Letters for Monday, May 7, 2012

• Rice party • Lifeguard bargaining bill dies in committee • North Shore path? • Paths redux

Rice party

Finally, “rice-cookergate” is behind us and County Councilman Tim Bynum can breathe a sigh of relief from the nebulous charges against him for being in violation of a zoning ordinance.

 Thank God Bynum has been cleared of having an illegal rice-cooker, a very serious crime here on the cosmic Garden Island. Forget about rapists, pedophiles, drug dealers and robbers, it’s the people using rice cookers that need to be held accountable.

Bynum is anything but a criminal, even though many believe politician and criminal are synonymous.

  Now, imagine if Kaua‘i county Bynum had a smart meter operating during the recent “rice-cookergate” incident.

 The smart meter would have informed Bynum the least expensive times to operate his rice-cooker, recommend brown rice in lieu of white as a healthier alternative, and to vote next election for Deputy County Attorney Justin Kollar as prosecutor by default.

 Did I hear someone say “Rice party at Bynum’s place?” I’ll bring da poke!

 

James “Kimo” Rosen, Kapa‘a

Lifeguard bargaining bill dies in committee

To those who saw my column about SB 2967 last week:  As Mick Jagger told us, you can’t always get what you want. After successfully negotiating six of the seven committees in the Senate and House necessary to get a Bill to the Governor’s desk, SB 2967 — the “Lifeguard’s Bargaining Unit bill” — stalled in the seventh committee, the Conference Committee. There are some sad faces and hearts; many thought that a compelling case had been made for lifeguards to attain the effective bargaining capability that they have earned.

A lot of work went into this year’s lobbying effort. And all of our Kaua‘i politicians did all they could to support SB 2967. On behalf of our lifeguards, I thank you — our politicians as well as our general public — for your support. To our lifeguards: thank you for what you do!  Please keep doing it well; we need you. Your time will come. We’ve just begun to do what it will take to get this bill passed, and to thereby allow you the opportunity to bargain for compensation that is in line with your fabulous life-saving work.

Monty Downs, M.D. President, Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association

North Shore path?

Mahalo to The Garden Island for its coverage of the potential North Shore path.

While many Mainland paths are wonderful, I have been a critic of the Eastside path from its inception 10 years ago as wasteful of our taxpayers’ money. The 6.8-mile completed portion of the path has cost $4.44 million per mile; its predominant use has been by Eastside people for recreational purposes and it has not alleviated traffic or lessened vehicle use of our roads.

At the May 2 Council meeting when there was a question about the 6.8 miles of completed path costing three times the amount the proponents say it cost, Councilman Bynum contended that bridges on the finished section made its costs higher, but the unfinished part will also need bridges.

It can well be questioned that the path over a bridge could cost three times more than on solid ground, but let’s assume that Bynum is right.

The State Department of Transportation put out a spreadsheet at an April 27, 2010, public meeting showing a complete breakdown of the prospective work and cost to build the path from Nawiliwili to the south end of Lydgate Park — $ 60,420,000. It would be hard to question the Department of Transportation numbers, as the Department is a neutral body tasked to find these costs. It has spent a lot of time and money itemizing them.

So obviously, the cost of the remaining 17 miles will be a lot closer to the $4.44 million per mile than the $1.36 million per mile proponents want us to believe — bridges or no bridges.

Let us concentrate on so many badly needed projects on Kaua‘i — a new landfill, hydro and solar power, alternate roads to commute on and so many more — and get off these costly, unneeded path projects. People will get their exercise if they want to and do not have to have a multi-million dollar path to do it on.

Glenn Mickens, Kapa‘a

Paths redux

North Shore wants a bike/walk path. Really? There are more important things to be considered in that area than a path. Didn’t they get flooded out this past winter and many times before? My understanding is that a lot of businesses and homes were damaged by the flood this winter and in the past. How quickly they forget of such problems.

Some drains in the streets and a dike along the Hanalei River are more important to help prevent flooding.

Also, single-lane bridges need to be widened to two lanes for easier entry and exit from the area.

Only after what’s mentioned above is put in — then maybe a path can be built in the future. If anything should be funded by federal funds, it should be for preventative measures in Hanalei and the entire North Shore.

Howard Tolbe, ‘Ele‘ele

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