Letters for Friday, March 23, 2012

• Agricultural land use • Fencing in paradise? • Koloa Camp • Why online payment charges?

Agricultural land use

I just looked at an article about KIUC vs. prime agricultural land use restrictions. The only restriction that I would think is needed is a height restriction on the PV panel supports.

Set a minimum height for solar panels to be so that “low-growing and somewhat shade-tolerant crops” can be grown underneath.

The supports for the PV panels would also support wind-breaks/shade cloth or bird netting as needed.  

Make it a multi-use deal instead of only one use for the land. What’s with the confrontation instead of compromising?

Sam Shirai, Lihu‘e

Fencing in paradise?

Erica Watson brilliantly commented (Letters: March 22) on the recent wrongful death settlement at Opaeka‘a Falls.

She spoke of personal responsibility and predicted possible closure of public access to sites on state land to avoid liability concerns. I fear that her words will be prophetic.

Historically, we have lost access to many places that made Kaua‘i unique and special.

No longer can we enjoy Waipahe’e or the Kilauea slippery slides. Kipu Falls has been fenced off. Access to Mahaulepu is limited.  

Our small island is getting smaller.  Our legal system is forcing private owners and our government to take defensive measures by erecting fences, with accompanying signage warning about danger, death, and prosecution for trespassing.

 It appears that no fence can be high enough, and no warning signs can stop the desire to be compensated for the loss of a human life.

Recently, I had the opportunity to go on a government sanctioned “tramp” on the Routeburn Track in New Zealand.  

The company that provided the guides and lodging were extremely professional and competent.

The route was inherently dangerous, but incredibly beautiful. We were not asked to sign waivers of liability, and it was clear we assumed the risks that came with venturing off the beaten path.

A member of our party actually came within inches of death when he tumbled off the trail in one bad step out of the thousands necessary to complete the walk.  

The tracks of New Zealand are called the “most beautiful walks in the world.”  Will Hawai‘i be called the “most fenced and inaccessible place in the world?”

Nolan Ahn, Lihu‘e

Koloa Camp

In response to the video aired (The Garden Island website) concerning the Koloa Camp eviction.

The speaker held a book with 2,034 signatures to help the families involved who are getting evicted.

Add my signature to the support of the families. And excuse me, Mr. Furfaro.

Are you telling us the 2,034 plus myself who voted for you as councilman, that you have no legal rights to stop this eviction?

 Then, why do we have to vote for councilmen who have no power?

These people have been in the community for years and worked hard to pay taxes to pay your salary to represent the people of Kaua‘i. These landowners have a lot of land.

Why does it have to be that particular area where they have to build a new housing complex? Why can’t it be the original Old Koloa Plantation Camp?

I believe that the tourists would appreciate the old rustic look vs. a housing complex.

The 2,034 plus myself is a lot of support.  Now represent us, councilmen.

Howard Tolbe, ‘Ele‘ele

Why online payment charges?

Hawaiian Tel-com, my local phone and Internet company, charges an additional $1.95 to pay your bill online.

Kaua‘i Electric (KIUC) charges $4.95. My cable company, Oceanic Time Warner, charges nothing.

When a person pays online via a credit or debit card and receives a paperless electronic bill, it saves quite a bit of money, quite a bit of time and is less work for both parties.

Why then, would the phone company charge $1.95 and the electric company charge an additional $4.95 to pay your bill online using their secure website and a pass code?

No operators would be involved, just a few simple clicks of the mouse.

There is no accountant who has to open an envelope, record a check, deposit a check and record the data on spread sheets.

People who pay electronically should not pay more than those mailing a check, or those standing in line to pay.

It makes absolutely no sense.

 The fact remains that those paying online should not be paying an additional fee.

If anything, those paying  online and receiving paperless invoices and not taking up an employee’s time should be rewarded with a discount.

 

James “Kimo” Rosen, Kapa‘a

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