HR 1286 is a bad bill for Kaua‘i
The salient policy issue raised by Speaker Saiki’s bill HR1286 is not whether or not Kaua‘i should participate in the state’s Safe Travels program.
The issue is where the power to make that decision lies. Currently, county mayors, who are elected by and held accountable to their constituents, have that power. Today, Kaua‘i is deciding how to strike a balance between public health and economic health. Tomorrow the debate will shift back to the perennial issues surrounding tourism, growth and education.
Saiki’s bill usurps the power of local government and places it in the hands of Honolulu politicians, behind a veil that allowing individual neighbor islands to create unique policy makes it too confusing for tourists. In reality, HR1286 is a power grab by state Legislature, and it leverages the debate over the current public-health and economic crisis to divide what would otherwise be unified opposition against such an affront to Kaua‘i’s self-governance.
There are 25 seats in the Hawai‘i state Senate, of which Kaua‘i holds one. Seventeen of those 25 seats are determined by Honolulu voters. The story is the same in the Hawai‘i House of Representatives, where Kaua‘i holds three out of 51 seats. Thirty-five of our state representatives are chosen by Honolulu voters.
Do the people of Kaua‘i or any of the other neighbor islands really want to hand additional power to the state Legislature, which is dominated by O‘ahu politicians, or would they prefer to see decision-making at the local level where their voices may be heard?
HR1286 is a bad bill for Kaua‘i, as it is for all the neighbor islands, because it wrests powers from local county governments and hands it over to a cohort of politicians who do not represent the neighbor islands.
Mark Wigent, Kalaheo
Pandemic and extreme sports pop quiz #9
Dr. Anthony Fauci
1. Recently smashed the freediving world record.
2. Dove to 750 feet in a sustained dive.
3. Former world record holder Herbert Nitsch was driven to drink after losing his title to Fauci.
4. I am not answering this idiotic question which makes fun of our No. 1 epidemiologist.
The Baja 1000
1. Was won this year in a surprise upset by Dr. Anthony Fauci.
2. Dr. Fauci held off the competition in this fierce off-road vehicle competition.
3. Sweating and exhausted Dr. Fauci held a triumphant news conference, claiming his victory.
4. Later he partied for three days with nonstop tequila.
5. You should have more respect for the individual most responsible for our public-health policy.
Later that month
1. Dr. Anthony Fauci won the King of the Air kiteboarding competition.
2. Fauci jumped to 150 feet and completed a triple-loop maneuver.
3. Red Bull clamored to get Fauci to sign a contract after his recent string of victories.
4. I think three days of tequila sounds like the best plan.
Dr. Fauci and his entire family
1. Received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
2. All sprouted strange growths and developed autoimmune diseases after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
3. Here you go again making a fool of yourself criticizing the COVID-19 vaccination program.
Dr. Anthony Fauci
1. Created quite a scene diving off cliffs in Mexico in his tiny Speedo.
2. Even with the strange growths he looked pretty good diving from that 300 foot height.
3. Defeated Stipe in a thrilling cage-fighting event later in the day.
4. Needed an intravenous drip afterwards, due to the autoimmune problem.
5. You should encourage people to get the COVID-19 vaccine, not scare them with this drivel.
Here are the correct answers: Oh no. I am not going there at all. Pick whatever you want and leave me alone.
Molly Jones, Kealia