Letters for Tuesday, August 26, 2008

• Captain Cook came by boat

• Act in our interests

• Let’s be better stewards of Hawai‘i’s resources

• Boating division commendable


Captain Cook came by boat

Well it’s been a year and I have still not heard one good reason to not let the Superferry go to Kaua‘i.

I personally was neutral until I saw how the protesters treated their ‘ohana getting off the ferry a year ago. This was something to celebrate? Anyone with aloha in their blood was appalled. And at the same island that welcomed Captain Cook. He arrived on a boat.

This is clearly not about more people as the cruise ships bring in thousands. This is not about cars as Matson and Young Brothers have more capacity to bring cars than the Superferry. Maybe invasive species in cars or trucks? From O‘ahu? If we really cared (we should), how about first checking the hundreds of semi-tractor containers that go unchecked from Matson and Young Brothers every week.

They come from the Mainland and Far East, then go directly to homes and businesses on Kaua‘i unchecked. Could it be about whales? The Superferry is the only commercial vessel that keeps lookouts on deck for whales.

What are we left with? Maybe a rise in crime? I would hope we have enough security on island and at the Superferry to check for criminal activity. An EIS? The cruise ships were not required to perform one to bring in thousands of passengers? The playing field for business should be fair in this country.

Last I checked this was still part of America. If we the people do not use a service or product it will fail. We should have that choice.

The Superferry should have the opportunity to succeed or fail based on the economy and the service they provide. Not a handful of protesters that do not hold the views of the majority of residents on Kaua‘i. I for one would like the choice. Even if I never ride the Superferry.

Jim Tamme

Kalaheo


Act in our interests

I always appreciate Walter Lewis’ thoughtful commentary (“Taxpayers’ heads in the lion’s mouth,” A Better Kaua‘i, Aug. 23).

He gets it right again and again. From what he says in his column, it is obvious that he actually read Bill 2274, understands its content, and knows what it means to us, the taxpayers.

It’s a shame that our elected representatives haven’t done the same.

I was wondering why the council extended the deadline to pass this terribly flawed bill, seemingly determined to make sure it passes. What is the rush? Why pass the bill without sufficient study or community input? Walter’s review opened my eyes. The council simply wants absolute control and discretion as to tax rates that would be granted by the bill.

I have a problem with that. There is already far too much power granted to the council in that regard. They managed to shut down the Ohana Amendment and deny the voice of the people.

It is time for the council to listen to our input and represent us, and time for them to stop acting on their own with little regard for the public interest.

Steve Hansen

Kekaha


Let’s be better stewards of Hawai‘i’s resources

Hui Ho‘omalu i ka ‘Aina is a community coalition organization dedicated to the stewardship of all the resources of Hawai‘i nei.

Last week, Hawai‘i’s public trust resources were dealt a blow when the Kaua‘i Circuit Court overruled the Kauai Planning Commission’s rejection of Kauai Springs’ after-the-fact permits for a water-bottling facility. Kauai Springs sells water that has been diverted from the mountains, that could otherwise feed streams like Waihohonu and support native stream life and traditional practices like growing kalo. Contrary to Kauai Springs’ claims, it was the community, and not a competitor, that alerted the Planning Commission of Kauai Springs’ illegal operations.

Hawaii’s Constitution affirmatively requires all state and county agencies to protect both Native Hawaiian traditional and customary rights and the state’s water resources for the benefit of all. The Planning Commission is also expressly required to consider whether Kauai Springs’ proposed use is compatible with the community and must specifically ensure that the use will not cause substantial harm to any land or water resources.

There is no such thing as “private water” in Hawai‘i, and our Kauai Planning Commission should be commended for their commitment to their constitutional duty to uphold the public trust for the benefit of all Hawai‘i citizens.

Makaala Kaaumoana, vice chair

Hui Ho‘omalu i ka ‘Aina


Boating division commendable

It’s not often enough that we recognize the contribution of the state employees who help keep our community services running. Specifically there have been changes in recent months to the staff charged with operating our Department of Land and Natural Resources Boating Division.

Just to put things into perspective, the new staff actually inconvenienced me considerably by holding me to rigid scheduling for some boat repairs. I know some other boaters, too, have felt inconvenienced by the strict observance of the rules. But I want to acknowledge, despite my own inconvenience, that we are much better served by the professionalism of our new harbor team.

The ship-shape manner in which Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor is being run is a tribute to DLNR and the Boating division is to be commended. With short resources, limited space and lots of traffic, Nawiliwili needs good management. We are all much better off when the rules are respected evenly and fairly.

Kudos for a job well done.

James Thompson

Kalaheo

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