Letters for Tuesday, April 11, 2017

• Potholes not more important than freedom • Let’s create a better Kauai

Potholes not more important than freedom

I quote Gene Ward in a recent article of The Garden Island newspaper: “My sense is that the people of Hawaii would rather see potholes fixed rather than trying to lead the nation against an executive order.”

This is certainly a narrow-minded opinion and contrary to the opinion of the demographics of our wonderful state. I doubt it is true. Really, potholes and basic freedoms? It shouldn’t even be discussed in the same article.

How can a pothole take precedence to human rights and freedoms as expressed in our Constitution? I applaud AG Chin in his actions in stemming this unjust restriction on freedom as posed by our president who by the way, has the lowest approval rating of any previously elected president at this point in his term.

I do applaud your solar and public education program but feel you were off the mark here.

Richard G. Atwell, Kalaheo

Let’s create a better Kauai

We surfed in the Poipu area in the 1950s and ‘60s. We surfed Pakalas, Hanalei, all around, with just a few close friends. It was a good time in our lives. Peaceful, mellow, enjoyable. We have many good memories of enjoyable sunny spring, summer and fall days in the clear, sparkling waters of Kauai.

Fast forward 50-plus years to 2017. The world’s population has tripled from 2.2 billion in 1960 to over 7 billion today. More people, more pollution. So, 50 percent of the coral in the world has died in the last three decades, according to Dr. (Ruth) Gates, director of the Hawaiian Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii.

Back in the ‘60s, we noticed certain areas of reefs on Kauai, notably Pakalas and Kilauea, where the sugar companies had dumped their muddy water, were not as alive as areas like Haena to Polihale, where there was less runoff and pollution.

The chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, plowing and erosion silting of the reefs caused by the sugar companies for over 100 years has adversely affected the coral reefs. Adding to that abuse, more people flushing their waste in the groundwater, which eventually moves to the coral reefs, has added more pollution to the environment. More tourists using their sunscreen with ingredients toxic to coral.

We swam, surfed and enjoyed Waikiki Beach as keiki in the ‘50s. You could pick foot-long ogo (edible seaweed) right in front of the Moana Hotel and dive for fish. Chubby Mitchel would dive 30 feet and poke three mempachi on one dive. We paddled canoes and surfed waves with friends joyfully. It was a very happy time. We feel that everyone has a choice, to pollute or not to pollute. To make the world a better place, to enjoy for all and that anyone who pollutes and causes problems should be fined, educated and forced to cease their negative actions.

So that is our opinion. What can we do to heal the damage done and prevent more damage? Grow and consume more organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, says the government, my doctor, fellow members of the 70-plus club. I am 73. Avoid pollution, smoking, alcohol, car exhaust, power plant fumes and toxic people, and associate with kind, loving friends and share aloha with everyone, especially our creator God, Akua.

We need to be positive, stop pollution. Foster life, create a better Garden Isle.

Kawika, Kekaha

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