Letters for June 17, 2015
Tourists deserve respect, too
Today on the beach a new group of visitors, obviously just off the airplane came to see the ocean. The ladies had new bathing suits, all were pale and they were thrilled just to be here.
Most of your visitors have spent years working for a once in a lifetime trip to Hawaii. Many won’t ever be able to come again.
They’ve come because it’s a state, not some foreign country where they might get beaten, robbed, or caught in the crossfire between drug cartels.
So the incident at Hanalei Pier when a group of Mainland eighth graders were chased off the beach is a big deal. This island was on its butt after Iniki, and I remember locals were just glad to see anybody.
Right now, there’s lots of construction jobs, lots of tourism, lots of new pickup trucks … things are pretty good. And every time that happens the “we don’t need no tourists” sentiment grows.
There’s lots of “respect the culture” and “no forget go home” bumper stickers again.
So maybe try “respect the visitors” and maybe they’ll “respect the culture” more. Most visitors aren’t mega millionaires. They get crammed into economy and spit on by the flight crew. Most of them don’t have a lot more than you do.
Is it too much to ask that you don’t spit on ‘em when they arrive to give you a bunch of money for a week in the sun?
Try give ‘em a break. You’ll need ‘em again someday.
Transfer program should be supported
We volunteer for the Kauai Humane Society, picking up dogs at Oakland airport that are transferred to East Bay SPCA. Brandy Varvel, outreach manager for KHS, started this innovative program. She contacted shelters in the East Bay, Seattle, Portland, and San Diego. Alaska Airlines agreed to fly animals for free on passengers’ tickets.
The program was a huge success. We often drove to Oakland airport twice a week, picking up two dogs per trip. The dogs were sweet and well-behaved, perfect family dogs. They were typically adopted from EBSPCA within the week.
Then the number of transferred dogs slowed and nearly stopped. We heard that the executive director, Penny Cistaro, did not like the transfer program.
Ms. Varvel was among the 12 employees, including the lead veterinarian, who finally stuck their necks out. These are long-time hard-working employees who have worked through several changes of directorship without complaint. They naively thought that if board members were aware of Ms. Cistaro’s actions, they would want a change of leadership.
To gain back the public trust, Penny Cistaro should be removed as executive director of KHS. The board of directors also needs new leadership.
Fred and Erika Matter
Police outreach a good thing
I want to thank Assistant Police Chief Asher and his crew for their community outreach presentation this evening, June 4, was
informative. There were only 10 Kalaheo residents in attendance.
There is going to be one more: Thursday, June 25 at 7 p.m. — Hanapepe Neighborhood Center. Some of the subjects covered included: police pay; police beats; staffing (which is a bit light); the police academy classes and the Explorer program. The question of concealed carry was posed. Chief Asher was in favor of open carry.