Letters for Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Koloa roundabout is hazardous

The new Koloa Road roundabout poses a danger to ‘Oma‘o Road traffic in several instances, specifically when ‘Oma‘o Road drivers attempt to turn left to Koloa Road.

It is difficult to see vehicles exiting the roundabout to Koloa Road, and frequently these vehicles are accelerating rapidly.

‘Oma‘o Road drivers could also present a hazard to traffic exiting the roundabout if they are unaware of approaching roundabout traffic. This intersection is an accident waiting to happen, and the roundabout itself was unnecessary and poorly designed.

At the very least, a warning sign should be posted at the roundabout Koloa Road exit to proceed cautiously because of the proximity of ‘Oma‘o Road.

Edie Moe, ‘Oma‘o

Wild cats of Kaua‘i should be honored

Kaua‘i. Many describe it as “paradise.” Many call it “heaven on earth.” But regardless of how you would describe it, certainly, everyone who visits this tropical isle immediately recognizes that Kaua‘i is special.

With its iconic swaying palm trees, pristine beaches, mesmerizing sunsets and, of course, its honored wild roosters gallivanting all over the island, Kaua‘i sets itself apart by honoring their land, their culture and their wildlife.

However, with all the sacred acknowledgment that native Kauaians give to all of their Indigenous blessings, there seems to be one red-headed stepchild amongst the wildlife found here in paradise: the wild cats of Kaua‘i.

One only has to visit the local Walmart, Costco, popular restaurant or one of the numerous resorts to meet the countless number of wild cats that inhabit Kaua‘i.

These precious felines are often found frightened and malnourished as they forage for food amongst the scraps, and are widely treated as pests rather than a protected and integral member of Kaua‘i’s myriad of native wildlife species found here.

Why?

For example, why are the roosters respected and emblazoned on an infinite number of island merchandise that is pedaled daily to a constant drove of tourists, and yet the beautiful wild cats of Kaua‘i must struggle to even exist?

Where is the social messaging that announces to all natives and visitors that the wild cats of Kaua‘i are to be honored, like the roosters, like the turtles, like the monk seals?

I mean, I get it, they’re just cats, right? Saving one of them is certainly not as noble as saving the whales, or respecting the distance that one should observe when encountering a sea turtle in its natural habitat.

Or is it?

I mean, maybe this feral population of tiny jungle cats wasn’t always part of Kaua‘i’s traditional history, but you only have to visit this island once to know they are certainly part of Kaua‘i’s contemporary present.

As a frequent visitor who has been rescuing and re-homing these forsaken kitties for years now, I would like to make a plea to anyone who would listen, that it is time that Kaua‘i stop turning a blind eye to the harrowing plight of the wild cats of Kaua‘i and should start revering them as one of Kaua‘i’s precious treasures.

The same creator that gave locals and visitors alike this garden of Eden to partake in also created the healing spirit of the wild cats of Kaua‘i, and it is time to honor and steward all that He has blessed us with here.

I propose raising awareness and funds to support one of Kaua‘i’s greatest overlooked blessings. Perhaps we could start by creating a coalition of local companies, such as hotels and restaurants, that could distribute or post information on how to help fund the needs of the beautiful wild cats of Kaua‘i. Perhaps we could even inspire the local municipality to get involved.

One thing is for sure, it is time to embrace the wild cats of Kaua‘i.

Mahalo nui loa.

Johna “Aunty Jo” Ruz, Paso Robles, California

22 Comments
  1. Steven McMacken October 27, 2021 3:23 am Reply

    Dear Clueless In Paso Robles,

    I’ve read some pretty ridiculous letters in The Garden Island newspaper over the years, but “Aunty Jo” Ruz’s (who obviously departed this planet some time ago) has taken absurdity to a whole new level. Honestly, I have a hard time believing the letter ISN’T satire. It’s “time to embrace the beautiful wild cats of Kaua’i”? Puh-leeze!


    1. Kauaiskaterguy October 30, 2021 9:04 am Reply

      Those were my thoughts exactly. Either hilarious or ridiculously ignorant.


  2. Uncleaina October 27, 2021 6:08 am Reply

    Aloha Aunty Jo. Sorry you obviously missed the memo on how ALL OUR ENDANGERED SPECIES will go extinct if feral cats continue to thrive in our paradise.


