Letters for Friday, May 4, 2007

• Anti-competition on Kaua‘i

• More outside counsel?

• Crude homeless letter

• Tragic anniversary date

Anti-competition on Kaua‘i

Amid all the chatter about the soon to be banned “big box” stores, I forgot that anti-competition legislation has been part and parcel of our county government for quite some time. Today’s headline recalls the fact that a complaint from a competitor resulted in the closure of a water bottling operation here on Kaua‘i. Our recycling center has been closed for a year because its main competitor complained about manini variances from its license and the county government chose to close it down rather than impose reasonable penalties. If it were up to the County Council and/or mayor, the Superferry would be turned back at the entrance to Nawiliwili harbor by gunboats of the Kaua‘i Naval Forces.

Why do we keep electing these same folks who are beholden to the modern day incarnation of plantation owners with monopolies on the company store? Probably because not enough people vote — and those that do work for the government, or under other union contracts, are afraid of losing their cushy jobs.

Stan Godes


More outside counsel?

At yesterday’s county committee meeting our council was asked to fund another $200,000 in a money bill (Bill 2218) for outside legal counsel. For the fiscal year 2006/2007, the county has budgeted and spent $1,800,000 for this special outside legal account. So if the council approves this new $200,000 bill at next week’s meeting, it will bring the expenditure to $2 million and the fiscal year isn’t over.

This seems like an awful lot of money to spend for the services of outside lawyers. We know that some lawsuits are basically unavoidable. But the county has incurred some substantial legal costs on matters of its own choosing. The litigation on the Ohana Kauai property tax measure arose because the county chose to challenge a law adopted by a large number of its citizens. The lawsuits concerning the Sunshine Law occurred because the county engaged in some questionable practices of non disclosure of its affairs.

The taxpayers are always the losers when the county is a party to unnecessary litigation.

Glenn Mickens


Crude homeless letter

Uh, you must be kidding.

Your discription of O‘ahu’s homeless (“Apocalypse now,” Letters, May 2) is degrading, insensitive and offensive. Have you met one of O‘ahu’s homeless families? I think not. What in the world makes you think that all of the homeless are druggies, criminals and vagants? What also makes you think that they are homeless by choice? I find your letter to be quite crude. There are many homeless who are families or individuals with pride and would like nothing better than to have a roof over their heads. Just like the one you obviously enjoy. Many of Hawai‘i’s homeless are not homeless by choice, but by other reasons. I think being without a home, rented or owned, has to be a terrible feeling. Have some compassion, man.

By the way, what makes you think that they could afford to pay the passenger fare plus the fee to ship their vehicle to the Neighbor Islands anyway? I just think your letter was in bad taste, I also think you knew you’d get some flak over that one.

Compassion, man, have some compassion.

Stephen Shioi


Tragic anniversary date

Twenty years have passed since my husband, Gary Hayward, disappeared and was presumably murdered there, 3,000 miles away where I have not been able to go. I have been surviving and raising our children, a son age 19, (whom I was pregnant with when Gary was killed), and daughters ages 26 and 28. Though young adults, they are fatherless children still and their lives bear the scars of this.

Over the years many people have made the comment to me, “It must be terrible, the not knowing what happened.” They have no clue of course, but what else can you say?

For the most part, I do know. Very soon after Gary disappeared, I concluded what basically happened. Based on my gut feeling from the very start, what I knew about my husband, circumstances surrounding his stay in Kaua‘i, and also our private investigators’ reports — there’s never been any question in my mind that he died a violent death by the hand of someone else. I feel it in my gut today, just as I did after receiving the first phone call on May 4, 1987. It was not the police or even a co-worker there on Kaua‘i who called to tell me Gary was missing. His company, Manson Construction, relegated that task to one of their secretaries in Seattle. I never even spoke to the Kaua‘i police until I called them. This was characteristic of how the whole case would be conducted. Communication to me from the authorities was an afterthought.

Perhaps I have been remiss over the years for not continuing to search for answers in that all-but-foreign island that is your beautiful home. But I do not blame myself. Financially, the cost has been prohibitive, but even more so has been the personal cost. In order to give my children any semblance of a normal life over the years I have had to leave this tragedy in the boxes of reports, news articles, pictures and memorabilia marked “Gary.” I have felt powerless to do little else. The times when I did contact the police department about Gary’s case I would just get a polite response telling me what I already knew. No new evidence, findings or confessions from anyone.

After Gary’s disappearance when the story was in the Kaua‘i newspapers, I heard from a few individuals there who asked me if Gary was involved in drugs at all. I said I didn’t know, but that it was a possibility.

I tried to follow up on whether or not there have been unidentified human remains found over the last 20 years and if so, what was done with them? Could they have been my husband’s? No one seemed interested in following up on this. I should have pressed harder to find the answers myself. But the grief involved in expending this kind of energy was crippling to me as far as my ability to hold a job, parent my children, meet daily head-of-household responsibilities, and also take care of my elderly parents (who have since passed away).

Trying to solve this terrible mystery has therefore been relegated to “someday.” How could I have known that all these years later, I would remember what happened to him, and to us, and still shake inside. And grieve all over again. Especially for my children. Time does not heal all wounds.

What I and my children need to know is this: How and where was he murdered, and where are his remains? Our only hope to ever know lies in the mind or minds of those who killed him — and anyone those persons may have talked to over the past 20 years. I believe someone there knows something, and can tell.

I can always hope that whoever is responsible for taking Gary’s life will confess one day, (before they die and face eternal judgment). I ask people of faith to pray for that person (or persons) and to say a prayer for my children. Perhaps light a candle on or around May 3 as a visual reminder that a man from Washington state who was working there to provide for his family was tragically killed in the prime of his life. And never laid to rest.

Information may be called in to the Kaua‘i Police Dept, criminal unit: 241-1605, or the County Prosecutor’s Victim Witness Office at 241-1888.

Janis Hayward

Quilcene, Wash.


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