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Letters for Friday, March 27, 2015

• Vehicle tax too high, unfair • We must protect Mahaulepu

Vehicle tax too high, unfair

While our county officials are battling over another taxand-spend measure to fix our roads, I am wondering if the Kukuiula Development Company is going to pay to repair/replace our practically new, once smooth Ala Kalanikaumaka.

They have been running 18-wheelers in and out of their development every five minutes on the bypass, moving earth around at their latest housing project for over a month now. The road already has separation cracks from the south entrance to the north “farm” entrance of the project, caused, I believe, by these trucks and the unusual frequency of their runs.

Will our governing council ever figure out that the kamaaina and permanent residents can no longer subsidize their “tax-and-spend” mentality?

When I moved here in 2008, my 2006 SUV’s registration was around $90. My same 9-year-old car was $216 to register for 2015. Because my car is heavier than the compacts driven locally, I am penalized. I have my car because it is safe. I will drive it until it dies. Is it fair and equitable that the older my car gets, the more I have to pay to register it?

I dare say the 18-wheelers do far more damage to our roads than my SUV, and yet their rate is only $0.03 vs. my $0.02 per pound. It’s time to look at the big picture. All of the new development brings our Garden Island more tourists, more congestion and more damage to our infrastructure by the trucks that build and continue to supply these resorts with furnishings, food, fuel and supplies.

It simply is not fair to burden the locals with the damage done by construction for tourists and additional traffic caused by them.

Kathy Lanstyak, Koloa

We must protect Mahaulepu

Mahaulepu has always been a special place for me. It is sacred ground for the Native Hawaiians and it is a spiritual place for many of Kauai’s people. The proposed site of an industrial dairy, also called an animal factory farm, raises serious concerns. Animals on factory farms generate many times the harmful fecal waste that humans do. This harmful waste will contaminate the air we breathe and the water we drink. In a contamination study conducted by a Minnesota agricultural engineer John Christian, he concluded that “the pollution strength of raw animal manure is 160 times greater than raw municipal sewage.” 

Mahaulepu’s soil is clay based. The raw fecal matter from the cows will flow into our ocean, polluting the ocean that we swim, surf and fish in. 

The proposed dairy is 750 feet away from our drinking water wells. The cow’s fecal matter contains nitrates and harmful bacteria that can easily seep into our drinking water. A joint report by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Oklahoma Department of Agricultural concluded that ingesting water with nitrates caused by animal factory farms can cause increased rates of birth defects, miscarriage, leukemia, increase in thyroid size and other illnesses. 

We need to stop the dairy now. Billionaires Case and Odimayer can buy off the politicians, but they will never be able to pay the huge price of their destruction of Kauai.

Liz Cope, Koloa

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