Letters for Sept. 16, 2014

• Thirteen years later; a view from my window • Government interfering on property taxes • Cardiact defects not increasing on Kauai

Thirteen years later; a view from my window

It seems like only a few weeks ago when I was in Koloa town and wondering why I had received so many voice messages prior to 8 a.m. Hawaiian time. The messages were disjointed: reassuring me of things unknown to me at the time I couldn’t figure out what was going on: Had my mother been involved in a car crash? Was there some virus plaugeing the city I loved so much? I just didn’t know.

Then, my friend suggested that I turn on the TV. When we did, the first thing I saw was the first tower going down like a stack of pancakes. Then a small plane flew straight into another tower. What was happening?!

Reports in Hawaii had mentioned that upwards of 35,000 people had died. I was beside myself, as I had thought that a least 11 people I knew had perished.

Racing home to Kapahi, somehow I had gotten through to my mother by noon (6 p.m N.Y. time ) and she was fine and said that all we knew were well also.

People who are always on time were late, appointments were switched, alarms didn’t go off, my mother switched her schedule the Thursday prior to afternoons instead of mornings.

Others made it out and were traumatized as having to do it a second time (1993); because, this time they could not return to the actual buildings.

Others, as we know, were not so lucky (a good friend of they family didn’t make it home).

I was living on Kauai and wanted to return to my hometown.

I was scheduled for a return and was to pick up my nonrefundable ticket to NYC on Sept. 11 and on my way home to Kapahi, I stopped by First Class Travel in Wailua to ask my travel agent if I could pass and not be charged … I knew it was really a grim situation when she didn’t put up a fight (smile).

I’m back now (and miss Hawaii dearly), as my mother said that she would like me to come back to die with her, so I did. Not die, but returned one month after and found myself in front of Trinity Church with the lei my ohana helped to make on Kauai, wrapped around the gates of the church.

I sobbed, in public, uncontrollably.

A lot has changed here in NYC since. Some believe the city is actually a better place as a result. Others disagree, as they feel their civil liberties have been compromised in lieu of heightened security. We are all more alert, almost to a fault, as every car which back fires may be feared as a terrorist attack. But we live on and move forward and I thank God that we’ve made it unscathed for another year; as I view, what was, from my window, on the 29th floor.

Colette Bryce

New York City

Government interfering on property taxes

Perhaps one way to look at Kauai’s runaway property tax issues should come from the perspective of a person who has absolutely no faith in federal, state, county or city government to do a good job. As a self-employed commercial fisherman working my boat in Alaska, while maintaining my home in Kilauea I have been exposed to unending bureaucracy that, for the most part, accomplishes very little.

All of my adult life I have been paid for the fish I catch by the pound. If I don’t get up and go to work, I don’t get paid. Naturally, when I watch the complexities of government operation and the myriad of waste, I resent handing them more to do less. It reminds me of an incurable sickness that will not quit feeding until the host has nothing left to give.

The doubling of my own personal property tax pales in comparison to many of our friends that my family has grown up with on Kauai. They have worked hard for their homes and deserve infinitely less interference from government gone wild.

Richard King


Cardiact defects not increasing on Kauai

There is not an increased rate of cardiac defects of any kind on the Westside of Kauai. In Mr. Hooser’s recent opinion piece he referenced an unnamed doctor who felt that there was an increased rate. This issue was evaluated recently and compared to the state birth defect report (which Mr. Hooser also mentioned) we have not seen more cases than expected on the Westside. Cardiac defects are common, and Kauai is expected to have about 14 children born each year with any cardiac defect and three to four will need surgery within the first year of life. A portion of these children will be born on the Westside.

Please encourage your loved ones who are pregnant to get adequate prenatal care.

Graham Chelius, M.D.



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