Letters for Wednesday, October 29, 2008

• Loss of decent education

• Confusion multiplied

• Vote for Zero Waste

• Yukimura for real change

• Don’t be misled

• Bernard versus JoAnn

Loss of decent education

I laughed out loud when I read Larry Arruda’s praise for California’s Proposition 13 as the only case he can recall of a tax cut which did not shift its burden to others (“Taxes, taxes and more taxes,” Letters, Oct 26).

As a child of the California public school system, I can tell you that Proposition 13 did, indeed, carry an enormous price tag in the form of a deteriorating and under-funded education system. 

What does Mr. Arruda suppose the loss of a decent education costs?

• Katy Rose, Hanalei

Confusion multiplied

The Charter Commission has placed on the ballot an amendment that would, with the exception of the body they are serving on, exempt board and commission members from the requirements of Section 20.02D, which currently prohibits all county officers and employees from appearing in behalf of private interests before any county board, commission or agency.

I wonder how many voters are being taken in by the deceptive language the commission provided in an effort to win approval for the amendment. The commission asserts that 20.02D is currently being interpreted on a case-by-case basis.

The truth is that the Ethics Board’s method of interpreting 20.02D is to ignore it and/or deliberately refuse to enforce it, as happened twice during the last year in cases involving former county officials now serving on a board or commission. The mayor and council have tacitly endorsed the board’s derelictions by ignoring requests to call for a public accounting from the board, thus freeing the board from any oversight concerns.

What will happen if the amendment is adopted is that board and commission members will be singled out for exemption from a key ethical standard and members of the Ethics Board will receive from the voters an after-the-fact free pass for past failures to enforce 20.02D and, in at least two cases, for their personal violations of 20.02D. I don’t believe that’s reason enough for amending 20.02D.

• Horace Stoessel, Kapa’a

Vote for Zero Waste

For the past couple years, I have been chair of Zero Waste Kaua‘i. We don’t endorse candidates, but we sure do keep up on the candidates and their public statements.

I favor maximum reduce, reuse, recycle. I do not want to see an expensive, polluting garbage incinerator that would force us to import garbage from O‘ahu. I favor limiting plastic bags and Styrofoam.

Here are the candidates that seem to agree: JoAnn Yukimura (for sure), Tim Bynum, Lani Kawahara, Kipukai Kuali‘i, Jay Furfaro and Bruce Pleas.

If these folks win, there is more likelihood that we will have a smaller landfill and the county will profit from changing “waste” into valuable resources. Don’t forget to vote Tuesday.

• Gordon LaBedz, Kekaha

Yukimura for real change

I am wondering what Amanda Gregg lives on (“We all have a stake,” Letters, Oct 27).

The future of Kaua‘i doesn’t depend on “leadership style and sincerity,” it depends on leadership experience and knowledge on the issues before us.

What progressive ideas did Bernard Carvalho help the late Mayor Bryan Baptiste bring into fruition?

Community means all of us, not just those in with the old boy/Republican machine. Carvalho is a mouthpiece for that machine.

His campaign coffers are full of Republican money, his campaign office is staffed with Republican diehards who were going to throw the Obama yard signs their campaign was given into the garbage.

If you want real change, a sustainable Kaua‘i, then vote for JoAnn Yukimura. Voting for the other candidate just means more of the same as the last 14 years of looking out for the interests of big developers and rich land owners.

If we are going to be able to give our children a place to make a good life in, then we need to choose hope instead of fear. We need to elect JoAnn Yukimura as mayor to lead us in a new direction. To a future for our grandchildren we can smile about.

• David Thorp, Koloa

Don’t be misled

Consistent with arguments made by the teachers union and others who are spending big sums to try to defeat the proposed constitutional convention, a caption for an Associated Press story on the front page of The Garden Island on Oct. 26, states the “Convention could do almost anything.”

While opponents of the convention like to ignore the point, the fact is that all that the convention can do is propose constitutional changes — the voters must decide whether to adopt the proposals.

What must scare those against the con-con is virtually all of the proposals made in the past two conventions have received the favorable vote of the people. The convention is a good idea — don’t be misled.

• Glenn Mickens, Kapa‘a

Bernard versus JoAnn

By all accounts Bernard is a very nice person: warm and friendly. I would love to see him continue the fine job he is doing with our county Parks and Recreation Department. I would love to see him keep improving the system.

Kaua‘i is faced with many pressing issues right now. Two that have some focus for me are energy and solid waste.

As a founding member of Apollo Kaua‘i, with a mission to promote energy efficiency and conservation and the use of appropriate renewable energy resources, JoAnn Yukimura has been involved and searching for solutions these last three years.

She understands the urgency and has worked towards a solar hot water mandate for new construction. She had the vision back in the ‘90s to create the Kaua‘i Bus.  I have not seen Bernard involved at all in the conversation or take the time to attend the most recent outstanding two-day energy conference, even when he was officially running for office. JoAnn was there.

On the issue of solid waste, JoAnn has worked diligently alongside Zero Waste Kaua‘i to promote an aggressive recycling effort to make an immediate reduction in our over-flowing landfill and to promote the reuse of the many valuable resources that gets shipped here.

She also understands that a waste-to-energy facility can cost upwards of $115 million and take years to permit, site and build. Would you like toxic burning garbage in your back yard?

I feel JoAnn is the clear choice for mayor.

• Pamela Burrell, Kilauea

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