Letters for May 25, 2015

Letters for May 25, 2015

In support of support groups, and not making assumptions

Oh good grief! I hope Kathy Sheffield’s letter educating people about mental health doesn’t deter people from attending support groups by alerting them that their attendance can, and will be, reported in the local public forum. Worse — that someone who should know better, can make false assumptions and report it as fact!

Arranged by Todd Gordon at DOH, the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Family to Family classes back in 2008 were led by a dear man, Matt Victor, then pastor of Ohana Christian Fellowship. Kathy Sheffield organized a chapter of NAMI on Kauai later, and saw my name on a list. She wasn’t at the few classes I sat in on, or she would know that I was there concerning my aging father, George, and was also attending the Alzheimer’s support group.

According to Kaiser Health News, in local jails, 75 percent of women and 63 percent of men have at least one mental health problem. Kathy could have stuck to making appropriate points without inappropriately fabricating a tie-in. I know mental illness is a strain on our communities. While we can all learn more about mental illness — and practice tolerance and empathy toward our neighbors and friends who suffer from its symptoms — my attendance at the support group had nothing to do with Eben.

Valerie Kaneshiro

Koloa

Mahalo, farm-to-table supporters

“Agriculture” is often prefaced with four-letter adjectives on the Garden Island and has virtually disappeared as it existed 30-40 years ago. However, there are many folks on island that get up every morning and attend to the crops that find their way into the sunshine markets, restaurants and tables of residents on Kauai. I happen to be one of these small farmers and had an enlightening and rewarding experience on delivering garden fresh veggies to a restaurant customer this week … one that made me realize it isn’t such a bad thing being a farmer.

Our delivery receipt has a “Thank you!” on it. The wonderful lady that most often signs the receipt looked at me and said “No … no! It’s us that need to thank you.” A bit surprised, I replied “Eh … why’s that?”

She replied, “Well, without you farmers this restaurant would not exist and I wouldn’t have a job.” The conversation went on and we both agreed that a great deal of “mahalo and thanks” is warranted in the farm-to-table relationships.

Over 20 years ago a restaurateur by the name of Peter Merriman was plying his cooking skills on the Big Island using only fresh, locally grown or caught food. Crazy man. It was a struggle but Mr. Merriman more or less started the farm-to-table revolution that created the opportunity for us small traditional food producers to survive throughout Hawaii.

So with this backdrop, I want to give credit and thanks to the restaurants and “eat fresh n’ local” devotees that keep Kauai Roots Farm going. We grow and sell mainly on the south and west sides of the island but have customers as far away as the east side. Thanks so very much for your support and understanding when we run short or Mother Nature has other plans for our crops. And to the locals and visitors alike that support our Garden Island farmer, rancher and fisherman fresh food network, mahalo and aloha!

Ed Sindt

Kauai Roots Farm

Keep politics out and manager system will work

Mr. Mazurowski in his May 19 letter, “Too much faith in the system,” wonders why in our federal government the president is elected but it proposed that for local governments it is better to have the executive officer appointed.

The duties of the president and our mayor are vastly different. The president is commander in chief of our Armed Forces and responsible for the safety and protection of the nation and its citizens and its relations with other countries. On Kauai, the mayor is not even responsible for the selection of the police chief. And the scope of authority of our county government is far more limited than that of our federal government and more directed to administrative functions where the focus should be on efficient management.

At local levels, thousands of municipalities across the nation have functioned well by letting their legislative branch hire a county manager. The key is making sure that the manager is hired because of his or her qualifications and making sure that politics are left out of the equation.

Again, the operation of the manager system has been ongoing for over 100 years and its success is a blueprint to follow.

Glenn Mickens

Kapaa

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