Letters for May 14, 2015

• Majority opposed sanctuary expansion • Times of change

Majority opposed sanctuary expansion

I attended the final public meeting for the NOAA sanctuary expansion plan and feel that the TGI article of May 8 did not accurately describe the tenor of the meetings or the frustrations the community felt at being intimidated by sanctuary staff.

The meetings were ineffective because, as Ms Chow shouted out to the audience that evening, “we are not going away,” despite community consensus in favor of no expansion. The government’s arrogance and defiance was reminiscent of Gov. Lingle’s Superferry meetings or Gov. Abercrombie’s PLDC meetings on Kauai, but the sanctuary meetings were definitely much more civil.

The sanctuary meetings were not about “a fair public process” as Ms Chow said. They were doomed to fail as the sanctuary disregarded the ocean users petition with over 7,000 signatures asking for no expansion of the sanctuary, but instead listened to the few hand-picked Sanctuary Advisory Council members promote their own projects incorporated in sanctuary expansion.

The Kauai ocean users information packet, which Ms Chow tried to stop being handed out at the meetings, is a well-reasoned summary of talking points opposed to the sanctuary expansion and it provided the community with help in expressing concerns in the intimidating government format of 3-minute public presentations.

I recommend that everyone email their comments about sanctuary expansion directly to both Gov. Ige (http://governor.hawaii.gov) and the sanctuary (http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov) so that the sanctuary cannot disregard them.

Carl J. Berg,  Ph.D. marine biologist andformer member HIHWNMS Sanctuary Advisory Council

Times of change

Aloha! My wife and I are repeat visitors from another country and over the past 30 years have come to enjoy the peace and natural beauty of Kauai. There aremany attractions for us and all of these you already know and take for granted. We have always been made to feel welcome and have gotten to know and enjoymany aspects and the diversity of this island. We must, however, point out some things that we noted on our most recent vacation the first two weeks of Apriland honestly we found them to be very disturbing.

As in some other countries, the resorts are very clean but outside the resorts garbage collects along the roadways and in the ocean, now we see this on Kauai.Even 10 years ago you would not have seen this; the tourists are doing this you say, not as far as we have seen. Mostly, the tourists respect the beauty due tothe fact that we don’t take this for granted.

Your chicken population, well, you make a considerable amount of money off them as they are advertised throughout the island. On a beautiful sunny Sundaywhile at the public beach – Poipu Park, we were witness to the following event. A local family out for a Sunday get together, chickens rousting in the bushesminding their own business. A 7-ish-year-old boy begins beating the bushes with a stick with obvious intent to harm them. We go over to chat with the localfamily about this senseless act and the wife of this family says that he is only playing as she picks up a rock and kills a baby chick then laughs and sayssomething to us that is not in the English language – really where is the aloha spirit? Come on! Either quit plagiarizing the animals or fix the problem. You arenot making the same profit margins from the imported mangoes at the farmers market.

We found this experience to be very sad, the island that we had grown to love and respect had drastically changed, not by Mother Nature but by people thatshould know better and just take it for granted. Your culture is not for the tourists but is something you yourself own. Don’t be so quick to give it away.

Yes, you say if we don’t like it stay away, well, we have indeed made that decision. We will vacation where we are appreciated, not just tolerated. We get that thelocal people are frustrated, but it wasn’t us that sold your heritage. Aloha!

Gord Haycraft, Carstairs, Alberta

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