Letters for Sunday, January 2, 2022

Fireworks displays more wasted money

I wish I had the money spent on fireworks for the New Year’s celebration!

Kaua‘i has a population of 73,000, and if 10%, 7,300, spent $50 on fireworks, that’s $365,000.

If you factor in the illegal fireworks that would cost more but fewer people would buy, the amount spent would probably double to $730,000. That’s $230,000 more than what was wasted on the last election.

Wasted money is surely what happened.

This spectacle in celebration of the New Year brought us air pollution and a sound that resembled a war zone, ill health and violence.

In the end, the rain washed the litter to the ocean.

Mark Perry, Lihu‘e

Ka Loko still needs repair

Ka Loko Dam (reservoir) is apparently still unrepaired after it broke in 2007 and resulted in seven deaths.

So owner Jimmy Pflueger was sentenced to seven months in jail in 2014 and legal requirements did not require him to repair the dam that he had tampered with, resulting in seven deaths.

And now that Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan have purchased the property, those same legal requirements apparently do not include repairing the dam. So please clarify the status of Ka Loko Dam, which is still not repaired and obviously unsafe. Apparently, there are no legal requirements to repair it. Is there anybody out there who is required to repair it at any time at all, ever?

Sylvia Partridge, Princeville

Elected leaders need to step up, stop virus spread

To the esteemed members of the Hawai‘i state Legislature and mayors/councils of each county:

I know that many of you read my posts, and I hope to see some comments.

I humbly ask that you, collectively, STRONGLY URGE the administration to do the following:

• Immediately implement mandatory pre- and post-travel testing for all arrivals in Hawai‘i;

• Make home-testing kits available for everyone;

• Immediately reinstate gathering restrictions for both indoor and outdoor events on all islands;

• Require teleworking for all that are able to do so;

• Immediately prohibit future cruise ships, planned to start in January, from docking in Hawai‘i harbors;

• DO NOT reduce quarantine time to five days, as recommended by the CDC;

• Allow the state Department of Health to do their job by setting mandates in place in the interest of public health and safety. DO NOT stand in their way;

• Allow parents to make the decision whether to send their children to school or not, without fear of punishment.

We need you all to stand up for us. You are our voice, and we hope that many of you will answer the call. We cannot continue with the “wait-and-see” attitude that our governor and lieutenant governor have chosen. Please help us.

Mel Rapozo, Kapa‘a

  1. andrew S melamed January 2, 2022 3:13 am Reply

    mel rapozo’s take on what needs to be done is so clear and succinct that it seems ridiculous that our elected officials do not see the light. Problem is eliminate any one of the items that he outlines and the whole ball of wax will melt before our eyes.

    the state and now the county are reactive and not pro active…yet the world condition should give you all some incite on what to expect. and if we do not respond and alter our lifetstyles the covid cases will do it for us…

    the airport is the source of all clusters…its where it all begins..

    government wants the dollars to flow…the tourists to come and for us to sacrifice ourselves not for the workers but for the stockholders who control the pursestrings…..

    it began with josh green folding under pressure…then the mayors falling in line…behind him however each island has its own needs and concerns. not sure why we decided to follow instead of lead…as we did in the past….

    i would never want to be in the mayors slippers …its not what he or anyone else foresaw…but its time to get a second wind and show the world how a small island in the middle of the pacific can help take care of its people as well as its economy.

    1. Hey January 2, 2022 9:36 am Reply

      No. That’s a horrible idea and is fear based. Not scientifically supported. Jeez Louise Mel, Andy, anyone else who wishes to remain under the governments thumb by all means YOU have every right to follow what you feel is best. But YOU have no right to force others to bow to the whims.

      1. nobody January 3, 2022 10:18 am Reply

        Mel and Andy,
        I too can feel angry when other people don’t behave the way I want them to.
        It’s a good time to look at our politicians to see how their thought process’s and problem solving work. Decide for yourself if they have common sense to make many other choices for us.

      2. Paul January 4, 2022 7:56 am Reply


        Please refrain from positioning false statements as fact in an attempt to advance your own agenda. The airport is NOT the source of all clusters. Please – we endured a president for 4 years who confidently claimed false ‘facts’ in order to advance his agenda. Can we please move on? Sharing your opinion is fine – trying to strengthen your position by claiming falsehoods as facts is pathetic and embarrassing. Grow up.

