Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023 |
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• Where’s your humanity?
• Stay on Kaua‘i then
• My Superferry ‘soulectomy’
• Wal-Mart wants what is already approved
While I watched the 10 p.m. news, I was stunned to see the lack of humanity displayed by some people representing Kaua‘i. I am neither for, nor against the Superferry. I am an avid animal activist. I belong to many animal rights groups. However I do not belong to any group which puts other humans at risk or in fear.
I saw people screaming at the tops of their lungs at drivers. Banging on cars, yelling obscenities, showing obscene signs. Do these people care about the human race? Do you care about the people you scared or the possible damage to their property? What about the children that were in these cars? There were many people that were affected that long day on the ferry because you would not let them dock. What if one of those surfers out by the Superferry was injured during “your call to arms.” These are a lot of “what ifs.” But as groups or individuals that incite these types of rallies, you need to think of this. Otherwise you might just find yourselves on the other side of a lawsuit because of your actions. The sad thing is, all these people affected by these protesters have nothing to do with stopping the ferry. Your actions need to be directed to the people that approved this ferry. Which, I might add, was long ago. Instead, I feel you harmed the community and the aloha spirit that Kaua‘i tries to portray.
Fight the ferry, if you must, but don’t make this a war against humanity. A bit more dignity, as opposed to an angry mob, will go a long way toward your message being heard.
Stay on Kaua‘i then
First, to my friends who support the Superferry, please forgive me the following.
As a resident of O‘ahu, I notice every Friday night that the aiprort parking lot is filled to overflowing with cars parked everywhere because Kauaians have come to O‘ahu. It seems Kauaians don’t want large planes coming to Kaua‘i so they come to O‘ahu to catch jumbo jets and pollute our air. Kauaians don’t want super Wal-Mart type stores so they come to O‘ahu to shop and clog our roads and make life miserable for us. But worst of all, they come to O‘ahu carrying invasive seeds. Seeds of narrow mindedness and mean spiritedness.
So, the next time you have an urge to come to O‘ahu, say to yourself, “If I really love these islands, I should stay home.” We on O‘ahu will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Stephen Foster Williams
My Superferry ‘soulectomy’
In the two years leading up to the launching of the Superferry service to Kaua‘i, I was against it, thinking it would adversely affect our snug little island. Recently, however, I’ve changed my opinion, and, yes, the $5 fare was part of the process. I figured the ferry was coming anyway, the price was right and if, for whatever reason if it discontinued service, I could see first hand what the thing was all about.
It was about families traveling together in comfortable and spacious surroundings, getting to neighboring islands by a new mode of transportation that, even with higher fares, will allow them to experience a freedom of movement within our unique state that air travel may not accommodate. It was about freedom of choice.
My husband and I arrived at Nawiliwili early Sunday Aug. 26, as a few protesters manned the entry to the jetty road. After showing proof of registration and insurance, having popped open the hood and trunk of our car, having our cooler looked into and the underside of the car examined by mirror we were allowed into the holding area at the pier. We soon started talking with fellow passengers and we awaited the ferry. Shortly thereafter more protesters arrived and started “interacting” through the fence and hibiscus hedge. One man yelled: “We hate you, go home;” another man; “The ferry goes down, hope you drown;” and one woman shouted, “You have no soul.”
Not exactly the kumbaya spirit one would expect of protectors for the environment. Although, her diagnosis having been made, I think the “soulectomy” will lift a burden I’ve carried for too many years and make my future life of evil and debauchery much easier.
Some of us stood on the roofs and trunks of our cars and trucks and watched as the Superferry came into the harbor and stopped on a dime to avoid “slicing and dicing” the surfers blocking its entry (no whales being available at the time) and then did a masterful job of reversing and leaving the area. To a person, the passengers we spoke to agreed to the right of protest but disagreed with the mob method, which only fed on itself the next day. I’m fairly sure those involved think of themselves as being on a higher plane and celebrated their accomplishments with the exhilaration and adrenalin of righteous sex afterward, perhaps fueled by controlled (illegal) substances in the time honored pattern set since the 1960s.
I can’t help but wonder if these same people will be throwing themselves in front of the heavy machinery currently and legally despoiling the Po‘ipu area with the erection of 5,000+ housing units over the next few years. Perhaps they will bang on the windows of the souls of the Kauai County officials who gave the go ahead and permits for these projects. They, after all, are responsible for the 5,000+ cars, and the glut of people who will inhabit not only those units, but crowd the roads, beaches and surf breaks.
I am perplexed as to when the Provisional Government of Mr. Trujillo was elected, but wish them, and their very own rule of law, well as they negotiate with the Superferry company. Said company and its staff, by the way, have been calm, upbeat and helpful beyond all expectations or requirements. Not once, even given an opening, has anyone said a derogatory word about the protesters. They have earned my soulless respect and thanks.
Wal-Mart wants what is already approved
I would recommend that everyone take the time to watch the local showings on TV of the Planning Commission’s Aug. 14 meeting where Wal-Mart presented a very detailed and excellent explanation on how, in 1993, their Phase 1 application for a 180,000-square-foot building was approved; but at the time they only put up part of the structure which was about 120,000 square feet. I believe some members are struggling to find a reason — any reason — to defeat Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart had asked for a revision of the plan the commission might have more easily defeated Wal-Mart’s expansion. But Wal-Mart was careful to state that they did not want a revision, they only wanted what was approved already.
With logic that escaped me, several commission members were distraught that the rendering of the new store and parking lot did not show the other four phases that were not approved and were not being asked for. The commission asked for a new drawing to be made of Wal-Mart’s expansion with the inclusion of the buildings that Wal-Mart was not asking for, which the commission would veto anyway, and which would not be allowed by the “Big Box” bill that was adopted without a vote of the people of Kaua‘i.
I would hope that some of the Planning Commission members look hard at how they function in the meetings. I cannot imagine how frustrating it is to come before the commission with a request, then the commission decides it needs more information; and when the applicant comes back to the council two weeks later with this requested information, the commission pulls additional items out of the air, and now demands that the applicant come back later with that information. I give as example the desire of an applicant several weeks ago that wanted to improve some property. Because of cultural concerns there had been a study to determine if construction could be done. The official and approved cultural experts investigated and gave their approval of the project, but one Planning Commission member said she had a feeling there might be something of cultural significance there and the applicant should keep doing studies of the area. An advisor to the commission stated that the applicant did everything requested and used the approved experts. The advisor to the commission pointed out that the commission couldn’t request more of the applicant if the applicant wasn’t told what experts would satisfy this commission member. Undaunted she continued to demand that the site be checked because of her hunch.
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