Letters for Tuesday, July 26, 2011

• Why not yours? • Under public trust 

Show us you care

Why not yours?

In the July 23 front-page story “County hosting meeting for teen drug center,” there is a picture of protesters that reads, “Anywhere but here.” Shame on those who are in the picture and those who protest silently, “no drug treatment center in my backyard.”

We are the adults that these teens look up to for help. Yet, we continue to preach to them on how drugs are bad for them. We expect our teens to stay clear of drugs.

But when they get into a big mess with drugs, most of the community people turn their back and don’t support any kind of help such as the adolescent treatment center in their community.

Why not have a teen drug center in your community? If there was one in mine I’d be proud to say that our community cares for our teens and I would be proud to see teens’ progress in rehabilitating themselves (with the help of the center) away from drugs and become a productive individual on our island.

I’d be proud to say, “our community helps make the difference for these teens for a better life without the use of drugs.”

Come on, people, let’s stop being double standard and quit talking with a fork tongue. Let’s support an adolescent drug treatment center in our communities.

As The Garden Island’s July 24 editorial states, “No more excuses: Kaua‘i needs a drug treatment center.”

No matter where it’s located. Because eventually it will become someone’s backyard. So, why not yours?

Howard Tolbe, ‘Ele‘ele

Under public trust 

Concerning Elaine Dunbar’s July 20 letter on the Planning Commission enduring years of Satterfield’s (Kaua‘i Springs) “evasive responses and non-compliance” to specific rules and regulations, she quotes a statement in the Commission of Water Resources Management’s response to the Planning Commission that says: “all waters of the State are held in trust for the benefit of the citizens of the State, therefore, all water use is subject to legally protected water rights.”

She says that statement illustrates CWRM’s acknowledgment that the public trust doctrine must be followed regarding the use of water from any source on Kaua‘i.

This writer lauds Ms. Dunbar’s thorough letter and would like to believe that the world she, and this author, used to live in still exists — but it does not!

If Ms. Dunbar’s assumptions apply to the CWRM over water, do not the same assumptions apply to the Department of Health with issues concerning environmental rules and regulations? Or the Department of Education for the education of our children? Or over the County of Kaua‘i’s Purchasing Department enforcing legitimate bidding practices? Or of the county Planning Department’s fair and equitable interpretations of amending zoning uses and upgrades?

One would think so but this is not the reality. What is the reality? Fraudulent patronage rules!

Having lived on Kaua‘i 45 years, this author has faced the negative aspects of favoritism, prejudice, bias, partisanship, “special consideration for special people” behavior from several agencies at higher levels of departmental structuring.

The “public trust doctrine” has not, does not, exist due to higher office level pressure and a plantation-style “closed loop” system.

Public trust is not followed in decisions regarding equality of agency responsibilities, like metering out fair and equitable enforcement of environmental law between individuals or businesses with “less favored” wealth and influence compared to those of more abundant wealth.

It’s time our populace faces the fact that environmental laws and regulations, zoning upgrades, legitimate bidding practices, the education of our children and even Kaua‘i’s electric co-op are not held in trust for the benefit of the citizens of the state or Kaua‘i.

A public trust doctrine must be demanded of those elected to leadership positions via the ballot, be it in government, who appoints heads of agencies/committees, or private business sectors.

John Hoff, Lawa‘i

Show us you care

I have been blessed to live in Hawai‘i for almost 20 years and the one thing that keeps me here is the values of our host culture.

This culture values family and responsibility. But, it seems to me that many of us have forgotten these values.

Kaua‘i has an extensive drug and alcohol problem. It will not go away by ignoring it. It will only grow in the darkness of denial. We all seem to agree that we need a residential program for adolescents and yet we all say “not in my back yard.”

We all already have addiction in our backyards. Addiction lives in the homes of your neighbors, your friends and your family.

Getting an adolescent to another island is time-consuming and often there is no funding. We need to keep our youth here. We need families to be a part of the their treatment. That will only happen in our backyard.

I would welcome a program in mine. This is for our children, our future and they deserve our love and support. They deserve a place on Kaua‘i to help them reach their full potential.

We all need to be part of the solution. Children are the responsibility of all of us.

Isenberg residents, this center is a blessing for the whole island. You have the opportunity to show us all that Hawaiian values are alive and well in Lihu‘e. Show the youth you care, let the center be built. Someone you love may need it.

Gigi Quinn, Lihu‘e

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