Letters for Thursday, August 14, 2008

• Stay away from Canada, too

• Safer without letter writer

• Cold War redux?

• Great town, dirty water

Stay away from Canada, too

It appears as though David Schwartz (“Ticketing tourists unfair,” Letters, Aug. 9) graduated from the Donald Rumsfeld School of Illogic, most probably with a masters degree in confusion, and a double minor in arrogance and self-righteousness.

Here is the essence of what he is saying:

• When everybody else breaks the law, he should be allowed to break the law also, without consequence (also known as “mob rule”).

• Obeying posted speed limits would cause mayhem on the roadways.

• He alone (and possibly in conjunction with whatever mob he’s in, see point one above) is the best person to determine what an acceptable speed should be at any given point wherever he travels.

• The county of Kaua‘i specifically posts certain speed limits in certain areas solely for the purpose of “trapping” tourists in order to generate revenue.

• The county of Kaua‘i should allow people (particularly middle-aged tourists from California who have good driving records) to use their own discretion with respect to vehicle speed in order to guarantee return visits and thereby keep the revenue stream flowing.

• If the county of Kaua‘i penalizes people (particularly middle-aged tourists from California who have good driving records) for breaking the law, then those tourists should retaliate by never again visiting that place. So there.

I don’t know exactly what transpired between Schwartz and Officer X, but reading his letter — with its abundant clues into his mindset — left me with the distinct impression that he got exactly what he deserved. Schwartz, please honor your promise not to return to Kaua‘i, it will be a safer place without you. And while we’re on the subject of “choices,” please don’t come to Canada either.

Don Oystryk

Canora, Saskatchewan

Safer without letter writer

Frank Dawson’s letter (“I’ll pay your fine,” Letters, Aug. 13) concerning the whining from another visitor about his traffic fine (“Ticketing tourists unfair,” Letters, Aug. 9) caused us to stand at our computers and applaud.

Frank, you said everything we have been thinking, and oh, so well. We’ll split the fine with you and hope that if ever David Schwartz plans to again visit our paradise retreat, he will choose to do so at a time other than the six weeks we visit each year. I know if that occurs, we will be that much safer on the beautiful roads of Kaua‘i.

Again, we afford you a standing ovation for your great response, and remind David that when you point a finger as you did at the Kaua‘i police, you have three pointing back at you. Fifteen miles over the speed limit is clearly an offense for which you should have been ticketed.

Looking forward to a safer visit in November

The Murrays

Des Moines, Wash.

Cold War redux?

The recent observance of 63 years since the nuclear devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is an occasion to consider the Pacific Missile Range Facility, its global strategic signifance and what that implies for all of us on Kaua‘i. If we accept that its primary missions are anti-missile defense and tracking capabilities in the Pacific basin, than by extension we must accept that a threat of preemptive attack on PMRF is a possibility. To think otherwise would be an admission that the entire program is a waste of time and money.

In modern warfare the enemy’s defense assets are early high value targets. PMRF is the only facility on Earth where submarines, surface ships, aircraft and satellites can be tracked at the same time. It qualifies as a prime target.

Right now people living in a tiny region of Central Asia, South Ossetia, are the pawns and victims of an economic and political confrontation between Russia and U.S.-backed forces. No one consulted with the South Ossetians before destroying their region, killing 2,000 of their citizens and wrecking their lives. Is it possible that war strategy planners could see the speck of land we call home as being just as expendable?

However remote this scenario is, and accepting that we must live in the world as it is, with taxpayer-funded jobs for our Westside ‘ohana, and not as we would like it to be, with equal or better paying private sector jobs, we should not deny the full range of consequences of PMRF’s presence on the island.

Kip and Sharon Goodwin


Great town, dirty water

I guess when National Geographic Adventure named Lihu‘e a top outdoor-oriented place to live, they were unaware of the July 2008 finding of the National Resources Defense Council’s report that Lihu‘e’s Hanama‘ulu Beach County Park tied for 10th place with two Mainland beaches in a list of polluted beaches in the nation that exceed national standards.

The report’s finding is proof-positive that the island’s insufficient infrastructure, such as sewage treatment and traffic, is already painfully overburdened.

Most Kaua‘i residents will tell you the biggest problems facing us are the social, economic, environmental and cultural cataclysms that have stemmed directly from too many new people from an entirely different cultural orientation and a much higher income bracket moving here too fast.

Encouraging even more people to come and live — with no functional city planning — is a recipe for disaster.

A pity that the Visitors Bureau continues to hawk the “Kaua‘i lifestyle” as if it were a box of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. Of course, the bureau’s job is to stimulate the economy, whose backbone is tourism. But when tourism starts to destroy our community and our natural resources, we may want to re-think our priorities.

Archie Mead



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