Letters for Sunday, January 12, 2020

Hawaii’s workers deserve a raise

On Jan. 8, the Raise Up Hawaii coalition announced to the Hawaii state Legislature that it will continue the fight to increase Hawaii’s minimum wage to a more livable rate of $15 to $17 an hour. This could give decent relief to the more than 88,000 workers living on the paltry $10.10 an hour.

Last year, state Rep. Sylvia Luke, chair of the House Finance Committee, killed House Bill 1191 on increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, by refusing to hear it in committee on the final working day.

The 2019 legislators all received pay raises. Hawaii’s poorest workers got nothing. What a shame.

Ray Catania, Puhi

Parking lot is a disaster


So glad the mayor is interested in improving our roadways. Now mayor, have you had a chance to drive down the Kalapaki parking area and roadway? It is so rough and uneven you can barely drive down the parking lot road in our “city park.”

Please do, so you can see first and how embarrassing it is. Approximately 15 years ago there was a disaster wave event that damaged the parking lot and seawall. The county filed for disaster funds, which they received. No money ever went to repair. We have cruise ships coming in weekly to see this 15-year-old disaster.

Do you think we can do the right thing and repair this parking lot/roadway? Maybe ask Bernard Carvalho where the funds went?

Linda Bothe, Kalaheo

Island getting worse under new mayor

It has been over two years since Mayor Kawakami was elected, and I would like to express my displeasure.

Our island seems stressed. Our people seem stressed and our relationship with each other seems stressed.

Although he is a contributing factor, our friend Kimo’s “dear leader” is not the main problem for me.

Even though our previous mayor, Bernard Carvalho, never missed a photo op, he at least saw to it that the potholes were being given a “wash-away” patch and the roadside vegetation was being cut to safe clearances.

For example: I was coming home today from Lihue and all of a sudden there was a double mattress half in the road. Thanks to the quick reactions from those behind me, another accident was avoided.

This morning I watched a local fisherman and his son cut away the rotten stump that had been stuck against the Hanapepe swinging bridge since Christmas. Once this bridge is once again up and usable we will be back to 2 of 4 bridges functioning in Eleele/Hanapepe.

I know that the scourge of tourism can be used as an excuse for some of these problems, but the tourist dollar should be used to fix the problems with our roadside safety, county parks and homeless locals.

I could go on, but I want to say that someone told me they counted the potholes on Koloa road and came up with 60. I think they only counted the westbound lane.

Sorry Mayor Kawakami, but I give you an “F.”

Allan B White, Hanapepe

  1. Lawaibob January 12, 2020 5:24 am Reply

    Dear Alice,
    So you’re complaining about mattresses in the road and trees tangled in bridges due to flood waters from two weeks ago. I don’t understand what the mayor’s office has to do with either.

  2. Jake January 12, 2020 6:09 am Reply

    Ray, the government moves at a snail’s pace. Expecting the government to increase the minimum wage, for unskilled workers, will take years.

    Do the hard thing and learn a skill, get certified, and work your way up from entry level minimum wage. Take charge of your career and it will happen much faster and with greater results.

    Why not increase to $25 per hour?

  3. Uncleaina January 12, 2020 9:23 am Reply

    Yeah you’d think he’d be doing a better job. He comes across as smart and charming but absolutely the island’s gone downhill since he took over. Nothing is getting done except the useless Rice Street stuff. There’s an abandoned van on Kuhio Highway on the shoulder for over a week! A moped guy gonna get killed that van! How does he ignore stuff like this? He must himself drive past it everyday too but doesn’t take action. And don’t get me started on Rice Street because it’s one of the dumbest “public improvement” projects I’ve ever seen and he supported it to da max. Seems like the old mayors understood how to get stuff done. New council is bad too.

  4. commonsense January 12, 2020 10:16 am Reply

    I would agree that Mr. Kawakami has not fulfilled his promises and has fallen way short of making any improvements of substance that benefit the islands residents. I haven’t seen these roads this bad in over 25 years.

    The Kalapaki county parking lot is an embarrassment and a safety hazard.

    A $17/hr. minimum wage would do more harm than good because the majority of businesses on Kaua’i are small businesses. Prices for services and goods provided would rise, hours would be cut, workers would most likely have to find another job to make up for the loss of hours or choose to work less and make the same money. Minimum wage jobs are not meant to be a job to provide a comfortable living wage. Employers can’t be expected to offset the cost of living at a sacrifice to their business.

  5. RG DeSoto January 12, 2020 11:37 am Reply

    Ray…we know you mean well but chew on this: https://mises.org/wire/minimum-wage-law or this: https://mises.org/library/unseen-costs-minimum-wage
    RG DeSoto

  6. Mano January 12, 2020 5:38 pm Reply

    Spot on! The mayor has been ineffective, inefficient, and have not lived up to expectations. The roads, parks, and public restrooms are horrible. Nothing is being done about alleviating traffic with all these accidents on our roadways. He needs to start taking action because as of now, I agree with the grade of “F” for his poor performance.

  7. Mae January 13, 2020 1:39 pm Reply

    Our mayor is failing because he does not understand what it means to struggle financially. He comes from generational wealth and really doesn’t have to worry about finding a place to live or will I have enough to pay for all the household expenses and be able to still allow my children to participate in extracurricular activities. It’s not his fault, how can you understand the situation if you have never experienced it. We have failed by not looking beyond the speeches and campaign promises. Remember you can say anything when you want something but we as voters need to look beyond the words and look at the actions, history, and background before we put anyone in public office. The next time we vote, people of Kauai vote for someone who understands the struggles, losses, and unfairness of our island today.

    1. Michael Mann January 24, 2020 5:50 pm Reply

      Isn’t that what MAGAts claimed to be doing–voting for someone who “understood” them and “said the things they wanted to say?” And we ended up with what?

  8. kalena January 14, 2020 8:35 am Reply

    Right on Mae!

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