Letters for Sunday, June 24, 2007

• Mixed messages

• The ‘idiots’ were here long before UFC or MMA

• How can fighting be entertaining?

• Spay and dump does not work

Mixed messages

Richard Hanki (“Enjoy the ‘Enjoy the good ole days’,” Letters, June 22) sends out some mixed messages in his recent letter. His last sentence, “Stop complaining and enjoy paradise,” pretty much nullifies everything he said before. This is the same “stick your head in the sand or keep your head in the clouds and just enjoy what you’ve got” attitude that others have employed in this forum.

He rightfully identifies the problems, and rightfully states that they need to be solved, but I fail to understand how he expects them to get solved if people don’t get fired up about them. He and others seem to think that the complaining is simply a mindless activity with no purpose and no use, but they are all quite wrong. The complaints are rallying cries for others who feel the same way — it lets them know that they are not alone in their frustration. It is a way for people to gauge the level of support for change. Given that the prevailing attitude for many years here has been “don’t you dare change anything,” telling people to stop complaining is tantamount to telling people to stop caring. That is the last thing we need.

Perhaps, Mr. Hanki, if you were here for more than two weeks every other year, you would understand the level of frustration some of us feel, and you would have a different view of the complaints. When you have daily reminders of the slow but steady destruction of one of the most beautiful places on the planet, when you are stuck in traffic with vehicles carrying bumper stickers that say “Save the ‘Aina” as the occupants casually throw their cigarette butts out onto the road to be swept into the ocean, or you see a flatbed truck barreling down the highway with trash blowing out the back, maybe then you will understand what the complaining is about.

When my experience with Kaua‘i consisted of two weeks per year, I was just as clueless. As a permanent resident, I see things quite differently. Stop sending mixed messages. Either you want the problems fixed, or you don’t. You can’t want the problems fixed and demand everyone just accept what we have.

Michael Mann


The ‘idiots’ were here long before UFC or MMA

Aloha. As a martial-arts/mma instructor for over 35 years and also one of the promoters for the MMA shows on Kaua‘i, I ask you, how can you say that ultimate fighting is to blame for the violence in the islands? …Idiots, as you say, starting fights?

Well, just a bit of history for you. These idiots (as you call them) have been here long before UFC came into the limelight of TV. I personally dealt with them as a bouncer at Kuhio’s at Po‘ipu, Kuhio’s at Wailua, on the beach, restaurants, gas stations, driving home from work, at the store, airports, planes, surfing, on and on … idiots, as you call them, have been here since mankind has been on earth!

My family has been on Kaua‘i for generations (Hanapepe valley). I deal with “idiots” every day at work and they still will be here long after you and I are gone.

Randy Ortiz


How can fighting be entertaining?

Regarding the recent views addressing the “sport” of Mixed Martial Arts and the effect it has on our Garden Isle society, can someone please explain to me how bludgeoning someone to near death is in any way a form of art?

It’s common knowledge that most ancient Oriental and Asian martial arts originated as forms of self defense and involves physical and mental skill as well as calculated moves and steps generally of an organized pattern or form.

Two grown men thrown in a cage to fight it out is nothing more than a cockfight. The “sport” itself does not focus on the spiritual and mental discipline as other traditional martial arts do, ie: karate, judo, tae kwon do, tai chi chuan. Don’t fool yourself, when that bell rings those men are filled with nothing but pure negativity, they’re FIGHTING. How is this entertaining?

I Google-ed MMA and found a Web site promoting the “sport,” also known as Ultimate Fighting. As a new sport, I wonder how steroids are regulated. Even for the bigger events, do drugs or weapons begin to have a role just as in cockfighting?

More importantly, how does promoting this activity send a positive message to our youths? What kind of role models are professional fighters? Unfortunately, we are exposed to this sport through media because there’s money to be made, resulting in people accepting this kind of violence as normal.

I’m not sure what is worse, teaching our youths that violence can be glorifying and really pay off big, or someone having so little personal resources to evolve into one who gets paid big time to just beat people up as a profession.

There are obvious differences between traditional and mixed martial arts and along with cockfighting I feel they both should be outlawed. Imagine what we could accomplish with the time and energy wasted on fighting.

Simon Beatty


Spay and dump does not work

I would like to respond to the letters about the cat problem on your island.

I think if the person from Virginia had actually traveled through Pakala and Kaumakani she would see how bad the cat situation is on the island. I agree with the gentleman from Kekaha. Those cats live in disgusting conditions and are constantly being run over and mauled by larger cats. When I was staying with my friend there in Kaumakani a few years back, the cats were everywhere, eating from the garbage, some had nasty goop and eye infections to the point that they couldn’t even open their eye, and some had obvious battle wounds from other obviously larger cats.

Is this humane? This is no way for a cat to live. Apparently the Humane Society there has been trying this “spay and dump” idea for many years now and the problem is only getting worse.

Putting a cat to sleep is not “killing” it as if you were going on some gopher hunt with a shotgun. It is peaceful and very humane. Much, much more humane than the current system. What kind of life is that for a cat to be spayed and dumped by the Humane Society with no shelter or protection from the weather or other animals? Furthermore, what kind of diseases are they spreading to pets and people by allowing these conditions to exist?

Just hoping that people will stop dumping their pets, and just hoping that the spay and dump strategy is suddenly going to start working after many years of failure is not the answer.

Wasn’t it just a few years ago you all paid for a multi-million dollar facility for the Humane Society? Despite this, Kauaians obviously still have the exact same problem as you’ve always had.

Spaying and dumping, lecturing the public and crossing your fingers obviously is not the answer.

Randy Schenkmann

Lake Havasu City


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