Letters for Sunday, September 25, 2011

Let’s work to save young lives •

Patiently waiting for a solution • Respect

the ‘aina

Let’s work to save young lives

I am so unhappy every week reading yet another young person’s name in the police blotter for either alcohol or illegal substance possession. Look at their ages and see what the average age is.

It is so obvious we need to rethink Teen Court and look at other more creative preventative measures for our youth’s drug and alcohol prevention or restitution. I request that the parking of the demolished car of the most recent car wreck which took yet another teenager’s life be placed right in the front of the high school for everyone to see and think about. Reading or hearing about it is sad enough but seeing the result of a car wreck would be held in memory.

It is very easy to get sucked into drug or alcohol addiction on Kaua‘i. But as adults who are seeing an epidemic of under age drinking, we need to be more proactive in prevention.

Nobody plans to become addicted when they start out. It is not that easy to shake their addictions, either. For the lucky ones, they succeed. For the rest, it ends in death, incarceration, or a living hell until they either die or get arrested.

You may think these folks are happy when they are using and being irresponsible. The truth is they are downright miserable in their existence. Most would rather die than continue making themselves and everyone around them so miserable. It is an unimaginable hell for the user and their family and friends.

Rather than judge, we need to find some answers on ways to help these young people to rethink their priorities in their own lives; as this affects our island in so many negative ways.

Bring in the incarcerated who are willing to talk at the schools and share their regrets and mistakes, and the dentist from O‘ahu who shows what ‘meth mouth’ (crystal methamphetamine) looks like once they start using, losing their rotting teeth; but please start showing the horrible wreckage of life that drugs and alcohol brings by placing the demolished vehicle at the front of the local high school for at least a month, despite it being an eye sore, it just may save some lives and make a difference.

Niki Sifers, Koloa

Patiently waiting for a solution

We live in the Weliweli Tract in Koloa, and our house continues to be affected by the wildfire that burned the field between our street and Koloa Bypass Road on Aug. 17. 

I feel that after a month, it is time someone start working on fixing this problem. 

While we feel very fortunate our house is still standing, we continue to fight an endless battle with the ash that constantly blows onto and into our house from the fire’s remains. 

Despite the windows being closed, having the house professionally cleaned twice, servicing and then running the fan and air conditioner, buying and running two large air purifiers, and covering our windows with plastic (stapled and duct taped), the ash still finds its way into our home. 

We have a 2-month old baby and mostly for his safety, we still have not moved back into our home. I am no expert in air quality, but I am a physician and I understand the fragility of an infant’s developing lungs, thus have decided to keep the baby (and us) out of the house to date.  

While they are not to blame for the fire, it would be nice if Grove Farm took some initiative towards rectifying this situation. It may be as simple as plowing under the ash and replanting the field. 

If this were California , Grove Farm would be looking at 30 lawsuits by now. But on Kaua‘i, we are still patiently waiting for a solution.

David Gregorius, Koloa

Respect the ‘aina

If you haven’t visited historic Old Koloa Town recently, you’re in for a surprise.

Remember the saga of the ever-present, tall, black dust curtain (hiding nothing)? Remember the hazardous condition of the parking lot in front of the Koloa Post Office?

Well, the same people (the Knudsen Trust) who brought you those delights have now given visitors of Koloa the green jungle on the northeast corner of Maluhia and Koloa roads. This uncut, un-cared-for lot is now sporting very dense growth, which, in places it is in excess of 8 feet tall.

Who knows what’s lurking in the undergrowth — cats, chickens, tropical fowl mites, rats, what?

Not only is this unsightly and probably un-healthy (take note Department of Health), but it can’t be good for the businesses in Old Koloa Town.

Koloa’s website wants us to “experience Koloa’s vibrant past.” This eye sore ain’t what they had in mind.

There is one obvious, simple solution. Attention owners of this property: It’s your property, so maintain it as if you were part of the community.

Michael Diamant

Koloa

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