Letters for Friday, July 22, 2011

• Courting disaster • Adding insult to

injury • Complaint about complainers •

Mahalo for upkeeping Polihale State Park •

Westside needs cheaper grocery store

Courting disaster

I was horrified to read of the death of the San Anselmo man who was sucked into a blowhole on Maui.

We spend two months in Kaua‘i every year and always make trips to the island’s own “blowhole”. Over the years, there have been fences erected around the viewing area, but there are still many who choose to go down to the wet rock itself.

This is courting disaster.

Blowholes, like the plunge at Kipu Falls and the rocky pools at Queen’s Bath, are natural phenomena that attract the attention of tourists and locals alike. They are also open and obvious hazards that should be recognized as such by adults and treated with respect. Their dangers are as apparent as the caldera of a volcano, which needs no signage to identify it as “Hot Enough to Kill!”

This man’s death was a needless tragedy, heaped upon a family already beset by the tragedy of illness.  Despite this sorrowful circumstance, none of us are entitled to leave our common sense and personal responsibility behind, even while on vacation.

Suzan Kelsey Brooks, West Des Moines, Iowa

Adding insult to injury

The new charges for residential trash pickup and transfer station privileges are deceptive and offensive. Businesses paid directly for trash pickup but residential pickup has always been “free” meaning our share was paid for out of the county general fund, which in turn is largely supported by property taxes.

Now the county wants us to pay $6 per month to support the transfer stations and an additional $6 per month for curbside pickup. In our case, the resulting $144 in annual fees amounts to a whopping increase of 17 percent in our property tax! So much for the county’s pledge not to increase property taxes by over 2 percent per year.

To add insult, the county classifies the new fees as an “Assessment”, somehow not a property tax so we can’t even claim it as a deduction on our income taxes.

The county could set this partly right by reducing our residential property tax by the amount we used to pay out of the General Fund for residential trash pickup.

For Council members who may be arithmetically challenged, that ought to be $144 per year per residence. If not, we can only conclude that the new fees aren’t tied to actual costs and really are just feeding our voracious county government.

John Love, Kapa‘a

Complaint about complainers

In a recent letter, a reader stated that people who are against the island’s chickens are “complainers” who need to appreciate all of Kaua‘i’s wonderful blessings.

There is certainly a lot of validity to this comment. However, we also need to be proactive in maintaining our blessing of tranquility.

The issue is not whether we are “for” or “against” the chickens but whether there are now just too many of them.

On my last trip to Walmart, I estimated there were up to 250 chickens around the parking lot.

Does the council believe that the number needs to be as much as 500 or 1000 before saying that enough is enough?

Currently the issue is being determined by the fertility desires of roosters — which are, I gather, even more prolific than complainers in Princeville.

Philip Stevens, Hanalei

Mahalo for upkeeping Polihale State Park

I want to thank everyone involved with the improvements to Polihale State Park. I drove out there this week and I was overwhelmed at the difference.

The road is smooth and all the pavilions and bathrooms are being redone. I hope everyone appreciates all the work and will take good care of the facilities.

Thanks for a job well done.

Doug Henry, Kalaheo

Westside needs cheaper grocery store

In the early 1990s there were rumors that Safeway wanted to build on the Westside near the ‘Ele‘ele Shopping Center.

Since Big Save was sold to Times Supermarkets, prices have gone through the roof, and it seems like certain portions of meats had lessen on the tray.

Me, I enjoy eating liverwurst. But now I can’t even afford to buy it.

When Big Save was still under the Kawakamis a tube of liverwurst was only $3.99. Now approximately a month later, under Times Supermarket, the same tube of liverwurst is sold at $6.99. This is only one of the many price hikes I’ve observed.

Maybe now that there isn’t much control in who can build a grocery store here on the Westside, Safeway should consider applying to build a third store next to the ‘Ele‘ele Shopping center.

Howard Tolbe, ‘Ele‘ele

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