Letters for Sunday, June 12, 2011

• Deal with it • Take the high road • Race brings


Deal with it

Peter Nilson’s suggestion to use federal funds to control roosters on Kaua‘i is superb (“Control feral chickens,” June 1).

If the only contrary argument is the hackneyed “feeding the homeless,” (“Nitpicking priorities,” June 3) then barbecues should be set up for cooking roosters in public parks.

The issue of who was here first, the Chicken or the Haole, is irrelevant. There are just too many of them on the island, and action needs to be taken now, before the cost gets out of hand. Those who are deaf, or who enjoy car alarms going off at 5 in the morning may, of course, disagree.

When is this critical problem going to be dealt with; or has this peaceful, quiet island been lost forever due to the proverbial Six Surfers with a “concerned” environmental agenda?

The issue to be discussed is whether we want the island to be restored to the pre-hurricane state, when most of the birds were kept in enclosed areas. Presumably, only vegetarians would be justified in seeing the issue any differently.

Philip Stevens, Hanalei

Take the high road

A short article on page 3 of TGI, June 5, titled “Road resurfacing projects on the way” probably went unnoticed by many of those who read the paper.

To most it wasn’t an eye-catching article but our 300 miles of county roads being maintained and resurfaced is a huge story and this resurfacing list for FY 2011-2012 is only the tip of the ice berg.

For 17 years through three or four administrations and a lot of council members the facts have been shown that our roads have not been paved and resurfaced according to applicable HAPI (Hawaiian Asphalt Paving Industry) standards.

Under these standards a lot of preliminary work must be done prior to paving and resurfacing Under these standards a lot of preliminary work must be done prior to the paving and resurfacing. Without such work as a prerequisite our roads simply will not last the 15 or 20 years that they should.

Our MO (modus operandi) has been to pave without putting down a proper base course (a HAPI mandate) or to remove “alligator” cracked surfaces — called cold planning before repaving.

These methods along with not laying down at least 1 1/2” of AC (asphaltic concrete) as the final “lift” has led to our roads cracking and getting pot holes in a year or even less. 

This disgraceful type of work has cost the taxpayers millions of dollars over the years.

Yes, the initial cost will be greater but the savings on the back end will more than pay for itself if the job is done correctly. The cost and waste are bad enough but the fact that neither our administrations nor our councils have addressed this major problem is even worse.

Our only two AC pavers on Kaua‘i do belong to HAPI and when they do a job that isn’t contracted by the county, they use these standards.

But when our county lets a contract to either of these two companies, HAPI standards are eliminated. Thus the cracked sections of roads are paved over and not removed and being penny wise and dollar foolish brings on quick deterioration that should never happen.

We now have a new “sheriff,” aka our county engineer, in town, Larry Dill, who shows high promise of moving forward with correcting these past wrong practices. We will remain cautiously optimistic with Larry at the helm until we see good results but there is at least light at the end of the tunnel.

And Council Chair Furfaro has kept this resurfacing issue on the agenda for over a month so must be thanked for addressing this long, festering problem.

There are so many other questions that need answering: the methodology by which our roads are chosen to be repaved; why we have “accumulated” $8.55 million in this 2011-2012 budget without using past budgets to resurface on a yearly basis as has been done in the past; a road costs about $300 million per mile to repave and with an approximate yearly budget of $2 million it would take 45 years to resurface all our roads. Sure, if we find more funds to use the time comes down but in these dire times that isn’t likely.

We need smooth, safe roads to travel on and we desperately need more bypass roads to alleviate traffic.

Glenn Mickens, Kapa‘a

Race brings conviviality

More than 500 entrants enjoyed competing in the 31st annual Ha‘ena to Hanalei run/walk race June 4. This race is put on by the non-profit Hanalei Civic Canoe Club as a fundraiser for youth outrigger canoe racing.

Race competitors and friends and family from all over Kaua‘i as well as all over the Mainland enjoyed spectacular weather, a wonderful post-race pancake breakfast, and great conviviality at the Hanalei Civic Canoe Club club house.

This annual race is organized and run entirely by volunteers from the Club. Many Kaua‘i businesses contribute to the success of this event through their sponsorships.

The race is truly a community event which is organized, supported, and enjoyed by the community and which has not received any financial support from the Kaua‘i County government.

Peter Nilsen, Princeville


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