Letters for Sunday, November 7, 2021

Ige’s relaxing restrictions makes more questions

Amid all of the chaos and uproar regarding the upcoming change in policy issued by Gov. David Ige, there seems to be quite a lot of speculation.

Will Mayor Derek Kawakami change the current requirements for our gyms, bars, and restaurants to require vax or a negative test upon entry in order to increase the ever-coveted operational capacity?

One thing to remember, that the Star-Advertiser also made sure to make front and center news, the requirements offered by Ige STILL maintain 6 feet of social distancing indoors. Alas, businesses can’t operate at full capacity while still maintaining 6 feet of social distancing, regardless of said policy change.

Also, a small inquiry: Are there really enough restaurants on island that would be able to strongly benefit from Ige’s caveat to lax social distancing in outdoor dining settings if Kawakami implemented vax/pre-test for our businesses?

Kara Thrace, Kalaheo

Again, homeless kupuna gets short end of stick

I would like to respond to the article in your Nov. 2, 2021, edition titled “DLNR Sweeps Wailua Encampment” with no author identified. I found it very offensive and riddled with untruths. The article states that the campers were given notice “more than a month ago” when they were only given two weeks’ notice to move.

According to our Kaua‘i district land agent, Alison Neustein, campers are not allowed on state conservation lands. She states that her department has received complaints about this camp over the past year. The 20 kupuna and their caregivers were moved there only two months ago after their last sweep from Lydgate.

Also, she states that there were “no sanitary facilities” although our group provided a portable lua and the campers built a shower. The campers and volunteers cleaned the area and made it attractive and livable. Then she goes on to blame our kupuna for stealing water from neighbors with no proof and only suspicion. Then she has the audacity to state that many campers have refused shelter or transitional housing. Last time I checked there is no shelter or transitional housing available for these folks.

I participated in a zoom meeting on Oct. 22, 2021, facilitated by Kamealoha Smith of Ho‘omana along with Alison Neustein as well as many community members working on houseless solutions. During this meeting, Ms. Neustein had no answers or solutions for us as she is rather new to the job and needs to “do her research.” Well, Ms. Neustein did you find any answers to our questions or better yet did you identify a suitable piece of land for these kupuna to move to?

Barbara Penn, Healing Kauai’s Houseless and Community Needs, Wailua Homesteads

  1. Zchechuan November 7, 2021 12:17 am Reply

    First of all what do you think? I know everyone is excited about getting back to normal again. Personally, I think UH Manoa and their stunt they have at Ching Field is a testament to what they think should be. This coronavirus is a thing of the past, let’s move on. I did not watch the game, nor did I hear it on the radio. Maybe some people like to watch KHON2 news or Hawaii News Now or KITV4 news and listen to the local sports. Well not me. To busy on the internet and too busy with my own interest. You know, anything. I think the media is eating this up and they’ll follow Manoa. Very good. Now what? If this thing gets worse, point fingers to Manoa and take it like a man. Die if you have no choice on health issues. That’s life. From one person on life, this is my stance. Hog wash all the way, but that is life. Do your best and stay out of trouble. Follow the rules always and you’ll be safer.

    1. RevW November 8, 2021 10:37 am Reply

      Most of your post is unclear as to what you’re trying to say, except this: “This coronavirus is a thing of the past, let’s move on.”

      Coronavirus is in NO WAY a thing of the past, whether you’re talking about media coverage, economics or mortality rates.

  2. MisterM November 7, 2021 8:41 am Reply

    Ms Penn makes the usual arguments why these willfully unemployed ‘deserve’ places to illegally squat. And that the camps aren’t public nuisances, aren’t trespassing, aren’t health risks. And of course, not full of drug use.

    How about advocates like Ms Penn start demanding these bums get jobs? Not like there’s a job shortage…

    I won’t hold my breath waiting for that day to arrive.

  3. Paulo November 7, 2021 9:29 am Reply

    Regarding the houseless people at Wailua and elsewhere: It is important to get some assistance for them. They are told where they can’t be, but they have to be somewhere. They need a campground of their own, somewhere with bathrooms and showers. Possibly with this new funding coming in from the government this could be provided.

    According the the previous story about the camp at Wailua, it did state that they had brought in a portable lua and had built a shower. But where exactly was this shower water coming from if it was not taken from someone’s water nearby?

    The county allowed the houseless camps at our beach parks but when it was time for the eviction there was no mention of where the campers could go. So we had several camping with their vehicles and gear at the entrances of Lydgate till they were required to leave. We want our beach campgrounds available for everyone, but we also need one or 2 campgrounds for those who are houseless but have to live somewhere. Making them move does not make them disappear.

    1. commonsense November 8, 2021 1:13 pm Reply

      I agree that there needs to be some sort of facility or private land area where the truly homeless can go and have necessities like water and restrooms provided. I also believe that many of these homeless people are not willing to have to work to not stay homeless. There are those that prefer to live off the system and have things given to them in order to live a simple, meager life. There are also those that are unable to have regular employment due to medical or psychological conditions. But, for those that are capable of doing basic work in order to make a basic wage, they should be put to work doing such things as park clean-ups, road clean-ups, beach clean-ups, assisting with county sponsored events, working at businesses that are short staffed, etc. These individuals would then be offered cheaper or subsidized housing.

      This isn’t the answer, but I believe it is part of the bigger answer. I think the more people put together ideas, suggestions, contributions and just plain input into forcing our elected officials to open their minds and start thinking outside the obvious, then something could really get done.

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