Letters for Monday, July 12, 2021

Kawaihau Road unsafe for bicyclists

To the mother driver who tried running me off the road: I forgive you. I do.

Kawaihau Road is narrow, and it’s hard to share. It is really hard to share. We wouldn’t devote so many years training our children how to share if it were easy.

Many things happened in your day that led to the decision at 2:30 p.m. on July 7 to nudge up against a woman in a pink shirt and yellow helmet riding a bike on the road. The kids were in the back seat of your black SUV, and maybe they’d been hard to deal with on this particular Wednesday. Maybe your ex didn’t pick them up and now you were running late for work.

You laid on your horn and swept as close to me as possible without actually catapulting me from my bike. You were clearly pissed about my presence on a road “made for cars,” and wondering why the hell I wasn’t on the narrow, broken, asphalt path bordering every driveway on that stretch of Kawaihau.

Let me answer that question for you: That little path isn’t made for bikes. The road your SUV drives on is the one cyclists need as well.

This is my plea to the county. I think it’s time to paint bikes on the road all the way up Kawaihau so drivers start getting it in their mind to share.

Your neighbor.

Pam Woolway, Anahola

Turning blind eye to illegal fireworks a problem

This letter is addressed to all the people who spent the last four days and nights setting off high-explosive, dangerous, illegal fireworks. Thank you for terrorizing my dog and thousands of others across the island. Thank you for setting off such high-explosive charges that you rattled my windows.

Thank you to whomever felt it necessary to set off an extremely powerful charge at 6:15 a.m. Sunday morning and 5:30 a.m. Monday morning. Thank you for turning our Wailua Homesteads neighborhood into a four-day soundtrack for the invasion of Normandy.

So, thank you, for proving that there are more than a few self-centered, inconsiderate, law-breaking jackasses on Kaua‘i who have NO regard for their neighbors.

As special thank you to our state and local politicians who have allowed and continue to allow tons and tons of these dangerous, illegal fireworks to be imported and sold on our islands, year after year, while doing nothing in the face of thousands of complaints.

To the Kaua‘i police who responded to a neighbor’s complaint, saw illegal fireworks being set off and walked away because “it was on private property in a fenced yard” and did nothing. It is nice to know that you can break the law and get away with it as long as it is done on private property.

If that is actually the law, then there is a serious issue with our legal system. I know that this is one of hundreds of letters written past and future about this issue. I guess what is most disturbing is that our politicians seem to turn a blind eye to the problem year after year. There is a way to stop this if they only had the will to do so. But, acting to fix this would take guts and hard work, and a dedication to actually solving the situation, so I guess we know why it will always be a problem!

Barry Dittler, Wailua

  1. Kaaona Kipuka July 12, 2021 7:31 am Reply

    You’re welcome Barry!!! lol…

  2. CommonSenseish July 12, 2021 7:37 am Reply

    Barry Dittler, Wailua – Fireworks are a small joy that comes around 2x a year for those few people and kids that still enjoy going outside. There are MANY different safe options to calm pets these days. Instead of being a Grinch mid-year, why not lighten up and have some compassion.

    1. Jjjames July 12, 2021 4:55 pm Reply

      Bike V’s. Auto.
      I don’t know… I don’t ride a bicycle, but if I did, “common sense” would lead me to ride on the side where pedestrians would usually walk. Even if there’s no sidewalk, a bicycle vs pedestrian accident would be far less disastrous than a bicycle vs auto accident. Unless you think you’ll win, arguing your “rights” from a hospital bed. Or worse yet, from your grave.

    2. Reality Bites July 13, 2021 2:07 am Reply

      The perfect Millennial…. “I know fireworks are illegal, and anything more than a sparkler, could cause permanent scaring, lost fingers, blindness, but, you know, it is July 4th, and I want to be a child and light off illegal mortars and fireworks. I don’t care if it is illegal, or I should be fined for breaking state and local laws in residential areas, could start a fire, torment pets and the elderly. Yep, it is about me and my desire to relive my youth on Independence Day”.

      Did I get that right??

      1. Barry Dittler July 14, 2021 3:27 pm Reply

        You hit the nail on the head. I am not anti fireworks, and love the fountains myself.
        But these high explosive sticks of dynamite are dangerous and unnecessary ! Why can’t they be satisfied with the legal items.

    3. Barry Dittler July 14, 2021 3:33 pm Reply


      I am not anti fireworks at all. Fountains, firecrackers , crackling strings are fine and I have set them off myself,. However, when some inconsiderate jackass sets off the equal to a stick of dynamite at 5:30 in the morning, that is just too much. Plus, the dog issue is a small part. How about the illegal aerials that fall on dry grass or someone’s roof ? How happy would you be so see YOUR house on fire. These people are not trained in the use of this type of fireworks, that is why they require a license. It is hard to have compassion to for someone that has NONE for their neighbors. Sorry, you won’t sway me or the hundreds that complained to the KPD either !

  3. Wailua Ohana July 12, 2021 2:25 pm Reply

    Barry, thanks for your article. The state absolutely needs to limit the amount of fireworks sold, if not ban them altogether. Continue having firework displays at Vidinah stadium and PMRF done by professionals and get these annoying explosives out of the hands of children. Literally I have seen children as young as 5 years old lighting and throwing fireworks in the street. This is so wrong on many levels. These “jumping Jack” style fireworks go in any direction and at times end up under vehicles parked on the street. People have boats parked that have gas tanks inside and all it would take is one of these to fly inside and set off an explosion. The worst thing is the blatant disregard for any neighbors or neighbors animals. It’s unbelievable how selfish people can be. I can sum it up with this ancient proverb.. “He with tiny wang, must set off a big bang.”

    1. Payback July 12, 2021 5:20 pm Reply

      Confucius say “He who stands on top of toilet is high on pot.”

  4. douglas a henry July 12, 2021 2:55 pm Reply

    Pam, you and all the other bicyclists have the same right to the road as automobiles. We pull over as a courtesy to let cars pass. Some drivers don’t understand that.

    1. Doug July 14, 2021 9:39 am Reply

      …and it sounds like Pam did not have the courtesy to pull over and let the car pass?

      1. Dig July 16, 2021 9:22 am Reply

        Let’s say you’re right, and Pam wasn’t as courteous as she could have been. How does that excuse the fact that the driver endangered lives?

  5. Everythingisawesome July 12, 2021 7:38 pm Reply

    “boats parked that have gas tanks inside and all it would take is one of these to fly inside and set off an explosion”
    Hmmmm. A warning? or a suggestion?

  6. andy July 12, 2021 10:59 pm Reply

    Totally agree, Barry. Mahalo for the letter.

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