Letters for Monday, May 7, 2007

• Rural character, angering

• Call it what it is

• Philosophical wanderings

• What about airplanes?


Rural character, angering

I am in a permanent state of anger when any member of the Kaua‘i County Council refers to retaining the rural character of Kaua‘i, when they are doing everything in their power to destroy its rural character.

Her (“Thinking about big box stores,” JoAnn Yukimura, Forum, May 6) comments were regarding big box stores such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc. The County Council seems to be oblivious to the fact that every approval of a big box condo, or single-family big box development adds to the destruction of our rural character. The immediate effect to our infrastructure is on our traffic situation, not even considering its impact on electricity, water, trash, etc.

I live in Kalaheo and if I travel to Lihu‘e at the wrong time, traffic will be backed up from the Puhi stop light to the humane society. It then takes at least 10 to 15 minutes to continue through the stoplight.

I’m sure it’s probably worse in Kapa‘a.

Living here I know the least congested time to travel. Tourists don’t, so they are regularly caught in this traffic mess. That doesn’t do anything to preserve our rural character. How much longer will tourists endure this before they stop coming?

There is nothing in the works to change this. If the tourists stop coming, our economy goes down the tubes. Just approving Wal-Mart’s expansion will not help destroy our rural atmosphere. Approval of more big box condo and home development will. It appears to me that a road from the Tree Tunnel to Kealia Beach would help a lot to diminish congested traffic.

Whether the Wal-Mart approval is granted or not, approval of big box condos and large single family developments will continue the downgrading of our rural character.

I hope I live long enough for our Planning Commission and our County Council to wake up from their deep sleep. As for me, I find the idea of cheaper groceries appealing.

Bob Yount

Kalaheo


Call it what it is

I was discouraged when I read the opinion by coucilwoman JoAnn Yukimura (“Thinking about big box stores,” JoAnn Yukimura, Forum, May 6).

Let’s start off by really saying what the “Big Box” bill is about. It is an attempt by other grocery stores to stop another bigger and cheaper priced grocery store from coming onto their turf. It isn’t about big buildings, otherwise the council would not have allowed the huge judicial and police complex on our island, as well as the recent huge resort across from Foodland. We wouldn’t have allowed Costco, Home Depot, or built the Kukui Grove shopping center.

Someone directly affected in the pocketbook got the big box bill going. Draw a two-mile circle around Wal-Mart and make your best guess. Now the council is running with it.

I totally disagree with JoAnn on several of her conclusions.

She said: “In the long run, the goal of lower food costs will not be assured by big box stores.”

Wrong.

Peak oil or not … a big company will be able to negotiate lower prices that a mom and pop store cannot. The bigger the quantity of product purchased, the lower cost a company has to pay for each item. It is called economy of scale and is an economic principle that drives trade. The only way she could be correct is if all the food and groceries (guess we have to build a paper mill on the island now) was obtained locally, and then again those who buy the biggest quantity get the best prices.

She implies that we should stop big boxes because they aren’t needed to save money. “If we can provide affordable housing, transportation, energy and health care, more money could go towards food.”

If that is the case then let’s have the council fix the first four items first, then they can start eliminating big box stores with everyone’s approval. I don’t think they are going to solve the traffic problem in my lifetime at the speed they are progressing, let alone the rest on her list.

Other states even eliminate sales tax on food to help low income people with the struggle to feed themselves. Cheaper food helps everybody. Except those selling more expensive food.

Wal-Mart cannot even build a separate building two and a half “football fields” away from its current building … that is how slanted the “Big Box” bill was written, to go after Wal-Mart.

So let’s not sweeten the bill up with quality of life, rustic history, traffic problems, rural destruction … please, just call it what it is when you approve the bill.

Frank Svoboda

Lihu‘e


Philosophical wanderings

America is the world’s pride and joy. A nation of natives and immigrants … not a “nay/shun” at all.

Kaua‘i is the final jewel in time, ahead of eternity. Tucked away, far from all the hate and evil, life abounds here on Kaua‘i. We get everything we possibly can for life not only with what we have here, but from elsewhere.

Goods and services we bring here are the result of hard work and the reason we should pat ourselves on the back every now and then.

Born here when there were only about 15,000 people on this island, it is great to see the population growth working together and flourishing.

Money invested here for jobs, is good for homes. Families and friends working for the “American Dream.” Government doing its job to ensure it

It’s all right to treat humans with a silver platter or silver spoon. It makes me happy, what about you? No one should be left behind.

The dark side … only if 100 percent of our goods are made here will we be richer than the richest nation on earth.

Do not dare be so-called blind to your justice, or that of others.

Thought for the day … “give each other the slip on a day to day basis.”

Modesto Rabina Jr.

Kalaheo


What about airplanes?

Nicholas Moore’s (“What about the Varroa mite,” Letters, May 6) closing questions about the Varroa mite appear to be a jab at the Superferry, rather than a genuine concern about the risks to Hawai‘i honey bees by the Varroa mite. If he believes one bee in someone’s car on the Superferry will bring the mite here, then he must also believe that the same bee could also arrive by Matson, Young Brothers, cruise ships, or the many airplanes that visit the island every day.

John Goodman

Kekaha

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