Letters for Thursday, April 30, 2015

• Pasion will be difficult to replace • Culture vs. concrete • View from above unforgettable

Pasion will be difficult to replace

Thank you to the council, who six years ago unanimously hired Ernie Pasion as our county auditor.

For me, this man has gone way beyond what the citizens expected of him and proved to be the best qualified, the most honest, hardest working person that this county ever hired.

Having been a “nitpicker” (government watchdog) for 20 years, I use these words of praise with nothing but sincerity or without any other reason except to be truthful.

Ernie has been praised by the Association of Local Government Auditors for the work he has done and any citizen who read his audits agreed. The 8 audits he did are so crystal clear and understandable to the average citizen, which is usually rare in trying to understand most legal documents.

Disturbingly, the recommendations made in these audits have not been used to save the county from the millions of dollars of waste that were identified.

In doing his job by the book, Ernie discovered improprieties and faults in our system that pointed the finger at people in power who retaliated and caused his staff to be cut, preventing the successful continuation of his operation.

With his operating budget getting slashed, Ernie believed he could no longer perform the function for which he was appointed and felt forced to sue the county for relief.

Ernie is on medical leave and will no longer be our county auditor. But when he returns to Kauai he has a wealth of knowledge and desire to help whoever is our new auditor and we hope it is received with gratitude. We citizens desperately need people in our government who have the honesty and integrity of Mr. Pasion and hope that whoever is hired to fill his shoes can live up to the standards he set.

Glenn Mickens, Kapaa

Culture vs. concrete

The Thirty Meter Telescope is not culture versus science — it’s culture versus concrete, about to be poured on one of the planet’s most revered landscapes.

If the courts rule against TMT, will it have enough money to remove that concrete?

University of Hawaii has conflicting goals—building observatories and protecting Mauna Kea.

Could Mauna Kea become a national park, and later be given to a restored nation of Hawaii? Or could Department of Land and Natural Resources care for themountain, using observatory fees?

The protectors of Mauna Kea are making history — both for what they are doing, and how. What they are doing is causing power and money to stop and listen. Howthey are doing this is through aloha, striving to create deep and lasting change by connecting everything and everyone.

The Thirty Meter Telescope can accomplish most of its goals in a less controversial place — Chile.

Cory (Martha) Harden, Hilo

View from above unforgettable

Every so often someone does something so amazing, reassuring us that we truly live in paradise with hearts of aloha. Safari Helicopter makes wishes come true for our island kupuna (seniors).

Born and raised on Kauai, Lucy Ceballos has never seen her home from above. The gift of a lifetime. The entire staff so welcoming and full of smiling spirits made their gift that much more beautiful. She still talks of her flight and will do so for the rest of her life! Mahalo to the wonderful visiting tourists that Lucy shared the flight with and she is forever grateful to the Safari Helicopter company and to the entire staff.

The magnificent view from above surrounding Lucy, she tears as she speaks of her experience. She is a beautiful woman full of Kauai history. Never lived anywhere and had a humble beginning growing up on a plantation. At 90 years old, she wants you all to know that you have enriched her life in ways she never thought would be possible had it not been for your generous gift of giving back to our island.

Safari Helicopter, may you continue great success as you so deserve. And may your kindness example spread through our island tourism industry to be reminded that success is only successful through the giving back to our kupuna. They are our legacy.

Me ke aloha.

Rose T. Warken Ceballos

Kalaheo

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