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Letters to the Editor: 10-24-17

October 24, 2017 - 12:05am

County, college should make good on roads

The Sunday, Oct. 22 article in WHT, “Hectic Hawaii highways,” notes the terrible and deadly traffic that has come to Kona. The county Planning Department and its relationship with the Palamanui corporate developers is a significant reason for the congestion and traffic deaths on Mamalahoa and Queen Kaahumanu highways.

Many years ago, Palamanui promised the people of Kona that it would, among other things, build a much-needed public major connector road between Mamalahoa and Queen Kaahumanu highways, build access roads from Queen Kaahumanu to service its massive commercial and residential lots development, build parks, and a small college campus if the county would issue massive land rezoning and issue building permits, which would swell Palamanui’s bottom line by around $1 billion. These infrastructure contributions to the county and its people were made into county law as part of the rezoning. The county supposedly got what it needed and Palamanui got all that it wanted.

The increase in traffic was predicted by the county and college, including traffic to be generated by the massive Palamanui project and thus the promises and legal requirements of a major connector road and service roads. The predictions have all become true, with congestion and death.

Palamanui built the small college campus and a few other promised improvements but failed and refused to build the major connector road between Mamalahoa and Queen Kaahumanu highways, thereby thumbing their noses at their promises to the people. Despite having their massive increase in the value of their development, Palamanui has a spin doctor arguing that it kept one promise — a small college campus — that put the county’s people to sleep. It should thus be relieved of its other promises so it can profit more. If it foolishly claims poverty in this booming real estate market for commercial and residential lots, why hasn’t the county demanded an independent audit of Palamanui?

The county has done nothing to enforce the law it made to insure that the quid pro quo made by Palamanui were kept and the infrastructure timely put in place.

The county needs to get out of bed with developers who have no intention of keeping their promises after they extract their corporate benefits and profits.

Mark Van Pernis


Store sets great example

I am writing to publicly thank the pharmacy department at Target for creating a separate display of “reef-friendly” sunscreen. I talked with them about the possibility of highlighting environmentally safe products a few weeks ago, and they said they were planning to do it. Now they have, and consumers will be made aware of their impact on our coral reef as they purchase sun protection.

Target is not a local company, but they are being good stewards of their host. I am hoping some of the other stores selling sunscreen will follow their excellent example!

Jamie Pardau


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