Letters for Thursday, May 17, 2012

North Shore path Couldn’t have said it better myself Response to KIUC    

North Shore path

Mahalo to Mayor Carvahlo, Councilwoman Yukimura, Representative Kawakami, Deputy County Attorney Daligdig and everyone who attended the May 15 meeting about the proposed North Shore path for nonmotorized vehicles and pedestrians. A special mahalo to Ben Welborn and the nonprofit Kaua‘i Path, Inc., who have worked tirelessly for years to bring the vision of a series of bike and pedestrian paths to reality.

I attended the meeting because I heard there are some people who oppose the proposed North Shore path. It’s inconceivable to me that anyone who cares about the safety of our community and the legacy we leave our children would take issue with a path for nonmotorized vehicles and pedestrians. Perhaps these people have never had a friend, child, or loved one who was riding a bike and was hit by a truck or car.

Statistically, Hawai‘i has the highest fatality rate per capita for bicyclists in the United States. That translates to higher no-fault insurance rates for everyone, not to mention the emotional cost to the family and friends of the victims. It’s obvious why our lawmakers haven’t set aside a fund for creating bike and pedestrian paths. Their excuse is always the same: There’s not enough money. But when you have a private group of citizens like Kaua‘i Path Inc., a duly organized 501 c (3) nonprofit organization, whose members aren’t getting paid, we should seize the opportunity to follow through with the vision of a safe North Shore path for our community, especially our children.

As an attorney on Kaua‘i for the past 36 years who represents victims of motor vehicle collisions, I can tell you there is nothing more tragic or heartbreaking than the loss of a child or loved one who died in a motor vehicle/bicycle collision. Most of these crashes happen when a motor vehicle is making a left turn onto a street or highway and runs into the bicycle rider who has the right of way. The motorist simply isn’t looking out for bicycles, especially, I’m sorry to say, our visitors who are often too absorbed in the scenery to pay attention to a bicycle or someone walking on the shoulder. Sorry, but it’s a fact.  

This North Shore path will make our community safer, greener, and wiser to the ways we can leave a legacy to our children.

 It’s a win-win for everyone.  

Teresa Tico, Wainiha

Couldn’t have said it better myself

In response to Kris Van Dahm’s letter “just say no to higher taxes,” published Sunday, May 13: I’d like to say thanks Kris, I could not have said it better myself. Sad to say, but our local and state politicians have a bad habit of constantly finding ways for their impulse spending. As we have seen for the last 50 years, the controlling party only knows one way to solve their debts — raise taxes, or at election time they refer to it as new fees. Kris, you are absolutely right; the mayor is only thinking about those who work for some part of government. The unions that represent them are so entrenched with the running and their contracts with government that the majority will never be without a full time job, with all the future perks that the majority of private-sector workers rarely receive. Government workers will always continue to make good livings, regardless of taxes paid. The rest of us who own a home, maybe have a job,or are running out of unemployment with no future job prospects, must live with the constant threats of raising our taxes and the cost of living here. I say, let’s stop paying taxes. It would bring extreme enjoyment to watch them squirm in their seats as to what they would do about it. It would definitely show the council that it’s easier to tighten their belts on a $6.7 million shortfall than to lose millions biting the hands that feed them.

Steven Martin, Kapa‘a

Response to KIUC   

In your recent message to the members published in TGI, you speak of your efforts to support our island in the efficient use of energy. This week I experienced a bit of incongruence in your operations vs. the goal of the efficient use of energy.

I stopped by your offices to pay my electric bill. While there, I asked for a deferral form for myself and also for six of my neighbors. I was informed that I could receive one deferral form but that my neighbors would have to each come in individually to pick up their own forms. I couldn’t help but notice that at the receptionist’s desk, there were numerous other forms set out for the members to pick up themselves with no restriction on the number of forms taken, while the deferral forms were held out of sight behind the counter. And, while you temporarily provided the link to the deferral form on your website, it quickly was removed.

My neighborhood is in the Wailua Homesteads, so it takes a fair amount of time and gasoline to drive to your offices. These are obviously wasted energies caused only by your choice to make things difficult and inconvenient.

Little things like this speak volumes in terms of how you are relating to the member/owners of KIUC and how you are striving to make it as difficult as possible for the members to exercise their preferences.

I applaud your stated commitment to “being good neighbors who listen and who act not in self-interest, but for the good of Kaua‘i.” Removing these arbitrary and unnecessary obstacles would be great ways to demonstrate those intentions.

Michael Shooltz, Wailua


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