Letters for Thursday, October 6, 2011

Vacations and vices •

Lydgate Park irrigation needed • Where’s

the beef?

Vacations and vices

Vacations aren’t what they used to be.

Life, work and our everyday routines bring a desire for a break, a vacation, a short sojourn.

Most people are victims of such devices as iPods , Blackberries, iPhones and the simple cell phone itself. These devices do more than make phone calls they can do everything from photograph your child’s first steps, videotaping a news event right in front of you, videoconferencing with friends and family, texting and even playing games like scrabble with people halfway around the world.

People are attached to their electronic cyber devices.

Going on vacation these days no longer means a break from everyday life, from phone calls to visits with business associates, friends and family, people take their stresses with them.

The greatest vacation these days is not a trip on an overcrowded and overpriced airplane, to an overcrowded and overpriced hotel, then onto the overcrowded and overrated restaurants or even cruise ships in the middle of the ocean.

The best vacation these days may just be a week off from the stresses brought on by the life of cyber- electronic devises, or should I say vices.

James “Kimo” Rosen, Kapa‘a

Lydgate Park irrigation needed

As a longtime volunteer and user of Lydgate Park for an occasional picnic, everyday walk and a morning swim, the time has come for a long needed irrigation system to be installed.

Lydgate Park is always in great demand by the public because of the beauty and proximity to the surrounding community, the lawns cannot keep up with the demand.

As a retired landscape designer I realize the need for proper irrigation to keep the lawns (trees and shrubs) in good condition and viable for many generations to come. In many areas of the park the lawns are thin or have completely died out due to the lack of water, an irrigation system would revitalize the lawns to withstand the public demand.

Robert Blasingham, Kapa‘a

Where’s the beef?

Will we be able to take the bull by the horns and resolve the many issues, including patronage traditions that are illegal, before attorneys and courts grab us by the other end, again?

My thanks to the County Council and our new Cost Control Commission members for their comments presented during the recent televised proceedings. Chairman Furfaro and member Rapozo made welcome comments regarding who commissions represent and serve, and what is expected of the CCC under this council’s view of civics.

Mr. Furfaro and Mr. Rapozo made clear that the commission does not serve either the mayor or the council, but only the public. I trust the CCC is willing to publicly challenge “traditional” practices, to overcome the resistance or disapproval of the administration, council, unions, and the coconut wireless. If they do not or can not, they fail to represent the public interest in reducing the number of employees and the cost of county operations.

Boards and commissions are the public’s direct, independent of political interference, oversight authority and auditors of county actions. It is also welcome to hear the chair explain his perspective and expectation that actual proposals with substantial cost savings and streamlining of operations are to be accomplished in a timely fashion.

 Member Yukimura is quoted in The Garden Island on Sept. 21 as stating that if the HR director is under the mayor’s authority, that could create some problems if the mayor chose to disregard merit and qualifications. Yukimura indulges in “Double Think.” HR independence is the internal check and balance against political interference.

Disregarding merit and qualifications always results in labor law and civil rights violations. If the mayor did so today, or at any time, it is illegal and criminal. If our boards and commissions, the council, and the various administrative departments perform their civics duties correctly, they will stop, once and for all, improper political interference in our civil service functions.

This county enterprise is not the coconut wireless’s Kaua‘i Kountry Klub. The police chief, the prosecutor, the auditor, LP, and HR functions must have authorities independent of mayoral, council, or coconut wireless influence or control.

The court recently demanded that some current practices must change. To do otherwise includes theft of service, theft of wages, and conspiracy to violate the civil rights not just of us, but of all the citizens of the united states.

I am disappointed that none of our boards and commissions have directly addressed the greatest single economic issue facing Kaua‘i today: that successive administrations’ failures to modernize have resulted in probation and expensive legal remedies and demands on the administration regarding various civil rights, civil and criminal violations.

Why will no appointed or elected official address the obvious question: “Where are we today, where do we need to go, and how do we get there quickest?”

Do we or don’t we have a written executive master plan for a cost efficient, transparent, objective, and legal operation, or are we making cosmetic patch work changes to retain our current subjective, opaque, inefficient, expensive and “technically not illegal” activities?

The question the CCC and council should have for the mayor is where is the written master plan for overhauling the entire administrative function to fulfill the court’s mandates?

That’s the public’s question for all our officials: What are the actual court mandates and where’s the written executive master plan?

 

 Lonnie Sykos, Kapa‘a

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