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Letters for Monday, September 29, 2008

• Impact of cruise ship decline exaggerated

• Letter was right on target

• Foster a positive reputation

• Candidate forum on sustainability

• No bailout for Wall Street


Impact of cruise ship decline exaggerated

The figures and percentages used by the visitor industry leaders to calculate the tourism decline on Kaua‘i are misleading. On one hand the article states that 80 percent of the decline was attributed to the loss of cruise ship arrivals. Consider the following:

1. Cruise ship passengers do not spend money for accommodations.

2. The length of stay for passengers of cruise ships is no more than one day versus seven to 10 days for other visitors.

3. Not all passengers disembark.

4. Not all passengers spend money on island restaurants. (They have access to restaurants and buffets on the ship.)

I would venture a guess that the lost tourism dollars from the decline in cruise ship arrivals is less than 5 percent islandwide.

Earl Scott

Princeville


Letter was right on target

I saw the letter in Saturday morning’s paper, “Blemish on our visit” about the shop Hot Rocket in the Chung Young Center and I feel compelled to write a follow-up, as I completely concur with the writer’s opinion.

As very frequent visitors who have a small family cottage on the North Shore, we too make purchases at “tourist shops.” We like to take gifts home to family and have souvenirs for ourselves.

I have been in the shop on several occasions over the years and heard him make extremely derogatory comments to people leaving the store. He has been having this same behavior for years, he seems to take great joy in being extremely rude. He has a cocky, I’m-better-than-you attitude and he is just a jerk. It has taken all my willpower not to speak up to him and now I’m sorry I didn’t do it sooner. He’s just plain nasty and I think he’s proud of it.

I am an old-time retail store manager and have been repeatedly appalled at the behavior of the man who seems to run this place. He is a haole by the way, the type that doesn’t help our reputation on this wonderful island.

This type of person does nothing for the local economy or the aloha that runs deep in this special place.

He probably thinks this is all quite funny; it’s not. I for one will never set foot in his shop again.

Suzi Jacobs Beatie

Ha‘ena


Foster a positive reputation

In response to “Blemish on our visit” from Saturday’s letter to the editor.

Mr. Donohue (and others reading this), please know that most businesses and residents of Kaua‘i appreciate your presence here and realize your time is valuable to everyone. I trust you did not experience that same attitude and disrespect everywhere you went and that you did feel welcome at other places of business you visited.

I would like to offer up a not-so-gentle reminder.

Our economy is based on tourism. Mr. Donohue’s account and documented experience is not just of one customer. It is all customers. It is his friends, family and anyone who may be considering coming here. If this customer’s impression of our island doesn’t send a wakeup call from South to North Shore, I don’t know what will. We do not have an unlimited amount of opportunity to make a good impression on our local and visiting customers.

Times are hard for everyone, our visitor statistics are down double digits and the actions of every service professional and business will reverberate with a positive or negative throughout a customer’s network of friends, family and our TGI readers with a far reach and over a long period of time.

Unfortunately, negative impressions last a very long time and are hard to change. Kaua‘i’s reputation is important if our community is going to survive.

An attitude of desperation, disrespect and apathy will take us down for sure. We need our returning guests and visitors, as they are vital to our businesses and community.

It is not always easy to serve and support customers, there is no doubt about it. Regardless, if our business is to serve the public, then it is our obligation and duty to do so in a way befitting Kaua‘i.

Please make sure everyone that enters your doors leaves with the best impression possible and that your establishment takes steps to leave no blemish on their visits. We cannot afford to take our opportunities to serve the public for granted.

Melissa Costales

Kapa‘a


Candidate forum on sustainability

A candidate forum is taking place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. tomorrow at the Waimea Theater. Public is welcome. Mayoral and council candidates will be in attendance and answering questions concerning the sustainability of West Kaua‘i.

Refreshments will be served.

Sponsors are Pioneer Seed, Syngenta, West Kauai Business Association, Kikiaola Land Company and Waimea Plantation Cottages.

Aloha.

Stephanie Iona

Waimea


No bailout for Wall Street

The proposed $700 billion bailout of failed financial institutions by the Bush administration is perhaps one of the most dangerous threats to both our economic stability and freedom here in the Islands.

Unlike other states, Hawai‘i’s cost of living is already uniquely high, and the fallout of raising our national debt ceiling from $10 trillion to $13 trillion for the purposes of accommodating the bailout will likely result in massive tax hikes, a massive inflationary effect and a long-term devaluation of the dollar that will hurt us more than most.

Not only that, this proposed bailout strategy would in effect make the United States government the largest real estate company in the entire world.

The question every one of us needs to ask is this: Do we want our children to live in financial freedom and independence or not? It’s time for these financial institutions to fall to force a paradigm shift. Let the free market system readjust itself. If we fall, who will come to bail us out?

These companies don’t deserve corporate parachutes at the tax expense of our backs. As long as we give bailouts, corporations will never have any incentive to improve.

To quote Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street, “The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book, you either do it right, or you get eliminated.”

Write to the White House and tell them no bailout for Wall Street.

Daniel de Gracia II

Waipahu

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