Sometimes I get emails and comments that deserve a bit of attention, so today I'm devoting the blog to submissions from readers.
The first was an email from a reader whose comment was not posted, due to the potential for libel:
I was upset last night when I suggested we post all ice dealer's names on your blog. (Sure, let's put a target on your (cornrowed) head for one more thing!). Hahaha
I just feel for the families of our addicts, especially when we choose to ignore the problem or just plain don't KNOW what to do.
I always considered myself a crusader against injustice and in turn want to support our young people when they are fighting for a cause.
I'm a kapuna and I love our keiki, so I'm stating my obvious; 2 things that can't be put off any longer - that SHOULD be glaring and out there front and center and in our faces:
1. Vacation Rental sewage ruining our reefs (OMG they are brown and ugly!)
2. WHERE IS OUR DRUG TREATMENT CENTER?
I'm glad there is an impartial fact finding group reporting back to us about seed companies/GMOs. Let's hope that helps us mend things somewhat so we can pay more attention to other issues.
I must say, I agree with this reader 100 percent. Why is the county allowing TVRs with cesspools to renew their permits? And we need drug treatment centers for adults and youth ASAP.
This next piece was also an email, submitted after Iona Loi was arrested in altercation with a group of young visitors at Hanalei Pier — an encounter whose details are still murky:
Joan, just like I think both parties are at fault when some dumb shit stuff happens at Polihale, we'll never know how much involved Iona Loi was in the [Hanalei] Pier incident.
BUT I know here's what would be sooooo NOT happening, but soooo humbling and honest:
Every kid that was verbally or physically violent involved in the Hanalei Pier incident, to come forth as a group and say "it wasn't just our bruddah, we threw some shit too."
In my fantasy world, as a group reaching out to get help, due to their violent abusive up bringings, somehow they would be rewarded for their honesty, and shown some compassion and leniency. Be taught how to deal with their rage, get some community service helping others, and generally be given a chance to become better men.
As usual — and I've seen it sooooo many times over here — they lie, their friends lie and their parents lie. This only makes them into not better men.
Yup. Time to stop the cycle of violence, which so often begins in the home and then spews out all over the community. And it all starts with personal accountability and responsibility.
Next up is a comment submitted by a good — and yes, there are more than a few — county worker who is tired of being maligned and lumped in with the rest of the schwag:
Hi Joan, you don't have to post this if you don't want to. It may come across as a whiny complaint, but I just wanted to say that it's quite unfortunate that the bad apples in the bunch have spoiled it for those who actually want to do a good job, and take pride in what they do. It's also unfortunate that negative attitudes, and people making assumptions and lumping EVERYBODY into the same rotten bunch make the "good ones" feel unappreciated, defeated, and disrespected. I, personally, experience this constantly. While I recognize that many around me don't have the same mentality or work ethic as I do, it's frustrating to be lumped in to that "do-nothing" pool. It would be really nice for people to focus on those who are trying to do the best job they can and maybe throw out a, "hey, great job, you're awesome", rather than, "the people you work with are worthless POS's, so you MUST be a worthless POS too". The way people treat you simply because of WHERE you work, and WHO you work for without regard for the work you actually do is really frustrating. I truly wish people would take a step back and appreciate that. Just because you don't see our faces in the newspaper, or on the video screen at Council doesn't mean we are not striving for change, we just do a little more quietly. Just because we're invisible to you, doesn't mean you're invisible to us. We hear, and read every negative thing that is said, and it wears on us constantly. Comments made, whether facetiously or not, about the tacit acceptance of the "old boy" ways, and covering up and helping out "cronies" will only strengthen the idea that it's okay the way it is because people just accept it and don't care. And if you really, truly DON'T care, then just go away and shut up because those of us who do care, and want to work towards change are getting really tired of being indirectly shit on. Sadly, this is why many people I know who are good, hard-working people have left this employ. Sorry for the rant, but it's getting really tiresome.
I've personally encountered a number of really good county workers. It's important to express appreciation for their work, especially since they're so often picking up the slack for the slackers.
And finally, this was submitted after I ran the Grand Delusions and Pssst (Grand Delusions, Too) posts, which focused on some of the North Shore nuts:
South Kauai has its own version of the Grand Delusion — The Holo Holo Kauai Scenic ByWay project, touted by a front page Garden Island newspaper story headlined “19 MILES OF HISTORY.” The article’s subhead read: “One man’s dedication helps Koloa land island’s first scenic byway.”
A spokesman [Ted Blake] for the sponsoring organization (who, by the way, may get to collect a pretty hefty tax dollar funded-fee) called the project “a grand slam because it highlights our history.” The spokesman went on to say, “How many people here know the history of where they were born? How many know the traditional place names here?” Likely not any more than residents of Honolulu, Kaneohe or Lahaina know about their places, so what’s the big deal? Continuing to sell, the spokesman said, “I think we are the only tourist destination in Hawaii that’s surrounded by all this. “ Yeah, right. Ever been to Kona, or South Kohala?
So what is the Grand Delusion? The project was sold to the community /elected officials as a means to highlight our heritage resources;preserving/enhancing cultural, historical, scenic and archeological sites. Sounds good. Island leaders jumped on the project, making speeches, supporting resolutions, giving accolades. An official said, “It’s just another example of how we continue to preserve and recognize our culture --- and never forgetting.”
Oh really? Read into the requirements for Federal Byway designation (which Koloa has received) to learn that byway designation comes with requirements like submitting a MARKETING NARRATIVE. A document describing how the scenic road will be marketed and publicized, including what is in place and what is planned. A PROMOTIONAL PLAN. Describing how the scenic road will be promoted, interpreted and marketed to ATTRACT travelers, including those from other countries. A MULTILINGUAL INFORMATION PLAN. Addressing multilingual information needs. And finally a TOURISM PLAN that describes how increased tourism will be accommodated, what lodging and dining facilities, roadside rest areas, parking lots and other tourist necessities are in place or planned.
Interestingly enough, there is very little describing how the host community is supposed to benefit nor how full time residents are expected to cope. One would expect a plan of this nature to be funded and promoted by area business/resort interests, not by a community based non-profit.
What this REALLY is, is a tax dollar funded (80% federal/20% state) plan to attract more tourists to the South side with little regard for an already overtaxed and degraded infrastructure or for the negative impacts sure to be felt by the area’s full time residents. Oh, the sponsor has also been put in charge of a to be created “area trolley service,” paid for by who knows who (maybe tax dollars again?) which is supposed to be the answer to the traffic woes sure to come.
Most of the down home long time residents don’t even know what a scenic byway is, let alone that Koloa has one.
In the name of transparency, the project’s Corridor Management Plan, describing for what, where and how much ( tax dollars ) are to be spent should be posted on the sponsor’s website.
Recently one of Hawaii’s leading economists, in a speech to business and government leaders, pointed out that Kauai County compared with other counties is the most dependent upon tourism. The speaker urged that steps be taken to diversify Kauai’s economy against the time when dollars created by tourism begin to diminish.
So dear readers, decide for yourselves: another grand delusion?
Thanks, folks, for reading and commenting and sharing your manao and views.