Letters for Thursday, June 21, 2012

Revamp Wailua corridorMeter doing double timeOf smoke and stench

Revamp Wailua corridor

On thing that should be remembered about bicyclists and motorists: We are usually going to the same destinations.

Logically this means bicycle lanes along the highway are the most efficient. However, this is only safe when the speed limit is less than 35 miles per hour.

The old “bike route” along Kuhio Highway was no more than a few signs and a relatively wide road shoulder along a busy 50 mile per hour road. Then the shoulder was narrowed to 18 inches in some places (opposite the golf course).

There is currently no safe way to ride a bicycle between Kapa‘a and Lihu‘e. The multi-use path needs to be continuous for that reason.

If Wailua Beach is eroding (and it is) then not only the path, but the highway and the Coco Palms property with sacred burials is also in danger.

I would suggest a serious erosion mitigation plan and re-design of the Wailua corridor is needed. Consider a road with walking path, crosswalks and traffic moderating features. A divided boulevard with trees in the median slows traffic and provides a safe zone for pedestrians crossing the road.

Ideally Coco Palms would be a visitor and education center for Hawaiian culture and the many heiau and sacred places right in the Wailua Beach area.

Whatever the solution, half-measures will never halt the erosion and loss of Wailua’s priceless heritage. It needs to be a focal point instead of a derelict represented by the hulk of Coco Palms.

Kurt Rutter, Kapa‘a


Meter doing double time

Is it possible to be charged to electricity which you didn’t use? It is not only possible but it actually happened to me. Not once or twice but three times in a two-week period recently.

Last month my electric bill almost doubled for no apparent reason. So to track my electrical usage, I started to record my meter readings every day.

One day as I took the meter reading, I noticed a small round disc inside the meter going round and round. This means that a lot of electricity was being used. But nothing was turned on inside the house. Not even the TV (when the TV is on, the small round disc only crawls around very slowly.) The small round disc stopped moving after about five minutes.

A few days later, the same thing happened. Even though all the lights and appliances were turned off, I started to unplug the appliances. But before I got to the stove, the small disc stopped by itself.

About a week later, the same thing happened again. This time I turned off all of the circuit breakers inside the house. But the small round disc kept on spinning round and round. This was proof positive that the meter was charging me for a lot of electricity which I was not using.

Now I’m wondering whether my high electrical bill last month was caused by the small round disc going round and round while everything was turned off inside the house.

And when smart meters are installed, we may not be able to see a small round disc going round and round. So we will just have to accept what KIUC charges us. Consequently, I am opting out of the smart meters.

Jerry J. Sokugawa, Kekaha


Of smoke and stench

Dear members of the Office of Environmental Quality Control, I am writing to you regarding a public health issue.

This issue has affected the health of my wife, my grandchildren, me and our neighbors. We have been in and out of the hospital because of this issue. Our neighbors and their children’s health have been affected by this issue. We have a petition signed by over 40 neighbors to stop this public health nuisance.

I am talking about smoke. Smoke is smoke whether it comes from a wood burning in a pit, a pile of leaves or a chimney; it is still smoke and a hazard to one’s health.

We live next door to a couple that has no regard for the health and well-being of their neighbors. We breathe their smoke everyday. It fills our house and we are very concerned for our health.

My wife has been to the emergency room several times from the poison coming from their chimney. We have been to the Department of Health, we have written our representatives, and we have been to the police. Nothing can be done, is what we hear.

Nothing can be done? Need I remind you of the department’s mission statement and the philosophy of that statement?

Mission statement: The mission of the Department of Health is to protect and improve the health and environment for all people in Hawai’i.

Philosophy: Health, that optimal state of physical, mental, social and environmental well-being, is a right and responsibility of all of Hawai‘i’s people.

Recently our neighbor has positioned his dog kennel adjacent to our bedroom window. I cannot describe the stench that comes from that kennel. It fills our house and my wife and I struggle to sleep at night.  You can smell it two houses down, it is so bad. This is another public health hazard.

We used to be able to open up the windows at night and feel the cool trade wind breezes, now we barely crack a window now and then and never in our own bedroom. Our house reeks of smoke and urine.

Will someone please address this issue?


Neil MacDonald, Wailua Homesteads


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