Letters for Tuesday, May 1, 2012

• A ‘good news’ story • No money to fix intersection • Kilauea gym fiasco

A ‘good news’ story

 Skyrocketing food and energy prices, scandal after scandal, corruption, complete moral collapse of society and, oh yes, let’s not leave out the ever present use of the race card for political gain. I feel as though this country is dead set on committing suicide. Is there any good news anywhere??

Well, this past weekend I witnessed a truly good deed and it has, temporarily anyway, restored my faith in humanity.

While watching the volleyball acion at Kalapaki on Saturday, I noticed a guy combing the shoreline with his metal detector. I wondered if it was Dutch Medford.

Dutch has been called to the rescue on many occasions over the years to search for lost jewelry. Sure enough, it was Dutch.

As he walked towards us with an excited bounce in his step, it was clear he had found something valuable.

 Indeed, he had located a diamond ring that had been lost by a visitor staying at the Marriott. This visitor would have been very upset to have lost such a beautiful and expensive ring.

 I asked Dutch if he was ever tempted to keep any of his finds rather than return them to the owners, and he said he wasn’t. I asked my friends what they would have done with such a find.

 I struggled with the question myself. Clearly an ethical dilemma, especially in these very difficult economic times.  

What if you had no idea who the owner was. Heck, you could  pay off a mortgage, buy a new car, pay off credit card debt.

 What would you do? Dutch did not disappoint.

He said that he would do what he always does — return the ring to the owner.

About a half hour later, Dutch returned to fill us in on his encounter with the ring owner.

The lady was very grateful. She expressed her gratitude with many kind words of thanks and tears of joy.

His efforts were also rewarded with a cash tip which was simply icing on the cake.  

A few minutes later a Canadian gal lost her belly ring while body surfing the shorebreak. Where’s Dutch?

Bernard Verkaaik, Kapa‘a

No money to fix intersection

I have lived on Kahili Makai Street for over 20 years and agree with the previous two letters that this intersection has become far too dangerous and something needs to be done about it soon.

 I recently spoke with an official at the State Department of Transportation in Lihu‘e to offer my appreciation for the work they have been doing to improve our roads on Kaua‘i and concerning this serious issue.

Unfortunately, I found out that the department has already spent its annual budget fixing up other intersections in our area, and those of us risking our lives at this intersection will have to hope we survive until next year’s funds arrive.

Robert Wolaver, Kilauea

Kilauea gym fiasco

The Kilauea Gym fiasco was recently on the County Council agenda. Council Chair Furfaro was again accommodating to the public in responding to questions asked and this cooperation was greatly appreciated.

However, many of the statements given by him and other council members raised more questions than those answered.

This 15-year ongoing debacle with a leaky roof on this gym is truly a sign of gross inefficiency of those who run our county government.

A short history of this disaster given by Mr. Furfaro was that the original roof was replaced by FEMA after hurricane Iniki.

Two years later when the roof was found to be leaking, the guarantee had expired and the county was on their own to get it repaired.

In 2003 or 2004, another roof was put on the gym and it is still leaking today.

So what happened to the parties to the repair contract for this roof leak?

When any job is done involving a government entity (this project being county funded) a performance or surety bond should have been required from the contractor.

If the contractor does not, for any reason, correct a fault in his performance, the bonding company steps in and fixes the problem.

So how is it possible that we have let this issue proliferate for so long? Not only does the roof still leak, but a door on the windward side of the gym has no cover over it, thus letting rain come in and warp the hardwood floors.

Who is responsible for this gigantic goof and waste of our tax money? The buck has to stop at someone’s desk, but why are we so reluctant to find out who and take some type of disciplinary action to make sure that the mistake doesn’t happen again?

As long as people are put into positions not because of their qualifications for the job, but for political reasons, problems like this will continue to happen.

Certainly mistakes can happen with the most qualified person in charge, but these mistakes happen way too frequently in our government.

When will we ever have performance evaluations of all departments and learn what kind of a bang we are getting for our buck?

Private concerns must have qualified people doing their jobs or the enterprise will fail.

On Kaua‘i we have the bottomless taxpayers’ money to keep repeating our failures.

Again, in thousands of municipalities this job and oversight is that of the county manager, and it is regrettable that we do not have one.

Glenn Mickens, Kapa‘a

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