Letters for Saturday, June 13, 2020

Backs council incumbents

We watch the County Council meetings on television all the time. The five councilmembers who are eligible to return are all very good. We urge all Kauaians to vote for them.

Those five are Mason Chock, Felicia Cowden, Luke Evslin, Arryl Kaneshiro and KipuKai Kuali‘i.

Thank you.

Sadhu Nadesan, Wailua Homesteads

Address tourism before ‘gate opens’

Now is the time to start addressing tourism before the gate opens up. I know that the lack of tourists has been a good thing…uncrowded roads and beaches. Great to see local ‘ohana coming out and enjoying. It is very apparent how much tourism takes. It is also true how much they contribute in jobs and service industries.

Before “the return,” our lawmakers should consider how to really make tourism contribute and pay for our much-overused infrastructure. How large does this industry need to get before “the traffic snake” chokes us? What about the environmental impacts? I don’t believe the tourist industry can produce an acceptable EIS (environmental impact statement).

To our lawmakers: Increase tourist accommodation taxes to help with the tourist industry’s use of our roads, beaches, parks, etc. This is a touchy subject because the tourist industry “butters a lot of bread.” I myself was raised by a father who worked as an electrician for Sheraton.

Big problem, or just look the other way? There are a lot of people out there thinking the same thing, but feel nothing can be done. Please try.


Woody Conant, Kapa‘a

  1. Joe Gott, Yucaipa CA June 13, 2020 5:42 am Reply

    Mr. Conant is right. As a regular visitor to Kauai over the decades, I have seen the tourists numbers dramatically increase over the years. The impact upon the infrastructure continues to increase as well. Over the years I’ve wondered about the same thing as Mr. Conant does as to why aren’t tourists paying more to use the islands resources. Roads, water and wastewater facilities, trash services, and power utilities. Increased use of each of the aforementioned results in increased demand for more facilities to meet the demand, and an increase in maintenance costs. Kauai is not different from anywhere else. It’s well known that using resources has associated costs. If Hawaii as a whole could calculate a per day tourist surcharge, without the administrative overhead that consumes the vast majority of the surcharge collected, the dollars collected could help fund what the share of the infrastructure used by tourists. I would be willing to pay such costs. It’s a win / win solution in many ways.

  2. nobody June 13, 2020 6:40 am Reply

    Unforeseeable growth has overwhelmed our infrastructure. We need better roads and more parking at our beaches. Yes, tourism can pay for this. If we simply throttle back tourism we are going to see our children being forced to live somewhere else seeking financial opportunity. What I believe is having a larger long term impact on Kauai is new residents. Many are wealthy and they to are pushing hard to “save Kauai” from tourists. Nowhere on Kauai is this more apparent as on the north shore. Without tourism we’ll be left to mowing the yards and cleaning the toilets of the wealthy. Is this what we want?

  3. manawai June 13, 2020 7:58 am Reply

    Woody, the problem is that the State and Counties need more and more money to pay for government salaries, retirement systems, “Cadillac” healthcare plans for their whole family, etc. Our governments are so big and fat with voluminous employees, that if you don’t work for the government, then you are virtually a slave of the state. The government must tax more and more to fund its huge inefficient body that sucks the money from its citizens. Government employees are so numerous and organized that they have a huge elective advantage over non-governmental workers. This makes our elected officials beholding, not to us non-governmental citizens – the majority of Hawaii’s citizens, but to the union machine that will either make them look good or bad and supply campaign contributions and directions to their members about and for whom to vote. Once you understand that our representatives are controlled by the government unions, then you know why things happen (or don’t) in our state. Our governments exist for their own sakes; not the sake of majority of the citizenry. The State of Hawaii is third in the nation for the highest number of government employees.

    “Hawaii has one of the nation’s lowest unemployment figures, and a new Gallup Poll shows that might be because a good portion of the workforce is employed by local, state and federal government agencies. Nearly three out of every 10 employees – or 27.8 percent of employed adults in Hawaii work in a government agency.“ (Hawaii Reporter)

    1. Kaaona Kipuka June 16, 2020 8:15 am Reply

      Someone’s upset that they didn’t get a County or State job. Oh well…

  4. Charles L. Chimknee June 13, 2020 9:18 am Reply

    Aloha Woody,

    Totally agree. Perfect time to plan for tourist return, under controlled sustainable settings. Kauai needs to consider specific limits and boundaries for growth and daily arrivals. I would also advise increased taxes for rental cars, and end unlimited mileage. Would encourage more stay in place and less traffic. Taxes for locals could be reduced and offset with increase taxes on non business visitors. Maybe a toll road in and out of LIH airport? There are many options for revenue, and much of this needs to come on the backs of the industry that has taken so much from our islands.

  5. Kauaidoug June 13, 2020 12:33 pm Reply

    We need tourism to work for us!! I live in Wailua and it was easier to grocery shop in Lihue than battle Kapaa Crawl . We are letting this golden opportunity to start what should have been shovel ready projects 20 years ago. If we can’t develop Coco palms then tear it down so people (visitors. When back) don’t have to wonder what a lame a#@ culture this is that let’s a derelict eyesore stand . Tear it down build the road then let these monied real estate folks invest. Lame lame lame

  6. I saw a Vampire once June 13, 2020 9:14 pm Reply

    Tourism is about I suppose 75 to 80 percent of the economy. Work with it. It’s the life of the income flow. With out it, close down stores. No jobs. And high inflation and unemployment. Very bad. Only the rich will survive.

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