Letters for Friday, June 10, 2011

• Lydgate Pond restoration catastrophic •

Politicians doing nothing to help Kaua‘i’s homeless

Aloha spirit lives on

Lydgate Pond restoration catastrophic

I am trying to raise some awareness about the catastrophic results of the Lydgate Pond Restoration Project.

Together with a group of people that used to enjoy swimming there, I am profoundly disturbed by the sight of the devastation that this project has brought to what used to be one of the most beautiful places on this side of the island and a major tourist attraction.

The wall that has been built around the pond does not allow any exchange of water between the pond and the ocean, except for some seeping and a little water coming in on high tide. The water cannot flush in and out and has become murky, putrid, and stagnant.

Swimming there has became extremely unpleasant and quite dangerous, because one can’t see the bottom and therefore doesn’t know if he’s swimming in two feet of water or ten, and can easily become disoriented. In fact, the county rushed to put up a sign that says that you can drown, a sign that wasn’t needed before the restoration and that is ironic since the goal of the restoration was to provide a pleasant and safe environment for people to swim. There are no more fish in the water and if there were, they could not be seen. The bottom is very soft like a swamp and will be soon covered with algae.

They say that they restored the wall the way it was 40 years ago and that Mother Nature is going to take care of it. However, the ocean was very different 40 years ago, as far as temperature, waves, and currents. It is unlikely that what took place 40 years ago will happen again now. Plus, I wouldn’t want to wait 40 years to see what happens.

I ask to everybody that cares about the island and about Lydgate Park to contact me to send a petition to lower the wall and to express their concern to the Mayor’s Office (241-4900), to Ian Costa (241-4457), to Lenny Rapozo (241-4455), to Donald Fujimoto (241-4846), and to Larry Dill (241-4455).

Let’s lower that wall, or at least knock down some rocks so the water can flow in and out of the pond and bring Lydgate swimming pond back to life.

Lucia Eichenberger, Wailua Homesteads

Politicians doing nothing to help Kaua‘i’s homeless

The unemployment office on Kaua‘i has been short staffed for six months. Decisions that usually take 3 weeks are taking more than 3 months.

How can people be expected to survive with no income for more than three months? This is unacceptable. I wrote letters to Mayor Carvalho, Gov. Abercrombie and President Obama about this.

The letters to Carvalho and Abercrombie remain unanswered and the letter to Obama was forwarded to a place in San Francisco, Calif. that oversees the Hawai‘i Department of Labor issues. However, the letter they sent me stated the difference between federal and state laws, and how state laws govern the unemployment insurance in Hawai‘i.

So, why is there an office is San Francisco to oversee Hawai‘i Department of Labor when they can do nothing to help the people of Hawai‘i? Moreover, why doesn’t the Kaua‘i unemployment office hire some of the many unemployed residents who are seeking work in order to process claims in a timely manner?

So many people are being forced into homelessness because they are unemployed, have no income and the unemployment office cannot adequately help them because they are “short staffed.”

Why are our politicians ignoring this matter and doing nothing to help the residents of Kaua‘i?

Borders closed, Big Save Lihu‘e is closing and many businesses in Coconut Marketplace have closed. Kaua‘i is becoming a ghost town with homeless hungry people.

This problem needs to be remedied immediately.

Carla Hart, Anahola

Aloha spirit lives on

I was disheartened to read that the Dolan’s utility trailer was stolen. Yes, there is a rash of thefts going on here on Kauai and everywhere else. I wonder if blaming the economy has anything to do with theft.

My son and his friends have had cash, wallets and phones stolen.

Today I felt the spirit of Aloha live on. Instead of going to the bank to get cash first, I went to Costco. I decided after purchasing groceries and a cash card that I would make things easier for myself by picking up a hot-dog at Costco for mom’s lunch. She loves hot-dogs and although at her age I know they are not good for her, they put a smile on her face when she rarely has one.

I opened my wallet after I ordered the hot-dog and found that I had a dollar bill and poured out my change and was short 25 cents. The hot-dogs are a deal at $1.50.

I couldn’t believe it and they would not take my Costco cash card which I had just purchased. Having never been in this position since the days of childhood and purchasing candy bars, (and thank you braddah Eddie Schimmelfennig who was behind the line that time and bailed me out) when out of nowhere a guy came and asked how much I was short and I said 25 cents, embarrassed as hell that there was now a line forming. He pulled out a dollar bill and laid it down on the counter and walked away. I tried to get a good look at him, he was a local guy wearing a cotton handkerchief on his head. I wanted to tell him I would pay him back but he disappeared and although I watched for him, never saw him again.

So I decided it was a payback for the good deeds I have done, paying it forward. This actually happened to me Wednesday at Costco on Kaua‘i. He made my day and so dear Dolans, do not remain disheartened, remember we have all had items stolen and senselessly.

I learned today that next time I will go to First Hawaiian Bank first. And that all your good deeds do return, and the Aloha Spirit lives on.

Thank you braddah, much Aloha.

 

Niki Sifers, Lihu‘e

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