Letters for Thursday, May 17, 2007

• We can do this

• County protecting resources

• Setting the right example

• Great … another strip mall

• On Hawaiian slurs

• It will hurt


We can do this

In looking over our recent solid waste analysis that can now be seen on the Kaua‘i County Web site in the RW Beck report, it seems that 61 percent of our “waste stream” on Kaua‘i is food or yard waste, wood, or some form of waste paper that could be either recycled or composted. Almost 24 percent of the rest is plastics, metals or glass. That means that 85 percent of what is going to that mountain of overflowing landfill could be avoided.

Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run your TV for four hours. Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours. Please ask the mayor to enact a convenient curbside recycling program.

Jilda Loomis

Kapa‘a


County protecting resources

I would like to commend the County Attorney’s office and Planning Department for the committment to the resources of Kaua‘i without voice and standing for us all in their backing of the Planning Commission’s decision to order Kauai Springs to stop the illegal taking of water from Kahili Mountain. The county is upholding its constitutional duty to protect the public trust, and ensuring that this important shared resource is not benefiting only one person. This is everybody’s water, and it’s not right for one company to profit off of it. The law says the resource must be considered first, that means the land, the ‘o‘opu and the ocean. I appreciate the county’s understanding of the huge potential of harm this “taking” could bring … Nestle and Coca Cola are watching very carefully.

Thank you also to Office of Hawaiian Affairs for providing important support in this fight to protect our water.

Makaala Kaaumoana

Kilauea


Setting the right example

Mahalo and kudos to Gary Craft (“Mahalo to Terese Barich,” Letters, May 16) for his many years of dedication to the teaching of our children. Mahalo and kudos to all teachers and school administrators dedicated to the education of our future leaders. Mahalo and kudos also, to the dedicated parents raising children in today’s society that is permeated with post-modernistic and relativist perceptions of everything from personal behavior to hard science.

God bless the parents setting a proper example for their children to follow, while praying their efforts are enough to form a strong foundation of morals and values that is the basis of a successful society. But, how can parents compete with the negative influences foisted on our children every day through television, movies and music? Parents deserve the reassurance of knowing their children are safe and properly cared for by those in positions that influence the formation of a child’s strong foundation.

Mr. Craft wrote, “I have found teachers to be the least drug using/abusing group of individuals in our society.” This indicates he even knows teachers are not exempt from the activity of illegal drug use.

Teachers are a major influence on a young child’s life, but are mostly strangers to the parents of these children. Is it too much to ask or to give these parents a glimmer of hope that their child is safe in at least one area of their life outside the home? What is undignified or inappropriate about setting a positive example and earning the respect of students and parents by implementing random drug testing?

Now, one final mahalo and kudo to all of the “big box” stores that have plenty of employment opportunities for those who don’t agree with random drug tests.

Joseph Vrataric

Lihu‘e


Great … another strip mall

Re: new look for Kauai Village Shopping Center. Comtemporary, stucco, more modern, Denny’s or IHOP.

Great, fabulous. With a lot of hard work and dedication, we really can make the Kauai Village Shopping Center look like a “scummy” Southern California strip mall.

Liz Stevens

Lihu‘e


On Hawaiian slurs

I am from a rural island in Washington State and moved here five years ago. I feel quite connected here because I have been married for 18 years to a third-generation local Kaua‘i girl. Living here has been a marvelous adventure, including the attitudes about race.

The local comedians use every racial slur in the islands. One of the most popular pastors in Hawai‘i tells Portuguese jokes during his sermons broadcast on the radio (he is of Portuguese descent). People my color are called haoles, which has a very negative original meaning.

Frankly, I find it all quite delightful. Why? I think we all know that it is the attitude that counts, not the words. The people of Hawai‘i, especially Kaua‘i, are the most gracious people I have ever been around. The aloha spirit is very real.

When people feel accepted, they don’t mind slurs. In fact, the closer the friends, the more people feel comfortable to “let their hair down” and use slurs. On the Mainland, many people of African descent call each other by the “N” word. Here, many whites (myself included) refer to themselves as haoles.

Obviously, we should not use slurs if we really do have negative feelings about people. Also obvious is the fact that if you are making a joke or using a slur, it is safer if you are a member of the race you are making fun of. But if you use a racial slur about your own race, don’t be offended if someone else outside your race uses the same word. I think that people of African descent are only hurting their own cause by enforcing a double standard with the “N” word. Using a double standard like this has a way of confusing and trapping people, which only alienates them further.

I am not taking sides in favor of all these Hawaiian slurs. Maybe it would be wiser if we all stopped. However, in the meantime, I am enjoying it while it lasts, because it is a fun part of local culture.

Mark Beeksma

Koloa


It will hurt

When we lived on the Mainland a similar “big box” bill got turned down twice, then passed — the mom-and-pop stores failed miserably and prices went up. At the new enhanced stores, due to their ability to just do it — do it in plain view — with nobody to stop them, good decent traditional vendors were stuck in near bankruptcy.

Please, please, please listen to the little guy this time — you let Costco in after Home Depot — don’t let Wal-Mart expand into space we may need later for Wilcox Memorial Hospital expansion and for goodness sakes do not let folks from big business into our island space any further than they are already.

Many people are planning to give up their dollars on time off to attend hearings — not fair either.

Please be with us on this.

Vote a resounding “No” on Bill 2203. For the good of us all…

Su and Al Haynes

Kapa‘a

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