Letters for Monday, July 18, 2011

• Time for a new county MO • Safety

requires common sense • Continuing the

conversation to end the ‘R word’ in Hawai‘i

Time for a new county MO

Is this county really going to perpetuate their policy of “ready, fire, aim?”

The headline story in July 15 in The Garden Island stated, “New collection fees take effect.”

Let’s thoroughly examine this new ordinance which it appears that the crafters of it failed to do.

The article states, “The Kaua‘i County Council in September unanimously approved a bill that some said marked the end of free trash collection (this was a Council statement) while others said (members of the public) such services were never free because Solid Waste Division subsidies come from the county’s General Fund.”

Think about this. Whether the fees that paid for our trash pickup come from our property taxes, Solid Waste or the General Fund, we were paying for them and they were not free.

Thus by charging the tax payers an additional $12 per month for trash pick up, aren’t we in fact being double billed for our pick up? Shouldn’t the original billing be identified and either eliminated or the truth be told that the County needs the revenue and thus the need for double billing?

Of course, when the county’s unappropriated surplus was $32 million for the past fiscal year it would be hard for them to make a case for needing more money!

And one other extremely important part to this “rush to operation” equation that was nor researched.

For those citizens who take pride in recycling all recyclables (like my wife) and only put one 32 gallon container out each week, what is their incentive to recycle? Obviously this issue was never completely thought through and thus there is no incentive.

Can’t our representative government learn from past mistakes and fully look at the big picture before pushing the go button? We continually cost the taxpayers more money by doing something wrong and then redoing it.

Over and over we “ready, fire, aim” and create untold problems with this Modus Operandi.

Glenn Mickens, Kapa‘a

Safety requires common sense

It very sad to see another lost life at one of Hawaiian Islands’ tourist sites, Maui’s blowhole. My deepest sympathy goes out to the family of the young man.

We can add lots of warning signs of the dangers of getting up close to these amazing wonders. However, will it really keep curious people away and safe? I don’t think so.

There will always be curiosity among the adventurous people. If one must be curious they should also use common sense. Like not to get too close especially when there is evidence of danger such as wet and slippery rocks or waves breaking over onto the rocks which they stand on.

Much too many people blame that we don’t have danger warning signs in the area. But on the other hand, lots of the people just don’t use common sense.

For instance, when I drive down from Koke‘e on to Route 554 (Waimea Canyon Drive), I see far too many tourists climb onto the guardrail to take pictures of the entry of the canyon and the river valley below. If they should fall there is nothing to stop them from tumbling down and possibly fall to the floor of the valley below.

Our tourist brochures should stress that people use common sense and be aware of danger in the area. Most of all stress, “Safety First!”

Howard Tolbe, ‘Ele‘ele

Continuing the conversation to end the ‘R word’ in Hawai‘i

On July 11, 2011 Hawai‘i took a step towards equality when Gov. Abercrombie signed House Bill 761 into law. We applaud the governor and the act which — along with the federal Rosa’s Law — requires the replacement of the hurtful term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disabilities” by state and federal agencies and is an important step in creating a community of tolerance and acceptance in a state celebrated for its warm aloha spirit.

I have experienced first-hand the devastation and pain that hurtful language, such as the “R word” can cause our athletes and individuals with intellectual disabilities and this event is a great opportunity to cultivate conversation on eliminating hurtful and derogatory language from our everyday lives.

For four years Special Olympics has worked to abolish the use of the “R word” in communities around the world with its “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign, which works to eliminate the use of the “R word” from our vocabularies.

If we continue to maintain dialogue about this issue, we can foster communities of respect and inclusion.

If you haven’t already taken the pledge and would like to make a commitment of acceptance you can do so at www.r-word.org.

Nancy Bottelo, Honolulu


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