Letters for Thursday, March 19, 2015

• Community response appreciated • Support effort to block dairy • Possible solutions to congestion 

Community response appreciated

I am, as I so often have been, wonderfully impressed with our community here on Kauai. After a difficult announcement to reduce positions at our Kekaha site, the community responded with an amazing outpouring of support. I am personally very touched by the efforts to find new employment opportunities for our affected staff.

I would like to thank The Garden Island for covering the story, and making the community aware of the situation. On behalf of Syngenta, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to those individuals and companies for their swift and supportive responses. We know our former co-workers also appreciate the initiative to reach out. The organizations that ultimately hire them will gain good employees, who are also great people.

For anyone interested in sharing other employment opportunities, please contact: Syngenta Local Human Resources, Office Number: (808) 337-1408 ext. 170

Or please feel free to email me at: joshua.uyehara@syngenta.com

Joshua Uyehara, Hawaii Continuous Nursery site manager, Waimea

Support effort to block dairy

I don’t think many of us are against having a dairy farm or two on the island. It would certainly help in our efforts toward sustainability, but the proposed dairy at Mahaulepu is a factory farm. That is where the objection arises. Too many cows, on too few acres, on land that is not absorbent = air and water pollution.

I drove by a small version of such a farm back in Michigan on a regular basis. It stank, and I’d estimate it only housed 200 cows. How far will the fumes from this large herd of cattle extend? The South Shore will be damaged just by the stench alone. Then there’s the runoff, which will have to go makai, and we should already know the effect that it will have on the reefs and beaches. Tunnels, Anini and Hanalei Bay should be enough examples of what pollution from rivers and streams can do to reefs.

The best fish habitat we have left around the island, except perhaps for Na Pali, is the South Shore. It is definitely the best snorkeling that’s easily accessible for locals and visitors alike. The ponds at Lydgate on the Eastside are great right now, but we all know what flood waters from the Wailua River can do to those vulnerable spots. They serve as another example of why it’s important to keep runoff from reaching the ocean.

Will this huge dairy really provide us lower cost, local milk, or will this highly processed milk be exported, leaving us with all the damage and no benefit at all? Or, as one interesting letter suggested, is this just a planned failure and future tax write-off for the wealthy owners? There are far too many questions and risks for this project to move forward. Popular support certainly isn’t there.

We should encourage and support smaller, locally owned dairies in suitable locations around the island. For now, let’s support Malama Mahaulepu’s lawsuit to block this factory farm. To donate, go to http://www.malama-mahaulepu.org/actions/donate.html and give what you can. Credit cards and PayPal are accepted. If you’d rather send a check, the address is: Malama Mahaulepu, PO Box 658, Koloa, HI, 96756

Christine Queen, Kapaa

Possible solutions to congestion 

The two culprit areas creating congestion in Kapaa seem to be:

A) Two lanes merging to one lane at the Kauai Village Plaza in Waipoli. Currently, having two lanes north doesn’t do much to ease traffic when it turns into a single lane at Waipoli. Continue the northbound lane from there and include a roundabout for the Hauaala and Kawaihau Road access/egress and with concern to safety, only merge back to a single lane north only after Kealia Beach Park.

B) The merger of the bypass road on to Kuhio Highway where it converges into a single lane, north bound and the other across Coco Palms.

A few years ago, I had suggested that there should be two lanes all the way from the bypass to Lihue 24/7. It is important that there should be no traffic jams enroute to a hospital and the airport.

Creating a constant “contra flow” will save the county a large amount of money in man hours, equipment and fuel as well as eliminate the traffic congestion that installing and dismantling the cones creates every day it is in use, twice a day!

The other suggestion, for what it’s worth, is to remove the hydroelectric overhead lines by the Coco Palms and run them underground. This is done in many parts of the world today. It will provide the space for another lane and possibly an overhead bridge from the Coco Palms to the beach in front, making sure it is suitable for wheelchair access. A fence should be installed all along Coco Palms so no one can try to get to the beach by crossing the road and slowing traffic. Any bus stops should be before and after the Coco Palms. These suggestions are not the best but I am sure it will help until the county comes up with a better plan. It will not cost billions. On the other hand, it might save the county in the long run. Am I talking to a brick wall?

Syd Jacobs, Kapaa

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