Letters for Wednesday, April 11, 2012

• Speed limit • Wrong author • Where the truth lies • An important man in our island’s history

Speed limit

     Dear Kamokila Road neighbor. Easter morning, around 7 a.m., you, or someone visiting you, decided to ignore the speed limit and put my street and neighborhood at risk of injury and death. This driver ran over and killed my neighbor’s cat in the middle of the street. You ran her body over, crushing Dory the Explorer to death.  

As tragic as it is for my household, which enjoyed Dory’s visits with our cats, it is even more so for the two young children who lost their beloved pet to your anti-social and criminal behavior.

You, the criminal driver, are fortunate that one of the children didn’t follow the cat into the road; otherwise, you would likely be charged with vehicular manslaughter, instead of escaping responsibility for your actions.

 The cat was in the middle of the lane headed away from Haleilio Road, thus you were either not paying attention — maybe on the cell phone saying you were late and hurrying, or perhaps you were speeding so fast you could not, or chose not to swerve or brake your vehicle. Or perhaps you just decided to celebrate Easter by murdering my neighbor’s pet.

  Perhaps, you were in a hurry to get home, or visit family or friends and get those colored eggs and chocolate bunnies delivered before the little ones arose for the fun and festivities.

Whatever your reason for speeding on Kamokila Road, the result is instead of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, or the long journey out of Egypt, or the blessings of spring, our households mourn the senseless murder of our beloved friend, and our little children ponder the senseless tragedies of life caused by a lack of aloha and your indifference to the safety of our lives and our pets’ lives.

  I may be just another haole, but even I know that aloha is not a sound bite, not a lifestyle, but a way of being.

Dear driver: I hope your kids enjoyed their Easter egg hunt more than my neighbor’s kids enjoyed discovering the bloody body of their dead pet.

 I spent Easter mourning and burying the dead you killed.

We’ve had enough of your speedy style of aloha.

Slow down, or stay out of our neighborhood. The coming speed bumps and increase in traffic enforcement is for you.  

Lonnie Sykos, Kapa‘a

Wrong author

Please advise your readers that the letter on smart meters published April 9 (Letters: April 9) was not written by me, Michael Diamant.

Michael Diamant, Kalaheo

Where the truth lies

Kudos to The Garden Island newspaper’s editorial staff for electing to print the respective opinions of William Peterson (’Obama and Hype:’ April 9), Alan Faye (Regarding ‘historic scam:’ April 2), responses to Diana West (Forum: March 26) on the identity crisis that is our president, a story that keeps on trucking.

All parties make their points. In the final analysis, the politico-citizenry undergoes perpetual buyer’s remorse sold in perpetuity through a corrupt, megalithic and false left/right paradigm.

Try something new.  

Lift yourself up out of the muck,and  take a step back to research who’s really running things.

Warning: you may need to sharpen the mass between your ears, polish your magnifying glass and batten down the hatches of your psyche.

Truth is not a convenient candy on a platter for whimsy but instead a big, bitter pill wrought with artificial flavorings of disinformation subjugating the taste buds.

 History is written by the “winners.”

Rolf Bieber, Kapa‘a

An important man in our island’s history

I saw a familiar name in the obituaries today: Platon Fermin.

It took me a while to remember how I knew Platon and finally I realized that I had never met him, but I knew him nonetheless.

You see, Platon was famous in the 1930s, in a small way, at least, as a hapai ko man.

His job was to pick up piles of cane in the fields and carry them up a narrow wooden plank, loading them into a cane car for the trip to the mill.

Hapai Ko was generally known as the most arduous worker on the plantations back in the 1930s, and Platon was the best on the island of Kaua‘i.  

According to the May 3, 1932, The Garden Island:

  “Platon Fermin set a Hapai Ko record loading 73,470 pounds (36.73 tons) of cane in one day, carrying an average load of 60 pounds on each carry walking about 75 feet.

 He covered a distance of 17.38 miles during the day. Credit should also be given to Fermin’s partner, Mrs. S. Kato, who arranged the cane in neat piles. She fixed 1,224 piles.”

I’m sorry I never met Platon.

  But I’d like to extend my aloha to him and to all of the other plantation employees who busted their okoles doing the hard work that helped to build the wealth that all of us today enjoy.    

Andy Bushnell, Kapa’a


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