Letters for Friday, March 30, 2012

• Smart meters versus smarter kids • County’s website down during blackout Trout poached from Pu‘u Lua ReservoirIt only takes a few to ruin it for the rest

Smart meters versus smarter kids

Lately, it seems as though all we ever read about is smart meters this and that. It leaves me asking myself, “What happened to the concept of raising smart kids?”

If we put half as much money and energy into educating our keiki as we have into these meters, I wouldn’t feel a need for writing this letter.

I believe that the responsibility for raising smarter kids does not only fall on the families and educators. It truly should fall on the backs of our community as a whole. It should not matter if you have children or not. I am almost certain that so many of us have something beneficial we could share with the younger generation.

Any spare moment taken to help educate and open young minds to all the opportunities available does make a difference. Only we, as adults, have the knowledge to perpetuate their upbringing. It only takes one person making the time to share with them to positively change their futures forever.

As my co-workers and I make our summer youth program, we are at a loss for people, and especially our kapuna, to volunteer and share the gifts that were passed to them.

Without culture and knowledge, we will set our children up for failure. So I reach out to all of you. Maybe it is time that we stop being so concerned with providing material items and toys and start considering the ultimate gift — our time and our aloha.

Katy Means, Kapa‘a Boys & Girls Club

County’s website down during blackout

The county government runs public service announcements regularly talking about how the main source of information during a disaster is their website, kauai.gov. That’s great, except that it was down during the outage on Wednesday!  

One can easily conclude that the servers that host it are located on-island, which seems like a very poor choice. I work in IT for a Mainland contractor and it doesn’t take much forethought or cost — $5 to $10 per month — to at least put a backup set of systems on the Mainland so that those of us with cell phones, etc., can continue to get updates in the midst of the situation.  

I found the lack of planning here to be a bit embarrassing, actually. We live on an island vulnerable on so many fronts to mother nature. What other kinds of critical infrastructure are vulnerable to the slightest jolt?  

James Bertelson, Princeville

Trout poached from Pu‘u Lua Reservoir

I am a volunteer for the Koke‘e Rainbow Trout Program.

Stocking was scheduled for Wednesday, March 28. While preparing to transport fish, it was disheartening to discover that approximately 3,000 fish — 1,500 pounds — out of a total of 3,500 were poached from the holding cage at Pu‘u Lua Reservoir during the past five days.

This means that 375 people, especially kids and senior citizens, that enjoy fishing at Koke‘e will not be able to catch their limit of eight fish per person when the season opens on June 16.

This year represents the first stocking since 2009, when Rep. Daynette “Dee” Morikawa brought the Trout Program back to Kaua‘i in 2010.  

It takes 15 months to have the fish ready for the season opener. Eggs ordered this year are actually for the next season.

For those that took the fish, you are only cheating yourselves and the rest of the trout-fishing community out of the enjoyment of fishing at Koke‘e.

Les Sueyasu, Waimea

It only takes a few to ruin it for the rest

Calmer heads need to prevail. As the argument continues on the transient rental tax issue, it saddens me to see such a huge divide of “us, versus them.” We are all Americans first of all, and there is an answer that will work for everyone.

This is a complex issue of fairness. There are thousands of people both on and off the islands that own and rent vacation rentals. They bring hundreds of thousands of tourism dollars annually to the islands and businesses that provide the services they need when here, at no expense to the state or its taxpayers and do so while collecting and submitting every penny of taxes they are required to. They follow the letter of the law to a tee.

There is also a group that, for what ever reason, doesn’t. That is the crux of the issue: How to get them into compliance. I see fingers being pointed everywhere and at everyone placing blame. People need to step back and analyze just how this issue got to where it is today.

To the Realtors and property managers, stop the money grab. This issue is not about you or your struggling business or what the Internet has done to your clientele list over the years. The Internet is here to stay. Deal with it.

To the vacation rental owners, get registered with the state and pay your taxes. It has always been said that it only takes a few to ruin it for the rest

Wake up!

Mike Martin, Koloa

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