going to go to your employer and try to get you a dollar or two raise, but they are not afraid to ask you to take a cut in your hourly wage to support a lot of small markets. I myself am retired, living on Social Security and a pension so I know what it means to save on groceries. These supporters of this bill are not trying to get my SS raised or my pension but they are asking me to protect businesses that do not know how to survive in today’s world. If any of these Council members: Yukimura, Kouchi, Carvalho, Furfaro, Bynum, Rapozo, Asing vote yes on this Bill it’s like voting a cut in your hourly wages and I might suggest you keep that in mind next election. The hearing for this Bill is April 25 at 1 p.m. I’m sure all of you hard-working people will be able to get a Couple of hours off to come down and attend. If the supporters of this Bill are so anxious to protect something maybe they should look no further than the land that these developers are raping.

Sorry I have to go now to start my Anti Superferry letter.

Bill Murphy


Expanded Wal-Mart would be a big help

During the time that the controversy over Bill 2203 has raged, I have read the opinions of many writers, but none expressed more succinctly than those of Martha Ryker in her letter you printed 4/17/07. I totally agree with all the views she expressed. She analyzed the bill in great detail and gave great examples of what our shopping lives on this Island have become.

What is in question at the moment is not a long list of huge stores trying to make Kaua‘i their additional homes, but an expansion to an already existing store, Wal-Mart, which has proven itself to be a helpful and good neighbor to all Kauaians.

My husband and I are senior citizens, living on a low, fixed income. We do not benefit from welfare, nor from food stamps, so we must shop carefully in order to stay within our budget for groceries and other household items necessary to daily life. This is not easy, since it sometimes does require shopping at several stores in order to take advantage of the best prices, balanced against the price of the gasoline used to do this kind of shopping. Wal-Mart’s prices help immeasurably with the other household items, but, since their available capacity to stock grocery items is limited, their help is only marginal in that category. What a boon to all those like us if Wal-Mart could be expanded to encompass all our needs.

Wal-Mart takes food stamps. What a help an expanded store would be to those struggling on the edge of poverty, who would be able to shop for all their basic needs at one place. Costco is not designed for the low-income-bracket person or family, who could find it difficult to afford not only the price of the annual fee, but also the size/amount of the items necessary to be purchased in order to take advantage of a good price.

I cannot subscribe to the idea that an expanded Wal-Mart would hurt the business of the other stores like Big Save, Star Market, etc. I certainly would continue to purchase items which attract me at those stores, as I purchase at Sueoka Store and Ishihara Market, for their unique items not stocked elsewhere.

We need help, here on Kaua‘i, for those of us who seem to be either forgotten or ignored in the deliberations back and forth about the expansion of an already existing Wal-Mart. Not approving the expansion of this store would be a thoughtless and hurtful move on the part of the Council made without consideration for many of its constituents.

If, in its wisdom, the Council feels that any other “big box” stores which may wish to locate on Kaua‘i should be banned, I would suggest that the applications for such should be considered on an individual basis, with regard to the locations involved, etc., and not combined into one generalized category.

It would be my hope that the County Council will open its collective hearts and minds to the needs of the many in Kaua‘i’s communities who long for lower prices along with convenient shopping.

Nisbe Belmes


Insult to the Hawaiian Nation

Mr. Lewis’s article “How would Kingdom of Atooi be governed?” in yesterday’s TGI has criticized and questioned the petition of the ali‘i and the followers of the Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi. While constructive criticism and questions are okay, insults are not. Especially not if they are based on deception. Deception may be just untruth, but sometime it is the omission of important details. And this is what happened.

The 1959 plebiscite resulted in a vote where 90% of Hawai‘i’s residents wanted Hawai‘i to become a state, however it was held in violation of Article 73 of the UN Charter that the U.S. had signed to abide by, whereas three choices were required to be on the ballot: remaining a territory, becoming a state and independence. The United States government bent the rules and omitted the choice of independence thereby rendering the results of the plebiscite invalid. When people can choose only between being confined to a 10’ x 10’ prison cell or transferred to a 20’ x 20’ one, most of them would choose the latter. Presenting this distorted picture of political reality is an insult to the Hawaiian nation. Let’s talk about it openly and make good for our government’s mistakes.

And don’t worry too much about a kingdom, following statehood. A kingdom can be more progressive than our current form of government; see Denmark, which took the leading role from us in technology, or Norway, where the social services provided by the kingdom put the American social network to shame, or tiny Bhutan, where every resident and even tourists receive free medical and hospital care, etc. Yes, we expect to have some loyalists, but we had them even in 1776 following the declaration of the independence of the United States, and there was no plebiscite. Those who had a vision and believed in themselves prevailed. And without them we still might be flying the Union Jack. So, give a chance to Atooi for their self-determination.

Keoni (János) Samu



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