Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023|
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My penchant is to rant against the stupidity of government here, but a shocking display of competence and insight forces me to change my tune. This time.
Puna has the perfect climate for year-round farming, but is lacking a crucial ingredient.
Soil. There is no soil to speak of here. There are patches here and there, to be sure, but in aggregate Puna is rocky lava.
It is hard to grow food in lava. And no, $10 per bag in the store for rotten sawdust and mac nut shells is not an option. So, people like me must resort to scrounging soil where we can find it to turn our rocky lava-patches into gardens and fruit orchards. Where you see a pile of black dirt, I see black gold, and I’m on it. Enter the much-maligned government.
Puna’s climate, and time, works magic on the roadways here. They have to be periodically scraped of foreign matter that accumulates on the roadway margins, creating a muddy, slippery mess and a hazard.
This foreign matter is known as … soil.
Courageous and brilliant county employees decided that rather than sequester roadway scrapings in some distant, isolated and fenced county dumpsite for “safety” or some other such drivel, they would dump the soil in full view beside a paved roadway in a situation permitting safe and easy access by interested parties. Such as myself and other lower-Puna dwellers.
This has the zero cost, is efficient and a positive outcome of genius.
Food security is becoming a big issue in Hawaii, and these tons of soil placed in easy access to the public are going to be used very efficiently to grow food. Lots of it.
While on the pile, I have seen people loading this stuff into their battered trucks and cars with their bare hands. Because it is valuable — once put down and cultivated intelligently, it will grow food indefinitely — and the price is right.
So, to the county employees with the courage to implement this brilliant yet simple solution to a problem, instead of succumbing to idiotic/expensive alternatives we have grown numb to … mahalo nui loa.
Not a ‘menace’
I feel that the Sept. 2 article left out some very important points regarding Randy Kunimoto’s tennis instruction in the Pacific Plantations subdivision. Referring to Randy as a “tennis menace” was subjective and not all parties were fairly represented.
Randy has shortened his services and has eliminated many student classes and reduced the number of participants to six or less. It saddens me to think that many who would like to learn about the game of tennis, improve their skill level and develop a healthy lifestyle will not be able to do so. Lessons on public tennis courts are not allowed, therefore leaving the tennis community without a valuable service.
I have lived in Pacific Plantations (near the entrance) for almost 30 years and have seen this subdivision grow and continue to add new residents. I feel Randy has been an ideal resident and has made accommodations to address all concerns.
I feel that the amount of traffic is very appropriate for a subdivision of this size, and to attribute that any increase of vehicles on a county road to Randy’s tennis clients is unfair. I have witnessed people drive into Pacific Plantations to go walking and others drive to the end of a road and dump trash and speed away.
Randy has coached my three children since 2002 at his current residence. As a result of Randy’s coaching, they participated in tournaments, represented Hilo Junior Tennis Club, Hilo High School and played throughout college. They have earned scholarships and sportsmanship awards as a result Randy’s mentoring.
As an educator for over 32 years, I have seen the results of students being involved in sports and how it influences their perseverance, coping and decision making skills. How is supporting our youth and adults a “tennis menace”?
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