Letters for Sunday, March 12, 2017

• Well done, Ron and Dennis • A few thoughts on …

Well done, Ron and Dennis

Shout-out time. There are many terrific projects and programs that happen all around the island in all sorts of venues, be it coaching kids, doing cleanups, putting on fairs, feeding the poor and homeless, and countless others. We often say that so-and-so organization sponsored the program, but very often the real truth is that one or two people are the ones who got it done.

One of these many programs is the Kauai airport baggage claim ocean safety video. Going way back to 2005, the Lihue Airport, the East Side Rotary and the Kauai Lifeguard Association have kept it going. There have been many fits and starts along the way including a major remodel of the airport terminal building, video equipment breakdowns and overhauls and replacements, and content revision. Many times through all this the system has been temporarily down. Down but not out; we still have it going 12 years later.

This shout-out goes out to the two people without whom this program would not be alive today: Ron Margolis of the East Side Rotary, and Dennis Nevis, manager of Lihue Airport. They have been the bulldogs in making sure the program survives, and I know some people who are alive today because of their work.

This shout-out is to you, Ron and Dennis.

Monty Downs, M.D., President, Kauai Lifeguard Association

A few thoughts on…

In reading this great newspaper I have read some things that move me to comment.

POST OFFICE. From The Garden Island “ … some councilmembers say the county doesn’t have the authority to tell the federal government what to do.” This comment bothers me greatly. Abraham Lincoln referred to a “government of the people, by the people and for the people.” We/they are exactly who should tell the federal government what to do. The USPS is one of the few federal agencies that is operated as a business and not as a political bureaucracy, and I think they will listen to the will of the people. We just built new senior housing on the edge of downtown. Now we should expect our residents to cross Rice Street and the highway to get to the post office?

DAIRY. Our council are elected representatives of the people. As they are making important decisions, they must be informed. Have any of our councilmembers visited a similar dairy? I, for one, think that this would be a prerequisite to making this important decision. Maybe unannounced visits to two or three similar sites would be a great learning experience. Would this be expensive? Yes, but in the long term ignorance is always more expensive. We can see, on a federal level, the multitude of disasters that happen when we let lobbyists educate our decision makers.

RICE STREET. Please don’t clog up downtown with bicycles. Hardy Street works fine for bikes to get around. Was the business community asked about the importance of bicycle access? It is those vital people who will be most effected by a further erosion of traffic flow on Rice.

HIGHWAYS. Our highway infrastructure is an investment we have made. It is an asset that belongs to the people. It should not be neglected. I am worried that, if we do not demand our share of state and federal monies, we will be indirectly footing the bill for the Honolulu rail fiasco. It has happened in the past that when a state official is elected they begin to worry more about re-election and their political future, than about the welfare of their constituents. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Thanks for letting me rant.

Jim Duhig, Kapaa

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