‘Da Shadow’ is back and looking out for Kauai

We all have questions for our government. When we’re driving or visiting or traveling around the island, who doesn’t see something that makes you wonder what’s going on? When will that missing guard rail be replaced? Is there a date set for improving a road? How much money does the county have budgeted for its police department? Will something ever be done with an old, abandoned building? What’s happening with the bus shelters?

There is one man who will get those answers for you.

Jerome Freitas.

He’s known as “The Shadow” and he is watching out for his fellow residents of Kauai.

It’s been more than a decade since the retired state Department of Transportation worker began meeting with government officials about concerns that he sees and hears about from folks who contact him. After he compiles a list of queries, he presents them to the county, which in turn does its best to answer them in a timely manner.

He is, in a way, Kauai’s volunteer watchdog. He is not afraid to ask tough questions and push for answers. He’s the man who puts the spotlight on things some wish he would just leave alone. He refers to himself as a public safety coordinator. But he’s more than that. He doesn’t do this for money or publicity. Jerome Freitas is one of those people who makes Kauai the special place it is. Kauai has long been his home. He loves this island. He cares about it. And he wants it to be its best.

Due to some personal matters, Jerome took some time off from writing his popular column, “Da Shadow,” in The Garden Island. But he’s back, better than ever, with that infectious smile and slicked-back, black hair. He defies Father Time. The man remains an icon. We’re lucky to have him. Look for his column every other Sunday in TGI.

Welcome back, Jerome. Kauai is a better place with you.

Jerome would love to hear from the public about issues of concern. He can be reached at theshadow96751@gmail.com or 635-3528. His website is http://theshadow96746.tripod.com

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