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Thursday, November 19, 2015

"Ready, Fire, Aim, not again..." 'Glenn Mickens' (Special feature)

Glenn Mickens has lived on Kauai  with his wife Ruth for the last 26 years. Born July 26, 1930 in Wilmar, California, USA) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball. He pitched in four games (two of which were starts) for the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers. He also played for five years in Japan, from 1959 until 1963 for the Kintetsu Buffaloes. There, he compiled a record of 45–53 with a 2.54 ERA.  Glenn also  served in the Army for 2 years and coached baseball at UCLA for 25 years. 
Last but not least Glenn would really like to see Kauai give the county manager style of Government a chance.

Ready , Fire, Aim, not again
Mr. Mickens is locally known
as one of Kauai county's
political watchdogs.
Mahalos Glenn!

First of all,there was a  well written article in TGI~11/15/15 "Talking Transportation"  however it does need a lot of comments and examination. 

(For those interested in reading the article click on the URL below;)

Are we really going to again "ready, fire, aim" with an issue that will waste millions of dollars of tax payers money? Those people who run our government, those who have squandered megabucks and made problems that proper planning would not have allowed, are now proposing to use an island of shuttle systems to alleviate our traffic problems.
Traffic is a huge problem on
 Kauai where the population and
 tourism has greatly increased.
The two lane highway that is really
just a road has not  changed in years.

As with all failed projects, our Kauai County Transportation planner is holding public hearings to get their input on this issue. Having been to many hearings like this over the years, it is obvious that decisions have already been made as to what will or will not be done. The hearings are basically to show that the consultants and people putting them on are earning their salaries and that the monies spent for them are justified no matter what the results.

It appears from the map in the article how much time and money developing a design and plan of where these shuttles will go has already been done. If public input were really an integral part of the planning, wouldn't the meetings be held first to see if a shuttle system is even wanted? Shouldn't a cost/usage study be done BEFORE moving forward with any costly project?

The only example of a shuttle system that was tried on Kauai was the one on the North shore (Hanalei to Ke'e beach) which proved to be a complete failure. So now we are proposing to spend millions of dollars on a mass shuttle system for all of Kauai---insanity at best!

When will those in power simply realize that people, local or tourists will not abandon their vehicles for a bike, bus, walking or a shuttle. People, the mass of them need, want and will keep their vehicles no matter what alternate means of transportation is offered to them. 

We desperately need alternate and wider roads to move around our Island to alleviate traffic problems--not the "dream world" activities mentioned above. 

We have no oversight or a responsible party to be accountable for the gross waste and inefficiency in our system. A County Manager would give us such a person so please, citizens, encourage Councilman Chock and his colleagues to let you vote on this system at next election. Those who say that our present system is not broken only need to look at the above example (AND SO MANY MORE) to know that our present system is not working.

Check out Glenn's Wikipedia page;

Hana Hou, (Encore) Shared From Facebook...


Bettejo Dux said...

Did you know Oslo intends to have a car free city . "Humans are really just small walking animals." Jan Gehl.
Loved San Jose's wonderful cable cars. Lots of public squares, no cars, so inviting.
We desperately need public transportation.
We absolutely do NOT need more highways. More suburban sprawl. More cars. More carbon dioxide spewed into the air.
To understand what's happening on the planet--and last I checked Kauai was located on planet earth--please find and watch COSMOS, the new edition produced by Ann Druyan--Carl Sagan's widow--and narrated Dr. Neil deGrasseTyson. I prefer reading, watching, and listening to the best and the brightest. Bettejo Dux

Rick Comstock said...

I'm mostly in agreement with you Glenn. We have one of the most dysfunctional planning and Dept. of Transportation. Many times we spend county dollars for the most unneeded approaches to problem solving. Yet when it comes to moral issues like refugees I hear clueless voices demanding the same ole can getting "kicking down the road." One issue coming up is the Rice Street improvements. Only 13 million dollars. And for What? If the newly improved Harding Street is an example of good planning we should save the #13 M or send it to the bio-energy plant to burn. And while I'm at it... maybe some of the crowd that insists on outside county consultants can explane how a roundabout is designed to allow 53 foot semi-trucks and trailers to drive straight over the round about. These aprons around the roundabout are not designed to carry trucks or trailers on them. I watched them make left hand turns around them as if they never existed. Yes I've seen it in Kapaa and the newest one at the new shopping center. But it's Ok we can spend more county dollars wasted to repair every 10 years. Sense when was driving across one legal. But the really sad moment occurred when our local KPD watched a truck do it while he followed on the road properly. Yes we have all the money to fix if we only sell the problem as "to many tourists".

Rick Comstock said...

So lets define "Oslo" and "Kauai"....one is a large city (urban) and one is a poor small county (rural) ..... Now lets talk apples and oranges..... Much less follow your last blog to fix things first before attempting wizzidery. I have no problem with public transportation....I do have a problem with paying consultants fees and receiving bad guidance as they cash that check. And as for your selective hearing with they best and brightest...If they addressed Kauai and not the cosmos they would all tell you to stop the bleeding then get proactive. Your better program to watch would be NOVA which also contains some of your players. Today the topic is Kauai....

