Letters for Saturday, September 27, 2008

• I’d like to sail the channel again

• Blemish on our visit

• Officers protecting skateboarders

I’d like to sail the channel again

It is more than a year since we violently turned away the Superferry from Nawiliwili Harbor.

It has been operating on Maui during that year with no provable impact on either Maui or O‘ahu. The “worst” problem that I have read about is fishermen bringing their catch back to O‘ahu in a cooler — something that has been done via air forever — but somehow not allowed on the ferry. It becomes more and more obvious to me that the boycott is being led by the monopolists and duopolists who fear the competition. In the same way the “big box bill” was sold as keeping Kaua‘i rural rather than protecting local grocers from competition, the opposition leaders persist in their demand for an Environmental ImpactStatement — which is nothing more than trying to predict the future — like weather forecasts, tea leaf readers, and I-Ching sticks. I guess it all depends on who writes the EIS.

The backers of the boycott realize that mentioning the potential for shipping goods interisland more timely and less costly than air or barge would be counterproductive so they have set up a smoke screen of other reasons and causes. But interisland travel by boat and air has always been part of our island heritage. The ferry is no less or more prone to cause problems than existing modes of transportation. A ferry could sink, a meteorite could land in Lihu‘e, the sun could go out — why worry about such things.

I have sailed interisland on my own sailboat many times. Crossing the channels is a different world. I even rode the Boeing catamaran during its short lived existence — a clear victory for market forces. If the Superferry can’t compete, it too will go away. I am too old to sail any longer, nor can I handle the zoo at the airports. I would love the chance to cross the channel once again.

Stan Godes


Blemish on our visit

My wife and I finally arrived back home in Virginia today, after visiting your beautiful island over the course of the last five days.

We viewed your island from the sky (Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tours), bicycled on it, hiked on it (Kauai Adventures) and even drove from the South Shore to the North Shore.

We were amazed at how beautiful everything was, the scenery and beaches were unbelievable. We were, however even more amazed by a unique experience in the town of Hanalei.

My wife and I were visiting the local shops in the Ching Young Shopping Center and one shop in particular (Hot Rocket) where we were looking for gifts for family and friends back on the Mainland.

We didn’t find anything that we had to purchase at the time, and were on our way out when I turned around to ask the clerk behind the counter another question only to see that he was giving me the double birds (both middle fingers). We left this shop and the shopping center with the feeling that we were obligated to buy items there and that if we chose not to we were not welcome.

I hope that this person’s conduct does not speak for the majority of the community that he represents, but it does create a question: Are we really welcome?

If not, why would I or anyone else spend an enormous amount of money to come visit your island, when we can be treated this way in most of the Mainland?

William Donohue

Gainsville, Va.

Officers protecting skateboarders

To the writer of the letter on Sept. 24, “Maybe a Lihu‘e skateboard park is the answer”:

I agree with you, there should be more skateboard parks around the island communities. It will keep our keikis away from running into traffic and getting seriously hurt.

I’m sorry that KPD had to be involved with keeping your son and his friends away from skateboarding in the mall and its parking lot area. However, many times, skateboarders get to be a threat to the shopper in the mall and parking lots. They (the skaterboarder) get so close to running into people. There in the mall are all kinds of walkers and shoppers. There are old people, handicap, mentally challenged people, toddlers, etc. (anyway you catch my drift).

I’ve seen many times the security officer chase the skateboarders down to remind and warn them there is no skateboarding allowed in the areas; mall and parking lot. But these skateboarders continue to go back through the mall and parking lot over and over again. In some cases, I’ve seen parents get involved and argue with the security officer after their child was warned. Sometimes the parents get all fired up.

From what you wrote you aren’t one of those parents I mentioned above because you mentioned in your letter when you saw KPD officers there by your son and his friends, you wanted to pass by and not acknowledge the situation. Was it because of embarassment? But your son pointed you out and the officer stopped you.

Tell me with all the signs “No skateboarding” in the mall and parking lot, skateboarders who continue to break the rules, and argumentive parents, what is the security officer to do? Call for higher level authorities (KPD) for help.

So, be happy that these authorities are there to watch over your children, stopping them from getting seriously hurt or hurting someone. Can you imagine how costly it could get if EMT/paramedics, doctors, hospitals, lawyers and court were involved, too?

Howard Tolbe



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