Letters for Sunday, March 25, 2007

• Kaua‘i supports fishermen

• On ‘The path of most resistance’

• The virus is doing its job

• In interest of early detection

Kaua‘i supports fishermen

Fishermen of the state have been asking the Legislature for the past two years to require the DLNR to use the best available science, and the scientific process, and to include the fishermen in the process of rule making.

Instead, the department has focused on the single “science” of area closures to manage our resources. They have enlisted the help of the environmental groups to drive a wedge in our community. We all need to better understand that closing areas is a method designed to only limit fishermen, not to protect our marine resources from other stressors including things like the Ka Loko Dam breach, the Pflueger development run-off, introduced species like taape and ro‘i, and fresh water diversion. These effects have longer lasting impacts than fishing, for it destroys habitat and needs to be monitored continuously. Fishermen want the DLNR to be responsible, to be professional and to follow its mandate in a fair and transparent manner.

Thanks to the support of honorable representatives Roland D. Sagum III and James K. Tokioka, our voices were finally heard and the House of Representatives supported by advancing the bill to the Senate.

Unfortunately, our Senate Water, Land, Agriculture and Hawaiian Affairs Committee gutted the bill and replaced our language with those of the Nature Conservancy and DLNR. A slap in the face for sure, we may be down, but not out.

Thank you people of Kaua‘i for electing open and fair minded representatives who took the time to understand the issue and asked questions and placed their support behind fishermen who truly wish to protect our marine resources through management that protects resources at sustainable levels for all generations to follow.

Roy N. Morioka

Fisherman from Honolulu, O‘ahu

On ‘The path of most resistance’

I am disturbed by the attitudes of Councilmembers Mel Rapozo and Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho in relation to the permits for the rest areas on the coastal pathway. They claim that the county purposefully made errors in the permitting process.

This couldn’t be any further from the truth. The county did have permits in place before the construction began. In the original planning of the rest areas, there were to be shade trees. During the construction process, the contractor realized that shade trees would not survive near the ocean because there would be no irrigation, so they decided to put on roofs.

It was a clerical error — it’s that simple. Councilmembers Rapozo and Carvalho want you to believe that making an error on a permit is the same as not applying for a permit at all. Tell me, what does the county have to gain from these rest areas? The county isn’t going to profit off of them.

It seems to me, that these two councilmembers are fighting the wrong fight. They should be fighting against big business and developers who are breaking the law, or are trying to destroy our island way of life. They should not be fighting the people who are simply trying to make this island a better place for its residents by putting in a safe place for us to walk and ride bikes.

If these two councilmembers were any kind of problem solvers, then they would ask how they can help rectify the problem and move forward. They are trying to find someone to place blame and that solves nothing. We should all be mad as hell that what they are actually doing is stalling the progress of our pathway.

Betty Rivers


The virus is doing its job

On behalf of Malama Pono, Kaua‘i AIDS Project, I’d like to say thanks to The Garden Island newspaper for publishing Wednesday’s op/ed piece on the HIV/AIDS problem in America’s native population.

The days of AIDS being a gay white man’s disease are long gone, but too many of us think that’s how it still is. Many on Kaua‘i think it just can’t happen to them. They think it just happens to those other people. But the reality is that they can be at risk because it’s caused by a virus and the virus doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care who you are. It doesn’t care if you’re young or old, what race you are, what gender you are or where you live. It doesn’t care. It’s just doing its virus job.

An emerging area of concern for HIV/AIDS infection is America’s senior population. More than 10 percent of new HIV infections are in persons over 50 years of age.

Why is this happening? The stereotype is that older people don’t have sex or use drugs. Well, guess what … they can, and they do.

HIV infections are increasing in retirement centers such as Arizona and Florida that are well populated with older men who now have access to medications such as Viagra. Older women who no longer have to worry about pregnancy due to their age are more free to express themselves sexually, but just don’t seem to think that they’re at risk for HIV. And the virus doesn’t care if it infects older people. It’s just doing its virus job.

Malama Pono’s mission is to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS on Kaua‘i by education and we thank The Garden Island for helping us with that mission.

Malama Pono provides free, anonymous and absolutely confidential testing for HIV and Hepatitis C. Please be safe. Get tested to make sure you’re safe and that those around you stay safe.

D.Q. Jackson, executive director

Malama Pono-Kaua‘i AIDS Project

In interest of early detection

As a medical scientist I was intrigued by the headline in the March 22 The Garden Island: “A newer, safer way to screen for breast cancer comes to Kaua‘i this weekend.”

That intrigue ended shortly thereafter when the word “thermography” appeared in the text. I came to realize that this front page “article” was a canned press release by one Dr. Nancy Gardner, who was once again gracing our presence. A quick consult with one of our resident radiologists confirmed that this “diagnostic procedure” is basically useless and is well-known to the medical profession as a medium through which to sell “cancer preventing nutraceuticals.” An internet search confirmed the former.

The Mayo Clinic opinion is typical: “Thermography, also called thermal imaging, has been studied for several decades. However, there is no evidence that breast thermography is an effective screening tool for early detection of breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.” As far back as 1977, the Beahrs Committee of the National Cancer Institute recommended that thermography be discontinued as a routine screening modality. Nothing has been presented since to indicate otherwise (see imaginis.com/breasthealth/thermal_imaging.asp). So much for the “newer, safer way.”

If thermography is such a useful diagnostic procedure, why does a woman need to visit a traveling salesperson at a beach resort to access it?

Robin Clark



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