Letters for Sunday, August 17, 2008

• Mahalo, Rita

• Forms of bullyism

• Disturbed by vitriol

• Slowing North Shore access

Mahalo, Rita

A huge mahalo to Rita DeSilva for her years of dedicated service to The Garden Island and to the people of Kaua‘i.

She was the “headline” writer for the paper and thus never got credit for all she did. But behind the scenes, the Forum section in particular — the voices of the island — she was a guiding force and helped keep the letters on track.

We will miss you, Rita, and hope that your retirement years are as enjoyable as the days you kept The Garden Island moving in the right direction.

Glenn Mickens


Forms of bullyism

Fast approaching is another political election in which voters have hopes that their favorite candidates will be elected to positions of power. Therein, the “representative” form of government displays its inherent imbalance by creating winners and losers, giving exceptional power to one element while disempowering the remainder of the population. No veto allowed, no spirit of aloha here.

What is moral or ethical about “initiating” physical force over your fellow humans? In the absence of political balance, wars of aggression, overthrows and other forms of foreign and domestic bullyism have no limits.

No political system is fair and just in the spirit of aloha without one’s unforced, explicit, direct consent and support. It therefore suggests the world needs enlightened, moral and ethical constitutions and charters that ride the wave of the future — voluntary systems of cooperation — as can be seen in the Constitution of United Diversity: groups.yahoo.com/group/uniteddiversity

Triaka-Don Smith


Disturbed by vitriol

My husband and I regularly visited O‘ahu and Maui since our honeymoon in 1969. But not until 1997 did we discover the beautiful island of Kaua‘i.

The island was still recovering from the ravages of Hurricane ‘Iniki, but we were captivated by its beauty and the friendly aloha spirit of its residents who welcomed us. We then vacationed in Kaua‘i yearly and in retirement felt fortunate to visit for extended periods. We always treated this special, fragile island with respect and stayed in touch at home by reading The Garden Island online. But we have become increasingly disturbed by the “them or us” attitude in the Letters to the Editor and the vitriolic blame attached to “outsiders” for all the island problems.

We grew up in a West Coast community that has also become so desirable and expensive that our children too cannot afford to purchase a home in the community. But we do not turn on the visitors or people who desire to live here. Instead we vote and try to work proactively with our local government on the issues of zoning, bylaws, density and quality of life.

Joanne Wallis

West Vancouver, B.C.

Slowing North Shore access

The North Shore has been cut off from the rest of the island between 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily with waits lasting over an hour at Kalihiwai bridge. They even have a sign that says expect waiting time over 1 hour.

I realize our road needs repair, but timing is everything and whoever is in charge has not taken that into account. August is one of Kaua‘i’s busiest months for tourism. Princeville and Hanalei have been cut off from visitors coming from the other part of the island. None are going to waste an hour of their time sitting in traffic.

Our highway managers should be checking on what the best time is for shutting down the roads and causing great delays. The shops cannot survive if they do this during the busiest times of the year.

The very best times are late at night. Sure they will need lights and that will cost money. Sure they will need to pay overtime to the workers. That gets paid back because the shop owners will be paying additional taxes on the income they will make.

It is hard to say how much has been lost due to this poor decision. Not just money either, but visitors who will never come back because they were stuck in this traffic and could not visit the beautiful North Shore. How many visitors from the North Shore missed their activity? How many missed their flight? How many residents missed their doctors appointment? How many missed other important appointments? What if there was a true emergency? Why August? Why not at night? Why not when it is slower like the day after Labor Day? There are many questions and many have grumbled here on the North Shore.

There may be an explanation. I have not heard it yet. It may have caused much harm in a fragile tourist economy.

Timing is everything and hindsight is 20/20. Next time think about it before you close off part of the island.

Ted Myers



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