Letters for Friday, September 26, 2008

• All can come to Po‘ipu skatepark

• Let’s start talking skatepark logistics

• Protect the sacred lands

• Stop belittling OHA


All can come to Po‘ipu skatepark

While we at Kauai Christian Fellowship support the idea of skateparks dotted all around the island, I think it is important for your readers and the public to have the correct information about the skatepark we built on our church property.

Contrary to what was written by a previous letter writer (“We need the skateboard park,” Letters, Sept. 25) you do not have to be part of Kauai Christian Fellowship to skate at Graceland Skatepark. The park is open to the entire public.

We do have hours of operation and require helmets, signed waivers and ask that skaters follow our simple courtesy rules, but that is it.

The idea that one has to be a member of our faith community in order to skate is exactly contrary to the heart and spirit of what we are trying to do for young people on the island.

We would ask that you print this correction so that folks who don’t mind making the trek to skate in Po‘ipu won’t be put off.

Rick Bundschuh

Lawa‘i


Let’s start talking skatepark logistics

What is so great about public skateparks? Having lived in many towns where they are well-designed and centrally located, the answer is quite clear.

These are not seedy places where outcast kids gather and conspire to commit crimes.

These are not lawsuits waiting to happen.

These are places that have a positive impact on their communities.

A public skatepark in the Lihu‘e area makes a great deal of sense. Skateparks are far safer than rolling through busy streets and parking lots, and there is a lot less damage to picnic tables and other items throughout the community that skateboarders use as obstacles when they ride. In addition, when parks are built right, with local skater input and involvement throughout the process, youth develop a sense of ownership and pride for the location.

Skateboarding is also an athletic activity that requires a high level of skill. At a time of skyrocketing obesity rates, I’d certainly rather see kids of all ages out getting healthy riding rather than playing skateboard video games at home.

So as a community, let’s turn the conversation to: Where? How big? And what kind of design?

Lea Taddonio

Waimea


Protect the sacred lands

As someone who was lucky enough to be raised on Kaua‘i and taught to respect the land, people and the history of Hawai‘i, I believe it is our duty to protect the Naue Burial Site and all iwi kupuna.

Isn’t it bad enough the government locked up Queen Liliuokalani and stole Hawai‘i from the people, you are now going to encase their ancestors in concrete.

Unfortunately this is another example of the culture of America — if you have the money you can ignore the people and laws in order to further your self-indulgence.

Does Mr. Brescia believe he will live peacefully with his house built on the iwi kupuna?

I read the article about Malama Kaua‘i’s effort to purchase the land from the current owner. Why is the county or state not stepping in to help? Why has there not been money set aside for situations like these?

The preservation of Hawaiian history should not be solely on the shoulders of the public. The residents of the county I currently live in passed a two-year ordinance that charges an additional .5 percent sales tax and all this money goes into a fund to purchase land for parks and preserves. Perhaps this is something that should be looked into for Kaua‘i.

With all the history and beauty in Hawai‘i, more should be done to preserve the real Hawai‘i for future generations

In my opinion, if you are not willing to respect the history and traditions of Hawai‘i you should not live in Hawai‘i.

To let this building project continue is a slap in the face to all and I urge everyone to help protect these sacred lands.

Kelsea Kearns

Jensen Beach, Fla.


Stop belittling OHA

As a trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs from the island of Maui, I wish to take issue with discontents who will resort to all manner of nonsense to belittle the substantial accomplishments achieved by OHA in the last six years.

OHA has been accused of a myriad of incidents of misfeasance but those who throw opala usually have soiled hands themselves. Previously the OHA board suffered a severe case of egomania evidenced by frequent swearing, fighting, yelling, demanding and embarrassing public displays seen on TV regularly. The staff and others appearing before the board were intimidated and even fearful.

The current board has worked diligently to not only improve the conditions and image of OHA but also has accomplished considerably more under our current administrator in the last six years than in the previous 23 years of its existence. More Hawaiians have received more from OHA. The people of Hawai‘i have benefited in numerous ways from the preservation of legacy and pristine lands to helping with homelessness, charter schools, business loans, health, education, outreach, etc. Hawaiians on Hawaiian Home Lands have been assured of $3 million per year to help them get homes and lots. In the meantime OHA has led the legal battle in the courts and in Congress to preserve the identity of Hawaiians. And so, if we’re going to “hana lima,” work with our hands, let us do so together and constructively and continue to “holomua,” move forward, not “I hope,” backwards.

Boyd Mossman

OHA trustee

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