Letters for Friday, Oct. 18, 2013

Visitor shouldn’t have let loss ruin vacationGMOs only small part of the problemHeroic actions save another life

Visitor shouldn’t have let loss ruin vacation

I was struck by the letter from Mr. Don Stone (Oct. 7, TGI) regarding his loss of a rental camera. I do not want to dismiss his disappointment over his loss, but feel his comments regarding the loss of revenue to the island were a bit excessive.

He starts from the point of loss of $60 for the rental and $125 to replace the camera.  While he doesn’t have the pictures, the $60 was already planned in his budget so financial loss is $125.  

The claim that he didn’t spend $1,000 (largely because of uncertainty over cost of the camera) could have been resolved by a phone call to Boss Frog. I went online and they were immediately available for chat and responsive to my questions.

I am sorry that he left the camera behind at the dinner and it cost him financially and emotionally, but feel that he needs to accept responsibility for his part and avoid the temptation to lash out at our community. We don’t know if the camera was left on a table or dropped in a bush or stream. While we may have lost a little income from this, he chose to lose opportunities to enjoy the rest of his stay. That is more distressing than the money aspect.

In any case, I wish him well and would recommend some travel insurance for his next vacation so that he doesn’t risk missing the fun, relaxation and memories that the Garden Island is all about.

Aloha, Mr. Stone. Please come back.

Henri Carnal


GMOs only small part of the problem

A first-time visitor to Kauai, I was struck by the similarities between the Garden Island and the Skagit Valley in Washington state, where I live, paradise between mountain and sea, fertile and verdant.  

There, as here, for a bit of temporary employment, we’re invited to roll out the red carpet for corporate colonizers and their grand plans to stripmine the health of our soil, water, air and bodies.

GMOs are just a small piece of the true problem: a globalized food system that sickens the Earth and humans alike, entirely dependent on a cheap, abundant supply of oil, profitably deluding that the Earth can sustainably carry 10 billion people.  

Oil has increased in real dollar terms since the 70s, and the radical climate changes it drives won’t make it any cheaper. In the North Cascades, as across the world, our glaciers shrink with terrifying speed.

As the wave mounts, denial ensues. Baby boomers feel it’s someone else’s problem, a final expression of their generation’s selfishness.  

Millennials wallow in ironic self-pity. Federal and state governments are visibly useless, petty squabblers.   

Local communities should be working at every level to create a permanent agriculture free of petrochemical input, balancing the local ecosystem with the human population it supports.

The corporate colonizers will fight tooth and nail to preserve their highly profitable status quo, and the locals will inevitably lose a few battles. That’s to be expected. But it has to start somewhere.

The problem with Bill 2491 is that it doesn’t go nearly far enough.

Will Honea

Sedro-Woolley, Wash.

Heroic actions save another life

A drowning will guaranteed make front page news, and I have come to learn that this news stuns and saddens most of us who live on Kauai, even though we don’t know the victim or the family.  I therefore love nothing more than when I hear about a near-miss drowning that did not happen because of a heroic act. I love sharing the news, so that we can all rejoice.

On Saturday, a 66-year-old man was pulled out by a rip at an isolated area in Haena, around the corner from the Haena Beach Park Lifeguard tower.   

The lifeguards had no ability to see what was taking place, but thankfully there was a young waterman named Max Watkins walking along the beach. In addition there was an unidentified woman on the beach who knew about rescue tubes, and she grabbed one off the station that’s in the area and stuck it in Max’s hands. He took off into the water with the tube’s strap-loop around his shoulder and he reached the man just as he was giving up and going under. The man’s terrified wife was on shore watching all this.   

Someone had called 911  by this point, and almost as soon as Max and the near-victim reached the beach (Max is a strong swimmer and still with the strap around his shoulder, he pulled in the man who was draped over the yellow “tube”), the Haena Lifeguards arrived on scene, administered oxygen, and monitored the man.  After about a half-hour, he had regained enough strength to get to his feet, the lifeguards determined that he was safe and recovered, and he and his tearful wife got to savor their continued life as they thanked their rescuers.

Thank you Max, for your heroism and your skill. We thank you individually and we thank you as representing all your surfer friends who save countless lives at our beaches where there aren’t lifeguards.  

Thank you, woman on the beach, for knowing about rescue tubes and for guiding Max to them. Thank you lifeguards, for helping complete this rescue and for all the rescues we expect from you as part of your job — and we know that some of your saves are legendary the world over. We rejoice with the family that was spared the suffering that we are all too familiar with.

In closing: The best treatment of drowning is prevention, and with winter swells on their way everyone, please, be watchful and be careful. Information about daily conditions and about rip currents can be found on www.kauaiexplorer.com or by asking a concierge or a lifeguard.

Monty Downs, M.D.

President, Kauai

Lifeguard Association


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