  3. Sam G October 27, 2021 6:26 am Reply

    Cats are invasive and kill instinctively. You are not saving feline lives, but choosing cats over Kauai’s defenseless indigenous animals.


  4. RG DeSoto October 27, 2021 8:13 am Reply

    Pardon me, “Aunty Jo”, while I fire up the melancholy violin music and dry my eyes.
    RG DeSoto


  5. Dave Calhoun October 27, 2021 8:19 am Reply

    Feral cats are a big problem for Kauai’s bird population. You can read about it in many many places including the Garden Islands website. https://www.thegardenisland.com/2018/03/18/hawaii-news/feral-cats-make-invasive-species-list/


  6. therealhawaiian October 27, 2021 9:35 am Reply

    So “Aunty” Johna of California loves and honors the wild cats of Kauai. Now wait a minute! To do that, you have to hate the birds and want them dead? I had a vision. The beautiful, and dependable, Sea Birds of Kauai go out to sea, sometimes for many months, and live their magnificent lives as God intended. Then they return to their nesting places on our beautiful Kauai, mostly exhausted, to have their cute children and propagate their species. Aw oh! The displaced, disease ridden, recently introduced, good for nothing, wild cats of Kauai kill the little bird babies, destroy their nests, and wreak havoc with even the endangered birds of Kauai that have been here for thousands of years, but are almost “gone by cat”! Here’s a thought. Put a bounty of say 5 dollars, on a cat cull. Let the local boys and families enjoy their hunting, make much needed money to keep them from being homeless, and solve the disease carrying cat crisis once and for all? SAVE THE BIRDS! Chickens , you’re next!


  7. semperubisububi October 27, 2021 9:51 am Reply

    To the visiting lady from California who thinks we should “embrace the wild cats of Kauai”…. Do you know these animals were added to the invasive species list (along with fire ants, rapid chia death, wild pigs and others? Check out the Garden Island, March 18, 2018 or google Invasive Species profiles on hawaii.gov.) Do you know that feral cats are killing off our native Hawaiian songbirds? Do you know feral cats are causing the death of our endangered monk seals due to the toxoplasmosis in their feces? The disease they carry is an enormous health hazard to humans as well, especially pregnant women. And believe me, if you had to clean up the feces they leave in your garden on a daily basis and live with the horrible odor that never seems to leave, you might change your mind. These animals are a real danger to our fragile ecosystem. TNR is not the answer. They need to be eliminated from our island environment and people need to stop feeding them.


  8. Ben Dover October 27, 2021 10:29 am Reply

    Its always funny to me when visitors come to this island with a mentality of “Ignorance is Bliss” and want to start saying “we should do this or that” your entire article fails to address the glaring problem the feral cats kill & eat wild bird populations & spread toxoplasmosis which can be contracted by anyone in contact with them . It is also been linked to fatalities in Monk Seals. Cat are not supposed to be wild animals, no more than dogs are to be wild animals, they are domesticated animals. The process of spay/neutering them does nothing to stop the killing of birds, if you believe any of “Aunty Jo” editorial then you’re just another “sheep” bahhh


  9. kimo October 27, 2021 10:47 am Reply

    Gosh Aunty Jo,

    I will bet you have not enjoyed the “blessings” of “wild cats” spraying in your carport, or fighting all night over a female cat in season, or cleaning fecal matter and urine off your front porch. I have neighbors who do feed these animals and all it does is create more problems and encourage more of the “wild cats”.

    Feral cats are a BIG problem on Kauai and simply feeding them is not a solution – it is creating an even bigger problem.


  10. RevW October 27, 2021 11:25 am Reply

    I truly hope this post was not serious. The FERAL ( not “wild”) cats of Kauai are not precious beings to be “honored”. They are non-native predators – not wildlife – that are extremely effective at wiping out native wildlife. They are not “beautiful” when they are killing shearwater chicks. They are not “healing spirits” as they spread Toxoplasmosis to other mammals, including monk seals and humans. Cats were not brought to Hawai’i by the people of Polynesia who first settled here as were the little ‘moa’, the original Hawaiian chickens. Cats came to Hawai’i by way of the ships of people of European ancestry, just as rats were. Does anyone think that rats are a positive “part of Kaua‘i’s contemporary present”? “precious treasure”? No? The same goes for cats, anywhere in the Hawai’ian chain of islands from the Big Island to Kure Atoll.

