Letters for Saturday, August 30, 2008

• Tale of deceit and lies

• With an aching heart

• Check attitude when driving

Tale of deceit and lies

The Garden Island was full of stories, pictures and a fine editorial about the Superferry on Aug. 24.

I agree with Rich Hoeppner 100 percent when he said “I would totally welcome them (the Superferry) with open arms if they completed an independent Environmental Impact Statement. I never said anything like ‘sink the ferry.’ I tried to take the high ground and said they should follow the law. Find out your environmental impact on our islands and then come back, but not before.”

No words could be simpler or truer and I believe if this scenario had been followed and the EIS was favorable to the boat people, the majority of people on Kaua‘i would have said, “Let the ferry run.”

But the way the governor got a special session of the Legislature together and overruled the state Supreme Court in letting the ferry run before the EIS was completed, was dead wrong and created an atmosphere with the people of serious distrust.

Once, on the Adam Harju TGI KONG radio show he had John Garibaldi, then CEO of the ferry, as his guest. With all the controversy over whether the ferry was being subsidized by anyone, I called in and asked that question to Garibaldi and his answer was a definite “No.”

Remembering that Garibaldi had said many times that the ferry could not financially make it in Hawai‘i without the O‘ahu to Kaua‘i run, the question arises as to how this ferry is still going (unsubsidized) with no Kaua‘i route?

More questions and more doubt arise as to the truthfulness of these people and our governor.

It will be interesting to see how this tale of deceit and lies unfolds but maybe, just maybe, the truth will be told and the boat will be able to run with a lot of mitigation to be done with the process and with our harbor.

Glenn Mickens


With an aching heart

While public safety should always be of paramount concern in any society, I find it hard to believe that widening our roadways and stepping up efforts to create and/or better maintain existing emergency roads would have prevented the double-fatality collision of Tuesday afternoon. I, too, sat in the snarled traffic that was an aftermath of that collision. Rather than spend this time frustrated at a system that appears not to be working sufficiently, I would ask that each of us use this time to examine our own behaviors and responsibilities with respect to public safety.

I did not know it at the time, but I later learned that one of those individuals killed was a friend and co-worker, Colin Sunada. As well, his seriously injured wife, Marry Sunada, is a friend and co-worker, and, the arrival of their little girl was a highly anticipated and wonderful event. Sadly, life is forever changed for this young family. My heart is aching terribly.

Please, please, please, slow down and pay attention. Look around and observe we are all each others’ friends and families. Death makes all things permanent and we will never have Colin back. You will be missed greatly, Colin and Marry, I wish you and your little girl a very speedy recovery.

Victor Rodriguez


Check attitude when driving

First off, my heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones in this week’s fatal accident. I cannot help but think that attitudes and mindsets play a very large factor in the majority of these horrendous crashes. I also think that at times it is inaccurate to label these incidents as accidents. To me an accident is an event that happens beyond one’s control. If I were driving 100 mph with no coercion and hit something or someone else, than I made it happen. As a motorist who is on the road daily I’m utterly appalled at the attitudes displayed by a vast number of these other drivers who share my roadway.

We all have seen it, at one point or another perhaps we’ve even been guilty of it. I can shamefully raise my hand. You know who you are and you also know what I’m talking about don’t you? That’s right … it’s the road games played out every single day.

Motorists who arrogantly feel like no one is allowed to pass them, even to the point where they will pace the other cars or switch lanes so that there is no room to make a safe pass.

How about pulling out onto the main road without any regard for approaching traffic just because you can and will make them slow down just for you?

Or the infamous running the red by speeding way up just to try to make the yellow (and wind up running the red) so you don’t have to wait like everybody else.

I see this every day. I get passed on the double, solid line regularly on Kuamoo Road and sometimes by the same person. How about the famous rental car U-turn? We’ve all seen one. Visitors who pull the unexpected U-turn with choke traffic in both directions. How many have died in recent years because of that one move? More than I care to remember.

As I said, I feel for anyone who has lost a loved one on Kaua‘i’s roads but only we can reduce these numbers. Arrogant drivers are a danger to everyone and are everyone’s problem. I even sold my motorcycle just because of this problem. I’ve had too many close calls to feel comfortable on Kaua‘i’s roads and I have 20-plus years on a street bike. If I’ve ruffled a few feathers with this letter than so be it. One last thought, as I drove in to work this morning I could not help but think that in any given instant my life could be snuffed out, in a blink of an eye it could all be over. Watching the cars zooming by in the other direction less than 4 feet from my fender with closing speeds approaching 90 to 100 mph left me feeling a bit uneasy … and I gotta do this twice a day. I will make it a point from now on to do an attitude check before I start my vehicle. How about you?

Stephen Shioi



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