Friday, Dec. 8, 2023 |
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• Hatred in aloha
• Last chance to improve protection from invasive pests
• From family in trying times
• Kapa‘a Middle School pride
Hatred in aloha
Recently, the words “Go home or die” were written on the side of a house in Princeville. In the state where I am from, that would be considered a hate crime. It is quite possible that the person responsible for this act was a worker from the construction site next door who had been asked to tie up his dog by a resident on the street concerned about nesting albatross in the vicinity. The man’s angry response was, “I care more about this island than you do.” Do you?
I have studied the history of Hawai‘i and I understand the injustices which have generated the sovereignty movement. I have also been witness to the surge of development stressing this island in the last 15 years. Hence, the resentment toward the dreaded haole. But I have also been awed by the tremendous outpouring of volunteer work and donations made by those same “dreaded people.”
In contrast to the many transplanted Mainlanders who have given their time, energy and resources, I see some island government officials selling the island out over and over again and where are the Kauaians rising up to protest this? (A dedicated handful, that’s it.)
You cannot stop big Mainland money from making the offers but the Planning Commission or the mayor, for example, could say “No.” How ironic that the supposed short-term gain of jobs being generated by these projects only ends up further fueling the divide between those who have always lived here and those just arriving.
It saddens me that there is hatred in the land of aloha when instead, lifetime residents and transplants could come together and stand firm about surrendering the island to a tragic end.
Among all the things that would be missed — the peaceful existence, the pristine beauty, the respect for the land and its culture — I think losing the feelings of aloha would be the saddest loss of all.
Last chance to improve protection from invasive pests
There is significant concern that Gov. Linda Lingle is likely to veto SB 1066, a bill which would improve our chances of protecting our islands from new invasive species. The bill would enable the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture to charge a $1 service fee per incoming sea container, to raise dedicated funds for invasive species inspection and treatment.
For the past couple of decades, HDOA has not been able to conduct adequate inspection of incoming goods because the annual funds for inspection services have not kept up with the amount of incoming cargo. This fee-for-service mechanism is the only way to ensure that the funds are commensurate with the amount of incoming cargo. Although the original bill included a similar inspection fee for air cargo, that did not make it through the Legislature this time.
In the past few years that we have been trying to get a dedicated funding source for inspection and treatment services, we’ve received a horde of new invasive pests including the bee mite on O‘ahu, the wiliwili gall wasp, ohia rust, a new macadamia nut scale on the Big Island, the Taura Syndrome Virus in a Kahuku shrimp farm, and more. There are many more harmful pests that can reach our shores if we aren’t vigilant. A public opinion survey in 2007 showed that the public is supportive of this fee for inspection services, nearly 75 percent of residents agreed that we need to protect ourselves, our businesses, our environment from new invasive pests.
Governor Lingle has until July 10 to sign or veto bills, and the Legislature is set to convene in a special session July that same day. Please urge our elected officials to support this important measure.
Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species
From family in trying times
This is a letter of love and appreciation from the family of the late Nelson Mendonca.
We would like to thank the Kaua‘i Fire Department, Hawai‘i Fire Fighters Association, Kaua‘i Senior Citizen Softball Association, the “Rookies” senior softball team, Carol Nacion and Father Nap of the Holy Cross Catholic Church for all your help and support during our time of sorrow. It has been a very sad and trying time for our family.
To all our dear friends from near and far away, thank you so very much for your sympathy, prayers, support and generosity.
The Waimea High School Class of 1958, you guys are unreal … I am so proud to be a member of this class and I know Nelson would have felt the same way. Thanks for being there for me.
Pat Ruiz and all of our relatives; my sister, Fely, who is always there for me, I love you all. A very special thanks to Clifton Hashimoto, you are the best of friends.
God bless and much love.
Marcy Mendonca and family
Kapa‘a Middle School pride
Six years ago, I was awarded the position of seventh-grade social studies teacher at Kapa‘a Middle School. I was apprehensive when I walked on campus that first day of school. I had read about the school in the police blotters in The Garden Island and heard the stories about the school’s tough reputation.
What was I getting myself into?
It didn’t take long to find out. What I found at Kapa‘a Middle School was a group of dedicated, caring teachers working hard to serve the needs of their students, administrators that did their best to make the right decisions about how to move our school forward, and, most importantly, students, who, when shown the way, shine brighter and more beautifully than any star in the sky. There are no kids in the world that are more special than ours.
So, after a great, restful summer, I can’t wait until the 31st of July to meet our new and returning students. The teachers at Kapa‘a Middle School care about your children and their educations. We, as any family, aren’t always perfect and are sure to make mistakes along the way. But, from the bottom of my heart, I am proud to be a part of the KMS ‘ohana. If we all continue to work to put the needs of the children first we can never go wrong.
Please join us for an exciting and challenging school year. Have fun and be safe for a couple more weeks.
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