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Letters for July 2, 2014

• Plan secrecy undermines dairy credibility • Time for tough decisions on feral cats • Schatz will do right for Hawaii

Plan secrecy undermines dairy credibility

Last week, the DOH Wastewater Branch released the second draft of a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP), submitted to them by Hawaii Dairy Farms. Malama Mahaulepu and other stakeholders were told that the latest CNMP iteration would evidence substantial changes that should address very real community concerns about the management of effluent, effective ocean and fresh water monitoring, odor and fly control and other environmental safeguards.

What was released instead was a CNMP with many sections, including information on effluent management and water quality monitoring, labeled “CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION. REDACTED.”

This withholding of information continues the trend of Hawaii Dairy Farms paying lip service to our concerns while failing to create good faith within the community. The herd size remains at 1,800 to 2,000 cows. “Confidentiality” keeps the public from knowing what the current proposal consists of as well as from being able to understand and assess any changes. It shields the dairy operation from public scrutiny, even that of other governmental agencies. “Confidentiality” creates the appearance of secrecy and haste.

Since news of the dairy at Mahaulepu broke last year, Malama Mahaulepu has kept an open mind in our support of compatible agriculture for this ahupuaa. We have advocated for and continue to support collaborative deliberation among stakeholder groups to address environmental, economic and social impacts of a dairy that size. Collaboration requires an attitude of respect, a process of open communication and the sharing — not withholding — of critical information.

At this point, we call on state regulators and HDF to make their proposed operations public prior to the final decision by the state Department of Health Wastewater Branch and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

 

Greg Peters, coordinator

Malama Mahaulepu

Time for tough decisions on feral cats

In regards to the letter from Mr. Louis Gauci of Kentucky and his concerns with Kauai’s intent to annihilate its cat population, Kauai is not Kentucky, or any state on the Mainland. 

Kauai is a small, isolated island with a very delicate ecosystem. In 1992 after Hurricane Iniki devastated the island, literally thousands of house pets were abandoned. Over the years, the feral cat population has exploded. Kauai is home to many species of rare and endangered birds, because, unlike the other islands, we do not have the mongoose. 

The feral/abandoned cats have now become a comparable threat to our native birds. Spayed or neutered, they are still predators, they eat baby seabirds, shorebirds, songbirds, pet birds and chickens. There is probably nothing more vulnerable than a ground-nesting bird. Cats prowl at night when the mamas are sitting on their babies, they literally reach underneath mom and eat her babies in front of her while she screams in defense. Unfortunately, I have witnessed this. No one wants to kill or annihilate pet cats. These are not pets. They are the product of someone no longer wanting the responsibly of caring for an animal. Even the ones living in colonies and being fed by caring people live short, pathetic lives, filled with hunger and suffering. This is a cruel life for the cats and possible extinction for our birds. If this continues, we may have to change our name from The Garden Island to Cat Island. Some choices are not easy, but they still have to be made.

Mika Ashley-Hollinger

Kilauea

Schatz will do right for Hawaii

Apollo Kauai strongly endorses Sen. Brian Schatz for Senate. Throughout his political career, Schatz has worked tirelessly for clean energy. He co-sponsored the state’s net energy metering legislation in 2001, which has helped put Hawaii at the forefront of renewable energy generation. More recently, he made climate change a political priority by leading 30 U.S. senators in a rare all-night session calling for action on climate change. 

Last year, he partnered with two senior senators in drafting carbon pricing legislation that would require large carbon polluters to pay for their emissions. Sen. Schatz currently serves as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Water and Power. As the most isolated landmass in the world, Hawaii is very vulnerable to the dual threat of rising fuel prices and climate change. So, transitioning to a clean energy economy has to be a priority for our new generation of political leaders. And Sen. Schatz is leading the charge. For these reasons, please join Apollo Kauai in supporting Brian Schatz for U.S. Senate.

 

Sharry Glass, Laurel Brier, Pamela Burrel

Apollo Kauai

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