Letters for Tuesday, October 7, 2008

• Self-reliance key to change

• Beware of scam

• Take your negativity elsewhere

• Fix the problem now

• Coqui frogs coming soon to a neighborhood near you

• Two trustees should not return

Self-reliance key to change

Everyone wants change and is looking toward our elected officials for leadership.

I say if you want change, look in the mirror. Be self-reliant, plant a garden, ride a bike, put a solar water heater or a photovoltaic system or wind generator on your home. Do it by the way you purchase goods.

Do not look toward government because government produces nothing, and only takes from you.

You are the only one that can create change. Now get started with your plan today. How you can be more self-reliant?

This is when real change will occur.

 •  Gary Pierce, Kilauea

Beware of scam

Beware of this real estate scam in these desperate times. Here is how it works:

A man will want to purchase your property either outright or on a rent-to-own basis. He is very persistent.

He tries to convince you that he will make payments once you sign the deed or title of the property over to him. Payments soon stop and he owns your property.

Then he takes loans out against your properties equity and lives off it for a couple of years.

The con man tried this scam on me (he did not succeed), but I have learned that he has tried this scam with others on Kaua‘i and I don’t want to see anyone lose their home this way. He may claim to be a mortgage broker or a real estate agent and he is very smooth.

•  Chris Webster, Kalaheo

Take your negativity elsewhere

Can I have some cheese with that whine?

I am thankful for those that work so hard collecting our opala, no matter what time of the day this happens.

I am also thankful for our chickens that give us so much needed character to this island, character that has been severely depleted over the last several years by all the ongoing shibai, folks no longer able to vend their Kaua‘i products from the roadside as used to be significant in the distant past plantation-days lifestyle or politicians that shoved Superferry down our throats circumventing laws to make it happen, simply because of community requests for an EIS.

If no can handle island lifestyle, you are invited to go elsewhere and take all your negativity with you.

• Kepa Kekaualua, Kapa‘a

Fix the problem now

The wheelchair ramps installed on the sidewalks of ‘Ele‘ele Nani is an accident waiting to happen.

When a wheelchair rider exits the sidewalk to cross the street to go to the other ramp, the person would have to make a very sharp left or right turn to exit.

The ramp exiting the sidewalk is so narrow that there is a wedge that the wheelchair’s wheel can get caught in and cause the rider to fall and get hurt.

Why did they build it (the ramp) so narrow at the sidewalk? It should have been the same width as the end that’s off the road.

Please don’t wait for an accident to happen — fix the problem now.

• Howard Tolbe. ‘Ele‘ele

Coqui frogs coming soon to a neighborhood near you

Who was it exactly that decided to allow the coqui frog to take over the Big Island?

Who concluded that since there were already millions of them infesting Puna and Hamakua that it was hopeless to even try to control them?

Big mistake! I understand that many of our plant and animal species in Hawai‘i were brought here by accident or by well-intentioned importers.

But this species was willfully allowed to infest our forests at breakneck speed with virtually no predators, devouring insects that other frogs and birds rely on, chirping louder and louder and louder with each passing day. 

Shame on you for not getting a handle on this. This innocent yet pesky amphibian has the potential not only to out-compete avian and other species for food, but to lower property values, discourage tourism dollars and last but definitely not least, drive people crazy with all the shrieking.

Let’s pray they do a better job restraining the Varroa mite.

Some people say that coquis are now part of the ‘aina and belong here as much as anybody.  While that may be true, a word to the wise to those of you still enjoying your quiet nights — hang on to those earplugs.

Wherever you are, rest assured the coqui frog is on its way. Soon they will be island-hopping with their families on the Superferry like they do on airplanes and in shipping boxes.

We can all watch how quickly the dollars are freed up to control them (as they were wisely on Kaua‘i) once they reach Honolulu and other areas with the money and the good sense to crank up those sprayers.

One thing is sadly certain — their arrival in your neighborhood is only a matter of time. 

• Elizabeth Zogby, Kea‘au, Big Island

Two trustees should not return

OHA has had no fiscal accountability under Haunani Apoliona’s chairmanship.

Programs have been eliminated or outsourced while our annual budget has doubled from $24 million to $52 million. The contracts of underperforming vendors have been unlawfully extended multiple times.

Apoliona has spent millions flying first-class and hosting lavish parties on the Mainland.  Her sister also works for OHA and recently had nearly $50,000 on her personal charge card reimbursed by OHA.

Morale at OHA has never been lower. Ten employees were fired or quit this year. Employees are fingerprinted for I.D. cards, tracked by security cameras and constantly reminded that they can be fired at anytime.

Apoliona’s friend, Trustee Colette Machado, misled the board into approving a resolution supporting Molokai Ranch’s plan to donate thousands of acres of land to the community in exchange for a development of high-end homes on the ranch.

Machado said the community supported this effort, which turned out to be false. Machado was also involved with the group that was to control the donated lands and she is now its chairperson. Machado’s group recently received a $100,000 OHA grant for “operating costs.”

In this election year, voters must make the necessary changes and elect people who will be accountable.

• Rowena Akana, Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee

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