Letters for March 15, 2015

• HDF not addressing concerns • Stop complaining about dairy • Put tax dollars to best use • Train could alleviate traffic

HDF not addressing concerns

In Monday’s TGI, David Collison wrote a guest column: “New Zealand model isn’t Mahaulepu.” There are now several individuals with backgrounds in dairy farming who’ve come forward to sound serious warnings about the way HDF is going about its industrial dairy project.

Nonetheless I’ve seen very little point-for-point rebuttal to these concerns from the folks who support HDF, let alone the HDF people — who seem bent on merely touting those aspects with sound-bite appeal: “grass-fed,” “zero-discharge,” “self-sustaining,” “best-practices” — all of which have been roundly challenged in these pages, to the point they beg for some real, thorough answers.

The public “briefing” they held on Feb. 20 in Koloa was an exercise in PR-craft. Moreover, most of HDF’s supporters try to make those who challenge them seem like self-serving activists whose short-sighted opposition extends to the ag industry as a whole, farmers, beef, dairy products … you name it.

In fact, there are folks like Collison with backgrounds in dairy who expose this type of criticism for what it is, a distraction that draws attention away from the issues that really matter: the effects on the aina, the community, the coastal waters and reefs, our visitor economy, our drinking water, our quality of life — how many will benefit vs. how many will be harmed.

When you add it all up, something stinks about this whole business. And when it’s resolved one way or another, there will be those who should have to answer for the odor coming from any hands that helped facilitate such an egregious sleight.

Steve Lauryn

Koloa

Stop complaining about dairy

I am getting a bit tired of one irritating “Republican-type” of lie against the dairy. Hawaii does not have biting flies, we have mosquitoes since the 20th century but no biting flies. I wish the protesters would drop that claim.

When the Koloa Plantation was in operation, there were probably lots of mosquitoes; now people are gonna complain about the dairy causing a problem?

Also, I think I’ve read only one or two letters that offer an alternative instead of only complaining. Seems like most complainers forgot that Kauai was an agricultural island until it was realized that more tax income can come from housing than farming. Thus, more transplanted “complainers” and changes to this island … dependence on imports more and more; less island produce.

At least, that’s my perception.

Masa Shirai

Lihue

Put tax dollars to best use

Our government should not open any new international airports until our elected representatives find a sustainable funding mechanism for the Department of Homeland Security. U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard recently met with Hawaii District Airport Manager Chauncey Wong-Yuen to discuss the feasibility of a U.S. Customs facility at Kailua-Kona Airport, which would create the framework for a second international airport in Hawaii.

If Rep. Gabbard plans to run for Senate, vice president or president someday, then she should learn theories of finance such as “time value of money.”

Our representatives need to know how to put taxpayer dollars to best use to determine which projects to undertake and which projects to eliminate. Rep. Gabbard and other members of Congress should learn how to calculate “payback” because they are in a position to reduce an $18 trillion national debt.

Alex Haller

Haiku, Maui

Train could alleviate traffic

This may be another solution to solve our crowded highways problems such as the bumper-to-bumper traffic.

In the old days when sugar mills were in full operation, there were trains that hauled the sugar to Nawiliwili Boat Harbor in Lihue for shipping to California.

Why not rebuild some of these tracks and tunnels for a train to transport us around Kauai? Also, build some mini-train stations and a main train depot in Lihue.

Howard Tolbe

Eleele

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