Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023 |
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• Steamed about biomass • State’s
newest pen pal? • “MYNAH” Misconceptions of our
Home • Tobacco programs at risk •
Bypass road closure
Steamed about biomass
Biomass plants are a health hazard when located in residential areas!
I am relatively new to Kekaha, but would not have purchased a home here had I known that Kekaha was the dumping ground for Kaua‘i! I have attended community meetings on several issues relating to these, including the recent Sunrise Capital permit to dump 20 million gallons of shrimp waste into our “protected” waters here daily. That permit was opposed by hundreds of residents here in Kekaha, but was quietly granted by the clean water branch of the DOH. Now I am learning of the biomass plant which will be at the sugar mill site, right in the residential heart of Kekaha. Don’t people here know that biomass plants pose great health health risks from burning materials which release toxic chemicals into the atmosphere such as sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, dioxins and volatile organic compounds. Various irritant gases such as nitrogen oxide cause ground level ozone, or smog, which can scar lungs. Particulate matter releases are as high or higher than for coal. People living near biomass plants are at higher risk for cancer, asthma and other lung related diseases. The American Lung Association opposes biomass plants, stating that their emissions pose unacceptable health risks.
So-called environmentally-conscious entrepreneurs need to stop picking on small, out-of-the way communities that may not be as well-informed and are thus vulnerable to promises of jobs or other benefits. I can’t see any benefits, just a complete decline in our quality of life and real estate values.
Les Birleson, Kekaha
State’s newest pen pal?
My name is Jimmy Forestburg. I live in Massachusetts which is far away from there. I go to the school Upham Elementary School. In fourth grade we have a state fair. That is we learn about 1 state. And I got picked for Hawai‘i!
Will you please send information and post cards, small souvenirs of parks and pictures. Will you please send this article if it gets in the newspaper.
I am so excited to learn more!
Jimmy Forestburg, Ms. Collins class, Upham School, 35 Wynnewood Rd.
Wellesley, MA 02481
“MYNAH” Misconceptions of our Home
My youth has put me in the unique position of knowing mainstream media like the back of my hand — from online chat rooms to Facebook feeds, I can communicate with just about anyone in the world, instantaneously. I have noticed an intriguing trend, however: I can predict the reactions of those I’m talking to when they learn I’m from Hawai‘i.
“Wow, you’re so lucky! I’ve always wanted to visit there!” are the most common. What is a little less, but a bit more slap-in-the-face-worthy, are some of the misconceptions some mainlanders have about our islands: “Do you guys surf every day?” and even more thought-provoking, (as in, what on earth is this guy thinking?!) “You liar, Hawai‘i’s a third-world country, there’s no electricity!”
So please, for the children, for the sake of spreading aloha, all who read this, refute the following:
• Hawai‘i has no modern conveniences, such as electricity or running water. I don’t know about you, but I prefer a toilet over a bush.
• Hawaiians are “natives,” not “locals.” What an effective self-esteem boost.
• We “natives” wear coconut bras and grass skirts, and live in shacks on the beach. Folks, I don’t even know what to say about this one.
• Watch out for tsunamis and volcanoes. The last two tsunamis were pretty minor, and death by volcano isn’t exactly likely.
• Do NOT expect to receive lei when you first step off the plane, or aloha spirit to be everywhere you go. And do NOT use the term “getting lei’d.” It’s not clever.
John Medeiros, Waimea High School
Tobacco programs at risk
For over 10 years, Kaua‘i has been the leader in tobacco control. In 2002, Kaua‘i County Council passed a law to make restaurants smoke-free. Kapa‘a and Waimea High Schools have the only in-school tobacco cessation programs in the state. This prevention effort is supported by Tobacco Settlement funds.
Since implementing the in-school programs, youth tobacco use has decreased. Kapa‘a High School’s tobacco use dropped from 18.8 percent in 2005 to 8.5 percent in 2010. Waimea High School’s rates dropped from to 9.5 percent in 2006 to 5 percent in 2010 (Kapa‘a and Waimea High School Annual Tobacco Surveys).
Child and Family Service, located in Kapa‘a, Lihu‘e and Waimea, provide adult and family quit-smoking programs island-wide through grants from the Tobacco Settlement.
All of this progress is at risk. Lawmakers want to divert Tobacco Settlement funds away from tobacco prevention. This diversion would end smoking prevention programs for Kaua‘i children.
Tobacco companies spend millions of dollars annually to recruit new young smokers in Hawai‘i. Tobacco prevention programs are the only defense against “Big Tobacco.” Kaua‘i children and families cannot afford a raid on the Tobacco Settlement trust funds.
Sally Jo Manea, Kapa‘a
OMG!!! You people are going to close the bypass road for three weeks??? Are you totally crazy, or just don’t care how difficult it is to get around already and now you are going to make matters 1000 percent worse? Those of you who have made this terrible decision should be condemned to drive the Wailua to Kealia corridor back and forth until the closure is lifted. And that especially includes you, Dan Meisenzahl!
Why can’t this work be done at night?
Kay Obloy, Wailua Homesteads
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