Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 |
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•Saddened, not shocked
•Public outrage brings change
•Surfers vs. SUP
I wish to honor my heroes Brandon Flores, 18, and Kawika Kaopua, 13.
On a recent Sunday afternoon I took a bit of a swim towards the south end of Lydgate Beach and experienced my first rip current — you know, one of those things that happens to “someone else.”
I was suddenly way farther out than I’d ever considered and making no headway towards shore, or in either direction. And I was getting tired.
Kawika and Brandon had entered the water the same time as I, we’d seen each other.
Realizing that the woman (me) had “disappeared,” they looked around and saw me waving for help. The two of them came out with boogie boards to assist me. It was great to have company and a boogie board to hang on to.
Kawika, on his board, managed to paddle back to shore while Brandon and I, sharing his board, were making no headway. From the beach, Kawika saw that Brandon and I were still stuck and ran for help. Brandon and I were soon joined by lifeguard Smiley Ryan, on a surfboard, who paddled first me, then Brandon, to shore.
While I was alone out there I was considering the possibility that I might not get to celebrate my birthday on Saturday.
Brandon and Kawika, my first responders, you guys saved my life. Smiley, too, I honor you. Words cannot convey the depth of my gratitude.
Amorosa DeGracia, Kapa‘a
Saddened, not shocked
Two more avoidable deaths from car accidents happened June 20 near Wailua Golf Course.
It’s been said before and I truly wonder when it is going to happen: That stretch of Kuhio Highway is a death trap called “Blood Alley” and there needs to be a concrete barrier down the middle of the road there, not a double yellow line.
Mainland and O‘ahu dangerous roads have barriers down the middle, how come we don’t?
Pardon me beloved mayor, when you comment on this accident: “We are all so shocked and saddened by this tragedy…” I definitely am saddened, but shocked? Truly, no resident who’s lived here longer than a few years is shocked.
Anytime vehicles lose control on that stretch, multiple people die. Kindly stop labeling it a shocking occurrence, which is disempowerment, and instead take charge to lobby whatever agency needed to finally fix the issue.
Then no one needs to be shocked nor saddened there again. Twelve inches thick of concrete by four-feet high may just do the trick. Thank you so much.
John Tyler, Wailua Homesteads
Public outrage brings change
If you haven’t done so, please carefully read (or reread) Walter Lewis’s article (“Council’s secret sessions should outrage public,” Forum, July 11).
At first glance, the article may seem a dry legal piece.
However, I implore you, all of you, to carefully read this article and get involved with this dysfunctional government of ours and discover the many clandestine methods used.
To keep openness of information from the people, Walter says, “… In 2008 the voters, aided by a deceptive statement of its rationale, approved comfortably, a Charter amendment which relieved the council of the threat of having to limit executive meetings to those on the subject of claims, even though the council had already flagrantly disregarded it.”
What this means is that under Charter Section 3.07E (the Charter is the county’s constitution) our council could legally go into closed sessions for only one reason — claims, the definition as given in our charter. As Walter said, the council had been ignoring 3.07E for 15 months, during which time two members of the public consistently protested the executive sessions whenever it wasn’t for a claim.
Consequently, a member of the Charter Review Commission, obviously prodded by the council, decided to put 3.07E on the ballot — no member of the public wanted 3.07E eliminated. Remember that the state gives government bodies eight reasons to convene in executive session whereas 3.07E gives only one — meaning that our Charter gave its citizens far more openness in government than the state.
Had the wording on the ballot been clearly defined and not deceptively stated, i.e. “Do you want our council to have eight reasons to go into executive session instead of one?” it is inconceivable that the electorate would have passed it. Except for those in power, who would not want as much sunshine in their government as possible?
For me, Walter’s final paragraph was a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth. “Unless and until there is public outrage about the disregard of openness by our government, it will certainly continue.” Bravo.
Glenn Mickens, Kapa‘a
Surfers vs. SUP
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is holding discussions in an attempt to mediate the friction developing between surfers vs stand-up paddlers. According to the surfers, the whole rift began because the stand-up paddlers were repeatedly and deliberately misusing the term “gnarly” in a sentence.
Johnny Robish, Kapa‘a
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