Letter for Friday, March 9, 2018

Stop blaming tourists for everything that is wrong

I have been vacationing in the Hawaiian Islands for several decades. Basically my wife and I spend several thousand a year here. We are very low-impact vacationers and this is why I am tired of hearing how bad tourists are here on the island of Kauai. It seems that everything that is wrong on the island is spun back to the tourists fault.

So I am sure that eventually people here will blame the tourists for the pollution in the Waipouli. I am sure that it has nothing to do with all of the local residents and landowners living there. Damn tourists sneak up there and pollute the waterway.

Then there is the traffic and of course let’s blame the traffic on the tourists. There are 80,000 registered vehicles on the island. 12,000 are rentals 6,000 to 8,000 are rented daily. That leaves 68,000 vehicles registered to residents, that comes out to a little more than one vehicle for every man , women and child residing on this island. Traffic is a little congested on the weekends, but sucks Monday through Friday. It must be caused by all the tourists going to work (NOT).

People on the island blame tourists for all of the damage being done on the island. Right, like tourists spend thousands of dollars to come here and steal cars, drive them into the forest, strip them and abandon them. Or they spend thousands to bring their home garbage and debris with them to dump illegally in the forest. And let’s not forget all of the plastic garbage that floats into the ocean every time it rains.

Last but not least, the public facilities throughout the island. Apparently these facilities are actually residencies for locals. They pile their garbage in them, they appropriate chairs and tables that actually belong to resorts. They urinate and defecate where ever they please. They give tourists the stink eye whenever they even look like they are going to use one of these facilities.

I won’t get into the crimes perpetrated against tourists or the fact that the majority of the people who live on this island are employed in service and support industries for tourism.

Jack Martin Sr.

Eagle, Idaho

  1. billyjoebob March 9, 2018 1:38 am Reply

    Oh my, not ” The stink eye “.

  2. Wally Roberts March 9, 2018 4:11 am Reply

    Spot on Mr. Martin. Without tourists, most of the locals would eventually be residing on the mainland.

  3. ruthann jones March 9, 2018 7:13 am Reply

    Jack, you speak truth. Remember there are other beautiful places in this planet where the environment is protected and cared for. I am thinking New Zealand next place to explore and drop several thousand dollars. I am so sorry this is the state of Kauai. Not to mention, a transplant anarchist, Debra K. is actually going to run for mayor? Yes, the same person who spoke of giving the tourist, aka haole a free ride to the ‘cane fields’.

  4. manawai March 9, 2018 7:40 am Reply

    Great letter, Jack! One could add that it must be the tourists who destroy the park restrooms by bashing the sinks and toilets so that they’re unusable. Thanks for your clear thoughts and observations. The truth hurts!

  5. Jake March 9, 2018 8:12 am Reply

    Jack, I could not have said it better myself.

    These islands produce nothing, but surf, sun, and year round great weather. The funniest thing is that the State keeps taxing tourists, so the State can promote the “surf, sun, and weather” even more, to attract even more tourists. Meanwhile, everyone complains about the traffic, which is really a fallout of all the nepotism and incompetence from local Government and Leadership…..”Don’t hire the most qualified….hire a local”. The County Government list of workers is like something from ancestry.com.

    So instead of creating real infrastructure, or an industrial base, the State continues to make Tourism its ONLY export.

    People here wear their hate, racism, and distain of visitors/tourists as a badge of courage. Sadly, this continues to be passed on to future generations. It really is pathetic.

    Before the locals point one finger at the tourists, they better point two fingers back at themselves.

  6. LMat March 9, 2018 9:04 am Reply

    Jack, you reek of white entitlement, and tourists with attitudes like yours are the problem. BYE.

  7. gordon oswald March 9, 2018 9:14 am Reply

    Good try Jack! Unfortunately, you forgot to look at things from the perspective of those who have lived here for the past many years. The north shore, Hanalei, Kee Beach and the lookouts in the Canyon, along with several other great beaches, are nothing more than a mass of tourists in cars parking as far as the eye can see. They’re almost all tourists because the locals have stopped going due to the incessant crowds! The change just over the past 10 years has been exponential! It is our fault. We allow our State and County Tourism group to advertise to the tune of over a million dollars a year to get more and more people here. That is what has to stop! Even less than one decade ago those who live here could enjoy the finest beaches, best view spots, canyon trails etc. without crowds and all the rest of what “tourists” bring. THAT’S WHY WE MOVED HERE! So when you say you’re getting tired. I’m sorry. I say those who live here are getting fed up!

  8. Valerie March 9, 2018 10:49 am Reply

    You are missing the point Mr Martin. Our visitors are not individuals trying to pollute our land and waters. Agreed our visitor industry provides jobs. Can you possibly understand there are limits to what money can buy? Tourists spending does not give us room to enjoy our parks, trails and beaches. It does not give us room to drive on our own streets. It does not give us enough tax income to repair our streets and upkeep our parks.

    Don’t take this issue so personally. Even though we are overrun with too many people (more than one in 3 are tourists) you will find most of us still want you to enjoy your vacations. But we are trying to enjoy our lives. Should we say nothing when our elected officials ignore us in their quest to get more visitors every week, month and year? Our population is 72,000. Our daily visitor count averaged 26,275 for 2017. That’s the problem.

