Letters for Wednesday, February 14, 2018

HDF not pursuing expansion beyond 699 cows

We thank The Garden Island for its coverage of Hawaii Dairy Farm’s efforts to increase our state’s local milk supply. However, we request a correction to your recent story about an opinion offered by the Bloomberg School of Public Health, which is associated with the John Hopkins Center for Livable Future School of Public Health (“Letter questions dairy plan,” Feb. 11, 2018).

The story fails to mention that the concerns expressed in the letter refer only to dairy plans “should HDF expand to the contemplated herd size” from 699 to 2,000. In fact, the letter is essentially supportive of the proposal for 699 cows, indicating that it “includes many elements that are consistent with pasture-based, sustainable production.”

Omission of this important clarification, clearly stated in the first two paragraphs of the letter, misrepresents the scope of the opinion and does not further public discussion of the facts.

Hawaii Dairy Farms is not pursuing the expansion beyond 699 cows.

HDF’s proposed vision for an economically feasible, pasture-based dairy on Kauai is rooted in our mission to promote Hawaii’s self-sufficiency and sustainability through local food production. We remain committed to being a responsible community partner, as demonstrated by our participation in the environmental impact statement process.

Amy Hennessey, Hawaii Dairy Farms

On pesticides and government waste

Aloha, I have two items I would like to address. First, I want to thank Rep. Chris Lee for bringing up the fact that families here in the islands and everywhere for that matter, should have the right to live free from the harmful effects of pesticides.

The studies are in and there is plenty of evidence to prove pesticides are harmful to humans and the environment. And yes our honey bee populations are being adversely affected. The time is well past due to start putting the health of the people and the islands before big corporation bottom lines. Any politician who thinks otherwise will not be getting my vote as well as the votes of many others.

Secondly, regarding government waste and there is so much on all levels.

What happened to Gov. Ige’s Hawaii State Environmental Council? In 2016 he appointed, or shall we say hired, a 15 member state office council to bridge the state Office of Environmental Quality Control to the public. Members are from all islands except Niihau.

Two women from Kauai, Barbara Maka’ala Ka’aumoana and Theresita Kinnaman, who are supposed to be providing information to the public on all sorts of environmental issues.

I found an annual report but it had to do with the return of Hokule and hosting a World Youth Congress last summer. It would be helpful if these representatives would communicate with the public so we can address our concerns regarding our environment. If they have had meetings I never heard about them. Some information and outreach would be appreciated.

Linda Bothe, Kalaheo

  1. Mark Beeksma February 14, 2018 6:39 am Reply

    There are about 14,000 head of cattle already on Kauai. 700 more is probably not going to make much difference. Besides, this farm is designed to balance the manure with the fertilization requirements of the grass. This is the balance of nature. The stink should be minimal. This would be very different from the feed-lot-type dairies that stink so much. There also may be less cattle waste runoff into the ocean than is currently there, because there may be more care to bring water to the cows and keep the cows away from the streams.

  2. gordon oswald February 14, 2018 7:56 am Reply

    Sorry Amy. That’s 699 cows TOO MANY in that location! PLEASE MOVE ON!

  3. Charlie Chimknee February 14, 2018 10:26 am Reply

    A friend in the Wailua Homesteads with “wild” Christmas Berry trees in his yard, while not a honey producer himself has enjoyed the hum of the honey bees for over 30 years.

    But a few years ago he has noticed the bees have not returned, no sweet sound of their buzzing wings as they give and receive with the trees blossoms.

    He’s wondering is this absence of bees temporary or have they been poisoned by the insecticides used on island.

    Him and me discussed this, and we agree that we prefer a few insect bites in our fruits and veggies than the loss of the honey bees and their God given job of pollinating our food.

    Does anybody else care what the chemical “oil-petroleum-chemical” companies are doing to our foods. Chemicals of all toxic types sprayed on our food, put in the soil as chemical fertilizer, added to our food to convenience corporate food profits, petroleum chemicals making our polyester clothing, so many chemicals it makes us sick and we go to the doctor and the doctor gives us more oil based chemicals, the prescription and over the counter drugs.

    Read your food’s ingredients…food has become a pharmacy loaded with chemicals that stress our immune and other body systems, until we get sick and go to the doctor for more chemicals.

    Wouldn’t PREVENTION be a better SYSTEM…?

    Chemical food ain’r FAKE NEWS, IT’s FAKE FOOD..


  4. Kalapakirocky February 14, 2018 11:43 am Reply

    Somebody call the fire department, Ms. Hennessy’s pants are on fire.

