Letters for Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014

Rain will increase runoff from dairyGMO fears not based on realityToo many chickens and nothing to doChange the $20 bill

Rain will increase runoff from dairy

Hawaii Dairy Farms has said “if rainfall is greater than 6 millimeters per hour (1/4 inch) for a period of greater than three hours, the soil will be too wet to irrigate” (too saturated for holding water, my words).

There are three hard surface raceways planned of 21-feet wide and a combined total of three miles in length. Added to that is a mile-long hard surface entry roadway of 15.5 feet wide. All the raceways/roadways have a drain system running to the holding ponds. The 14th and 15th of March 2006 totals were 9.66 inches of rain. Three inches of rainfall will, on 10 acres of hard surface raceway/roadway, have a runoff amount of about 748,000 gallons of effluent/liquid.

It’s hard to imagine what three times that effluent/liquid mix would do to the surrounding areas including into the ocean if occurring in a two-day period. If the ponds are at an average level with already normal-filled ponds, they can’t handle it. The ground would be already fully saturated and the runoff has no place to go but out. The additional 573 acres, if fully saturated, would also release (if only one inch of rain fell) another 16,290,000 gallons. Poipu had 4.33 inches of rainfall Feb. 13. The dairy ground is fully saturated. What if the dairy was there now?

Ronald John

San Luis Obispo, Calif.

GMO fears not based on reality

We are visitors from San Diego and enjoy reading The Garden Island when we visit Kauai, usually once or twice a year for a week or two.  We also read The New York Times each morning and saw the piece urging more use of GMO by Lusk and Miller.

On the day before the op-ed appeared, we had lunch at a Taco shop that had posted signs disclaiming the use of GMO grain in its tortillas, and we’ve noted similar signage in other restaurants. We understand this to be an appeal to a health-conscious movement on the island, which is also evidenced in the numerous signs encouraging local sourcing, Kauai beef, etc.

The anti-GMO sentiment, or trend, however, is misguided, as Lusk and Miller point out. Worse, it exploits widespread ignorance about science and nutrition, substituting fears of genetic modification for wise nutritional choices and a greater awareness of efforts to adapt to global drought and growing worldwide population.

A better use of this energy might be to discourage smoking, counsel for obesity and push for the use of seat belts, all of which are more likely to contribute to health and long life — more so than unfounded fears about GMO.

Kudos for raising the issue. Next step is education. We love the island and enjoy it here so much.

David Watson

Del Mar, Calif.

Too many chickens and nothing to do

Last week, I visited Kauai for the first time. I found the people here to be the very nicest of all the Hawaiian Islands. On the other hand, there was the very least to see and do compared to all the other Hawaiian Islands. If I may offer a suggestion, you need to do something about your terrible chicken problem.

Chickens were running wild everywhere. Your roosters have got to be the dumbest on the planet. They crowed endlessly all night long. I didn’t get one good nights sleep during my entire visit thanks to these pests. Before I decided to visit Kauai, people warned me about this, but I didn’t believe them.

They said they’d never go back to Kauai because of these chickens and because of so little to do there. They are right. I’ll never visit Kauai again until you exterminate these loud troublemakers. Kauai isn’t the Garden Island, it’s the Chicken Island! If you want people to return to Kauai to spend their tourist dollars, get rid of all the  stinking chickens.

Richard Rhyner

Anchorage, Alaska

Change the $20 bill

I would like to express my grief about what the U.S. did to Susan Campbell’s ancestors (TGI, Feb. 14). In my opinion, this action was the greatest atrocity done by the United States in its history. Other atrocities were committed against Native Americans but none on the scale of what was done to those five tribes in the Southeast in the 1830s.

The bold leader behind this terrible atrocity was Andrew Jackson. Why in the world do we continue to honor Jackson by printing his image on our $20 bill? One might argue that Jackson was the closest president we ever had to an Adolf Hitler.  Both committed acts of genocide against their own peaceful people and were motivated by racism.

Who should replace Jackson’s image? FDR and Reagan were the most popular presidents of the last century. Economists now understand that FDR actually helped prevent the economy from recovering, due to his support of high taxes, tight money policy and high tariffs. Almost nine years after FDR took office, the economy was still a mess. It took a war to find jobs for people.

Ronald Reagan would be a wonderful choice for the $20 bill. He helped our economy recover and set a bold vision for winning the Cold War. He helped set millions of people free around the world without firing a shot. He genuinely loved all kinds of people (except the “Evil Empire”), and people on both sides of the aisle loved him.

Mark Beeksma

Koloa

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