Letters for Tuesday, January 1, 2008

• Remember the kamani tree

• Education is the key

• Don’t covet neighbor’s trees

• Koloa Gap, anyone?

• How can pharmacies be closed on holidays?

Remember the kamani tree

In response to Mayor Bryan Baptiste’s most effective letter, I wish to remind those who are concerned about the monkeypod trees in Koloa of this sad story.

When the old Lihue Plantation Store was torn down, there was great concern over the kamani tree on the corner.

“Aha!” the wizards said, “we shall put the tree in a nice new home.”

The tree, grand old lady, never survived the move and has gone to tree heaven.

Please do try to get the developers to relent. These grand dames of treedom do not take kindly to being relocated. We 70+ folk know what it’s like to have our roots messed up.

Lou Eckart Moody, San Diego, Calif.

Education is the key

In response to Hale Mawae letter, “Another affordable bone,” Dec. 30th. This letter reminds me of why our children should grow up with good educations and never entertain the thought of dropping out of school.

No matter what any of us think or feel, multi-millionaires or people well- off financially are going to continue moving here or vacation here in big, expensive, private estates or any other type of housing they choose.

Don’t forget we are living in America, thank God. We are all blessed with the freedom to go after any lifestyle we choose. If one chooses to be a highly educated, well-paid professional, moves to Kaua‘i, and lives in an irresponsible developer-built private estate, so be it.

If we choose to drop out of school, pursue no further education and get stuck working two or three jobs to survive and live in a “ghetto transformation” as Hale Mawae describes them, so be it. Everyone has the right to choose which road we want to travel on.

Education teaches us the rewards and consequences of life. Our living costs and taxes are not high because people who have money are moving here. They are high because of the ever-increasing costs of government services, transportation, infrastructure, and all other related services that are provided to the citizens who use and need them.

We desperately need (real) affordable housing, traffic solutions, and expanded infrastructure right now. Unfortunately none of the above will happen too soon as long as we continue to allow the government to control how and when it gets done.

Government solutions are red tape expensive, politically motivated, and there is absolutely no incentive to get anything done in a timely manner. A prime example was the bridge on Olohena. Once we heard about a big fat bonus that bridge got done quick!

Steven Martin, Kapa‘a

Don’t covet neighbor’s trees

I have read for several weeks now about the proposed cutting down of the monkeypod trees in Koloa. This topic seems to have replaced the Superferry as the weekly “cause de celebre.”

In a Dec. 27 letter to The Garden Island, Katie Clark wrote “I think it is a SIN to cut them down.” I don’t seem to remember monkeypod trees mentioned when Moses descended the mountain and brought the new laws to the Israelites. But I do recall something about not coveting your neighbor’s possessions. After all, these are owned by the Knudsen family and a majority of the letters to this paper decrying cutting them down because the writers “have fond memories of them” or “felt something so special being under their cover.” Sound like coveting of the trees to me.

Now, imagine we’re talking about a yellow 1969 Yenko Camaro in original condition instead of the trees in dispute. You motor-heads know what I’m saying. Now, imagine that for years that Camaro was parked in your neighbor’s driveway right next to yours and seeing it every day caused a little bit of drool to form at the corner of your mouth. He may have even taken you for a ride in it from time to time during which you could only sit in the passenger seat and giggle like a 10-year-old kid.

But one day he decides to sell it and you will no longer be able to seek daily refuge from life’s hardships by longingly gazing upon it. Again, you motor-heads know what I’m getting at. You and your neighbors could protest its sale and write letters to the local papers pleading for the local authorities to stop the sale. But, you do not own it. It’s private property, as are the trees and unless you can afford to buy it, you really have nothing to say about its ultimate demise no matter how good you felt in their presence.

There is good news though. Unlike a 1969 Yenko Camaro, monkeypod trees do, so to speak, grow on trees.

Joseph Vrataric, Lihu‘e

Koloa Gap, anyone?

The Knudsen Trust and Stacey Wong have totally disregarded the community’s wishes to keep Koloa’s monkeypod grove intact.

They have esssentially blackmailed the county into giving them a permit to build on the floodway, and to create an upscale shopping center that will make Koloa look like Kaanapali.

A community honors people who contribute to it by naming places after them, like Knudsen Gap. However since the Knudsen Estate has decided to shove its plans down Koloa’s throat, we should no longer give them that honor. From now on, I for one will refer to Knudsen Gap as Koloa Gap. The county should do the same.

John Patt, Koloa

How can pharmacies be closed on holidays?

It was uplifting to read Leonie Dabancourt’s letter regarding her experience when she needed to get medicine on Christmas Day.

But the truth of the matter is somewhat different. I also had to go to the ER in Mahelona on Christmas morning and then on to Wilcox for a CT scan. When they sent me there, the ER doctor told my partner to go after leaving me at Wilcox immediately to the Longs pharmacy in Lihu‘e because it was the ONLY pharmacy open in the whole island and ONLY till 1 p.m.

I needed to take antiviral and anti-inflammatory medication as soon as possible, lucky me that this happened so early…

How can the island be without a pharmacy open because of a holiday?

Is the only way out for people who need to take medication on such a day to check themselves in the ER?

Does that make any sense?

Lilian de Mello, Kapa‘a


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.