      3. Kimo January 4, 2022 3:59 pm Reply

        Hey: You have no individual rights when it involves managing a global pandemic. You have the right to stay home, get vaccinated, and wear a mask, but you don’t have the “right” to potentially prolong a deadly virus that could very mutate into something a lot more deadly if given the chance. In other words, your rights don’t involve the right to kill other people because you’re afraid of needles.

  2. NoGovtBackstop January 2, 2022 3:57 am Reply

    Mel – if only I had government or government contracts that were guaranteed to keep paying my bills then what you are recommending sounds great! Unfortunately that tax and spend world only works for the politically well off. The rest of us folks have to balànce family safety across more than just fighting a virus..including working to provide for our families. Safety, liberty, and security require more balance than what you propose. For us that means mask up, be careful, and keep living (not just surviving).

  3. james January 2, 2022 8:15 am Reply

    Mel; I think you are trying to turn back time when the horse has already gotten out of the coral. The time for government mandates, restrictions on businesses and the implementation of your other suggestions might have had some validity months ago, but in today’s situation, they are too little, too late. With the spread of the Omicron variant, we have now entered a time of personal responsibility, not government solutions. The virus is so rampant that we will all be exposed within weeks or months and no amount of business shutdowns or gathering limit mandates will stem the flow. It’s now the era of each person and family to decide how to protect themselves. It’s now the era of each private business to decide for themselves whether to require masks and how to best protect themselves and their employees and customers. The last thing Kauai needs is another lockdown. Instead, we need to strive to get back to normal, virus or no virus. Hospitalizations are still relatively low and hospitals have now learned how to increase capacity if needed. Government is not always the correct answer. Mandates and restrictions played a vital role during the early part of the pandemic but this is a whole new scenario. We now have the tools to fight these viruses with vaccinations, boosters and, soon, pills. Everyone has had the time and opportunity to make choices so let’s move forward and let the chips fall where they may. Sometimes you can’t go back to the old ways; things change. We now learn to deal with it by each of us taking individual responsibility for our choices and behaviors.

  4. Ryan January 2, 2022 8:31 am Reply

    Standing Ovation MEL. It is not too much to ask to have our so-called leaders protect our island home. There are more things to worry about than filling hotel rooms and airline seats. Instead of worrying solely about the tourist industry, we need leaders who are willing to protect the residents.
    EVERYONE traveling to Hawaii, resident or tourist needs both a pre and post test and a REAL quarantine if they are infected. NOT A: “you need to isolate yourself on the honor system”! (wink wink).
    Someone needs to step up. We have a Lt. Gov who is too busy campaigning for Governor and protecting his contributors.

  5. Petrina January 2, 2022 8:45 am Reply

    Mel Rapozo: Mahalo for being the voice of reason here – I agree with everything that you have to say – let’s rein in Covid on Kaua’i.

  6. nobody January 2, 2022 9:00 am Reply

    Is it your understanding that the person remains infectious after 5 days? So stand in the way of the CDC but not the Department of Health? You kind of have a mixed policy message here about government control.

    I’m pretty comfortable with the current local government response. It seems the virus may be giving us a break.

  7. K. Kapu January 2, 2022 9:45 am Reply

    First of all, I totally agree with your opinion since it’s based on the most accurate information from knowledgeable experts. We need our legislative officials to take action because the current administrations are doing absolutely nothing to stop the spread of this virus. It is Ludacris that with 40,000 tourists per day, they still don’t think travel is the problem.
    Mahalo for your courage, Aloha.

  8. semperubisububi January 2, 2022 9:50 am Reply

    The amount of fireworks this year was beyond ridiculous. Because New Year’s Eve was predicted to be a total rainout, the blasts began in my neighborhood in Lihue at around noon. No exaggeration, most of the day it sounded like bombs going off every 15 seconds or so, continuing until well after 1AM. It literally sounded like a war zone all day long. not good considering we have a number of vets in the neighborhood, people with breathing issues and other sensitivities as well as terrified pets. We should stop the sale of these fireworks and instead have one show at the stadium and perhaps a few of the hotels put on by professionals. Enough is enough.

  9. Catherine Sophian January 2, 2022 12:42 pm Reply

    Mel is right… strong action is needed NOW! It may look like the horse is already out of the barn now, but we have yet to see the consequences of sending keiki back to school, welcoming cruise ships, etc. Sure, it would have been better to act sooner, but NOW is all we have. We have to get our “leaders” off their duffs.

