Letters for Thursday, June 23, 2011

You cannot chew gum and run

Coconut Marketplace needs more stores •

Kapaia Swinging Bridge not a bridge to nowhere

You cannot chew gum and run

There’s an old saying, “you cannot chew gum and run” (something like that). O‘ahu lawmakers are trying to pass a bill that states, “you can not use a cellular phone to talk or text while walking.”

The reason for this bill is to prevent people from getting run over. Most people on the cellular phone talking or texting are not paying attention to their surroundings and most likely would jay walk into a moving vehicle and get hurt or killed.

One day while I was driving through Ele‘ele Shopping Center. There was a pedestrian walking and talking on the cellular phone. Luckily, I was aware of the person, cause that person kept on yaking away on the cellular phone and didn’t see me. That person didn’t even check for oncoming vehicles. That person just crossed right in front of my vehicle and didn’t realize that she could have been run over.

Maybe our law makers should look into the same bill as O‘ahu lawmakers and pass a law to prohibit cellular phone use while walking. Once the law has passed, tag on a fine similar to the “no electronic devices while driving” bill.

Cellular phones, MP3 players and the like can be good, if used with a lot of common sense while driving or walking/jogging.

Howard Tolbe, Ele‘ele

Coconut Marketplace needs more stores

I just wanted to write a quick letter in the hope that maybe someone could explain the Coconut Marketplace to me.

Not to long ago, my girlfriend and I went there to have breakfast at Egbert’s. After eating, we decided to take a walk through the “marketplace.” It’s kind of hard to describe the experience of shopping here. It kind of reminded me of being in an apocalyptic zombie movie.

It seems like it was a really cool place in it’s prime, but now it’s kind of sad and deserted. The few stores that were there were tourist-trap type stores selling the typical shells, leis, coconuts wearing funny hats and other tourist chochkies, with the occasional clothing store strewn about.

My question is why don’t we have more stores there that the local people would actually want to shop at? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Footlocker, Game Stop, Radio Shack, Jamba Juice or even a well-run movie theater.

Being a Kapa‘a resident, I know I would love to be able to forgo the trip to Lihu‘e and buy something other than food or trinkets in Kapa‘a. I know what everyone is going to say what about all the extra traffic? I agree. It would add lots of traffic, but the place has a nice big parking lot and with the new cane haul bridge finally opened, I don’t think it would be that much worse.

So, in closing, I was just hoping that someone could explain this mysterious marketplace to me.

 

Andrew Gorsline, Kapa‘a

Kapaia Swinging Bridge not a bridge to nowhere

Kapaia Foundation worked very hard for the opportunity to showcase, arguably, one of the most picturesque and historical sites in Hawai‘i. The Kapaia Swinging Bridge was one of only 100 places in the United States selected to participate in National Trust for Historic Preservation’s public awareness project, and the only selection in Hawai‘i.

Speaking of the Kapaia Swinging Bridge, we would like to respond to your May 22 editorial, “Just saying ‘no’ pays off,” where you applaud the mayor for halting the repair of the Kapaia Swinging Bridge.

First, the Kapaia Swinging Bridge is NOT a bridge to nowhere! Until it was closed in 2006, the Kapaia Swinging Bridge was the only safe path for pedestrians walking between Hanama‘ulu and Lihu‘e, and it connected the upper valley with the lower valley and Hanama‘ulu Beach. As we whiz through the town of Kapaia in our four-wheeled gas guzzlers, many of the pedestrians we see hugging the Kuhio Highway bridge are walking because they don’t have a car and can’t afford the fuel that goes with it. Some can’t drive and others prefer the benefits of walking. ALL deserve a safe walking path. Closing the Kapaia Swinging Bridge denied our citizens the safe path they had enjoyed for more than 100 years.

Again, Kapaia Foundation strongly disagrees with The Garden Island’s claim that the Kapaia Swinging Bridge is a bridge to nowhere. This bridge is a connection to viable pedestrian transportation.

Second, although you were correct in writing that $4 million to repair a humble foot bridge is preposterous, you did not address the details. Instead, you parroted the administration’s report. To do this without question, study and investigation is irresponsible and misleading to the public. Kai Hawai‘i’s $136,000 study was prepared without any input from the Kapaia community. Included in the design plans are 20 parking spaces, 20-foot wide roads and even a 100-foot long paved driveway for private owners. All this for a humble foot bridge?

Again, to accept an outrageous report without question, study and investigation is irresponsible and misleading to the public.

We conclude with a question. How much is the safety and life of people like Joshua Wong, Javen Hoapili, Angeli Penyera, Britney Balauro and many others  who walk between Hanama’ulu and Lihu‘e worth?

Laraine Moriguchi and Nina Monasevitch, Kapaia Foundation

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