On politics, polls and plunking
I don’t know about you, but I have been getting political poll phone calls since as far back as August.
My first political poll in August asked my views on the preschool amendment that has only recently begun appearing on television commercials. That call took almost 45 minutes. I did look up some commentary on the amendment; I could not find the amendment itself. This is a very brief portion of what I found online: “This proposed amendment to the state’s constitution, if passed: 1. Would expand preschool options to low-income families; 2. Would allow the state to fund partnerships with privately operated preschool programs. Also, from what I found in the last few hours, “Hawaii is the only state where private educational institutions are barred from public funds — and — only nine other states don’t pay for universal preschool programs.”
I can remember when the Head Start program started. One of my relatives was in that program. She was the only one in her family who went through college. If funding of privately operated schools is the issue, than make the Head Start program part of our educational system for all students and keep our Department of Education teachers working. That is, If Head Start is not still around, maybe that is the problem.
My political poll calls increased in intensity from three or four per week to sometimes as many as four daily. I answer all of them. I am paraphrasing some questions:
Q: Why did Abercrombie lose?
Because he wanted to tax my government pension not because of his position on gay marriage. Also because of the Furlough Fridays that wreaked havoc on so many working families; from the immediate families involved all the way down to the child care providers and the clerks in the supermarkets. Do you realize Abercrombie will have county, state and federal pensions in addition to his Social Security.
Q: Have you heard about the push to block vote for six candidates.
No, I hadn’t heard it until the pollster asked me; but, I had observed it in the political endorsement in TGI.
Q: What do I think of it?
We had our “Gang of Six” block voting years ago. We do not need another “Gang of Six” today. I ask all voters to please do not let them get away with this.
What am I doing about it? I personally am going to plunk my votes. Those I choose are my personal decision, but I will ask the Westside voters to remember how many times the Westside has been left out of the decisions of our politicians; going as far back as that decision (how many years ago was it) that closed every landfill on the island except Kekaha; going back to the decision to close our Kekaha community swimming pool rather than repair it. “You have a pool in Waimea that you can use.” Sure our kids can walk the five miles to Waimea; going back to Iniki. It wasn’t the county’s fault that Kekaha did not get electricity back until the Thanksgiving after Hurricane Iniki. Sept. 11 until the end of November? Princeville would have rioted. We on the Westside threw a luau for PG&E and our hard-working Kauai Electric workers.
Going forward to the bike path. You will notice that the off-road, away from speeding cars bike path, started on the other side of the island, also. I’m 74 years old. I could be dead before that bike path gets to me in Kekaha. Twenty years ago, I won a bicycle. I love walking. I love riding horses. I love bicycles. I rode that bike just one time, on Kekaha Road, not even on Kaumualii Highway. The traffic scared the love of biking right out of me. I gave the bike away and never looked back.
Where am I going with this? We have many excellent candidates running for our County Council. Since the masters of our fate have chosen to ignore him, I would like to personally endorse Billy DeCosta, a Waimea High graduate who has done so much for the Westside, and so much to help our kids with absolutely no fanfare. Billy DeCosta’s slogan is “Don’t be Silly, Vote for Billy.” Billy DeCosta is not on the new Gang of Six list, nor has he gotten much in the way of endorsements. Billy DeCosta is educated (he has two college degrees), he is honest, and he is dependable. He will get the job done, no matter what it takes. If you want the Westside represented now, is your chance. Give him one of your votes.
Yes, I have others to plunk. Joanne Yukimura is also the epitome of what a politician should be. Joanne has gotten my vote since the first time she ran for office. Her stance on slow growth was proven by Iniki. One to two years of everyone working overtime, stores selling out of furniture, appliances, bedding, clothes, replacing everything lost on an island that had been so devastated. Two years later, no one needed anything anymore. Stores closed, people were laid off, lost their homes, some lost their will to live. I remember as many as six funerals in a single week for over a year, as a direct or indirect result of that hurricane. It wasn’t planned that way but the trashed economy after the two-year boom sure proved Joanne’s slow growth point.
Joanne has pushed our Kauai bus system and our bike paths (first the three-foot paths on the highways and now the stand-alone bike path, as well as many other “for the people” projects. I don’t think I have ever seen her voting any issue based on a personal agenda. I don’t need to say more.
I’m going to close this with something I did not ask permission to write. There is a court case in our system right now regarding a driver who, on a beautiful sunlit morning in Kekaha, slammed into the back of a bicyclist who was riding in the current (what is supposed to be) three-foot wide excuse-for-a-bike-path on Kaumualii Highway. They were in a construction zone, speed limit 25 mph. They were both heading west, the sun was behind them. The impact, I was told, threw the rider so high in the air that he landed on the hood of the truck that hit him. My friend’s helmet kept him from being killed. It did not keep him from many months in and outside of the ICU in the hospital. Those many months that turn to years and continue in very painful rehab and will continue with the lifetime of pain that no man should have to endure because he had no safe place to ride. We have no safe off-the-road paved bike path that some of you —on the other side of the island — are complaining about.
Don’t forget to vote.
Sandra Makuaole is a resident of Kekaha.