Letters for Friday, April 27, 2007

• Permanent oncologist badly needed here

• Big Box: Was the County Council listening?

• What about all the other big boxes?

• Appalled by ‘local’ quote

• Land use and zoning laws can and should be amended

Permanent oncologist badly needed here

I can’t tell you how Pat Tingley’s letter struck home (TGI 4/26/07). I too am a cancer survivor who could never get an appointment with Dr. Inouye while she was here. I was assigned to a Straub “visiting oncologist,” Dr. Choy. During my last visit with Dr. Choy I suggested he move here permanently and the nurse who was with us at the time said they are “trying to persuade” him to do this. So far I see this hasn’t happened. It is very stressful not to have a permanent oncologist to turn to on Kaua’i.

A dear friend and neighbor, diagnosed with lung cancer, was put through the terrible ordeal of having to travel to O‘ahu to get chemotherapy treatment, even though she was initially told that it could be done here on Kaua‘i. She was so very sick and it was absolutely barbaric to make her fly to another island to get treatment. After her treatment she flew back (same day) and went downhill so very fast, finally passing away in December ‘06.

I, too, urge, no, demand, that KMC/HPH address this important issue and put into practice a system of health CARE that is not just PR and lip service.

Sheila Morando


Big Box: Was the County Council listening?

So the people of Kaua‘i have spoken. The question is were the County Council members paying attention and listening? The majority opposes Council Bill 2203, better known as the “Big Box Bill” (Big Box opposition louder; The Garden Island, 4/26/07).

However, I found it absolutely ludicrous that the Planning Committee chair wasn’t present when she is ultimately the one who will be presenting the bill to the Council for final vote.

I would think she would have been present to hear what the people have to say, especially when she should be deciding according to the people’s wishes whom she’s supposed to be representing.

I know the County Council members have lives too, however, I would think they would make it a point to be present when there is something on the agenda that is so important to so many people. My understanding is that two of the seven members weren’t present at the hearing. Makes you wonder, are they truly representing the people….

Francine M. Grace


What about all the other big boxes?

As Kaua‘i gets ready to decide the fate of Wal-Mart’s request to enlarge their store with a full-size grocery department, I would like to jump into the discussion.

To me it seems funny that as a community we keep approving BIG BOX resort developments. Safeway and Foodland grocery stores look pretty small compared to the BIG BOX now across the street.

I think a lot more thought should go into the fact that this is a “grocery store” addition. Although I did not live here during the destruction of the hurricane, I would guess that getting food and necessities to the people was pretty difficult for a long time. Don’t you think that if Wal-Mart had had a grocery store then that this would have helped us greatly during that disaster. Imagine a 75,000-sq. ft. stocked food cabinet holding everyday necessities for the people of Kaua‘i. And who do you think would have the most pull to get more containers of food quickly on the island after the hurricane hit …. Wal-Mart or one of our mom and pop grocery stores?

I think the concept of limiting the size of structures on Kaua‘i is a good thing, but it should relate to the personality of our island and examined to see how it helps us. I believe we have an “anything for the tourist mentality” and thus approve developments, time shares and everything else for the tourism industry. Case in point is they are thinking of allowing smoking again because it is affecting Japanese tourism.

Things that are “big box” that help the locals here on Kaua‘i should not be automatically shut out because of their size.

Anybody here think Wilcox Hospital is a good thing here on the Island? Can’t be, it’s a BIG BOX and it interferes with the rural style of our island. Ditto for the new judicial and police buildings. How anyone can look me in the face and say that the Judicial “BIG BOX” fits in with our rural style and the addition to the back of Wal-Mart doesn’t fit in is beyond my comprehension.

Thanks for listening.

Frank Svoboda


Appalled by ‘local’ quote

I was absolutely appalled to read the quote from part-time resident Michael Akro regarding the big boxes when he stated, “Local stores gouge us and defend their right to do so by saying they are local.”

It reminded me of the incident with Don Imus and the awful things he said about African-Americans. Mr. Akro’s quote is the most racist statement that I have ever seen printed in this newspaper.

We can all infer who Mr. Akro, himself a Caucasian, was referring to when using the term, “local.” Long-time residents of Kaua‘i have suffered for decades with the perception of being slow, stupid, and unsophisticated. It is an absolute shame that these stereotypes can be printed with no regard to how it might make us locals feels.

Say what you want about the big box debate, there simply is no place in Kaua‘i to stoop to racism to make your point.

Clifford Fukunaga


Land use and zoning laws can and should be amended

I have just read the letter from Bruce Fehring in the April 13 The Garden Island.

He has stated very clearly the logic and advantages to the people of Kaua‘i of not only allowing, but encouraging “alternative accommodations” on small farms. I don’t need to repeat or add to the reasons which Bruce has so ably presented. I thoroughly endorse them.

What I would like to add, however, is this: Current land use and zoning laws are not sacrosanct nor inviolable. The regulations were written in a different context from that which now exists. They can and should be amended to reflect the changes that have occurred and which continue to ensue.

Some local commentators tend to quote “the law” as if it is the absolute answer to all problems. Zoning and related ordinances are a statement of what the drafters hoped and intended to be a valid guide to future development.

When the whole economy and social situation has changed as drastically as it has on Kaua‘i in the last few years, it is not smart to expect an antique or obsolete set of regulations to solve current needs.

The sanctity of zoning laws was clearly demonstrated to be invalid by the widely respected critic, Jane Jacobs who wrote “The Death and Life of American Cities.”

Ms. Jacobs has studied the subject in detail, and has shown that rigid enforcement of zoning regulations has sometimes been the cause of great harm.

Although zoning is a valid regulation of the use of land, it is not an easy and all-resolving solution to all problems. It requires wise interpretation, flexibility and occasionally revision to meet changing situations. Zoning laws sometimes produce a result opposite to that intended.

K. Sparks letter of 4-18-07 gives an example of the LACK of a necessity or valid reason for strict separation between full-time residents and part-time or vacationers.

Jane Jacobs’ studies showed that the previous strict separation between residential and business locations by means of zoning was NOT advantageous.

Parenthetically, I would add that the current hew and cry against the “illegal” rest pavilions along the bike path is a similar reliance on “the law” to resolve a situation for which it was not intended.

The building regulations regarding structures adjacent to the coastline were undoubtedly written in reference to possible residential and other private uses.

They were surely not intended to regulate public use facilities such as these. There SHOULD BE an intelligent and discerning variance to deal with this completely different use and function.  

Robert Ferris. F.A.I.A.



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