Letters for Thursday, May 2, 2019

Keep road closed, priorities straight

So interesting that we of the North Shore were told that the one-lane bridges, historical treasures, had to be updated and redesigned (at the objection of all that attended the public meetings on the subject), so that they could withstand the weight of the heavy equipment needed to repair the roadways damaged in the flood. Now the road is deemed finished and the bridges are not!

We were also told by DOT that the federal government required that the road be finished and opened by May 1. Referenced in a statement from Sen. Hirono’s office, no such requirement was ever in place.

The road is opening before being totally complete (are not the bridges part of the road?), to placate the complaining tourists and vacation rentals and the councilmembers who support them (they shall never get my vote again).

When will our politicians and those in other powerful positions in government learn that the almighty tourist dollar is not the most important thing in our islands. The safety and welfare of our people, the sacred beauty of the aina should be number one.

Didn’t we just read that suicides and attempted suicides in high schools here on Kauai were beyond anything we imagined? And the primary reason given by these kids? The hopelessness for their future as they felt everything was geared for tourism, nothing for their futures, their hopes and dreams, their success.

Regina Mears, Hanalei

Let’s aim high to save lives

I read with great interest (The Garden Island, April 22) about the Hawaii Tourism Authority and DLNR collaborating to produce and distribute, at considerable expense, a series of 30-second videos on topics having to do with taking care of endangered Hawaiian species (such as ohia trees), as well as with promoting safety awareness — including water safety awareness.

The idea is that these videos will be shown on incoming Hawaiian Airlines flights, and hopefully this will spread to other carriers.

Such airline videos are a pipe dream that has been held by many for a long time.

Will this initiative finally be the solution for these areas that desperately need any and all attention that can be mustered?

Do all incoming visitors watch airline videos?

Do all airlines even show videos, in this era when many passengers use their own laptops for their in-flight entertainment?

Well, the answers are no across these three questions.

But that said, I believe in the metaphor of having arrows in a quiver. This effort is certainly one such arrow, and you never know when one or another of your arrows might hit a bull’s-eye with someone and might change the course of a family’s life and a species’ future.

Many thanks to HTA and DLNR for this great initiative.

Monty Downs, M.D., President, Kauai Lifeguard Association

  1. billyjoebob May 2, 2019 6:43 am Reply

    I certainly didn’t see that one coming, from a complaint about poor road building performance and the government, right into suicide.
    Great use of ” sacred beauty of the aina “. You could have gotten double bonus points if you had used
    ” keiki ” instead of ” kids “, brah.

  2. Kauaidoug May 2, 2019 6:54 am Reply

    There is one chance to make this whole north shore issue right. Why are some in such a hurry to open? If you were someone who visited all the time surely you had friends who lived there and could visit through them. Yes, I would love to go to Tunnels but the people who live up there have to deal daily now and in the future. Take the time and open it right when ready. One chance

  3. Rev Dr. Malama May 2, 2019 7:05 am Reply

    Yes, I agree that massive tourism is a major problem in the growing riff between local people and the politicians in Hawaii but the solution may be what is already working in China’s own Tropical Vacation Island where they limit the number of people who want to visit.. and other countries have you sign a contract to observe the rules pertaining to safety and the environment.. so watch the video, take a test and if you pass, we welcome you for a pleasant but short term trip.

  4. james May 2, 2019 7:21 am Reply

    Hey Regina; You forgot about your fellow Kauai residents who don’t live on the North Shore, and whose taxes contribute to your roads. Why should we be excluded from your part of the Island? Should we prohibit you from going to Kapaa, Lihue or areas to the west because our bridges need updating? You just don’t want anyone in your area for as long as you can keep everyone out. Typical NIMBY who feels entitled to special treatment.

    1. onehapa May 4, 2019 6:41 pm Reply

      Yes James, and the bulk of the money was federal funds, everybody’s money. As Americans we are all entitled to equal treatment.

  5. RG DeSoto May 2, 2019 8:25 am Reply

    “Didn’t we just read that suicides and attempted suicides in high schools here on Kauai were beyond anything we imagined? And the primary reason given by these kids? The hopelessness for their future as they felt everything was geared for tourism, nothing for their futures, their hopes and dreams, their success.”
    Someone’s done a great job of brainwashing these kids. Nothing for their futures? Their future, hopes, dreams and success are in their hands, not some malevolent “tourism” force. They’ve been taught to believe that everything must be done for them. They need to get going and do for themselves…like most rational people.
    What a sad state of affairs.
    RG DeSoto

    1. rk669 May 2, 2019 1:27 pm Reply

      Brainwashing on one of the many Democratic Plantations?
      Correct,that’s the Idea! It gets votes for their Handlers,food stamps,welfare,free housing and medical! Sad,it really is a form of Modern Day Slavery! Wake up Hawaiians, you’re being Used!

  6. Makani B. Howard May 2, 2019 8:27 am Reply

    Regina, you got your wish and the road will be closed for a bit longer. You rich haoles on the north shore can keep your world closed just for 2 more weeks. ( or 2 years?)

    You guys complained when you had to deal with convoys, now you complain that the road is opening. So you want no convoys, but the road closed forever?

    Maybe you should just pay for all the work done, too! Since the rest of us on island can’t use it, why should we pay for it?

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