Plant theft remedy

The following letter was sent to state Sen. Clayton Hee on behalf of HB 1524 HD2, a bill about plant theft penalties, which is before Hee’s Judiciary and Labor Committee. The writer also appeals to the public to file testimony prior to the second crossover of bills on April 12.

Dear Sen. Hee, Windward Oahu has been greatly concerned about the amount of plant theft and agriculture equipment theft. As a Kailua resident, I have been involved in a committee working to prevent plant theft for over two years. We have had plants pulled up from people’s yards and gardens, a special tree that was a wedding anniversary present totally removed, and other plants stolen from businesses in Kailua and Lanikai. Baci Bistro even had a very large wooden planter filled with dirt and plants taken one night. It had to be lifted with a forklift to move it. Cinnamon’s had hanging baskets taken. Our Meridian East condo association had a landscaping company come and replant our entire front entrance area. The landscaper recommended that we use only plastic sprinkler heads as copper ones were being stolen. Also, he recommended that we fence the entire area for six months until the plants had their roots established all because of theft.

Other members of the Lani-Kailua Outdoor Circle and myself always work to keep Kailua “clean, green and beautiful.” It makes it difficult to encourage residents to beautify their yards if there is a great risk of having plants stolen. The LKOC Beautification Committee has planted an area at the Kailua Post Office federal property that we are trying to beautify and the red ti plants have been stolen three times.

I am sure you are aware of the huge problems that the agriculture people have had in Waimanalo. We took a tour with them in the fall and were so discouraged by the amount of plant theft and other agriculture equipment theft there has been. Small nursery owners will not stay in business long if they continue to have these huge losses.

Please hold a hearing on this very important bill. HB1524 HD2.

Claudia L. Webster

Flat Rate Airport

Dear Editor,

I seldom get disturbed enough to make comment about the often-dumb inefficiency of local government(s), but about this I must speak up. The channel, flood canal call it what you will which runs makai of Kahekili Highway from McDonald’s in Temple Valley toward Kahaluu is so clogged with vines, trees and other vegetation and debris as to make it totally ineffective, maybe even dangerous.

I tried calling to report this, and after five departments telling me “that’s not ours” I reached the State Highways Division and got the answering machine. This was a few days ago. Today (March 6) a very polite and apologetic gentleman from the highways division returned my call and told me he has seen the condition himself and the division had received several calls about it and agreed completely that it was long overdue for clearing.

And here’s the point: The reason the highways division hasn’t cleaned the canal is because they have been unable to get the proper permit from the Department of Health to enter the canal.

So who should we vote for?

William Schulz