Letters for Oct. 11, 2015
Don’t let greed be island’s downfall
In Saturday’s “Kauai’s economy looking strong” article, the reports on all fronts look good for business.
However, it also makes one wonder how much is enough?
– Over 1.1 million visitors expected to rise to 1.2 million.
– $1.5 billion visitor spending expected to rise to $1.6 billion.
– At what inconvenience to the residents?
– At what cost to the environment?
In order to serve the 20,000-plus visitors that are on our island each day, we are importing the workers. I found Pacific basin citizens clerking at sales outlets, European citizens waiting tables at restaurants, etc. The increase in the number of visitors is not providing better paid jobs for our residents.
I say it is time to determine when enough is enough and to put limits on the growth of our visitor industry. It is not enough to try to provide public transportation; cars are much more convenient even at $600 and up a week.
One solution is to put a lid on the number of cars available for rental. Take the average number of automobiles each outlet provides per day in 2015 and make that the limit.
Another solution is to stop issuing building permits to new resorts. The last figure I saw for occupancy rates was between 70 and 80 percent occupancy for the hotels in the summer. I see no reason to expand room availability especially since much of the income of the hotels does not stay on the island.
Let’s stop at the status quo until we have solved the current problems of road repair, shuttle transportation, and beach parking. Business needs to consolidate its gains, provide better parking and free public transportation to its facilities, and not be greedy at the expense of the residents.
Do something about hot classrooms
Hawaii is our home, and can reach hot temperatures. People can take a trip to the beach or eat ice cream, but what if they are in school? There’s nowhere to go. Classrooms are ridiculously hot and is there anything that can be done?
Waimea students speak out toward their thoughts on this heat. The heat is a distraction for students statewide. It’s becoming a problem and something should be done to help. Installing AC in every classroom could help students stay cool. The DOE has ordered AC systems and have more orders on the way, but the cost of installing them is well over $1 billion. They have started to raise more money to be able to afford it and it is worth the money.
The DOE has created an AC priority list, but none of the Kauai schools are on that list. They are thinking of the bigger schools and need to recognize all.
Something needs to be done for Hawaii schools experiencing heat. The DOE is trying, but its not enough. Students are heating up and need help to keep cool and soon.
Toughen laws to obtain firearms
Innocent U.S. citizens are being massacred, as a result of guns in the possession of individuals bent on doing harm. This has to stop. I realize that this is a multi-faceted problem, and with many possible solutions. One of the obvious, and perhaps easiest solutions is to make the screening process for obtaining firearms more intense. This can be easily accomplished by requiring all applicants to undergo a background check. Background checks should be required, whether the vendor is a licensed gun dealer or a private vendor at a firearm show.
Secondly, change the 72-hour rule. If the background check yields no results in 72 hours, the sale goes through. If there is no result, no background check, then there should be no sale.
I realize these suggestions are just a few, but we have to start some where. Immediately upon reading this, write your U.S. senator and congresswoman and ask them to please do something to end this insanity.
Michael Diamant, MD