Letters for Sunday, April 29, 2007

• My absence at the ‘big box bill’ hearing

• My homeless brother

• On the lack of recycling


My absence at the ‘big box bill’ hearing

I want to acknowledge Francine Grace (“Big Box: Was the County Council listening,” Letters, April 27) for her legitimate concern about my absence at the public hearing on Bill 2203; re, big box stores. I apologize to her and all the people of Kaua‘i for my absence. I felt very badly about not being present. Those who know me know that I am very conscientious about my responsibilities as a councilmember and usually put my council work above everything, including my family, my personal life and sometimes, even my health (which, I am presently learning is not wise).

Long before the public hearing was scheduled, I made plans to miss the April 25 meeting in order to be with my husband at an event that was very important to the both of us. When I became aware of the conflict, I agonized over canceling my trip, but chose not to do so. As it turned out, I was too sick on the day of the event to attend it — or a public hearing. I’m sure Ms. Grace would not have criticized my absence from the hearing if she knew I was ill.

I want to reassure Ms. Grace and all of my constituents that before I vote on the matter, I will review a video tape of the entire public hearing. This means that I will hear every testimony given at the hearing. I have also reviewed all e-mails and letters regarding Bill 2203. The subject is very important to the future of Kaua‘i, and I will give thoughtful consideration to each person’s input. I thank everyone who has shared his or her thoughts on the matter.

JoAnn A. Yukimura

Kaua‘i County Council member


My homeless brother

My brother is a kind, loving and honest person. Yes, he moved to his paradise island eight years ago and I helped him get there, and I can’t think of a better place for Mark to be. I love my older brother, and I miss him very much. What you people do not understand is that my brother suffered a closed head injury back in 1990, when he got into a near-fatal car crash on South Boulevard in Rochester Hills, Mich. I’ve done all I could to help my brother Mark, and I keep him in my prayers every night. I know my brother better than anyone. He’s at least willing to work for hand-outs, doing odd jobs, taking out your garbage, etc. Your homeless problem is not Mark Fischl. Your problem is you, not knowing the difference between bums looking for a free ride and earnest people with disabilities. My brother did not choose to be homeless. My brother did not choose to wreck his life on an icy road back in 1990. And futhermore … my brother did not choose for you to judge him, or take advantage of his good graces. Mark Fischl lives on a tiny little island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in paradise, and I sail on a lake about the size of his island only wishing I was with him in paradise.

Steve Fischl

From the Internet


On the lack of recycling

I am an eighth-grade student at Island School. I am writing to comment about Kaua‘i’s recycling. Personally, I think that the people of Kaua‘i need to pay more attention to recycling.

I think that by now, everybody agrees that we all should be concerned about the environment, and buy into the fact that recycling is an important thing. Then why is it that so few people recycle? I think that there are two major reasons.

First, if you want people to change their ways, you need to make it easy and convenient. A recycling station, hidden and out of the way, is the exact opposite. It is hard, and sometimes people have to go looking for bins, rather than able to drive by and immediately seeing one. Sometimes the instructions are different at each bin, and can be contradicting to one another. Some employees that work at these stations are rude and fussy.

Second, many of us have lived in different parts of the world, some which are well known for their recycling efficiency. These places were never asked to remove the bottle caps, or separate different papers and cardboards. So why do we? Is our recycling program not as efficient because we may have too many rules, some of which are unnecessary?

You decide. So why don’t we recycle more?

Stephanie Steuri

Eighth grade, Philip Steinbacher’s class, Island School

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