Letters for Saturday, May 12, 2007

• Privileged to live here

• ADU law form available

• A special Kaua‘i

Privileged to live here

The history of the Hawaiian nation fascinated us “haoles.”

Kaua‘i’s charms are the land itself and its wonderful people, the “kama‘aina.” I feel privileged to live here and I love “talking story” with the locals. People here have strong family values and most parents work long, hard hours to meet their responsibilities.

In fact, much of the really important history of Hawai‘i has gone unnoticed. Of all the people who live out their lives in these islands, only a few names appear over and over in the history books. Where are the thousands of stories about the fathers and mothers, aunts and uncles and grandparents who worked all their lives just to feed and protect and educate the next generation? What about the stories of those on Kaua‘i today who, after working all day in dead-end jobs, come home to put hours of “sweat equity” into houses of their own?

My grandfather was knighted by the King of Norway for his histories of Norwegians who emigrated to America. He was entitled to be called “Sir,” but he never lifted a finger to provide for his own large family. My grandmother and the kids did all the work. So I am not impressed just because someone’s “titled,” or “ali’i.” Technically, I should be called “Lady,” but I prefer “Auntie,” because the people who impress me are those who grow and cook the food, those who build and clean the houses, those who care for the children and remove the trash. Those are the true “kama aina.”

As for the efforts to return Hawai’i to a monarchy, remember that it was the ali‘i who owned Hawai‘i, not the people. Today, haoles own most of Hawaiian land, but haoles did not steal it — the ali‘i sold it to them. If the monarchy is put back in charge of Hawai‘i, they’ll do it again. Even as we speak, big shots in Hawaiian local government (the present-day “ali‘i”) are selling out Kaua‘i to real estate developers and “Superferry” salesmen. Many local leaders only work for their own interest, just as the old ali‘i did.

Blood lines do not guarantee good leadership. Ancestry should not dictate who rules. Kauaian royalty sold land in return for silly-looking uncomfortable Victorian clothes and beaver hats. Present-day union bosses sell out to private interests in return for hand-made shoes and fancy cars. Whether the government be a monarchy or a democracy, Hawai‘i should be managed by people who do the real work, not “ali‘i.”

Nickie Rochfort


ADU law form available

In November 2006 the Kaua‘i County Council passed Ordinance No. 843, related to ADUs (Additional Dwelling Units) on non-residentially zoned lots. Since its inception in 1989, the law pertaining to ADUs on non-residentially zoned land has been modified twice and extended four times. Each extension included a “sunset date,” upon which the ordinance was set to expire.

With the foresight that the previous sunset date of Dec. 31, 2006, was quickly appoaching, Councilman Jay Furfaro introduced Bill No. 2173 on March 10 of last year, and took the initiative to request that the Planning Department hold public hearings to discuss the options confronting property owners with the sunset date pending. After public hearings at the Planning Commission and at the County Council chambers, the bill was amended several times before it was finally passed in its current form.

The new bill limits the construction of ADUs to “lots of record as of Dec. 31, 2006,” and extends the sunset date to Dec. 31, 2009, meaning that a property owner will have their building permit approved and activated by that date. In addition, the new ordinance states that property owners who wish to construct an ADU on non-residentially zoned land are required to obtain the “County of Kaua’i Additional Dwelling Unit Facilities Clearance Form,” approved by the Planning Director, no later than June 15, 2007. This form is available at the County of Kaua’i Planning Department.

All ADU clearance forms and building permits are subject to specific infrastructure requirements from the various county departments, so there may be instances when a property cannot qualify for an ADU, regardless of its zone.

Becky Supon


A special Kaua‘i

In response to JoAnne Pinney’s article “What’s special is Kaua‘i,” April 5, I found myself shaking my head with sadness.

Having lived here 40 years and having the privilege to raise my children here, I too am frustrated by the influx of traffic, congestion and crime due to newcomers — both the visitors and the new house owners — who are putting up fences and bringing their judgements and attitudinal ways to “special Kaua‘i.”

The sad part though is we cannot blame them for wanting to visit and live here. Without our government officials, the Visitor’s Bureau and all the large campaign pushes to bring “people and their money” to Kaua‘i, we would still be living on the sleepy island that we knew and loved in the 1970s.

The voters, the local people of this island have the power to elect our council members, the mayor and those who make the decisions on which way Kaua‘i’s future will go. Kaua‘i’s elected officials for the last 20 years have been pushing and campaigning for Kaua‘i to be just how it is today. There has been much travel on their parts (Kaua‘i elected officials) to sell Kaua‘i and promote it to create the bustling Kaua‘i of today. You and I may not like it, but our elected officials approve of every large land development, every Superferry, every hotel, every big box store and every condominium unit that gets built here on Kaua‘i. They also have the power to stop the process … that is if money doesn’t get in the way.

Now as some of the local families have learned to “go with the flow” of all these tourists and newcomers invading Kaua‘i, many have turned to small successful bed and breakfast businesses or vacation rentals to help them make ends meet to pay for higher tax rates and bills that are being generated now.

JoaAnn Yukimura, one of our elected officials, has decided to use her time in office to take the privileges that these small businesses have offered to the local families and the income they generate away by creating stringent county laws.

As stated in the same paper dated April 5, vacation rentals face county scrutiny, I quote one of the paragraphs: “Whatever units that could be lost through stringent laws can be made up through the building of new time share units and hotels in Waipouli and Wailua only,” he said. (The “he” in this statement was Carl Imparato. The “units” he was referring to are vacation rental units.)

How’s that for helping Kaua‘i? How’s that for helping the local families who are desperately trying to adjust to this new face on Kaua‘i. The one our elected officials have pushed so hard for. And more is yet to come. For that I shake my head in sadness.

Beverly Beach



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