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Letters for Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Visitors pay; make rich pay fair share

I’m lucky and thank God that I live retired in Wisconsin and can visit my family here in Kaua‘i. I could not live retired here in Kaua‘i. I pay three times what I pay in Wisconsin for my expenses here, but that’s the cost of vacationing where almost everything but nature is imported.

I take exception to the letter-writer from Kekaha who wants us visitors to pay to get onto the island. The costs of supporting your parks, roads, hospitals, schools, etc. should be borne by the taxpayers, especially your wealthy million/billionaires who often end up paying no taxes. They should be financing a modern, high-speed transit system around the entire island, instead of the piecemeal widening of the highways like the county is doing on Kuhio Highway in Kapa‘a.

I agree with the writer of the letter that people are becoming another invasive species on your beautiful island. But the answer is not to “cut off your nose (tourists) to spite your face (economy).” The answer, I think, is to distribute the wealth more fairly, as was done before Reagan and Newt Gingrich. It isn’t Communism to tax fairly; it’s good economic policy.

Margaret Kolbek, Kapa‘a visitor

Medal count isn’t only Olympic story


The ancient Olympics were winner-take-all events. No silver or bronze medals there. Winning was indeed the only thing; those who did not merit only dishonorable mention.

Sad to say, it seems that this has not changed much over the centuries. Olympic news still trends toward those who end up standing on the podium, especially those who stand on its top tier. How frequently a newscast or article contains the phrase, “…competed but did not medal?”

How often too are Olympic news items nothing more than national medal tallies or, worse yet, tales of failed drug tests, petty disputes about uniforms and such like?

Now and then a story about an great individual like the young Mexican competitor in the men’s figure skating pops up. Why does this happen only now and then? Why cannot the media focus more on the athletes’ accomplishments and less on their shortcomings, including their failure to win medals? After all, simply participating in the Olympics is a tremendous achievement. Anyone who reaches that high level, and those who help her/him reach it, deserves praise, maybe even a medal!

Some years ago, I happened to be in Berlin for its annual marathon. The morning was cold, gloomy and occasionally punctuated by rain. Nevertheless, thousands of people lined the streets, standing for hours in the chill, to applaud the runners. As each one lumbered by, spectators yelled encouragement in a variety of languages. Everyone cheered for everyone; the only noticeable difference in enthusiasm and volume seemed to be that athletes who looked most fatigued and/or discouraged attracted the loudest hollers.

Of course, this sort of thing happens so often at sporting events that it is not news. That is too bad. Why does the media so seldom take a lesson from an audience that cheers for winners and losers, medalists and non-medalists alike? Our world would do well to pay more attention to those who reach past boundaries of nationality or ethnicity to support the efforts of all who strive to do their best, not only in sports but in all worthy endeavors.

Thank you TGI for doing your part to feature good people doing good things for our community and the world. There is much good going on; it deserves to be recognized and applauded.

H. M. Wyeth, Anahola
Source: The Garden Island

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