Letters for Sunday, June 15, 2008

• Me and my horses are respectful

• County fund deficits

• Can we put it to rest?


Me and my horses are respectful

I do not normally respond to personal attacks based on erroneous facts, but many people have expressed their dismay at what they know to be the errors in Anne Brookstone’s letter (“Dogs? What about horses?, Letters, June 12).

I, Dale Rosenfeld, and my business, Esprit De Corps Riding Academy, are known to be stewards of the land. I have been a board member of the Hawai‘i Eco-tourism Association, as well as a board member of many nonprofit organizations on Kaua‘i, and have worked long and hard to preserve trails on Kaua‘i for horses and dogs.

When I began riding on Kaua‘i nearly 20 years ago, the Moalepe/Kuilau trails were full of tires, washing machines, and refrigerators, as well as badly eroded. After many truckloads of rubbish taken to the dump, we coordinated efforts with my horse-riding students and the Sierra Club. Cutting drainage ditches, building boardwalks for pedestrians and bicycles, and removing deadfalls were only a few of the improvements we made to the trail complex.

Since Esprit De Corps Riding Academy began using this trail complex commercially under Na Ala Hele authority, we have followed the rules and paid fees to maintain it for the public use as well as our commercial use.

The state trims trees, puts gravel in muddy areas, and cuts grass, in part due to our financial input. We follow the worldwide rule of multi-use trails: pedestrians yield to bicycles, bicycles and pedestrians yield to horses.

The only time we have a problem with bicyclists is when they are unaware of this rule, or when they have earphones on and cannot hear us calling to them. Our concern is for safety of all: horses, horse riders, bicyclists and pedestrians. We do use the trail in the rain.

As anyone who has lived in Wailua knows, it rains here frequently, often with no warning. And, yes, based on numerous research studies, grass-based horse manure disintegrates much faster than animal feed-based dog feces and smells far less. I am sorry that some find it so offensive; we share ours with many gardeners who find it wonderful.

We get numerous requests from locals to take them on paid rides on the weekends and holidays, when they have free time. We abide by the rules and do not take anyone on commercial rides on weekends or holidays. I do go out riding for pleasure with friends, and many other horse riders use the trail then, too. Yes, on Memorial Day I did ride. I took along some of the hundreds of kids who have come to the ranch after school to learn responsibility, animal care and a plethora of other skills. They cannot normally ride during the week, and this was a special treat for them. We certainly did not intend to ruin anyone else’s hike on the beautiful, public trail, and given the opportunity, would have apologized in person for any unintended offensive actions.

We are an agricultural island, and yet we are losing the rights to horseback ride on any public lands. We are now denied the use of the coastal trail in Kealia, where many have ridden all their lives. The sugarcane fields we used to ride in are now blocked off, and riding on the roads is out of the question. Please share the beautiful Moalepe/Kuilau trail with aloha.

Dale Rosenfeld

Wailua Homesteads


County fund deficits

There is one category in the Kaua‘i County government’s budget called Enterprise Funds which are government activities for which there is no precise accounting. Two of the largest such enterprise funds are solid waste and golf.

There appears to be one enterprise fund that seems to run in the black over the years. This is the wastewater fund, which is small but breaks even.

The Solid Waste Enterprise Fund incurs a deficit year after year and is always growing, reaching the multi-millions; the Golf Enterprise Fund follows behind with a deficit approaching almost $1 million per year by now — as reported recently in The Garden Island on May 30. The deficits in these two enterprise funds come out of the Kaua‘i County tax income; but not in any meaningful or accountable fashion, as the deficits are always paid out of the county’s General Funds.

When will the County Council do something about these runaway enterprise funds?

Ray Chuan

Princeville


Can we put it to rest?

Please, I beg you, can’t we settle this abortion issue once and for all?

First, a fertilized egg is not a human being. That is the truth. That many Catholics choose to believe otherwise is their right. But, I must remind them, it is a belief. It is a belief many of us do not share.

Truth: a three-day-old embryo is called a blastocyst. It is a collection of 150 cells. The brain of a fly has more than 60 times (100,000) more cells. A fetus in the first trimester, before which, hopefully, most abortion are performed, still has gills.

Most important of all, Wade v. Roe does not ask, or even suggest, that Catholic women have abortions. I would have little respect for a devout Catholic who, under any circumstance, would have an abortion. But I respect — indeed I insist on — the rights of non-believers to have one if they choose.

I think Catholics should respect their rights, too. As Kathryn Jean Lopez said, let us go in peace and, more important, choose our leaders for reasons other than religious. 

Bettejo Dux  

Kalaheo

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