  9. PauloT March 9, 2018 11:20 am Reply

    The problem isn’t you as an individual Mr Martin, it’s tourism’s exploding numbers and it’s not paying it’s way as far the residents are concerned. The bulk of the profits go to the corporations, resorts, car companies etc. No matter how many vehicles residents have we can only drive one at a time and it isn’t on days long sight seeing jaunts. It’s back and forth to work and the other vehicle which might be a truck is needed to transport our recycling and green waste for proper disposal, because all the visitor spending does not generate tax revenue enough for curbside pick up of those things let alone visitor wear and tear of our infrastructure.

    “Over a 10-year period, the four counties have collectively received only a $2.2 million increase in TAT, while expenses just for fire, police, and park services have increased by more than $220 million during the same period.” So much for the HTA claims that the counties are raking in large amounts of tourism tax money.

    More than 1 in 3 individuals on island at any time is a visitor. Fire, police and park services are used by over 26,275 visitors per day as well as our 72,000 residents. We want you to be safe but we can’t continue paying for this as residents, for the convenience of the visitor industry. We need more tax money, lots of it or less tourism. Not no tourism, less tourism.

  10. manongindashadow March 9, 2018 12:26 pm Reply

    Well Mr. J. Martin Sr. I guess we’re all the same. I lived in Blackfoot , Idaho for many years and they too blame things on the tourists, people passing through, and drunken indians. We all have the same human nature, huh!

  11. commonsense March 9, 2018 1:09 pm Reply

    Mr. Martin. I am employed in the visitor industry and understand the importance of tourism to Kaua’i. I also understand the law of diminishing returns. (A point is reached where the addition of more of a good or desired thing starts to diminish the positive results or feelings). Many tourists to Kaua’i is good. Too many tourists to Kaua’i is not good.

    I believe that what we ‘locals’ are complaining about has nothing to do about dirty public restrooms, increased dumped rubbish, stolen cars, increased crime or polluted Waiopili Stream. What we are complaining about is paying a very large price for the greatly increased traffic, lack of parking and space at our favorite parks, beaches and trails, more crowded restaurants, ever increasing rescues of visitors not obeying warning signs or using common sense, uneducated drivers not obeying the local traffic laws, increased damaged to our already terrible roads, visitors buying all their vacation equipment at Costco then leaving it here for us to dispose of instead of renting their equipment and supporting the local merchants (usually at a lower price), etc.

    By your vehicle numbers, if 60% of the 68,000 vehicles are on the road on an average day (a high estimate) then rental cars make up about 20% of the vehicles at any time. That is a huge %!

    The beauty is, if you don’t like what we ‘locals’ are complaining about in our home, then you can choose to not visit. Mahalo.

  12. Aaron March 9, 2018 2:16 pm Reply

    Please define” local”.

    1. Jake March 12, 2018 6:49 am Reply

      I think the Kauai County Council covers the “diversity” of locals.

  13. Privilege Jack March 9, 2018 8:29 pm Reply

    Jack is an average white privileged person that thinks every person of color is beneath his sun burned skin. People have to deal with these radicals everyday. The politicians, state and county officials are to blame for the mess that they are unqualified to solve and fix. Nepotism in the county and state has caused impotence in critical public areas and services. The mass suffer while the few fat cats of the plantation good ol boy and gals find ways to keep their families in power. The repeat spin cycle has to be broken before anything can be fixed. The divide and conquer tactic to keep the sheep busy has worked for centuries. You fools are just cheerleaders.

  14. commonsense March 10, 2018 9:27 am Reply

    Locals meaning full-time residents and tax payers. I used quotation marks to distinguish the difference between another visitor or part-time resident. Not used for an ethnic description.

  15. Kauailover March 10, 2018 5:46 pm Reply

    This man has legitimate gripes. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!

  16. Carrie March 11, 2018 6:08 am Reply

    You have to understand jack. That the locals, and yes I mean people with not white skin, don’t like us period. There are long family lines of Caucasians that do not subscribe to this hate of anybody “white”. And why are all white peoples untitled like one eriter suggests???
    While I was in Costco California this week we happened to meet a fellow kauaiian that lived on the island for 5 years like we had. He mentioned that he never experienced such distane and racism like he experienced in Kaua’i. Can you imagine that is what he brought up about his time in Kaua’i? We agreed. All the “locals” hated us and it was very evident. My family and I were raised in Samoa and I never felt or was treated with any difference because of my color of skin. So it is just not tourists, they hate anyone coming to the island because they think they have the only rights to live in paradise. But guess what, is was far from paradise because the people do not have the so called Aloha spirt in them. No matter how to try to fit in, they never let you in. They blame you for the high price homes ( like it does happen on the mainland) I hope people stop coming to Kaua’i and they all fall on their butts. See what it is like for your jobs to be ripped from you and the values of your homes drop. So Go to Mexico were the people are friendly and they welcome your dollars. The kauaiian feel entitled. So don’t go there and let them continue to complain about us entitled white folk or any tourists. Right on Jack!

  17. Jake March 12, 2018 6:56 am Reply

    Always like the “White Privilege”.

    Next time you are filling out any private or Government job application, college application, scholarship, any Federal or State Government financial assistance, a Federal loan, or running for public election,………..Ah, I’m sure you will check the “White” box. This is the 21st century. Everyone knows checking “White” gets them nothing.

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