Letters for Friday, May 18, 2007

• Behold the use of power

• A beautiful thing

• On other government

Behold the use of power

The witch hunt by the attorney general’s office to prove that our former Police Chief K.C. Lum “altered a letter the county sent him” — a letter dated May 30, 2006, — “a letter he later forwarded to the Police Commission and others” is deplorable (“Lum still seeking property seized in raid,” A1, May 16).

Though the article was well written, unfortunately it left out the most important part of the story — the fact that there was documentation showing that there was no altering or forging of this letter.

Clayton Ikei, Lum’s attorney, is on record as saying that the “altered” letter was simply a mechanical error. His office admitted to the attorney general investigator that the error happened in the law office.

And though one might argue that Lum’s lawyer would say anything to help his client, no law firm would jeopardize their reputation by falsification.

Our county clerk, the mayor’s office, and The Garden Island newspaper had “errorless” copies of this letter on June 13, 2006, proving beyond any doubt that no altering of this letter had taken place. And this knowledge was known three months before the Sept. 14, 2006, date that the Attorney General’s office seized Lum’s computer files, searched through his two vehicles, pored through documents and data found on laptops, storage devices, cassettes, printers, modem, software, photography equipment and backup drives.

This raises the $64,000 question of who gave the attorney general’s office this false information about the “forgery?” And why didn’t the attorney general’s office thoroughly check this story before they got their search warrant to enter a highly respected citizen’s home and take his personal property?

Obviously this is injustice at its worst and it makes the private citizen quaver to think of what their chances of getting justice would be if something like this could happen to a respected ex-chief of police.

Glenn Mickens


A beautiful thing

Driving along the stretch of Kuhio Highway between mile marker 9 and 10, I  pulled into the scenic lookout where a well-laid-out asphalt parking area with stalls for the handicapped now exists. Then I noticed a ramp going down at the bike path and saw a young woman running past and a couple being walked by a big bulldog on a leash. I hadn’t put a toe on the new stretch of bike path up to this point and knew that using it had been prohibited.

But I couldn’t help myself.

There it was: the new bike path.


I sauntered down the ramp and headed toward Kapa‘a. The slanting late afternoon sun sparkled on the ocean; voluminous clouds grew rosy and a balmy sea breeze blew softly on my skin. I didn’t have to watch the ground for rocks or pot holes, rather, I could stroll sure-footed on the 10-foot-wide concrete path and enjoy the stunning coastal view — stretching way beyond Kapa‘a town. I was enthralled. It felt like being on vacation.

A young mother jogged past holding the hands of her two small squealing daughters on rollerskates. Three tiny white dogs pranced ahead of their owner like dust mops on leashes. On two occasions, I met up with people I knew, and they extolled the virtues of the bike path. “It brings community together. You see the same people every day at this time.” A woman smiled as she walked past pushing a baby stroller.

Thanks to everyone who is making this happen, both the county workers and other supporters. We are so lucky to have people with vision who strive for the higher community good despite adversity and small mindedness. Let’s get past the bickering, blockages and badmouthing. 

The bike path is a beautiful thing.

Gabriela Taylor


On other government

For the sake of our island home, we must choose a different form of government that does not reflect the “limitless growth mania” that plagues a great portion of the United States, its institutions and corporations. Those of us who have traveled across the United States in a car have seen the urban sprawl that creates a culture of “now” that is responsible for our many problems we currently face at home and abroad. Limitless growth does not work for island living because we are bound to live in a limited geographical home.

A former name of Kaua‘i, Kamawaelualani (The Middle of the Circle of the Sky) poetically expresses the pono place that our most lovely island must hold in the world politic. Many of our Kaua‘i endemic flora, fauna and fishes who live here express in the natural world the integrity of our island home as well. As a teacher, a storyteller, and a children’s TV personality living on “Atooi”, I sincerely appreciate the efforts of the ali‘i like Dayne Aipoalani, and his ‘ohana who are all working for the influence of sovereignty on our islands.

An island works best when the family is the basic building block for the decision making of the people, not government, not a religion, not business. In order for the family to have the power to make decisions that last, they must be free from the burden of land-based debts. Each family must own debt-free land in order for its children to preserve the life of the island into the future. We learn to love the land by living on it and caring for it, not by strapping our children with unattainable monetary goals to pay for what is already theirs. Being rich makes someone else poor because everyone cannot be rich, but everyone can have a good life and be a part of a family, and care for where they live. The most important thing about the rule by chiefly families on Kaua‘i is that everyone can show love and aloha to the ali‘i families. This aloha gives the family members the mana to act with conscience when making important decisions like the development of our lands.

Inasmuch as sovereignty is a very personal decision, I would ask everyone reading this letter to stop for a moment. Think what it means to make your own decisions, to speak from your heart, to not be fearful or intimidated. To become more an island of strong citizens each looking after the ‘aina and each other, like the feeling we all had after ‘Iniki and ‘Iwa about what needed to be done.

How can we all now simply create the needed coalition for a sovereign Kaua‘i, an island nation around Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau?

We can, from this next 2008 election onwards, declare ourselves a West Hawaiian Commonwealth, a constitutional government. We can do this by elevating to political status our ali‘i nui families in each island ahupua‘a district with an alliance relationship to our island prime minister (elected mayor) and our island council. Each entity would be considered inter-dependent of each other and become major decision makers within their kuleana.

This would change our relationship with the State of Hawai‘i and with the United States of America; however a new relationship could be derived from this decision that would benefit our island and her people for many generations to come.

To accomplish this we must look for our model to our neighbors in other Pacific island nations who have changed their association with their, at one time, ruling colonial powers. We must design educational experiences for our young people that continually expose them to Pacific island culture and all the living cultures of the world as we all move cautiously into the uncertain future.

Mark Jeffers



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