Letters for Thursday, August 24, 2017

• Lehua plan is necessary • Traffic solutions are possible with planning, creativity

Lehua plan is necessary

I am in 100 percent support of the plans to eliminate rats from Lehua Island. It cannot be done with traps, hunting or dogs. The bait is diphacinone, a blood thinner similar to Coumadin (warfarin) taken by countless humans to prevent blood clots. To be effective, the rats must consume the bait several times. There are no pueo on Lehua who would die from eating dead rats, and seabirds are only interested in sea food. The diphacinone pellets are not water soluble.

The air drops have been used effectively on countless islands around the world. To be successful, every last rat must be killed. If even one pregnant rodent survives, the job has failed. There are nine species of native Hawaiian seabirds, including albatross, petrels and boobies who nest there and who desperately need safe places to raise their young.

Another eight species of native seabirds visit Lehua and could nest there if the predators are eliminated. The rats eat eggs and tear baby chicks apart. They are also quite capable of predating on adult birds.

Waiting will only worsen the problem. Like with rose-ringed parakeets and many other invasive species, postponement means the solution gets harder and the damage gets worse. I believe Island Conservation will get the job done well. Only then can we celebrate 284 acres of genuine sanctuary for our native birds, much like the rat-free success on Palmyra.

Hob Osterlund, Hanalei

Traffic solutions are possible with planning, creativity

In response to Gary Hooser’s article TGI forum Aug. 16.

I’m glad to see and hear people like Gary Hooser are finally realizing the fact that our boom of tourism is creating traffic nightmares and it seem to be getting worse almost everyday.

It’s evident to me that one of our biggest problems building is when we use our governments decisions to provide solutions to our traffic, we face a concrete wall at every angle, because that’s how our government does things. Bless their hearts, but in no way are they creative to our immediate needs in order to create good solutions.

A perfect example is the Kauai Bus. Our council shows us through their actions that the bus will never be able to pay for itself and they show as if they really don’t care, because they will continually subsidize it at any expense needed to keep it going.

In the private sector we wouldn’t create a sophisticated transportation system that has to be subsidized by only those who pay property taxes. We would create it so that all people of the island would share the expense through many different parts of the entire services created, so as to have it be more efficient and cost effective for all.

The reality is, our options may leave us no other choice, but to get a sizable amount of rental vehicles off our roads daily. I think more roads and bi-passes are what we don’t need. If our government decides to think building more roads and infrastructure is the solution, then they are about to change Kauai as we have known it to be the jewel that it is.

And to make matters worse, wait until the construction starts on these projects if you think it’s bad now. Someone please point to somewhere in the world that didn’t change the environment drastically worse because of concrete being spread all over the land.

I have heard Mr. Hooser say “Keep Kauai Country.” I agree, but we must create a sophisticated transportation system second to none that will meet everyone’s needs and keep it that way. Better management and creativity for our traffic should be the priority here.

Steve Martin, Kapaa

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