Not the photo wanted
As a photographer the past 25 years here in Kona, one of my most desirable places to shoot weddings and family photos is at the Old Kona Airport Beach. This location offers such a vast variety of natural beauty.
This beauty has been taken over the past month, especially at the far north end of the beach. Today, I had a portrait session for a family from Alaska. We were all appalled at what we saw when we got to the beach.
Four or five tents all set up. People numbering over 20 were all sitting around drinking, smoking pot and using coarse language. Some staggering others were scattered about sleeping on the beach.
What an embarrassment for Kona and for people like me who are trying to run a small business. We had to move to another part of the beach that was not inhabited by the homeless.
A few years ago the park made an effort to move them out. This is becoming an alarming problem for Kona, which must be addressed.
All I am asking is to have our beaches patrolled and leave the natural beauty for the tax-paying residents of the island and to our visitors.
Heart and humanity
It’s disheartening to read letters to the paper from people of extreme material comfort showing so little compassion, empathy or patience for people who basically have nothing.
Mahalo to Patti St. Claire for describing the simple truths of humanity in one paragraph of kindness, as opposed to the many words of blame, justification for, and washing their hands of, the existence of homelessness in our society. Mahalo to community members who spend days and nights volunteering to help feed and lift up their fellow human beings in distress. Mahalo to fearless political leaders who work tirelessly to help insure a living wage for workers, many who have two jobs yet are one illness or vehicle breakdown away from homelessness. Mahalo to those who push for legislation that will protect our public schools and teachers, provide decent medical care for all, and day care that’s reliable, affordable and safe enough to allow parents to work. And mahalo to individuals and organizations who soldier on in their goal of protecting poor communities — and all of our children — from the biggest burdens of environmental degradation, conditions that often leave the less fortunate to deal with debilitating sickness — another ticket to homelessness.
We need leaders who’ve left “voodoo” (also known as “trickle-down”) economics and the latest incarnations of corporate-driven federal economic policy behind if we’re ever going to stem the tide of homelessness.
It’s heartless and exceedingly foolish to believe that homelessness, poverty and mental illness can be swept into the next acre of bushes or on to the next generation. A society can never be safe, free, or call themselves “Christian” when it allows human beings to be treated with intolerable indignity and lack of basic services, especially when our nation and state have the means to shift this unacceptable paradigm to lift all boats — not just the ships of the already well-heeled.
How will councilwoman defend vote?
When Ashley Kierkiewicz ran for Council District 4, her battle cry was “I’m a Mom!” She came from the public relations world, so it would be interesting to see how she defends her opposing vote on Bill 101 after defending it so staunchly. We came so close to an herbicide and pesticide ban on county property, so what caused “Mom” to change her vote?