  5. Lucky we live Kauai February 14, 2018 3:27 pm Reply

    As you, Amy Hennessy, have lied to the community on many occasions and are professional spin doctor, we don’t believe you. If Pierre Omidyar put it in writing, we might believe it but I know he won’t because that’s not the goal. You fail to mention that to produce milk your 699 cows must be pregnant. We get back to Jim Garmatz, farm manager, testimony in deposition for one of the lawsuits filed against HDF, he said,” They will not come onto the facility until they’re within 15 days of giving birth.“. So that would make 1,398 cows! Long ways from 699. I realize that the baby boy cows will get slaughtered for veal, so HDF might not reach 1398 cows until the female baby cows have reached maturity in 12 to 14 months and they have baby calves.

    As far as the letter to the Dept. Of Health and the Office of Environmental Control received from John Hopkins Bloomberg School Of Public Health, these quotes don’t agree with your spin of “the letter is ESSENTIALLY supportive” John Hopkins quote 1.) “The extent and capacity of HDF’s proposed lagoons present a system which utilizes waste management practices similar to a conventional large-scale dairy, not a pasture-based operation.” 2.) “The primary human health concerns related to IFAP include: risk of infections resulting from transmission of harmful microorganisms from animal operations to nearby residents, respiratory effects from increased exposure to air pollution from animal operations, and multiple negative health impacts due to exposure to ground and/or surface waters that can be contaminated by manure from animal operations. ”. And your EIS admitted to runoff of Nitrogen and Phosphorus, although it did fail to say the only way these two elements can runoff is in the form of bacteria laden manure. Oops.. the letter goes on to say, “
    Manure from IFAP operations have contaminated ground and surface waters with nitrates, drug residues, and other hazards and studies have demonstrated that humans can be exposed to waterborne contaminants from livestock operations through the recreational use of contaminated surface water and the ingestion of contaminated drinking water. Exposure to elevated levels of nitrates in drinking water is associated with adverse health effects, including cancer, birth defects and other reproductive problems, thyroid problems, and methemoglobinemia (i.e., blue baby syndrome) Nutrient runoff (including nitrogen and phosphorus) has also been implicated in the growth of harmful algal blooms, which pose health risks for people who swim or fish in recreational waters, or who consume contaminated fish and shellfish. Exposure to algal toxins has been linked to neurological impairments, liver damage, gastrointestinal illness, severe dermatitis, and other adverse health effects.”

    The Garden Island Newspaper ran an article on Feb. 13, 2018, yesterday, about a woman who had 14 worms removed from her eyes that were there as a result of face flies that are found around cattle. So no thank you to any of your cows and their face flies.

    1. akauian February 15, 2018 4:29 pm Reply

      Thank you, Lucky We Live Kauai, for a truly meaningful, thoughtful, educated explanation of the ways in which, yet again, as their recurring theme, Hawaii Dairy Farms insults the intelligence of the citizens of Kaua’i. Amy Hennesey, we’re not buying your latest ploy of 699 cows. Check out Lucky We Live Kauai’s explanation of the magic number of 1,398 cows — and that’s only the beginning — the numbers will definitely increase. The sentence: “As you, Amy Hennessy, have lied to the community on many occasions and are professional spin doctor …” is a mildly-stated fact. It’s time for you and Omidyar and all of your misguided crew to stop attempting to bring this scourge to the pristine, tropical island that its citizens love, GO AWAY!

  6. Rk669 February 14, 2018 6:50 pm Reply

    Kimchee Charlie,it’s the fact that the sky’s falling and all of this Cold wintertime is because of the dad blasted global warming Hoax! Do you need a job or just something to make your life more complete?

  7. Steve February 14, 2018 11:58 pm Reply

    Amy, Amy, Amy. You guys already admitted you’ll need a supplemental herd of at least 300 more (so now we’re up to 1,000 cows) in order to maintain 699 lactating animals, you already included some of the infrastructure in both your proposal and the FEIS for 2,000 cows, and you know that the number 699 is just one less cow than 700 which would officially make you what Is considered to be a Confined Animal Feeding Operation—an Industrial Farm—and subject to regs and optics you simply want no part of at this early stage. So can we dispense with the ruse and admit that 699 is just to get your foot in the door? Because we know from Ookala on the Big Island that once the permits are granted and the operation is established and the effluent starts then it seems no amount of illness and pollution, no breached promises, no flaunted regulations and no unimplemented safeguards are enough to cause anything like the changes and compliance those naifs who drink your developer’s coolaid hope and expect. At that stage it will simply be too late. We don’t want another Ookala.

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