Regarding your article “Mokupapapa to show works of Waimea painter, pachyderm partner” (Tribune-Herald, April 2): I was very sorry to hear Calley O’Neill (the Waimea artist) quoted in the article as saying, “All content and power has been taken out of art” and “art has very little meaning for anyone, anywhere, anymore.”
As an active art teacher in Hilo, I find quite the opposite. From teaching in the Youth Art Series at the East Hawaii Cultural Center and also volunteer teaching at the Kamana Senior Center, it’s clear that my students find art very much alive and meaningful.
From the kupuna to the keiki, I think Hilo is a vibrant, alive city whose community proves that art has meaning for everyone.
County not to blame
For years, Keith De La Cruz, proprietor of the Hilo Farmers Market, took advantage and did not comply with county regulations.
This venue has been very successful to serve our island residents as well as Big Island visitors. His choice to continue not to be in compliance with the building, fire and zoning codes rests upon his shoulders only.
The hardships he caused to the many vendors/tenants were not created by the county! In fact, for many years the county tried to assist and guide Mr. De La Cruz with his proposed plans, but their futile efforts were unsuccessful.
Now he is trying to throw blame to the county officials, but on Jan. 31, 2017, and Feb. 17, 2017, Mayor Harry Kim met with De La Cruz about the status of his plans and assigned an assistant to work with him.
On May 24, 2017, the mayor and staff met with De La Cruz, who assured them the written tasks would be carried out. It became evident the owner had no intention to comply.
After Mayor Kim and his staff tried to help and motivate De La Cruz to bring the Hilo Farmers Market into compliance, the only action left was to impose fines, as was explained to him in the violation notice.
I drove past the farmers market recently and saw that the vendors had purchased their own tents and continued to operate. These vendors are hard-working and resilient and will do what needs to be done.
When thrown lemons you make lemonade.