Thursday, May 19, 2022 |
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• More people, less beautiful area
• Who’s to benefit?
• Kekaha, Kaua‘i’s home of solid waste
• It could happen
Huntington Beach, Calif.
More people, less beautiful area
I had to scream upon reading Coconut Beach Development manager Larry Smith’s plea “We’re not trying to change Kaua‘i … just allow more people to visit the beautiful area that it is.”
I can only assume Mr. Smith is either blind or just arrived, probably both. The point is, “more people” equal less “beautiful area.” All one has to do is look around, especially while sitting in Kalaheo or Kapa‘a traffic (where he’s trying build a new resort) to see Kaua‘i is already overcrowded, sacrificing its natural beauty. A fact all new resort developers ignore. Not just the Eastside, but North and South shores too. Kaua‘i is already changing, for the worse in my opinion. Yes, there are still areas of immense beauty, however our little island is a finite area.
Our little island cannot sustain rampant new resort and tract development as on the Mainland or even other islands. I applaud Judge Watanabe’s renewed moratorium, praying it will continue for decades. More visitors than ever are already finding their way to Kaua‘i, without the help of Mr. Smith and new resort developers.
We’re running out of room, folks. To protect what natural beauty remains, our resort moratorium must continue in effect. Kaua‘i simply cannot sustain more new resorts nor the additional crowds and congestion that come with them. I pray our Garden Island does not become a new Waikiki.
Who’s to benefit?
I was relieved to hear that Judge Watanabe sustained the moratorium against development on the proposed 20-acre Coconut Beach Resort and 12-acre Coconut Plantation Village in Waipouli. It’s not as much as we needed, but at least slows them down a little.
Development Manager Larry Smith was quoted as saying, “We’re not trying to change Kaua‘i … just allow more people to visit the beautiful area that it is.”
I have a few questions for you, Mr. Smith. Where do you live? Do you work two or three or even four jobs to be able to stay on Kaua‘i? Do you work seven days a week to be able to afford a 400-square-foot rental? Do you drive to work each day down Kuhio Highway? Have you ever tried to get from Kilauea to Lihu‘e on a Saturday morning and had it take you an hour and a half to drive 25 miles?
Does Kaua‘i really need any more fancy resorts? Do we have a 100 percent occupation rate now?
Why don’t you build a nice hotel in Los Angeles? Could it be because tourists don’t want to visit a place with bumper-to-bumper traffic and no green spaces left? Kaua‘i will not be a beautiful place to visit for much longer if you and your ilk are allowed to keep building mega-resorts.
Sir, you would have a lot more credibility if you were planning on building affordable housing for the residents of Kaua‘i instead of representing a company whose intention is to make money off of bringing yet more visitors to an area with very little open space now.
Of course you are trying to change Kaua‘i permanently, and in a way that is not of benefit to anyone except yourself and the company you represent.
We may live on a small island in the middle of the sea, but we’re not stupid.
Kekaha, Kaua‘i’s home of solid waste
It’s disconcerting that since 1994, leaders entrusted with “environmental justice” decisions to manage the solid waste operation in Kekaha failed to honestly serve the needs of the poor. In response to “the impact of environmental pollution on particular segments of our society, …. minority populations and/or low-income populations,” 1994 Executive Order 12898, and in your July 29 issue, that Kekaha is “a town that has had no economic base since the sugar plantation closed down nearly a decade ago.” Why then, have the key players not been sufficiently informing the “fourth largest” poor community on Kaua‘i? Kekaha has been patiently putting up with the only landfill on the island since 1953. In April 1997, the DEA put out its First Notice, pending public comment. Between then and January 2005, the DOH put out a notice of their intent to issue a permit to change that extension. At that request, the town’s only representation had been disregarded. In searching for public records, I have not been able to find records of the proposal, or any action by the County Council, not to mention authorized spending. It’s interesting that the Planning Commission consists of members from the public, but the public is kept in the dark. Why is it that the county government plays the primary role in solid waste management, guided by federal and state laws and regulations, yet there has never really been an island-wide sitting study ever conducted for public input, as stated in S.B. No. 1099? Under DEA definition, “A project of action that may affect the environment cannot be implemented until an Environmental Assessment is prepared in accordance with Chapter 343, HRS. …. then the affected agencies, individuals, and organizations must be consulted.” Why then, isn’t this draft proposal expansion being made more readily accessible to the people whom it directly affects? It should be viewed at the Waimea Public Library, where the people of Kekaha can get to it. I believe that there was and is a deficiency of public notice and the Kekaha-ians are being short changed. After reading several news articles about Kekaha, I imagine that a town, once vibrant, had become dormant, and now it’s Barking Sands. The people’s kindness and integrity are being challenged. I mua Kekaha.
It could happen
In the immortal words of John Lennon: “Imagine” (the first step to action) an island where all food is grown locally and people plant gardens instead of lawns. Where people build up soil instead of deplete it with chemicals. An island where people come to buy homes and refuse unless they are “green” with pre-installed solar electric and water heating. Imagine an island with all electric cars and plug in chargers dropped from existing poles. (Edison and Ford had this vision and technology in 1911, until the war machine in 1914 demanded more powerful engines to more efficiently propel death).
Imagine vast unused sugar land on the Westside covered in solar panels feeding the electric plant in Port Allen, rather than growing cane for ethanol. Imagine vast acreage covered with hemp and paulownia (Google it) trees for our own fiber and wood needs.
Imagine all of us doing simple things such as carrying our own bags to the grocery store and refusing plastic ones, refusing to buy products from China made with slave labor just because they are “cheap.” Imagine a people who refuse to pay taxes until our leaders realize that this is a society of, by and for the people, not of, by and for war, corporate profit and developers.
Imagine an electric train system all around the island and a monorail over the top from Lihu‘e to Princeville, bike paths all over the island and a people strong enough in character and resolve to just say no to materialism in general and the road to destruction of our island (which our government is leading us toward) in particular.
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