Anonymous said...

I Wish mr. Mickens was on Facebook, I am forwarding all the comments to his email. If Glenn happens to see this post! Mahalos for contributing Mr. Mickens!

Bettejo Dux said...

Anonymous responds by email again, "In Oslo, where the walking animal is also a driving animal, a bicycling animal, and a bus-taking animal, officials are pushing to ban cars from the main downtown area altogether. The idea is to add nearly 40 miles of bike lanes and make the city center car-free, which would in turn make Oslo the first major European city to place a “comprehensive and permanent ban” on cars, Reuters reported."

Rick Comstock said...

^^^underline "Major European City"^^^^ Even a 'Park and Ride' would make sense....we don't need buses traveling up and down every street mostly empty until the arrive in the great metro are of Lihue....or traveling from Kilauia to Kapaa to Lihue to Kalahao to Waimea as one route repeated every 2 hours. Smart planning not convenience.

Glenn Mickens said...

Thanks, Kimo you did a great job with my article. I liked the two replies from your readers, particularly the one from Bette Jo, Kauai is not Oslo or a college town like Davis, Calif. where bikes might work.
We on Kauai need our vehicle and will not abandon it for any other means of transportation no matter what it is. Yes, we need a bus for the ones that have no car or cannot drive or are disabled but we have those needed buses now and need no more.
We live on tourism coming here and restricting rental cars (or doing away with them) would kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
Sure the contra flow lanes work and it only proves that if we added another lane we wouldn't need to spend huge bucks each year on putting down and picking up those cones.
And since tourism is the engine that runs Hawaii ( and I wish it wasn't the the one basket for our eggs--we need more diversity ) we must keep it in mind when doing our planning.
Rick Comstock makes some great points about our planning and the ineptness of our local government to properly address our problems---for me sheer common sense.
But there are those "dreamers" who refuse to look at solving problems from a practical standpoint but throw out the great sound bites with nothing practical to back them up believing that their dream solutions will work.

Keep up the fine work, Kimo. Still do not know how you find time to put out your blog and everything else that you do.
Much mahalo,

Glenn Mickens said...

Thank you, Kimo I read her comment and, as I said, she is a typical dreamer and will never look at the big picture and see that people will use their vehicles FOR CONVENIENCE OR WHATEVER and will not (not the mass of them anyway!!) abandon their vehicle.

But I do like to hear the other side of arguments especially if they will come back with a practical solution to a problem---not rhetoric or dreams.

Glenn Mickens said...

You are right on target!! That Rice street situation is a farce. We made Rice street 4 lanes to help the flow of traffic some years ago and NOW plan to make sidewalks 12 feet wide and add bike lanes on each side of the road to make it 2 lane again!!! Pure insanity!
We desperately need a County Manager style of government to AT LEAST try and turn this lack of direction around. Hope you agree as does Kimo.
Keep up your involvement with the idiots running this asylum--we need you.

Niki Sifers said...

He is one of a kind, an original. All egos aside, wish these people would be open to his counsel.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mickens attends almost every council meeting and usually testifies on the controversial subjects... Glenn is what we call a county watchdog. I thank him for what he does! He really cares for Kaua'i! Sometimes we disagree, but he always has a solid rebuttal.

Rick Comstock said...

Glenn.... county management also needs new blood...I fear the parallel promotion of county personal would defeat any timely progressive steps and spell failure. i.e.; Mayor Barnard to manager would begin another death spiral. My fear is same ole people same ole problems.... must get it right the first time. I think we need to address the Rice Street upgrades to include fresh water faucets every 25 feet and open running waste water in the gutters. For our future homeless encampment along Rice. (Just kidding) For the only reason to do this $13 M upgrade would be to keep the homeless out of county property. Main Street needs evening venues and lots of lighting and less back street bars....

Glenn Mickens said...

The only way to turn this island government around (and I agree with what you say about Rice street and so MANY other issues that need attention) is to AT LEAST try the manager type of government.

Every municipality in the US that is about our size has this type of system and it is working with them.

No Rick it will not be the same ol same ol situation. There will now be a person in charge who is RESPONSIBLE for what needs to be done---with our current system there is no desk that the buck stops at. The manager can be fired for not doing his job whereas the Mayor sits there for 4 years no matter how incompetent he or she is.

Since the Mayor would sit as one of the 7 members of the council and they as a body would tell the Manager what they want done, the finger pointing would stop between the Mayor and Council--they would be acting as a unit and let the Manager do his or her thing..
If there is any other proven system out there that is working like a Manager then tell me what it is. Sure, if we had a proper Mayor and Council who truly represented the people we wouldn't need a manager BUT politics and the old boy system prevail now and thus all our problems.