  10. Cara January 2, 2022 1:19 pm Reply

    I agree Mel! This is insane that our government is just going to let this virus rage and burn through the community. So many people will end up with potentially permanent long term issues or even worse dead. On July 8th the state modified the “safe travels” program to not require testing for vaccinated travelers. Right now on the island of Maui there are more vaccinated people with COVID than unvaccinated. Our government KNOWS that Omicron breaks through the vaccine protection. YET they have not done something that is extremely simple which would be going back to requiring ALL travelers to be tested to bypass quarantine. Most people flying in are not tested at all!!! But the state tells us it is our personal responsibility to not catch it while over 30k people a day are arriving in Hawai’i. Meanwhile schools are calling child welfare services and threatening truancy court if parents don’t want to take the risk of putting their kids in school. I don’t want to potentially give my children a life long debilitating health issue just because our state refuses to do even minimal actions to slow the spread!

    1. Cara January 3, 2022 1:20 pm Reply

      I left out an important word so Correction: more vaccinated people with COVID *in the hospital* in Maui

  11. Kauaidoug January 3, 2022 7:43 am Reply

    Get vaccinated, 3 shots, wear a mask and follow social distancing rules. Any one of these will keep you out of the hospital.
    It’s either that or go back to shutdown which would cripple everyone either emotionally or financially.
    Get vaccinated, mask up and live your life as safely as possible.

  12. A voice too January 3, 2022 5:49 pm Reply

    Thank you Mel. I was beginning to think I was living in a surreal version of reality where no one cares anymore.
    I’ve done my part being responsible. Put my life on hold. For me and you.
    It is not too late!
    Trust me when I say this, I will remember with my precious vote.

  13. Lee Thomson January 4, 2022 12:09 am Reply

    I agree with Mel. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to keep Kauai safe. I hope that you can convince the Mayor and city council to listen to reason!

  14. Khsgrad January 4, 2022 4:14 am Reply

    Beware citizens who look to the government for cradle to grave care..

  15. maongindashadow0711 January 4, 2022 9:14 am Reply

    Mel, “I strong agree with you!”

  16. LTEreader January 4, 2022 10:33 am Reply

    100% agree Mel. Our elected officials are allowing the almighty dollar to take precedent over the health and safety of Hawai’i residents.
    And, where’s our Mayor? Haven’t heard much from him recently. He received National attention in 2020 for his stance. Now? Crickets.

    The CDC has advised people against cruises regardless of their vaccination status, however here’s the schedule of arrivals at Nawiliwili for January:

    Jan. 10: 3,006 passengers – Grand Princess.
    Jan. 18: 450 passengers – Insignia.
    Jan. 25: 3,006 passengers – Grand Princess.
    Jan. 27: 2,300 passengers – Pride of America.

    “Currently, nearly 90 ships are listed as “under investigation” by the CDC for containing onboard COVID cases, although official numbers for each ship are not published. Cruise workers have reported that shipboard managements have failed to release or have actively attempted to obscure infection totals.”

    If just 1% of those passengers arrive here sick and require medical care that’s potentially 88 more patients our hospitals can’t handle. And if just 1% of that 1% are sick enough to require the ICU we’re screwed. Then of course there’s those who don’t know they’re sick that’ll be roaming the Island. Buckle up folks!

    *Wilcox has 97 beds. KVMH has 45 beds and both are at least 50% occupied most days.

  17. LTEreader January 4, 2022 1:25 pm Reply

    *UPDATED schedule.
    There’s FIVE cruise ships arriving on Kaua’i this month.
    Jan. 24: 3,575 – Ruby Princess.
    Total passengers: 12,337.

    Again, if just 1% of those travelers require medical care that they’re unable to get on the ship that’s potentially 123 more patients our hospitals can’t handle. WHAT are they thinking?!

  18. michael perius January 4, 2022 3:58 pm Reply

    ive lived under the Ka Lolo reservoir for 21 years I wonder why you would you ask for it to be repaired? The Wailapa watershed is now the closest its been to natural in 200 years, the day she blew were you here? did you see what one man can do when he wants to ride jet skis in his gentrified pond? Did you witness the wailapa stream water being diverted and tampered with? I did first hand, even reported it, then one morning 50 ft from me 450 million gallons smoked my yard and killed others, our family was spared. never should one man control that dam, and the state showed their efficiency before ka loko, as on several occasions prior I brought it to the states attention. .Your entitled to your view, But i pray it never gets rebuilt so that first , the watershed can recover, and second that no one man can control the wai. but here you are ….. are you in need of Ag water here? Of what value is Ka loko to you? Everyone here sued, theyre all bound by non disclosure agreements to say nothing. I opted out, i can say it how it is and was. Cant say what the future holds but ill be there to oppose folks like you.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.