Letters for Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Mural, paper’s coverage annoying for resident

The Sunday paper (Jan. 28) gives prominence to a photo and article about a bike path wall decoration painted by volunteers. It indicates that a few people decided on their own to paint it in gaudy colors without seeking permission and that they encourage others to join in. First, I am annoyed this was given such prominence by the paper which encourages defacement. A few eager people do not a movement make. Do we really want Kauai to become an urban graffiti “artists” canvas?

The bike path is intended to provide a peaceful walk/ride along the ocean without this kind of visual disturbance. Yes, those bright colors are disturbing. The ocean and mountains are intended to be appreciated without artificial decorations.

What is most annoying is the encouragement of others to deface the bike path, assuming everyone likes their kind of decoration (I really cannot use the word “art” to describe this). The community did/does not condone this, per the regulation that there can be no commercialization of the path.

In my opinion, your article should have disapproved of this not encouraged it.

Keep Kauai green and free of defacement!


Judith Fernandez, Kapaa

General Plan needs strong leadership

At the Jan. 25 County Council meeting, while everybody on island went about their business, the council dealt a severe blow to any authority a future council may possess to stem the traffic, housing and water contamination crises.

Nearing final passage of our new General Plan, a guide to the Kauai we want, out to 2035, the council voted down the amendment that would require county agencies to actually implement the plan, to establish set goals in a set timeline. As an example, fixing roads on a schedule without the funds falling through a crack and then nobody to explain it. In other words, this implementation and monitoring amendment will put teeth in the General Plan.

It’s like when you buy an expensive product, like a new truck, it’s a good idea to get a good warranty. It assures you get what you paid for. The General Plan is an expensive product; more than $1 million for a consultant and hundreds or thousands of hours put in by Planning Department staff. We paid for the plan but our council rejected the warranty.

The last plan didn’t have a warranty either, in the sense that it was never implemented. Today, in no small part because of that county government’s failure of leadership, we suffer the consequences; traffic gridlock, a housing crisis and bacteria infected water at some of our favorite beaches.

Albert Einstein said we cannot solve problems using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. 1970s-era planning practices as espoused by Planning Director Mike Dahilig and the kind of leadership failure on display by Kagawa, Brun and Kaneshiro are a big reason why we can only expect the crises of housing, traffic, etc to get worse.

Including proven, modern planning strategies can still rescue this new General Plan from simply gathering dust on a shelf. The leadership vacuum needs to be fixed at the polls next November.

Kip Goodwin, Wailua

  1. Steven McMacken January 31, 2018 6:36 am Reply

    I agree with you, Judith. The “artwork” is absolutely hideous. There’s so much natural beauty on Kauai, why would anyone feel we have to cheapen it by allowing graffiti painters to ruin it? People don’t come to Kauai to see urban blight — they get enough of that on the Mainland. Sean McCrink’s little self-promotion piece needs to be removed right now.

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