Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023 |
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•Peace Appreciation Day
•Biotech needs regulation
•It’s in the bag
Peace Appreciation Day
What is real security? The tendency toward militarism in the United States seems to define it as a locked door and a loaded gun.
But does viewing the world as a place full of threats defined for us by politicians and corporate leaders truly protect our families and communities? Or does it tend to distract us from building safe, secure and prosperous communities based on social, economic and environmental justice?
To begin to answer these questions, grassroots community organizers on Kaua‘i have planned the Peace Appreciation Day potluck today in Waimea. This event provides the public with an alternative to the concurrent Military Appreciation Day events planned at PMRF.
It’s important for citizens at a grass-roots level to have opportunities like this to define and implement “real security” for ourselves. What does “security” mean to the working people of Kaua‘i who struggle harder each year to make ends meet?
What does it mean to students who face the loss of privacy on campus and the aggressive military recruitment of working-class youth? What does it mean to native people who are losing their lands and seeing their self-determination denied?
What does it mean to all of us when our food supply is imported, rather than localized? How would we like to shift the terms of the debate over security?
I don’t have all the answers to these questions, because the answers must come from all of us working collectively. If you would like to be part of the conversation and share your thoughts in an open public discussion, please come to Hofgaard Park in Waimea, near the Captain Cook Statue and Big Save, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Katy Rose, Hanalei
Biotech needs regulation
In regards to recent letters of support of BioTechnology on Kaua‘i’s Westside from Alicia Maluafiti, Executive Director of the Hawai‘i Crop Improvement Association, and Randy Francisco, President, Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce, readers should note that the authors are professionals whose main responsibilities are to promote their business interests.
Ms. Maluafiti and Mr. Francisco are paid by businesses to promote their special interests, irregardless of concerns by community interests that have good reason to question the practices and products of industrial agriculture.
BioTechnology is hard to embrace when it’s forced on you. The need for jobs on the Westside, and for Kaua‘i in general, should not trump the health and well being of the island and her residents.
Our economy will be better served by good jobs (living wages, health benefits and retirement plans) that do not cause harm to it’s workers and their surrounding communities. Excessive use of pesticides on fields that are “open test” sites for GE seeds are of great concern to many members in our community.
Recently proposed legislation supported by members of the HCIA, comprised of member seed companies Dow AgroScience, Monsanto, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Syngenta and BASF, would prohibit state and county administrative regulatory actions from banning or otherwise regulating activities related to genetically modified plant organisms, with certain exceptions (HB1226 HD1).
This legislation would give free reign to bio-corporations to conduct experimental field tests without state or county regulators the authority to intervene or ban certain activities. Why should we embrace that?
BioTech corporate interests should not be forced upon anyone. Local communities and their government representatives should be able to intervene and regulate as needed.
I’m sure members of the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce would agree that the culture we must also perpetuate is one that respects and encourages the health and welfare of workers, their families and the communities where they reside. I imagine chamber members would also agree that our current business landscape includes a healthy toxic free environment for all.
BioTech industry, whose legacy has left behind elevated rates of asthma, cancer and environmental degradation in the communities where its employees live and work, needs to be monitored and regulated before we should just open the doors and break out the lau hala welcome mats.
James G. Trujillo, Kapa‘a
It’s in the bag
Thanks to County Council members Tim Bynum and Lani Kawahara for working on legislation to ban the sale of plastic bags on Kaua‘i. It’s been a long time coming.
I don’t agree that an “incentivizing” (is that a word?) plan would work as the mayor suggests because 15 cents is worthless in today’s economy where nothing is under $5. I think it’s a half-hearted idea that will have an insipid result.
I say ban them and replace them with biodegradable bags, and how about this year instead of 2011? Let’s stand behind our convictions because anything is possible. If we can imagine it we can create it.
Anita Cook, Koloa
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