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Letters for Monday, July 29, 2013

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Posted: Monday, July 29, 2013 12:00 am

What is wrong with this picture?

On July 23, 2013, the County Road Crew was cleaning the roadsides on Wawae Road in Lawai. In the process of cleaning the ditch, they broke my water line. The only way I knew the water line was broken was when I had no water pressure.

I am a quadriplegic and am unable to check on things. My wife went to look and found the water line broken and the work crew approximately 200 yards up the road.  

In other words, they just broke it and didn’t bother to tell anyone. My wife asked what had happened and the machine operator said he didn’t see the pipe and broke it.  

My problem is there were approximately six other “workers” standing around and not one of them said anything to the machine operator. We were told we would have to repair the pipe ourselves and file a claim with the county.  

I don’t think so! I didn’t break it! Why should I have to fix it? To make a long story short, we called everyone we could think of including the mayor and no one called us back.

My wife finally contacted someone at the water department and they responded and fixed the pipe. Had my wife not checked out why there was no water pressure, I have to wonder if the water would have run all day long.  

I think if the county workers break the line they should immediately fix it and not just drive away with their uncaring attitude. This is just another version of the county not taking care of business. We have been complaining for quite some time about the water run-off coming onto our property instead of in the drainage ditch.  

Again, the county has done nothing! Thanks for caring guys!

Bob Vegas

Lawai

Respect the aina

The July 11 and July 19 letters to the editor in support of multi-billionaire Pierre Omidyar’s proposal to “revitalize” Kamoomaikai fishpond tell far less than half the story about Omidyar’s development scheme.  

Neither letter mentions the huge price his development company (Ohana Real Estate Investors - OREI) demands: the construction of dozens of vacation rental houses along the ridge above the Hanalei River all the way from the bay to Kellett’s Landing. Across from Black Pot beach park, there would be a vacation rental building every 75 feet.  The visual impacts on the most beautiful place in Hawaii would be devastating and impossible to conceal.  

Almost every one of the close-to-500 people — young and old; brown and white; kanaka maoli, kamaaina and malihini — who attended OREI’s presentation at Hanalei School last November understood that sacrificing Hanalei’s beauty and character in return for fishpond “revitalization” would be no more acceptable than allowing the construction of a hotel on Kalalau Beach in return for any other developer’s promises.

Despite the efforts of its local public relations machine, OREI has clearly proven itself to be just another land development company. Its tactics have been classic Development 101: divert attention from the Hanalei portion of the development by getting people to focus on something else. So OREI has spent the past two years marketing its Princeville fishpond while studiously disguising and downplaying the visual impacts of its Laguna Beach-style development plans for Hanalei.  

“Respect for the aina?”  “Protecting our environment”?  No. OREI’s business tactics smell much more like deception and exploitation. If Pierre Omidyar truly wants to “protect our environment,” he should instruct his development company to move its proposed vacation rental structures out of the public viewplane, instead of demanding Kauai’s crown jewel as his trophy for fishpond “revitalization.”

Carl Imparato

Hanalei

Don’t remove trees from the ‘Garden Island’

I am a long-time Kauai resident now temporarily living on the Mainland, and am very saddened to read about Longs’ plan to build a new store on the historic coconut plantation there in Kapaa.  

I read that ordinance protections do not deny the reasonable economic use of a property. However, this grove in addition to being beautiful has historic value which by reason is worthy of preserving.

Is there no other property in the area that Longs could build on? I recall a gorgeous stand of painted eucalypsis trees being taken down to put in a housing project.

How sad. We call ourselves the Garden Island but continue to remove trees. I hope Longs will be responsible and replant as many coconut palms as possible that will grace the Garden Island for another 100 years.

Michelle Carroll

Grass Valley, California

‘What we love, we must protect’

I was shocked to learn that four large commercial ag operations use about 18 tons of 22 Restricted Use Pesticides annually on our island.

As a long-time Kauai resident and as an attorney, I decided to do some research. I learned over half of these RUPs, 12 of the 22, contain active ingredients that are known or probable carcinogens, reproductive or developmental toxicants, known groundwater contaminants or acutely toxic poisons. (Source: Pesticide Action Network Database)

At least five of these RUPs used on Kauai contain chemical ingredients that are listed as carcinogens under California’s Prop 65 “Safe Drinking Water  and Toxic Enforcement Act,” and/or the U.S. EPA Toxics Release Inventory. At least four of the RUPs contain active ingredients on the California

“Known Groundwater Contaminants” List: Calif. Admin. Code. Title 3, Sec. 6800, and one is listed as a “Toxic Air Contaminant” under Calif. Admin. Code. Title 3, Sec. 6860.

I also learned there is precedent for states, counties, and towns to limit RUP use, especially around sensitive environmental areas or high-risk areas.

Scientific investigation has been done, and other counties have taken action to protect residents and workers from pesticides.

No more stalling. Let’s get it done, Kauai Council. “What we love, we must protect.”

E. Beall

Kilauea

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