Letters for Saturday, June 25, 2011

• Seawalls destroy beaches • Too many

chickens • Paratransit bus • Tax

Review Commission and flying pigs • Who is

local?

Seawalls destroy beaches

Thanks for the article about the proposed seawall at Aliomanu Road. The headline reads “Sandbags no match for surf.” Wow. That sure is true.

But let me give a little heads up on seawalls. Boulders are no “permanent fix” either. Seawalls can slow Mother Ocean down a bit, but nothing humans can build can stop the ocean permanently.

The problem with seawalls is four fold.

The first is that the sandy, publicly-owned beach is lost whenever a seawall is built in a high-energy surf zone. That means any beach where surf bounces off a seawall will lose the beach forever.

Two, the property next to the seawall will erode faster. Coastal engineers call this the “end-around-effect.” This has already happened at Aliomanu.

Three, when the seawall finally does fall apart, there are big boulders all over the place and no one ever cleans up the mess.

And four, if the surf breaks on an off shore sandbar (instead of a reef), the breaking waves are lost forever because the surf that bounces off the rocks will wash the sand bars out to sea.

The Surfrider Foundation has been educating the public about “coastal armoring” for its entire 26 year history. Seawalls, groins and jetties destroy the beach. They are never a good idea and, worse, not very effective either.

Private property is temporarily protected, public property is permanently destroyed.

Often this is done at tax payer’s expense such as Aliomanu Road and the Kikiaola Small Boat harbor ($22 million)

There is only one permanent solution: Move the structure (road or building) that is washing away.

 

Gordon LaBedz, Kekaha

Too many chickens

The suggestion to put a bounty on chickens is excellent.

There are just too many chickens on the island and they are supplanting the native wild life. Kauai‘s unique peacefulness is being transformed into a raucous barnyard.

When is the council going to act on this?

Philip Stevens, Hanalei

Paratransit bus

The flashy new buses used for paratransit are terrific except for one problem area: There is now a step-down near the first seats before the passenger enters the main bus, or when a passenger readies to depart the bus.

This area is yellow-striped on the floor facing the front of the bus, and has some dots to indicate a change in level before the passenger reaches the descending level steps to the ground.

On June 16 a new paratransit bus transported the Lihu‘e Japanese dance group to Waimea’s Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital long-term care for outreach to the invalid patients there.

When my turn came to depart the bus, driver Charlie cautioned me about the step, but I stumbled and he caught me from falling. Mucho mahalo, Charlie!

Since I have no depth perception (lost it at 2 years old due to disease) I propose installing/painting another yellow stripe on the upper floor level of the bus so that the step is highlighted on both sides to aid us passengers with less clear vision.

 

Alice Parker, Lihu‘e

Tax Review Commission and flying pigs

Recently, our illustrious state Governor made five appointments to the Hawai‘i Tax Review Commission. These appointees were attorneys, certified public accountants, bank executives and even one ex-politician/former gubernatorial candidate.

To say that I have concerns relative to the Governor’s selections would be an understatement. While the appointees exhibit impeccable resumes, it would be interesting to identify their political affiliations and determine if significant contributions to the governor’s election campaign were made on their behalf.

Every tax-paying resident of the state is well aware that the brunt of the tax revenues collected is acquired from small businesses and the hard working middle-class wage earner yet the head of our state government has failed to appoint individuals from the two aforementioned groups to the commission.

Instead, what we have are individuals with occupations notorious for finding and utilizing loopholes within our broken and archaic tax system benefiting personal and special interest group gains.

The governor’s action only serves to enforce the notion that the “good old boy” system of government in our state is alive and well.

The Tax Review Commission is responsible to insure that all taxpayers pay their fair share. Don’t expect changes benefiting small business and/or the middle-class wage earner to be proposed; I’ll see pigs fly before this commission provides anything resembling such an attempt.

 

Charles Rebb, Koloa

Who is local?

In which ways can or should a “local” be identified?

1 – One who was born and raised in Hawai‘i?

2 – One who owns property, no matter where one lives?

3 – One who has the right to vote in local elections (county and state)?

4 – One who thinks local or is accepted by locals?

5 – One who pays any local taxes?

6 – One who lives here temporarily?

7 – One who has moved away but still retains local roots or local dispositions (can flash the “shaka” sign knowledgeably or understands what “dakine” means)?

8 – One who can speak standard English and Pidgin English (or at least understand it)?

9 – One who enjoys plate lunches?

10 – One who appreciates li hing mui, lau lau, adobo, potato chips, sashimi, malasadas, pastele and kimchee?

Jose Bulatao, Jr.

Kekaha

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