Letters for Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013

Shutdown unacceptableIn praise of a friendProject looks badDon’t gut Bill 2491!Confusion on ethics board

Shutdown unacceptable

Here on Kauai, we own our electrical provider. What if our board was squabbling about how to pay for fuel and decided to shut off the power until they reached an agreement with each other? We would get the electricity turned back on immediately and sack them.

This is effectively what our employees in Washington are threatening to do to the government next week. If they are successful in this, I urge every state and district to hold a recall vote of their senators and congressmen. If they shutter the doors of the business we hired them to run, we need to get people on the job who will do the basics to keep the office open and provide the services they were tasked with maintaining.

We need to teach these employees that they have reached a level of insubordination that is unacceptable. We have senators and Congressmen that have stated in the last few years that they would block legislation that they know is vital (and some of which they agree with) simply so that the President doesn’t get credit for its being enacted during his administration.

They treat it like a board game and think they can swipe all the pieces off if their opponent makes a move they don’t like, regardless of the consequences to the people, some of whose very lives depend on their actions.

Time for some pink slips.

Henri Carnal

Kekaha

In praise of a friend

Co-organizer of the Mana March.

I do not write in support of the bill or otherwise. I write to praise my friend.

This young man believes in what he is fighting for. Not enough of us (especially young people) take part in our political process.

We should hold this man as an example to all. Fight for your rights and your convictions.

Dustin Barca, I salute you!

Blake Robeson

Wainiha

Project looks bad

Who is responsible for the airport highway beautification project? It really is an eyesore full of weeds now. A landscaping company made a lot of money installing the original plants, which 50 percent are dead or do not exist. Who is responsible for this eyesore?

Nathan Charles

Anahola

Don’t gut Bill 2491!

1. Prohibit open-air experiments using pesticides and GMO’s!

2. Enact a permitting process!

3. Stop the expansion of GMO fields anywhere on Kauai until an EIS is completed!

4. Complete an EIS! (And if you like, also complete a separate “public health study”)!

These are among the core issues of the bill.

Please GMO experimenters, don’t use Kauai as your Petri dish! Our future depends on it. And our tourism is suffering because of it!

There is a way out. It’s called taking responsibility!

Michael Smith

Kapaa

Confusion on ethics board

After hearing that The Board of Ethics had recently rendered an advisory opinion at a special meeting allowing Planning Commissioner Wayne Katayama (Kauai Coffee) to testify before the County Council’s Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee regarding Bill No. 2491, I read the minutes of the Board of Ethics  Aug. 23 meeting.

It appeared that the committee at this meeting was split on the legality of the commissioner to testify, which seems confusing as it is clearly prohibited in the Kauai County Charter.

The Deputy County Attorney indicated that he had read the opinion of previous situations where it was determined that the Kauai Charter prohibited testimony by members of boards and commissions, but felt that in this case there may be some constitutional problems.

This obviously had bearing on the decision by the commission members. This matter has been discussed at length in the past and after the Charter Commission tried to rectify the situation by placing a charter amendment on the ballot several years ago, it was voted down by Kauai voters. I have personally been directly affected by this provision in the charter and have refused offers to volunteer for any boards or commissions while I was employed as it would be impossible to carry out my duties without a possible conflict.

This has nothing to do with Bill 2491, it is a matter of what our Board of Ethics is supposed to be doing, carrying out the provisions of our County Charter or doing what is politically correct.

We have some great people sitting on the Board of Ethics, but either they were not aware of what has transpired in the past or they feel it is more important to be politically correct in situations that may be controversial.

From the minutes of the Aug. 23 meeting, it appears that the matter was continued and the final discussion occurred last week after a special meeting of the board. These minutes are not available at this time but it appears that the opinion was approved by a vote of 7-1 with only one member, Mark Hubbard holding the line on upholding the charter.

I do not agree with this provision in the charter and understand that there may be situations where a person’s right to testify is wrongfully denied, but it is against the law and until this law is changed it should be upheld.

I do not know if Mr. Katayama testified or not, but as long as he sits on the Planning Commission he should follow the rules.

After all this is a very controversial bill and it could certainly affect the company he works for as well as significantly affect future land use.

Roger Cable

Koloa

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