Letters for Thursday, May 3, 2007

• Big box language needs scrutiny

• I have my reasons

• Bail on teacher

• Let’s focus on the problem

• Death of the EV1

• On senseless theft

Big box language needs scrutiny

Has anyone else looked at the language of the “Big Box Bill” and realized that it (in my opinion) eliminates virtually every type of mall or shopping center on Kaua‘i?

Any mall or center that is built and then leased out to individual businesses would be illegal if the floorspace of all the shops together exceeded 75,000 square feet.

I interpret it this way because of the language in Bill 2203, Section 3 sub-section C and D.

Shopping centers are unique because a single corporation usually builds them and then leases floorspace to individual tenants. Kukui Grove is an example of this. Unfortunately the big box bill says that square footage of any single retail or wholesale establishment would be aggregated (added together) with any other building if it is within 800 feet and owned or leased in any manner by the same individual or business or non-business entity. The mall or center is owned usually by a single entity and thus the square footage would be the total footage of the whole project

I suspect that the authors of the bill put this language in so that stores like Wal-Mart couldn’t build separate buildings next door to each other to avoid the 75,000-square-foot limitation.

Let’s say a local company built a 200,000-square-foot building and leased areas inside to local farmers to sell their vegetables and goods. This would be a farmer’s market. I would guess the intent of the law would be to prohibit it because of its size, but in fact this is almost exactly what a shopping mall does.

Kukui Grove wouldn’t be allowed if it were to be built now.

Kmart wouldn’t be allowed either (too close to Sears — also within 800 feet and they are associated with Sears now).

I suspect that the Foodland shopping center and the Safeway center would also fail to pass the test if they are leased buildings or if the grocery stores lease to the other building in the shopping center because the floorspace of the other stores would have to be added together as per the language of the bill. The shopping complex together is most likely over 75,000 square feet.

Even the Harbor Mall might exceed 75,000 square feet if you add up all the floorspace.

I would suggest our leaders re-read Bill 2203 and examine the language of the bill with leased shopping centers in mind. Leased space in a resort could also be prohibited with the way the bill is written.

Frank Svoboda


I have my reasons

For many reasons, I want to encourage everyone not to support any further development of big box stores.

Lucinda Lyons


Bail on teacher

Wait a minute. This private school teacher gets a $6,000 bail for growing some pot plants at his house in plain view of just about anyone and Byron Say gets $4,000 bail for intentionally running over someone and causing serious physical injury, possessing heroin as well as having a myriad of other past offences including a handgun and silencer possession and ice trafficking. Hmmm, sentencing should be interesting.

Doug Manning


Let’s focus on the problem

Until the day comes that marijuana gets legalized, what are those qualified and dedicated teachers at Kula School thinking of? Supposedly, our children look up to them as role models. Also, what if someday they might be so stoned out of their minds in class that one of the children gets them cross. Without their normal state of mind they hurt the child so severely they land the child in a coma or death.

Then guess what, all you people who said they were so qualified and such dedicated teachers will say, “I guess I was wrong.” (After a life has been ruined by these potheads).

Yes, focus on bigger problems before they happen. Get rid of these not-so-qualified-and-dedicated teachers out of the school system.

We say to keep drugs out of school and have a drug-free progam. Who’s to say these teachers don’t have a stick or two in their pocket when on school grounds. (Are they being sniffed down by a trained dog or being patted down and searched.) They should be.

Howard Tolbe


Death of the EV1

I watched the the TV show about General Motors scrapping the EV1 electric car which proved so popular with California commuters. As you probably know, you couldn’t buy one; you had to lease it, so they were able to recall thousands of them and crush them.

According to the television program, everyone who drove the EV1 fell in love with it. It seemed to be the ideal answer to getting rid of California commute smog. You could plug it in at home or at selected gas stations to recharge the batteries.

The American government’s emphasis is on hydrogen fuel cells, which are a long way off and can’t compare with the low cost and efficiency of the electric car. The oil companies can control the fuel cells, but they can’t control the plug-in power source of the electric car, unless they control the electric companies.

It appears that the Japanese hybrids are saving the day with their fuel efficiency, and now the newer Japanese hybrids are adding a plug-in feature for home charging of the hybrid’s batteries. I’m sure that the best Congress that money can buy will figure out a way to block this simple way to decrease the amount of carbon dioxide that goes into our atmosphere from internal combustion emissions.

Harry Boranian


On senseless theft

I believe that there is a serious issue going on that needs to be dealt with.

About a month ago my mom was closing up at the black pearl shop she works at, and she went out to her car and put in a bag of personal items just before her shift ended. Among them were some CDs, customer invoices and an out-of-print book about black pearls that I remember looking at when I was a little girl. She left the window down and went back into the shop to close up. When she returned about 10 minutes later she found the bag and its contents missing, including the book.

My mom is not the only victim of senseless acts of theft; this is happening more and more often. There has to be something done about it. I’m sure you have heard people on the radio addressing this subject; you may have even heard me. Yes, that’s nice, but we need to do something now. That is up to you.

Sadie Aline Jackson

Eighth grade, Philip Steinbacher’s class, Island School


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