Letters 12-23-13

Concept of buying locally to be lauded — if you can afford it

I was the first department manager of the outside garden center at Walmart and was later hired as the plant specialist for Lowe’s Garden Center. I’m fully aware of the “big box” store guarantee policies pertaining to live plants.

From a practical point of view, the one year guarantee of a plant’s mortality is silly — downright ludicrous. But from the corporate level, it’s a “no brainer” for the customer who is willing to gamble on a sure thing, i.e. “I’ll give it a shot. So what if it dies. I’ll get my money back.” The sale is made, and most times, the dead plant isn’t returned or the receipt is lost.

I’ve heard of and seen how customers will do a quick “landscape” sprucing up of their rental property for a viewing from the landlord, then return the dead or “intensive care” plants and want their money back. This also goes for the purchase of lawn, garden tools and machines to dress up the facade of maintaining a property, then claiming faulty equipment for a refund. These are common recurrences.

Obviously, local nurseries don’t have the deep pockets to make such guarantees, and rightly so. They know they have no control over the customers’ abilities, responsibilities and capabilities in plant care. And their plant costs are not backed by bulk orders from contract growers that pay extremely high liability insurance premiums and UPC code costs.

The concept of buying locally is to be lauded — if you can afford it.

Dennis L. Lawson


Beach access and parking not an issue

Regarding William Pink’s letter appearing in the Dec. 13 West Hawaii Today: Go to the Mauna Kea Beach Resort before 9 a.m. and you can always find a parking space. Go to the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and get a parking space. Go to Hapuna Beach State Park and get a parking space. You can walk to the Mauna Kea Beach Resort beach from Hapuna Beach State Park. There is a trail from the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel directly to the Mauna Kea Beach Resort.

David Rockefeller built the Mauna Kea Beach Resort in the 1960s. The resort has served the community well. Many residents of Kohala have been employed for half a century there and have great love for it.

I don’t know how you run your business but what I do know is what I observe. I swim regularly at the beach there. I have hair appointments there, now and then a meal. In most instances, the personnel are friendly and helpful. If the Mauna Kea Beach Resort had 200 parking spots for beachgoers, it would fill up by 11 a.m. instead of 9 a.m.

Please relax and enjoy why you moved to this great island in the first place.

Ann Medve