Letters for Friday, February 21, 2014

• Time for county to stand strong • Coalition has rights to sea, mountains • Scooters belong on our highways • What happens when trees are gone? • Koloa meeting to learn about dairy • Bobby Apario, we miss you

Time for county to stand strong

In 2012, Dow, Syngenta, DuPont and BASF, the agrochemical companies that are suing the County of Kauai over Ordinance 960, had combined total sales of over $205 billion.

Kauai County’s budget runs around $158.5 million. That is about 1,300 times smaller. If all of Kauai’s residents divided up $205 billion, each would get over $3 million.

To the county officials not standing up to this affront to Kauai’s law to protect school children from poisonous spray drift, I ask: “Where is your honor and sense of dignity?” Falling over for these giant pesticide producers and not vigorously defending our island’s right to protect the health of its residents would be a disgrace. So far, it seems to me that the administration wouldn’t mind fumbling this case. These companies claim to be the victims, while those living in their wake suffer. The suit alludes to “environmental terrorism.” Who are they kidding? Stand up, administration, and put a rock in your sling! Just because they are big doesn’t mean they can’t be thwarted.

Ned Whitlock, Kilauea

Coalition has rights to sea, mountains

As I see it, we, the manini coalition, believe our people are living in very dangerous times. It seems some people would like to stop all fishing in the name of so-called environmentalism. We are the people of the land and sea. Some of us are at the point of anger at what is proposed: more laws and less rights. It seems we are going down the path of evil in the name of so-called good. Some people would like us to just go away, but we will never give up our rights to the sea or mountains. As the vice president of the manini coalition, I say no more fishing laws. None. Just enforce what is on the books, nothing more nothing less.

It’s tiring with so many attacks on my people and our culture. Even to be Hawaiian Kanaka is a hard road to live by. In my heart, it saddens me daily on all the so-called concerned people, when we let children go homeless and veterans go houseless. Yet, we protect whales that no one eats and birds that no one uses. Funny. Somewhere no one learned from their tutu. To all our people, never surrender. Fight on forever for our country and our race. Aloha. Food for your mind.

Kawika Cutcher, Anahola

Scooters belong on our highways

Regarding the TGI letter (Feb. 20), “Scooters don’t belong on the highway.” Excuse me! We scooter riders pay for a permit to be on the highway.

Also, some of us use a scooter to go to work. It’s a gas saver. It has all the legal features (headlight, rear brake lights, turn signals and mirrors), like any automobile, to make it legal on the highway.

On another note, scooter riders wear helmets, bright-colored reflector vests and all other safety protections. We also follow all bicycle rules while riding on the highway, especially pulling over to the shoulder when there is a line of vehicles behind of you and using your mirrors to check traffic behind you.

We must all learn to share the road/highways.

Howard Tolbe, Eleele

What happens when trees are gone?

Aloha Kauai, I am so happy to read that the new biomass power plant near Koloa will be up and running soon. The jobs it creates will help to reduce the numbers of alien and invasive trees planted by the tree farmers and turn it into electric power. I am worried of the smoke that will be blowing toward the South Shore and Westside. I know it can’t be avoided, but I hope our health won’t be affected too much. I wonder what happens when they run out of their trees to burn.

What will be next to cut? I hope we are at least five years away from this problem, but it needs to be dealt with now to protect trees that we don’t want cut down later. My guess is the state will have the last say and the most trees to cut down on Kauai.

John Robinson, Kalaheo

Koloa meeting to learn about dairy

Got cows? Yes. Eventually 1,800 of them, rotating in pods of 330 through 216 paddocks, a 22,000-square-foot milking shed along cow raceways, with effluent settling and storage ponds, feed silos, pumps, pivot irrigation rigs and electric fences — just some of the dairy infrastructure.

This industrial agriculture project comprises a significant transformation to fertile and culturally rich Mahaulepu Valley.

Got questions? Concerns? Malama Mahaulepu definitely does, along with the Koloa Community Association. Hawaii Dairy Farms is willing to give their presentation and answer questions next week in Koloa.  

How does this whole thing work?

What are the environmental safeguards to protect the groundwater, air quality, stream and Class A ocean waters of Mahaulepu and Koloa-Poipu?

How can the public be involved, informed and a partner in monitoring the health of our aina?

Malama Mahaulepu works to protect the natural and cultural resources of Mahaulepu for future generations.  We believe that the Kauai community and its visitors deserve the continuing experience of this beautiful and historic place as an undeveloped area with compatible agricultural, cultural, educational and recreational uses. www.malama-mahaulepu.org

The informational meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 at the Koloa Neighborhood Center. Please join us.

Beryl Blaich, Coordinator Malama Mahaulepu

Bobby Apario, we miss you

Bobby Apario moved to California from the Philippines at age 4. At age 16 he became part of my father’s business family for nearly 40 years with the exception of the two he spent in Vietnam, where he was exposed to Agent Orange.

Ten years ago, he developed throat cancer diagnosed as a result of that exposure and had his esophagus removed. He was then fed through a tube inserted in a hole in his stomach and died seven years later at age 67 from an infection at that incision. His sobbing wife threw herself on his casket as his grieving children and grandchildren stood haplessly by. We all loved him very much.

There was no representative from Monsanto or Dow handing out embossed thank you notes. Nothing classy like attached coupons good for 15 percent off for the next purchase of Roundup for his sacrifice.

If the County Council had any sense of strategy it would now pass all the original provisions of Bill 2491 and give these traitors a real court case.

Kelly Ball, Kapaa

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