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Letters for Saturday, August 23, 2008

• Let’s do it right ferry riders

• Higher yields for all of us

• Honor truck drivers

• Brilliant energy idea

Let’s do it right ferry riders

In response to Maui resident Deborah Kaiu’s letter (“I’d come to Kauai,” Letters, Aug. 22) on Superferry, I’d like to comment on her first two points why she believes it should come to Kaua‘i:

• “The cost is lower than the airlines” — Superferry, similar to the go! strategy, has been artificially deflating its fares because they aren’t applying the very large fuel surcharge fees deemed by the PUC. Sooner or later they’ll have to abide, as they hemorrhage in their debt and who ultimately pays?

• “The beauty of the untouched land” — This is exactly why a true EIS is needed before Superferry returns. Kaua‘i’s the only island without mongoose, my Maui friend, and many other EIS spotable issues. Kaua‘i may not be “untouched beauty” for you without EIS safeguards.

Also, most people still don’t know, the current Environmental Assessment being done as part of Gov. Linda Lingle’s special session has clear loopholes, big enough that you could drive a Superferry through.

Rich Hoeppner, a true-hearted Kaua‘i activist, reviewed this special interest law: In Superferry’s Act 2 law, Parts 1, 2, and 4 mostly cover what the “Large Ferry” is free to do in violation of the Hawaii Environmental Protection Act 343. Part 3 covers the environmental assessment, but there is one paragraph that stipulates that this part does not affect anything covered in parts 1, 2, or 4. This makes the environmental assessment conducted under Act 2 totally irrelevant in its effect on Kaua‘i.

There are also two Hawaii Supreme Court cases pending: one from Judge Valenciano’s Kaua‘i court and one from Judge Cardoza’s Maui court. After reading the court briefs on both cases, I (Rich) am totally convinced that Act 2 will be found unconstitutional and the ferry will again be grounded until an independent Environmental Impact Statement is completed, just as Cardoza’s Court originally decreed.

Let’s all wait and see what our Supreme Court decides. (Thank you Rich Hoeppner).

Patience, Superferry riders. Let’s do it right for all.

John Cragg


Higher yields for all of us

As a farmer, businessman and someone who cares about feeding my family and the world, I want to thank Hawai‘i for what your state contributes to the technology that will allow us to continue to increase yields in the crops we grow.

The anti-biotechnology crowd has been outspoken, and as farmers, we may not have spoken out loud enough or often enough to share the “rest of the story.” But when I began to hear the latest talking point, claiming that biotechnology does not increase yield, I had to speak up.

Today, biotechnology helps prevent yield loss from weeds and pests to ensure that corn hybrids and soybean varieties produce to their full potential. The first decade of biotech development has succeeded in protecting yield potential. The biotech pipeline will continue that trend and new traits are being added that will actually increase yield potential.

On my own farm in North Dakota, we used to get 80 to 100 bushel corn crops before the advent of herbicide-tolerant corn. Today we are averaging 130 to 160 bushels on that same land. This is a direct result of the ability to plant early because of assured weed control and the ability to no-till, which preserves soil moisture.

New developments in biotechnology, especially drought tolerance, will increase the yield potential of the world’s crop acreage. The continued development of new technologies is the best hope farmers and the public have of meeting the incredible growing demand for food, feed, fiber and biofuels in the coming decades.

The research that is being done in Hawai‘i plays a significant part in that progress. While the biotech-naysayers twist facts and stick their heads in the sand, farmers are putting biotech seeds in the ground and producing higher yields for all of us.

Terry Wanzek

Jamestown, N.D.

Honor truck drivers

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is Aug. 24 through Aug. 30.

A Tow In Paradise will be giving out free drinks and snacks to our truck drivers during this week to help celebrate. Our professional truck drivers safely deliver important goods to every home, community, school and business. Please join us and show your appreciation in your own way to let our truck drivers know how important they are to us.

Roger Ridgley Jr.


Brilliant energy idea

In regard to the letter to the editor submitted by Chiem Ma (“Time to act on alternative energy sources,” Letters, Aug. 21):

This is a brilliant and well thought-out answer to our energy dilemma. By working collectively within a new framework created by KIUC, the residents of this tiny island can make a difference. The efficiency of this approach far outweighs the individual homeowners installing their own systems on their land. The county permit process is presently clogged up with the present individual-one-at-a-time applications. This solves that mess and frees up the county to address other pressing issues. There will be significant savings in the cost of installing solar or wind generation from a central location that is created and managed by KIUC. We should be able to get the same results with half the home or business owner cost. One other benefit is that neighbors will not have to look at solar panels or wind generators on our property. We live in a beautiful place and do not need the visual clutter. The bottom line is Chiem Ma’s idea makes real sense and can be a great benefit to the island if implemented. We must encourage KIUC to study this idea, fine tune it and take action.

John Moseley



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