Letters for Tuesday, September 5, 2017

• Lehua project is a good one • Put residents before profits

Lehua project is a good one

I am writing in response to TGI’s Aug24 editorial on the Lehua Restoration Project.

I want the Lehua project to succeed. In this, I am in agreement with the editorial. I am in total support of the eradication plan and find it very perplexing that the author would raise concerns which have been so thoughtfully addressed by the researchers for this project.

Rats and seabirds cannot coexist on Lehua Island. It is one or the other.

I am in favor of creating a safe environment for nesting endangered and threatened seabirds, which means the rats, all of them, have to go. No, I don’t hate rats, as the author assumed “everyone” does, but rats were introduced by humans to Lehua and are destroying a precious habitat and killing seabirds. Rats do not belong on Lehua.

As to methods, I think it has been quite succinctly explained why trapping will not work in this environment. The rough terrain makes it impossible to trap all rats. All is necessary if rats are to be eradicated as they reproduce so quickly.

Yes, poison is being introduced, however, I am much less concerned about this carefully planned and monitored application of a known quantity of a known substance than I am about the vast uncontrolled application of unknown amounts of unknown poisons that are being applied to some agricultural lands with direct flow to water tables and near shore waters used by the people and animals of Kauai.

I thank all the partners of the Lehua Restoration project. They are righting a wrong from earlier years and I am so grateful to them for putting this project in place before some seabird species were lost forever.

Marcia Harter, Anahola

Put residents before profits

Extra flights mean extra problems for residents. Sue Kanoho assures us “we will reach a tipping point”, really? Where has that ever slowed down visitors? Airlines will adjust schedules, rental car companies will add cars and the Planning Commission will add more rooms.

If the money is there, things will get more and more difficult for all of us. Tipping point philosophy is like trickle down economics — it doesn’t work. Honolulu is a great example. Traffic just gets worse, room rates just go up and rental cars just get more expensive but more still keep coming.

What can be done? A helpful start would be to enforcing illegal vacation rentals. Start enforcing Airbnb illegal rentals. Perhaps limit the number of rental cars until the infrastructure catches up, which it never will. Stop approving visitor destination projects.

In my opinion the tipping point has already been reached. It’s a complicated problem but if we don’t start taking positive steps to slow it down, we will be living in a quagmire. It’s already almost impossible to get to the beach after noon and be able to park.

Try to go grocery shopping in Hanalei after 11:30. Try to get from Kapaa to Lihue after 11 without sitting for 25 minutes. It’s time to start putting the residents needs in front of the profitable visitors. Let your elected officials know your feeling and make them, at least, start talking about solution instead of lining their pockets. “We live here too, ” they cry, but they get paid.

John Humphrey, Hanalei

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