Letters for Sept. 8, 2014

• Cultural sensitivity suddenly important • Biking to work an unrealistic expectation for traffic woes

Cultural sensitivity suddenly important

It is really ironic that the County of Hawaii, state and feds are “culturally sensitive” all of a sudden to the “diversion ideas,” whatever they may be, because of desecrating the Goddess Pele? Would it be disrespectful to the Hawaiian people that they were referring to?

In 1983 during our contested case hearing (court case) defending the traditional beliefs of Pele against the proposed 500 megawatts of geothermal in Kahaualea, Campbell land, it was the birth of Pu’uo’o, right on the drill site being proposed. That was a clear sign that geothermal was already a concept of desecration and we both continued our presence for years after, to raise those concerns and consciousness, until present to Wao Kele O Puna.

For all of you Hawaiians who thought that the idea of Geothermal was a “gift” and “royalties,” from Pele, “go to Puna and collect!” Her presence has always been the strongest component to our spiritual traditions. Ignorance is not an excuse for desecration.

Palikapu Dedman

President, Pele Defense Fund

Biking to work an unrealistic expectation for traffic woes

Councilwoman Yukimura is a very intelligent, hard-working member of our government.

However, with all due respect, she goes after issues because they feel good and not because they are practical or can become a reality.

Her latest editorial in TGI Aug. 17, “Kauai residents need a sustainable, affordable way to get around,” is just another example of her “feelings.”

She makes the statement that widening our highways and building more bypasses will not work. Must she be reminded that the Kapaa bypass route has worked well over the years by lessening the traffic on Kuhio Highway? Or that the contraflow system implemented on Kuhio Highway works everyday it is used?

Add more lanes and make use of our miles of cane haul roads to give us alternate routes to get around our island. In their wisdom, the plantation people made these cane haul roads to keep their trucks off our highways so why not pave them (as the Kapaa bypass was done with no EIS needed since it was an existing cane road and completed in a year or less) and alleviate traffic as well as give drivers safety routes to use in case of accidents or disasters closing Kuhio Highway?

And now we come to Ms Yukimura’s favorite feel good sound bite solution to all our woes.

Put more buses, bikes and multi-use paths on Kauai and move island populations to affordable workforce housing near work centers to lessen highway use while making walking and biking to work more feasible, and make this work by putting a 1/2 percent surcharge on our already overtaxed people!

Let’s shoot more holes in this dream scenario. The 95 percent of people who use their vehicles for work, shopping, recreation or whatever convenience they want it for are not going to give it up — that is a hard, cold fact.

If Ms Yukimura or other proponents of this dream like proposal like Councilman Bynum are so sure this system is the one meant for the masses then why have they not sold their vehicles and lead by example?

Do as I say but don’t do as I do?

Let’s see either of them use a bike, bus or walk to transport themselves to any of the many destinations they go to each day and night. It won’t happen.

I compliment Ms Yukimura for first driving a hybrid automobile and now a full electric one but the vehicle is still her mode of transportation.

We are spending about $1 million a year subsidizing our bus system. ADA people and those who cannot drive need alternate means of commuting. But sending a huge diesel bus to pick up one person certainly isn’t cost effective whereas a contractual taxi pickup system could be used as has been advised.

Remember, that all county employees were recently offered free bus rides for 30 days (about 1,000 people) and only 50 people took advantage of that offer. This was a pilot program and was a total failure so why consider putting more busses on our highways at a cost of millions of dollars to our tax payers?

We don’t need more unrealistic dream plans. We only need wider and more roads — roads like our State Highway Engineer Ray McCormick has given us on the South Side.

Glenn Mickens

Kapaa

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