Letters for Tuesday, August 16, 2011

• Paradigm shifts needed • Badge of

honor • KEO efforts first-class

Paradigm shifts needed

“We have met the enemy, and he is ‘us’.” Has this line from a Pogo comic strip come back to haunt us?

The Age of Information is a blessing and a curse. The 24-7 media blitz has made it possible for the relentless stream of reporting, reviewing, and/or revealing anything and everything locally to globally, non-stop. In the process, analyzing and speculating on the success or failure of every consideration drones on daily.

Consequently, the public has become immunized.

On the subject of war and terrorism, for instance, every possible angle is being explored and scrutinized to the nth degree, upfront and in-your-face by media exponents.

The competitive edge to keep ratings high among the various news- focused commentators has created a scenario where everything we intend to do militarily is subject to full discussion and disclosure, no less, with absolute accountability of every option being considered exhaustively, deciphered and documented, with virtually nothing left un-examined.

It makes me wonder: in a combative situation, does one let the enemy know what one intends to do every step of the way? Where is the element of surprise? Might these be the very reasons why we are failing so miserably in our efforts?

Perhaps, media outlets, especially at the national and international levels, need to seriously consider making some major paradigm shifts in the way their reports are being made.

Jose Bulatao Jr., Kekaha

Badge of honor

In his latest letter (“No need to change charter,” Aug. 10), Alfred Laureta again chooses to reflect his purpose to support the “status quo” of our county administration and his disdain for the citizens of our county and their rights.

The boards and commissions of Kaua‘i serve vital roles in supplementing the duties of the council and the administration. All of the members of the boards and commissions are selected by a process run by the gatekeeper appointed by the mayor (the director of the Office of Boards and Commissions).

These appointees are carefully screened to assure that the bodies on which they serve do not act inconsistently from the wishes of the administration. When, as occasionally happens, a person like Louis Abrams or Rolf Bieber is appointed who does not toe the line, his tenure is quite brief.

I had suggested that at least the members of the key commissions such as the Planning Commission, which controls developments on our island, the Charter Commission which considers potential ways to improve our charter and the Ethics Commission which reviews the integrity and morality of our county officials should be elected by our citizens.

Mr. Laureta, who apparently dislikes open elections, claims that this proposal would multiply the headaches of our officials and maybe it would. But I believe that the present selection process is clogged and the best way to obtain people who would serve the public interest rather than the interests of their appointer would be to allow a citizen vote.

 Judge, your words indicate a belief that the way our government is run and its structure are perfect. Surely you see that with a solid waste program costing over $9 million per year and with no new land fill sited after 20 years, with our “enterprise” operations that are supposed to have income equal to cost but don’t, and with Transient Vacation Rentals proliferating all over our island in violation of our General Plan some change is desperately needed.

Your remedy is always “elect better people.” But isn’t it just possible that other changes are needed also?

And, since you mentioned the term “nitpicker” three times in your letter, this term should be clarified. Many years ago former TGI editorialist Sue Dixon gave this label to a group of us who were and have been trying to better Kaua‘i. Though the name was given in a very uncomplimentary way, we “nitpickers” continue to wear this title with honor.

Glenn Mickens, Kapa‘a

KEO efforts first-class

In response to the article in Saturday’s issue of The Garden Island on homelessness on Kaua‘i, I have to say God bless Stephanie Fernandes as well as the entire staff and administration of Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity.

They all don’t just have a job, they have a mission and work very hard every day to accomplish their mission. Their efforts to help the needy on Kaua‘i is first-class.

Please send your tax-deductible contributions to the Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity. It will be the best contribution you can make on Kaua‘i.

Ron Agor, Lihu‘e

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