Letters | 5-2-14


Farmers market sellers an ohana

It was great to read the April 23 letter from a lady who left her wallet behind in the funky-but-lively farmers-crafts market across from Hale Halawai. When she came back many hours later to seek it, other merchants there helped her track down the gone-home vendor she had left it width, who was holding it for her and gladly returned it with all money and cards intact as soon as they could meet.

Everybody there is one big ohana of people making up a special kind of commercial village. It’s a wonderful group of people, and a cultural asset for all who visit and shop for food and little gifts. It’s true the gray tarps are tacky, but the charm is real.

Let’s make sure that when we scheme about replacing their stalls and tents with something more “presentable,” we don’t price them out and just replace our fun, hard-working residents with over-priced shlock sold by mainland retirees.

Keola Childs

Holualoa

Coral graffiti removal lauded

I just came back from a visit with my sister to celebrate her birthday. On the drive from the Kona airport to her home in Waikoloa, the ever-changing variations of the earth tone landscape captivated me. And then I remembered that the last time I visited, the drive was marred with inane white coral graffiti. I told sis how beautiful the brown colors were along the road, and she shared about the many hours of volunteer efforts to restore the lava.

Thank you volunteers. You have made a tremendous difference in bringing back to Hawaii the gorgeous and unique natural colors of your island.

Linda Jackson

California

Rotary, thanks for ramping it up

I would like to let the public know about one of the wonderful contributions that the Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise does in our community.

This past weekend a dedicated group, led by Clifford Kopp, built a ramp for our disabled tenant and friend, 17-year-old Nicollette. Today Nicollette was able to walk out of her home, onto the driveway, for the first time. We are so happy, and so grateful, for their help.

Sarah Armstrong Jones

Captain Cook

Charismatic dentists are not all good practitioners

As a general practicing dentist for 21 year in Los Angeles, and now retired, I have never had a malpractice claim or had an action filed with the Dental Board of California.

I can tell you of dentists who have great chairside charisma with patients who love them — that this does not always equate to preforming good or excellent dentistry. Only another dentist may judge this.

Most of my colleagues, including myself, are member of the California Dental Association and the American Dental Association. At that time, the dentists who advertized were not members.

Res ipsa loquitur — It speaks for itself.

Theodore (Ted) Leaf, DDS

Kailua-Kona

County raises force income inequality

West Hawaii Today has reported that some county department heads were given 5 percent raises.

While these raises may be deserved because of increased workloads or performance, they further compound the problem of income inequality and an adversarial relationship between management and workers. Past practice has said, if firefighters, police and general service employees get 5 percent raises then, of course, management should get the same 5 percent. Seems fair until you do the math.

A hypothetical employee who earns $20,000 getting a 5 percent increase ends up with $1,000. A manager making $100,000 getting the same 5 percent gets $5,000. A full 500 percent more cash in pocket. This disparity goes long after the initial wage increase as retirement cost of living adjustments compound this wage disparity forever. This income inequality will eventually erode trust and ferment division between the haves and the have nots. “Class warfare” could turn out to be more than just a slogan.

A fairer system for the county would be to allocate raises based on the dollar amount given to the lowest paid employee. As an example, if the lowest paid employee got a $1,000 raise, then raises to all other employees and management would be based on that, with no employee receiving more than twice that dollar amount. So, the maximum raise would be $2,000 for any county employee, even the mayor.

This solution would not only help with income inequality but it would also encourage unions, managers and department heads to work together for higher pay raises for the county’s lowest paid workers since their own compensation would be based on those lower wage salary increases. It would also save the county and taxpayers a boat load of money.

Joe Appleton

Waimea

Don’t bring military into my back yard

Twenty years ago, my wife and I had the opportunity for an early retirement, allowing us to choose the best place on Earth to live — good climate, good people, good everything — the Island of Hawaii, perhaps the safest place on Earth.

The downside is that this island, being only a minority piece of the second congressional district, effectively gets no representation. I now fear that the Honolulu power base will really “put us on the map,” the terrorists’ map, a map of our island with a big red target over the Pohakuloa Training Area. If certain powers prevail, PTA may become the most significant military training facility in the world. I wouldn’t have chosen to live near Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Why do our “representatives,” all of whom are living on Oahu, think this would be good for Hawaii Island?

Aside from controversies regarding the telescopes atop Mauna Kea or genetically modified organisms issues, the real long-term danger to the residents of this island may be this type of military presence. I came here to live my life in peace and to pass all of my “everything” on to future generations. So, to whom this may concern, don’t bring your war here, please.

James Donovan

Waikoloa