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Letters for Thursday, June 12, 2008

• About flight fatigue

• Dogs? What about horses?

• Yield to pedestrians

About flight fatigue

Regarding the recent investigation into the go! Airlines pilots who fell asleep, I have to ask why the flight attendant is not being questioned? As a former go! flight attendant I know the quick turn-arounds don’t allow much time to prep the cabin for the next passengers, along with having to restock the commissary for the very fast beverage services (all this alone because these CRJ-200 50-seat aircraft call for only one FA), and not being allowed a lunch/dinner break for 6-to-10 legs per shift is very exhausting and fatiguing. (When I asked the union about getting breaks, I was told that this is just how it is because the contract is based on the Railway Labor Act and that there was nothing that could be done — which shocked me because air and rail travel are so very different.)

I bring up the FA’s involvement because the flight crew is a team and whenever I didn’t hear certain chimes at certain times, I called the flight deck immediately to find out what was going on. I was a new go! FA of only four days the first time I noticed something amiss, and was told the pilots were dealing with the loss of an hydraulics system and they didn’t want to risk telling me because I was so new. I assured them I took my FA training very seriously, and I had safety foremost on my mind as I returned to my jumpseat (which faces the PAX) and smiled reassuringly while the announcement was made about returning to the airport — all the while reviewing in my mind all that I would do to help everyone on board in case of an emergency. I believe all FA union contracts should be reviewed and based on air-travel specifics only, and that each FA should have a lunch/dinner break to be able to stay fresh and alert for everyone’s safety on board. Longer stops between flights should also be looked into too, as this could help with the varied and frequent go! AC maintenance safety issues. I have not stepped forward before because I have a grievance pending, but I speak out now because pilots fell asleep, proving “flight crew fatigue” is very real and very dangerous. I hope someone who can look into these issues sees this letter.

Patricia Nosie, Lihu‘e

Dogs? What about horses?

This letter has been a long time coming. I really have a problem with the horse tours that run up and down the Moalepe and Kuilau trails in Wailua Homesteads. For years now, Dale Rosenfeld and her guides have been taking their tours up there. I’m from here, born and raised and have been using those trails since I was a kid. Never have I ever seen it so badly abused than when Esprit De Corps Riding Academy started using the trails for their commercial tours. A permit is required to take these tours which they do have but they quite often abuse the rules of their permit. As I understand it, they are not to conduct a tour or perform any commercial use on the trails on the weekends and holidays. I also understand that they are to pick up after their horses and be courteous to all other users of the trails, all of which they disregard. They will go out on the rainiest days and tromp eight horses up there and destroy the trail, leave piles of poop, leave the trail reaking of horse urine and yell at bicycle riders and demand that they dismount their bikes because their horses will spook. If their horses will spook then don’t bring them out on the trail. They’re a danger to all of us. They are out there making money on these public trails and they feel they have the right to harass local people out just having a nice bike ride or hike.

Memorial Day was a perfect example: My family and I hiked up the Moalepe Trail in hopes of having a nice picnic at the shelter/picnic tables at the top of the Kuilau Trail. Our entire hike up Moalepe was more of an “avoid the horse poop” hike and then when we got to the top where the picnic area is we noticed eight horses going down the Kuilau side obviously headed towards loop road and the first river crossing. One of the riders was Dale Rosenfeld herself, the owner of Espirt De Corps Riding Academy. When we got to the picnic table we were totally disgusted, there was a huge pile of horse poop right there next to the tables, it was fresh obviously from those eight riders. It was so bad, smelled so bad we couldn’t even stay. How very sad we can’t even enjoy a public place. All it would have taken was cleaning up after your horses, we would have been able to stay and enjoy the views and our Memorial Day. I’ll tell you this also, if you mention anything about horse poop to Dale, she’ll say it doesn’t stink and all it is, after all, is grass. Well, Dale, maybe to you it doesn’t stink but to everyone else it does. How about me throwing some of my dog’s poop on your front steps and telling you it’s only dog food and it doesn’t’ stink? What would you think? All we’re asking is that you follow the rules: No. 1: Pick up after your horses; No. 2: Don’t use the trail on holidays; No. 3: Treat everyone else on the trail with respect, don’t demand anything from anyone; you don’t own the trail.

Anne Brookstone, Kapa‘a

Yield to pedestrians

I am writing this letter in response to something that happened on June 10. I had left work and was crossing Rice Street between the Kauai Museum and the Chevron.

I have often joked that a car would hit me in that intersection because drivers don’t stop. I was wrong, it was a white pick-up that hit me. Thankfully, it was a light impact and I walked away with a few scratches and bruises. I do have a swollen and painful knee, but that didn’t show up until that night. I’ll need to stay off it as much as possible but it is already healing.

To drivers: please slow down and please stop at crosswalks. I know you must have things to do and places to go, but so do pedestrians. Pedestrians are often times our most vunerable citizens: children and the kupuna. The law requires you to stop and wait until the pedestrian is safely across the street but I rarely see people do that. Remember, your vehicle can kill a pedestrian.

To the driver who hit me: I hope that if this ever happens to you or someone you love, that the driver shows more consideration than you showed me. You stopped, stared at me and then drove off. You didn’t even take the time to roll down your window and ask me if I was okay. I hope you and your loved ones are treated better than you treated me. You will remain in my prayers.

My boyfriend, who is local, said maybe it’s because I’m white that I wasn’t offered assistance. I refuse to believe that. What I do believe is that I am my brother’s keeper, I believe we all are. Well, on June 10 my brother was in too much of a hurry to keep me in mind. May that never happen to you.

Gigi Quinn, Puhi


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