Letters for Aug. 10, 2015
One small step forward, one giant leap backward
I cannot believe the council overturned the dog-barking bill they worked so hard to craft after years of pleading by constituents, since 1988 to be exact. I testified at both hearings on the issue and heard several people ask why they couldn’t just amend the bill and make it better. Of course, council members were addressing Ross Kagawa’s proposed bill which simply repeals the original barking ordinance and the public was asking to amend the original bill. Though this caused some confusion, I would say at least 75 percent of the people who spoke at the July 26 hearing did not want the law repealed. The other confusion was Kagawa saying the bill has failed 100 percent of the time and Yukimura saying it is succeeding. If, as some testified, the bill is succeeding simply by being in place, then that is not a 100 percent failure.
Those in favor of the repeal spoke of the hunting culture. But this isn’t about hunting, it’s about respecting your neighbor so that he may experience the “quiet enjoyment” of his home to which we are all entitled. It leaves him something to do when the “aloha spirit” has failed!
If repealed, I posed aloud in my testimony, could it again take years to write another? Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura was nodding in the affirmative. She, as did I, “begged” the bill not be repealed but amended. This is the intelligent way to address the issue, not start over as Kagawa would like to see.
And, contrary to his belief that this creates problems between neighbors, the problems are likely already there. TGI’s July 16 issue reports, “Kagawa said he is glad people recognize the need to make changes.” So let’s make the changes we need to make this bill work better.
iLEAD comments out of context
The Aug. 5 article in the Honolulu newspaper regarding charter schools’ applications to be approved, “Votes set back proposed campuses,” took a statement of mine out of context.
The article stated that “iLEAD Kauai would become a private school if not approved for a charter school.” I said we were ready to open a charter school for we have a strong academic plan which is solid and completely aligned with the Common Core Standards. I added with the recent vacancy of a private school at Mount Kahili, we have a site which is already permitted for iLEAD Kauai. I stated that we have the capacity and organizational skills to implement all that will be demanded of us, including the financial expertise of a well-qualified business manager versed in charter school operations and laws. And most importantly, we have the full support of our community. Kauai’s government leaders, the superintendent of schools, teachers, parents, the whole community want this iLEAD Charter School.
That is when I stated, “iLEAD Kauai could open as a private school (because we are so ready) but only those families with incomes to support tuition would benefit from this innovative educational experience.”
I concluded with a reminder that charter schools were created to serve the very purpose of providing choice, exploring effective ways of teaching and providing a free public education. I am a strong advocate for social justice rights for the neighboring islands and not just educational services for Oahu. Kauai deserves this innovative iLEAD Charter School.
Dr. Kani Blackwell
Story of the missing board
Recently I moved into a new apartment and my 11 boxes that were stored in a container came to me … minus my board which I had for 10 years. I told the manager and his staff about the missing board. All said it would be taken care of. The contractor who put it in storage while the apartment complex was being worked on finally brought a board and left it in my back yard — without my knowing it.
Well, it was a dirty board, about 10 feet long, 1 inch high and 4 inches wide. Not my board. Being a contractor, one would believe he would know the measurements that I gave him. I spoke to management and said this board was not acceptable. I wanted my board. Now, bear in mind that weeks have gone by and still no 6-foot by 2-inch by 6-foot board. I called again and told management to tell the contractor to get that ugly board out of my yard. I wanted my board. Last Thursday, there was a beautiful board in my yard, but not a 6x2x6. It was about 10x2x4.
Still the wrong board but I finally decided to end this frustration. I asked the contractor to have it cut in half and that it would be OK. Said he would have it done the next day. Well it isn’t … and this whole situation is going on for nearly a month. Go figure!