Letters for Tuesday, May 22, 2007

• Lihu‘e urban plan a nightmare

• EIS for cruise ships

• Ka Leo program is needed • Disturbed by museum’s

closing and more

Lihu‘e urban plan a nightmare

Dr. Clendeninn’s plan for the urban development of Lihu‘e is naive. To believe that creating more urban sprawl around Lihu‘e will alleviate commercial development pressures elsewhere on the island is a mistake. Kaua‘i will always face commercial development pressure wherever land is commercially zoned.

Dr. Clendeninn’s thesis specifically calls for “cluster development” along Ahukini Road and on the flanks of Kilohana Crater. Allowing commercial development of these areas would create a nightmare — ironically adding to the problem that Dr. Clendeninn is supposedly trying to alleviate.

Ahukini Road is a beautiful, flower-lined rural highway leading from the airport to Lihu‘e. Visitors to Kaua‘i immediately have the feeling that they have truly arrived on the “Garden Isle.” If Ahukini Road becomes commercialized, this feeling will be destroyed forever. Instead of the current garden-like impression, tourists and locals alike will be immediately greeted with mainland style urban sprawl. What a shame.

Developing Kilohana Crater is equally ill-conceived. Allowing development on ridgelines is a terrible mistake. Just take a look at the detrimental visual impact on O‘ahu and Maui of ridgeline development.

There are many examples on the Mainland where the lack of ridgeline development restrictions has virtually destroyed the rural feel of an area. A prime example is the extraordinarily beautiful upper Methow Valley in the North Cascades of Washington state. That pristine area is currently being destroyed by the complete lack of ridgeline zoning ordinances in the Okanogan County Code.

Creating more urban sprawl will never stem the tide of urban sprawl. Historically, “cluster development” has simply led to more sprawl. The only effective means of preventing the Garden Isle from becoming the “Garbage Isle,” is through stringent and enforced county building code.

Dave Osborn


EIS for cruise ships

I have no opinion to share regarding the new Superferry.

Like many others on Kaua‘i, I believe that market forces should determine the success of this endeavor. I believe it is unfair to require the Superferry to undergo an environmental impact statement when NCL and other cruise lines have not been subject to this requirement.

The multitude of cruise ships that now frequent Nawiliwili have a significant impact on our air quality, in addition to using our water and other precious resources. Several years ago I brought up this issue regarding the “Constitution” and “Independence” cruise ships. Now that the ships are staying overnight and are more sophisticated (six restaurants) it has gotten much worse.

For over a year, residents in the Nawiliwili area have been working with NCL and the state Department of Health regarding cruise ship bunker smoke emissions. When cruise ships are docked in our harbor, it’s like having a power generation plant larger than Lihu‘e’s Kapaia station (27.5 megawatt capacity) parked right upwind. The only difference is that cruise ships (40 megawatts capacity) burn less refined bunker fuel instead of the much cleaner naphtha fuel used in our plant. Breathing the toxic smoke from this type of fuel has been linked to increased asthma and cancer in addition to other major health problems see: www.bluewaternetwork.org/ for more details.

In order to preserve the surrounding air quality for residents, a number of harbors in California have a “diesel only” requirement banning the use of Bunker Fuel within the harbor. Kaua‘i needs to consider this same type of regulation. So far, other than the concern shown by Rodney Yama at DOH, all the Nawiliwili residents have gotten are broken promises and weak excuses; certainly no plan to complete an environmental impact statement.

Gary Craft


Ka Leo program is needed

Attn: Councilmembers Mel Rapozo, Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, Kaipo Asing and Ron Kouchi,

I was shocked to hear that you have voted to end funding for the Ka Leo program. Please reconsider your decision.

It is extremely difficult anywhere, but especially on Kaua‘i, to get honest feedback from the public.

Council meetings, for example, are invariably scheduled during the working day, making it impossible for the average person on Kaua‘i, working two jobs, to attend.

The Ka Leo meetings, which are conveniently scheduled for after dinner but which usually end early enough for those of us who have to get up at 5:30 a.m., are an ideal vehicle for regular working people to participate in local government decisions.

Of course most of us still can‘t show up for every meeting … that does not make the Ka Leo meetings any less valuable.

As you must know by now, most people usually will only contact local government when a problem reaches outrageous proportions.

The Ka Leo meetings are the best vehicle yet to draw community feedback regarding a variety of issues in a positive way.

Whatever you think needs improving with the Ka Leo program, please offer help to make the improvement happen, rather than to end the program.

Please fund the Ka Leo program.

Mary Mulhall


Disturbed by museum’s closing and more

So often it is heard from the children of the island that there’s nothing to do. With that in mind it is quite disturbing to read about the closing of the Children’s Discovery Museum (Children’s Museum to close doors at itsWaipouli location; The Garden Island 5/21/07).

And while we’re on the subject of Kaua‘i Village Shopping Center; at the Big Box hearing, I heard someone questioning the fact that it’s been years and the county still hasn’t been able to get Kauai Village/Waipouli Town Center to build the pedestrian bridge connecting both centers. I recall one of the council members stating they had measures in place to guarantee no improvements, permits, etc. would be approved prior to the pedestrian bridge being built. However, last week The Garden Island newspaper ran this story: $5 mil. to be pumped into Kaua‘i Village, 5/16/07; does that include the pedestrian bridge?

On one hand, the owner seems to be saying they want to keep the “country” feel of Kapa‘a alive; then turns around and talks about all the ritzy-glitzy plans they have for Kaua‘i Village and their desire to make it more resort/tourist friendly.

With that said, I think the County Council needs to vote “no” on Big Box Bill No. 2203, let Wal-Mart build their Supercenter and do something for the good of the local residents.

I‘m just wondering when the members of our County Council are going to remove their blindfolds when it comes to things that don’t benefit the local residents…..

Francine M. Grace



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