Letters for Sunday, April 8, 2012

“Win-win” alternatives for Koloa CampDarwin Award?On Koloa CampNo aloha

“Win-win” alternatives for Koloa Camp

I’d like to clear up a misconception about the Koloa Camp situation.

Testimony received against the County Council’s resolution asking Grove Farm to withdraw the eviction notices assumed that there were only two choices: either housing for people in the community or housing for the tenants.

This simply is not true — and that would not constitute a “win-win,” which is what the council is looking for by its unanimously passed resolution. Both the local people interested in affordable housing in Koloa and the Koloa tenants come from the same island community.

“Win-win” by council definition and by the tenants’ definition means that Grove Farm will get to do what it wants to do — build affordable housing in Koloa. The other side of the “win-win” means that the tenants — eight families — will be included somehow.

How? The answers are limited only by the creativity and good will of Grove Farm, the tenants, the county and the community.

Here are some ideas — and there could be many more if Grove Farm would only sit down and talk. Give Mrs. Fernandez, whose husband worked for Grove Farm and who has lived at Koloa Camp for 60 years, a life estate — the right to live there for the rest of her life.

Instead of moving the houses to Anahola or Waimea, move them into a historic cluster that remains on the Koloa Camp site. Build a new cluster of small cottages (Peter Savio and Michael Faye could share some expertise here), use a self-help format if that could work and/or let the county own them and manage them as rentals.

Within the limits of law, have the county fast-track the rezoning and re-districting of the portion of the parcel that is mauka of Ala Kinoiki Road (the eastern bypass) and allow Grove Farm to put houses there, as well.

It is true that the law allows Grove Farm to evict the tenants after certain procedures are followed. But a 21st century corporation that has pledged to follow the “triple bottom line” by considering “profits, planet and people” will not simply stand on the law to avoid doing the right thing.

I’d like to think that we on Kaua‘i truly “live aloha,” and we don’t leave a stone unturned to find a fair, compassionate and “win-win” solution.

With Grove Farm’s cooperation, we, together (I pledge to do my part as a council member) could create a 21st century model for affordable housing in Hawai‘i that we could all be proud of.

I call on Grove Farm to lead the way.     

JoAnn A. Yukimura, Member, Kaua‘i County Council, Lihu‘e

Darwin Award?

Recently I witnessed several candidates for the Darwin Award demonstrating why they are potential candidate for the award. These individuals, who all appeared to be visitors judging from what were obvious rental cars in the parking lot, were all challenging Queens Bath in Princeville during a large ocean swell.

As I observed them from the safety of the cliff above, I witnessed the swimmers being tossed around like clothes in a washing machine. As the swell continued to build, those who were too timid to get into the cauldron were clearly in danger of being swept off the lava shelf that surrounds Queens Bath.

Should the county close access to Queens Bath? Certainly not.

There is ample signage warning visitors of the dangers and if visitors want to be candidates for the Darwin award, well, it’s an exercise of God-given free will. Furthermore, if they survive Queens Bath, there is always another chance for the award awaiting down the coast at Hanakapiai Beach, where they will also find a profusion of danger warning signs.  

Just as a reminder, according to Wikipedia, the Darwin Award recognizes individuals who contribute to human evolution by self-selecting themselves out of the gene pool through putting themselves (unnecessarily) in life-threatening situations.

Peter Nilsen, Princeville

On Koloa Camp

Grove Farm claims that the Japanese Camp houses are 100 years old. So they don’t give a hoot about getting rid of Koloa history. If those homes are as dilapidated and in a flood zone still occupied by veterans of old Koloa, why didn’t Grove Farm owners evict these people when they were younger?

Why did they wait until these tenants become veterans and can not find affordable locations?

This leaves a statement about the landowners that “they are cold-hearted and greedy.”

Also, what puzzles me is that if the camp is in a flood zone, why are they (Grove Farm owners) planning to rebuild 50 units there?

They should keep the camp and the eight houses there until the veterans pass away and give warning to the younger generation to prepare to leave.  

What Grove Farm owners should remember is, that they, too, will become old, and hopefully the worse won’t happen to them. God bless the Koloa veterans and, to all, have a Happy Easter.

Howard Tolbe, ‘Ele‘ele

No aloha

My wife and I were looking forward to purchasing artwork in Hanapepe while we were on your island recently.

 The young man in the gallery treated us with such disrespect that we are still shocked.

When he wouldn’t acknowledge us, we decided to leave but when I turned back to get a business card, he was giving us the finger with both hands.

Where is the ‘aloha’? Apparently not in Hanapepe.

Bob Frank, Los Angeles

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