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Letters for Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Visitor willing to help pay for wear-and-tear on island

I have followed the discussion in your paper concerning the impact of tourism on the island.

I have to agree with those who point out that tourism causes wear-and-tear on island infrastructure and services, just as permanent residents do.

My wife and I have been a part of that problem for the past 10 years, coming over every year for a month of respite from the rest of the world in your slice of paradise.

I believe it is only fair that those of us who are not permanent residents contribute their fair share to the maintenance and upkeep of infrastructure, and to support services which we utilize or may utilize.

I read in TGI that at any one time there are about 70,000 permanent residents and 20,000 visitors on Kauai. Using simple math, that tells me visitors should pay 22 percent of the costs of infrastructure and services they utilize, with that revenue staying in the County of Kauai.

Seems high, but if the numbers previously reported are correct, this would potentially represent the proportion of wear-and-tear and use of services tourism should be held accountable for. I — for one — would support this as only fair.

Thomas Knapp, AIA Architect, San Francisco

GMO crops are good for mankind

I am a retired aerospace engineer/physicist and I applaud Allan Parachini’s commentary in the Sunday paper (TGI, Feb. 25). I agree with Allan 100 percent — seek the facts — show me the data.

My engineering firm for 11 years directly supported NASA and the Shuttle program and after the Columbia disaster all we concentrated on was seeking the truth. Let’s all seek the truth here — not panic gossip. I have been continually amazed over the years at Kauai’s phobia on anything outside. Its xenophobia the likes that the Nazi would be proud of.

To feed ourselves and the world, humans had to get smarter — as Dr. Paul MacCready once said, “…doing more with less is an essential feature of a world that works…”

Paul loved this island as all the Helios tests were done out of Barking Sands. Doing more with less means applying science to food. Compared with some highly toxic, known carcinogenic pesticides, there is nothing wrong with GMO food supplies.

Do we fear giraffes because they genetically altered to long necks, so they could reach their food supply way back when? Do we fear whales because they genetically altered their feet into flippers when they went into the sea’s millions of years ago?

Do we fear vaccines because they alter our immune system to resist disease? Do we fear immuno-oncology for cancer treatment because it is a dramatic paradigm change in the fight against cancer ?

GMO crops are simply good for humankind because they improve on the good and remove the bad traits, giving mankind a higher quality of life on this planet.

W. Craig Willan, Kilauea

  1. Steven McMacken March 6, 2018 5:41 am Reply

    Although I agree with your argument, Mr. Willan, I don’t think you are going to get many converts when you equate those who don’t with Nazis.

    1. rk669 March 6, 2018 3:49 pm Reply

      Free Reading and Comprehension classes at the Community Center for the Aged!

  2. Ed March 6, 2018 8:04 am Reply

    I remember the shuttle disaster you and the other scientist of your firm were in charge of… It didn’t go as planned as I remember. Let’s hope GMO’s aren’t an even bigger disaster

  3. Marv Walker March 6, 2018 8:24 am Reply

    Regarding Thomas Knapp’s letter..visitors should pay their fare share…I do agree that we as visitors should do just that…but we do pay pretty healthy taxes on car rental and lodging tax..Where do these taxes go? The thing that bothers me is the number of visitors that require EMS services to be rescued from swimming where they shouldn’t be or hiking on trails when there are warning signs not to hike in certain weather conditions. it seems to me that people who need rescuing when they are avoiding warning signs..should have to pay the expense of being rescued…and not putting this tax burden on the locals. We are also frequent visitors to the Islands..primarily Kauai and we do everything we can to help the local economy.

  4. Craig Millett March 6, 2018 1:30 pm Reply

    Poor W. Craig Willan, for all his science background he can’t seem to manage a holistic view of this issue. He says that these GMO crops are not as bad as pesticides. Does he not realize that these have been modified to be dependent on pesticides?
    Then of course there is the issue over population of humans which devastating the rest of life on Earth.
    Please wake up soon.

  5. Valerie March 6, 2018 2:09 pm Reply

    Thank you Mr Knapp for considering residents need offsets for visitor wear and tear.

    The visitor numbers of 20,000 Thomas Knapp is referring to as possibly high, are old and low. Per Sue Kanoho of Kauai Visitors Bureau, the average daily number for LAST YEAR was 26,275. See AVOIDING OVERTOURISM, March 4, 2018, TGI. And that’s before the 40% planned increase in airlift for this year. It gives me a hopeless feeling.

  6. Tony Cook March 6, 2018 7:12 pm Reply

    Throughout history whenever we mess with our food supply we create a problem. We condense milk to make butter which clogs our arteries. We condense corn to make oil which clogs our arteries. We filter our water which takes out the minerals that are essential. We domesticate our animals which robs them of their Omega 3’s ruins our meat supply. We process our food which causes heart disease, cancer Alzheimer’s, diabetes ext.. We pick our vegetable s too soon so they aren’t too ripe when they are shipped across the country which depletes their nutrients. We spray our crops with pesticides which causes cancer. Do you see where I might be sceptical when you want to create Frankenfruit by combining animal genes with plant genes to make producing fruit and vegetables cheaper? We all know that the healthiest food is that which is in it’s most natural state. Don’t mess with it!

  7. Charlie chimknee March 7, 2018 4:05 am Reply

    As to the visitor tax which also requires a separate excise tax, the total tax is now 14.25%; however the Transient Accommodation Tax of 10.25% tax goes to Honolulu and Kauai sees zero % of the 10.25% portion. of it. Think the new rapid transit on Oahu and where our visitor money goes….that is, our Kauai visitors’ money.

    Kauai may be able to charge each visitor $1/day tax for each day on island, that would bring $26,000 a day in add’l income to Kauai. A buck a day hardly to squabble over. But it would mean another $9.5 million a year. How, many road puka is that ?

    1. billyjoebob March 7, 2018 12:22 pm Reply

      ” But it would mean another $9.5 million a year. How, many road puka is that ? ”
      Three, after administrative costs.

    2. Marv Walker March 8, 2018 5:56 am Reply

      Thanks for the explanation on taxes…thats hardly fair that the outer islands have to hand all of that “transient Accommodation Tax” over to support something in Honolulu. I agree..assessing visitors an additional dollar per day would be reasonable and hardly noticeable when looking at the big picture of the total cost of the trip.A small price to pay if it would help alleviate some of the issues facing local tax payers.

  8. manawai March 7, 2018 2:59 pm Reply

    “Does he not realize that these have been modified to be dependent on pesticides?”

    That is an out and out lie made up by the Center For Food Safety, an anti-GMO organization. It was meant to strike fear in the naïve and unintelligent which this statement clearly shows that it has been partially successful in doing.

  9. manawai March 7, 2018 3:10 pm Reply

    PS – One might think the above (mis)statement makes sense, but it does not. The truth is that the seed companies already control the market on pesticides & herbicides. They have now created seed varieties that depend less on these poisons (than organic food crops do) so that they can control the seed market as well. With GMO seeds, farmers can spend a little more for the seeds and save much more by buying far less pesticides than with non-GMO seed crops. Don’t be duped by the staff rhetoric of these “non-profits” that pay themselves large salaries via donations from their wealthy, yet sadly unread, patrons.

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