Letters for Wednesday, May 17, 2017

• The truth about Cody Safadago • Gabbard’s trip still raises questions

The truth about Cody Safadago

I am a concerned resident of Kauai’s North Shore who volunteers time on the Na Pali coast assisting with trash removal. I am writing to inform the public of the truth about Cody Safadago, the man recently arrested in relation to the tragic traffic death of a beautiful local woman, Kayla Huddy-Lemm.

Cody Safadago is not a resident of this island nor a member of ​any​ community herein. He is known to have visited Kauai over a decade ago, and recently returned to Kauai. After involvement in altercations in Waimea town, Hanalei and at Haena Beach Park, he found his way to Kalalau.

He arrived on Kalalau Beach in the latter half of April with no supplies (if he were “living” there he would have brought supplies), exhibiting signs of severe drug addiction. He was acting spun out, talking nonstop, behaving erratically and generally freaking out visitors. People suspected he was smoking ice.

In less than two weeks he left Kalalau. A few days later he was in Kapaa town where he stole a Nissan truck and wrecked it under the influence of alcohol causing the death of Ms. Huddy-Lemm.

Neither this individual nor the traffic accident he caused has anything to do with Kalalau Valley or squatters in Kalalau. He was wandering around the island and spent less time in Kalalau than he did in other parts of the island.

The information reported in ​The Garden Island​ implying that Cody Safadago might be living in Kalalau Valley was misleading. It has resulted in an explosion of threats, racism and violence on social media and in our communities against a particular place where most of the people are legal visitors.

A report on KITV sensationalizing the news has fueled the emotionally charged bias and rumors. I would hate to see an innocent person get hurt based on inaccurate information.

While the anger and grief are understandable, it is every person’s responsibility, no matter what the color of your skin, to stand up and stop the violence and prejudice against innocent people, to care for the land and to respect the culture and heritage of our home.

In light of the recent tragedy we should be asking ourselves how we can work together to make our communities safer and stronger. Mauka to makai. Kee to Kokee. And every mile of Na Pali.

Autumn Rose, Wainiha

Gabbard’s trip still raises questions

I’m responding to Leinani Springer’s letter (TGI, May 10).

You’re proposing in your letter that I agree on the speculative acceptable reasons I presented about Gabbard’s meeting withAssad without addressing any of the uncomfortable questions her trip brought forth, including the suspicious timing, the factthat the meeting was hailed as strictly “humanitarian” and she “happened” to meet with Assad, and Gabbard may have beenpart of the DNC hack.

You also assert that Assad is the “legitimate” head of the Syrian government. That assertion is disputed by the United Nationsgroup charged with watching the elections, President Obama’s State Department report on the Syrian election and the BritishForeign Secretary. Millions were unable to vote or abstained and he’s responsible for killing nearly 500,000 of his owncitizens. Not supporting or giving legitimacy to Assad doesn’t mean by default supporting his extremist potential ousters.

As a concerned citizen, I should not have to accept potential good reasons for the trip that I conjectured when Gabbard cananswer these questions that would either clear it up or further call her influences and motives into question. I believe it’spremature to label her trip as “courageous” until we know more.

The GOP seems to currently have a near-monopoly on not asking tough questions and supporting current leadership whileignoring mounting evidence of severe wrongdoing. Considering myself center-left, I cannot subject the Democratic Party tothe same type of intellectual dishonesty. It’s fine to support Gabbard. In the current climate, I refuse to put party orpersonality over country.

It seems to me the pressure should come on Gabbard to clear this up from those who still do wholeheartedly support her sothis divide can be mended. Now more than ever, as a U.S. citizen, I have a right to be suspicious of anything with Putin’sfingerprints on it and they are all over Assad and Syria. When we can’t question our representatives motives, we’re done as anation.

Jason Blake, Lihue

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