Letters for Monday, July 28, 2008

• Say no to pesticide

• Paying a fair share

Say no to pesticide

In response to the July 19 letter “Should we count our blessings for GMOs, or not?”

Recalling the last community event held at Kekaha, some wanted to make GMO corn the hot topic under the tent save for now the emphasis is on words ending in “-cide.” Webster’s defines cide as: killer-insecticide, killing-suicide.

Concerns in Kekaha about the ditches, deserted mill, brownfields, only landfill, pesticide behavior, pesticide activity harming school children, and pesticide contamination in the land and groundwater was being undermined by anti-GMO people because of “too many issues on the agenda” and “the community needed to air their concerns without the seed companies’ participation.”

Despite the opposition, Syngenta Seeds, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Monsanto, PMR and the county and the state were welcomed to read the printed facts and listen to fears about contamination in the neighborhood.

If GMO results in more pesticide spraying it makes more sense to do something about the pesticide.

Cindy Goldstein stated GMO food safety decisions are based on “the weight of the body of scientific evidence,” according to The Garden Island’s May 2 article entitled “Spraying and GMO hot topic under tent.”

It’s understandable for systems to favor industry as opposed to the truth. We learned this in the tobacco industry. Truth is, there are no data being kept about the deleterious effects of pesticides.

Toxicologists are far behind scientific knowledge. They don’t even know if to say “the dose is the poison” is no longer true. There are studies of low-dose agrochemicals and pesticides injuring the developing embryo, Discovery 2005.

In a recent spraying incident on the North Shore of O‘ahu, the owner told the truth about what he knew about what he did wrong.

La Grande scientist Anne Greenlee combined pesticides to stimulate exposure from drinking ground water or inhaling drift and found that the mixtures were even more toxic.

Kekaha has been tested for its level of toxicity but not for the effects it has had on the people there. Where has all that toxicity gone?

It is lingering in the land, water and air. Has been floating around for years now. There are health and safety issues troubling the township today linking the past and present.

Why aren’t there more gynecology and oncology services on the Westside using advance technology?

Bow heads, put hands together, ask for blessings that government, corporations, leaders and followers spend their energies to sanitize the ditches, decontaminate the mill, sterilize the old plantation chemical sites, clean up the Kekaha mill site, line the landfill, build homes on safe brownfields, monitor pesticide behavior and make the town a healthy place to live in.

Educate the community that it is illegal to claim that pesticides are safe in any way. Change the laws, make it harder for regulatory agencies to allow pesticide users to cause damage.

Say no to pesticide.

Genara Buza-Campos


Paying a fair share

To the Tolberts, regarding your July 24 letter “Timeshare owner discrimination unfair.” I ask you to consider the fact that our island population is approximately 64,000 full-time residents, while our visitor population is over 1.2 million annually.

The tax changes were proposed after consideration was given to several factors, including a study which indicates island visitors use the majority of the county services our property taxes go toward paying. No surprise, really.

Your tax increase is not an attempt to offer the full-time residents of Kaua‘i a tax break at your expense, as you implied, but rather to more fairly proportion the cost of the county services paid by property taxes. It is very unfortunate that the disbursement of these costs was out-of-balance when you purchased your time-share, but that does not change the fact that some form of correction needs to occur.

But you seem to have ventured away from making a public complaint about a tax increase, into territory that is much darker. And this, to me, is unacceptable.

You mention boycotting restaurants (the majority of which are mom and pop-owned and employ local people), no longer using tour services (same as previous) and when you do eat out, withholding your server’s tips (your server likely being a struggling young person/parent who works at least two jobs in order to afford just to pay rent).

It saddens me that you feel the need to resort to threats against those who have done nothing to you in an attempt to blackmail them into petitioning your cause. And you wrote that you felt you were being treated like second-class citizens. Huh.

Even worse than that, if one can imagine, is you write about the restaurants and shops, and tours and attractions as though Kaua‘i is an amusement park. It is not an amusement park.

Kaua‘i is, first and foremost, the home of the people who were born here, who have buried parents, grandparents and great-grandparents here and raised children here. They do not deserve to be treated as pawns when you do not get your way.

You are their guests and they have always welcomed you (and, I might add, millions of others like you) graciously to share their home. An appropriate response from you would be to graciously accept their hospitality.

The people who live here deserve your respect. In fact, they earned your respect long before you ever arrived.

Yes, the economy in Hawai‘i is fed by the great tourist machine. You enjoy a paradise playground, and jobs are created for local people. But do not be fooled into thinking the people here have not sacrificed a great deal in this exchange. They did not ask for this, it is simply the nature of the way things have evolved.

You, Paul and April, are not alone in your threats to “reconsider your travel expenses.”

If it weren’t so sad, it would be comical. All of these people grumbling and making threats to the local people because of this proposed tax increase on their vacation properties and second homes in paradise, while so many people born here are realizing the sad truth that they will never be able to afford a home of their own because of all the people who came here to buy vacation properties and second homes in paradise.

Judy Lynch



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