Friday, Sept. 29, 2023 |
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• (Not) In Our Backyard • Plenty of positive people to thank for
(Not) In Our Backyard
The Isenberg Tract, Kaua‘i Gardens, and Lihu‘e Town tract Camp A neighborhoods want to help our drug-addicted teens, for whom a drug treatment facility is being proposed in our backyard.
We emphatically stated at the community meeting that we understood the importance of having a drug treatment center here on Kaua‘i. However, we objected to the manner in which the site selection occurred because the process was exclusive; the process did not engage all of those whose lives would be most impacted by the treatment center.
We also expressed our concerns about our personal safety as the neighborhoods are home to a diverse population ranging from families with young children, to elderly, frail senior citizens, many over 80 years old who live alone and have difficulty asserting or defending themselves.
Before we had a chance to reconvene with county officials to continue our discussion towards resolving our concerns, we were personally attacked.
The March 13 TGI editorial makes it clear that we behaved shamefully by voicing our concerns about the two sites selected, both of which are literally in our backyards. As it stands, The Garden Island newspaper has condemned us with shame.
Well, we believe the First Amendment, more specifically, the freedom of speech, isn’t exclusive to newspapers, but is the right of every citizen in our democracy. We are not ashamed to speak out, to ask questions, to express our concerns. More so when we have streets in our neighborhood named after fallen World War II soldiers, those who paid the ultimate price for this freedom, along with neighbors who are World War II veterans, who fought to preserve the freedom we enjoy today.
In the March 16 “Stand and be counted” letter, KPD Chief Darryl Perry used his office to promote the locations of this treatment facility. In effect, Chief Perry used his office to play politics and accuse us of NIMBY thinking.
Additionally, he further dismisses our concerns about our personal safety when he states, “ … the “Not In My Back Yard” argument does not stand on solid ground, but is based solely on instilling fear in the community, fear that is unwarranted, reckless, and irresponsible.”
When asked about the security measures at the treatment facility, no county official was able to give us a clear answer. As far as we understand, it is the duty of the chief of police to enforce the laws and provide for the safety of the public.
Mr. Ron Agor’s letter blames successful homeowners for causing our youth to become drug addicts. His March 17 letter “Helping those in need” states, “Young people who stumble and fall is the innate result of a successful community.” He also admonishes us for not making a contribution to help our “fallen youth,” by further stating, “For those who are successful enough to own a home in their neighborhood, I say that if the only contribution you can make to help our fallen youth is welcoming a treatment center in your neighborhood, then it is a noble contribution.”
It is a fact that Mr. Agor was the architect who designed the drug treatment facility in 2007 at Hanapepe, and has a direct vested interest in this project. Very noble indeed.
Mayor Carvalho, based upon Chief Perry’s and Mr. Agor’s letters, you now have two other potential sites available.
We really aren’t bad people. We want to be part of the solution. We deserve to be treated with fairness and respect by our county officials and community leaders. We have the responsibility to be informed to voice our concerns on any issue affecting us.
Florence Shimokawa, Minoru Shimokawa (Letter undersigned by 20 concerned residents), Lihu‘e
Plenty of positive people to thank for this season
On behalf of the Kapa‘a Boys Soccer team we would like to thank everyone who made it possible to travel and participate in the state high school soccer tournament.
Also, to all who have supported the team during the year. There are so many great businesses and people in our community who have donated money or participated in the necessary fundraising to help out. It would be nice if we could identify each one but I would probably leave someone out because there were so many.
I would also like to extend a big mahalo to the parents of the athletes. Their help and support was invaluable. And to the boys, we love them like our own sons and wish them continued success.
With all that is negative in the world around us, there are plenty of positive people here on Kaua‘i to surround yourself with. We have found many of those people this soccer season.
Coaches Kevin Cram, Todd Fuerte, Mark Sassone, Jeff Nelson, Kapa‘a Boys Soccer
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