    The best solution to the “harrowing plight” of the cats of Kauai and the rest of Hawai’i is … no more cats. No more kittens. Eliminate the adults. Anyone who wants to rescue them can set up some way of raising funds to live trap, sterilize them, and ship them to a sympathetic organization, somewhere on the planet that has a dire shortage of domestic cats.


  11. Joe Public October 27, 2021 11:45 am Reply

    You can thank M. Moule for all the “round abouts” popping up all over Kauai, it is his Traffic Calming answer…the only one.


    1. Jjjames October 27, 2021 11:00 pm Reply

      You are absolutely correct, Joe.
      Roundabouts (Moule-abouts) are a cheap way around putting in a REAL up to date technology traffic signal. NOT like the 50 year old, hand-me-downs that are currently in place on our island. Kauai doesn’t rate the “good stuff”. And we don’t have the “representation” to change that.
      SERIOUSLY! A round about on the main highway?? At a 3 legged intersection??
      One of the primary functions of traffic engineering is traffic flow. Keeping the traffic moving. It is a proven fact that stop and go; slowing down and speeding up; slowing for speed bumps and round about, result in a tremendous increase in pollution from vehicles.
      …and to the other Joe… traffic signals with the current technology are designed to “keep the traffic flowing”. Slowing traffic to 15 mph IS NOT conducive to traffic flow. It’s a “bottleneck”. Don’t make the common mistake of judging “traffic signals” by what we have to put up with currently on this island.


  12. hieronymus October 27, 2021 1:42 pm Reply

    All the feral cats should be trapped and shipped to Aunty Jo’s place in California. They are of no value here. The only coalition we need is a feral cat trappers coalition.


  13. hutch October 27, 2021 3:50 pm Reply

    Don’t embrace them too tightly, Aunty!


  14. Joe Maka October 27, 2021 4:02 pm Reply

    Edie – maybe you’re just not a capable driver. I have used that roundabout and it’s not hazardous at all. Roundabouts are used all over the world and proven to be a smart way to 1) control speed and 2) keep traffic flowing.

    PS all you Kauai people that keep coming to a full stop at roundabouts – the sign says “yield” not “stop.”


    1. Steve Martin October 28, 2021 7:55 am Reply

      Keep telling them there is no STOP sign at roundabouts only YIELD signs. Maybe a course on how to drive when approaching a roundabout. If we had all roundabouts and no signals we wouldn’t have bumper to bumper traffic FACT!


    2. manongindashadow0711 October 28, 2021 9:18 am Reply

      So Joe Maka, “if you see a vehicle approaching several feet away (3 ft.)at the round about. you going pull in front of the oncoming vehicle just to be ahead.!”
      Lots of luck fool!


  15. LawaiGuy October 28, 2021 3:59 am Reply

    Edie- yes, there is an issue with that particular roundabout: one is supposed to signal (turn indicator) upon leaving a roundabout but since Omao Road is almost immediately after the roundabout signaling can give the impression of an imminent right turn, thus causing confusion all around (so to speak). Maybe better to not follow convention (of which drivers in the US are not even aware) and not signal?


  16. james October 28, 2021 8:06 am Reply

    I does seem like the powers that be should have somehow incorporated Omao Rd into the traffic circle. Maybe by making the circle it larger or the better option of changing the direction of the last bit of Omao Rd to link up with the traffic circle. Maybe the thought was to make it so difficult to turn from Omao Rd that fewer drivers would use it?


  17. Petrina Blakely October 29, 2021 10:02 am Reply

    round abouts do take getting used to but they are a great way to slow traffic down yet keep it moving as is evidenced by the new one in Kealia which has made that intersection so much safer for everyone.


  18. Pete Antonson October 29, 2021 2:46 pm Reply

    Those who do not study History are doomed to repeat it. On 13th June 1233, Pope Gregory IX issued a papal bull called Vox in Rama that linked cats to satanism and witchcraft. What followed was the wholesale torture and slaughter of cats, over decades, even cities having cat killing festivals (what a redneck’s dream for Kauai). Most cats were gone when rats, having increased without predation, started spreading the Black Plague which wiped out 200 million humans or anywhere from a third to one half the population of Europe. Pope Greg also began Papal Inquisition which led to the Era known as The Inquisition. What a guy! Now, Europe at the time was like a developing third world country, much like Kauai is today; so the possibility of History repeating is strong!


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