Letters for Sunday, August 14, 2011

• Where there’s a will there’s a way • Mount Trashmore just

keeps growing • Let’s get together on hydro impacts

Where there’s a will there’s a way

Mark Beeksma’s Aug. 11 letter to the editor titled, “Small business and liberty,” basically talks about becoming more independent from government with the likes of installing solar panels, growing your own food and becoming a small business owner.   

Mark states, “buy an electric car and purchase photovoltaic cells for your roof or garage. From now on, you can get your fuel free from the sun. The big oil companies have one less customer. The big government doesn’t get to tax your gasoline purchases or tax the high income that you need to earn in order to afford to buy gasoline.”

In theory Mark is correct and in a perfect world that would be true, however, in government if something can be taxed it will be taxed. Many things that were once free now have taxes and fees attached to them. Look no further than our neighbor island of O‘ahu, where parking your car can cost $200 to $600 a month, and to go hiking on many nature trails they now charge a fee.

Maybe big government won’t get to tax our gasoline since we are using electric cars, but somehow, someway, some politician somewhere will introduce a bill to tax the sun, the rain and even the air we breath.

James “Kimo” Rosen, Kapa‘a

Mount Trashmore just keeps growing

Wouldn’t it be great if our elected officials, our administration and council, had the intelligence to not only read the outstanding editorial Aug. 7 in The Garden Island titled “Don’t trash curbside recycling” but take the wise advice it has advocated?

For 20 years we have been told that our landfill has a “five” year life left and as each five-year cycle comes and goes and no new landfill was sited, we just laterally expand our old one. Mount Trashmore just grows and grows with no end in sight.

I believe that our county has been told by the EPA that by now we should be recycling 30 percent or more of our solid waste. We are alarmingly at under 20 percent and, as TGI said, we shouldn’t be making it more convenient for residents to throw away more rubbish by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on new 96-gallon trash containers and new trucks to pick them up. We should be strictly focusing on keeping trash out of the landfill.

We have a true expert on solid waste here on Kaua‘i. His name is John Harder and he is a founding member of Zero Waste Kaua‘i and a former head of the Office of Solid Waste Management of the State of Hawai‘i. Why hasn’t this learned person on Solid Waste been hired long ago and let him put Kaua‘i on a path to Zero Waste in a 10-year period as he says is possible? The wheel doesn’t have to be reinvented; it lives here on Kaua‘i.

While the leaders in this administration have instituted this new 96-gallon container weekly trash pick-up on Kaua‘i, they do away with any recycling program that was tried, have no MRF (materials recovery facility), and with these new containers reduce the incentive to recycle.

In other words, “they” now make it more convenient to throw all trash into these larger containers than to put one 32-gallon container out and recycle whatever is recyclable.

The many people I talk to (including my wife who recycles everything) think that this plan was completely ill-conceived from the start — it certainly was not properly presented to the people. The cost and negative effects (from hauling this monster to the street and back to laying off two county workers from each truck) will far outweigh any positives from doing it.

What part of, “we can’t afford further delay or unnecessary expenses in addressing our island’s dire solid waste needs” (TGI) can’t the people who run our government understand?

While our county expends time, energy, and millions of dollars on an unneeded bike path, our emergency solid waste program sits dead in the water where it has lingered for years.

Glenn Mickens, Kapa‘a

Let’s get together on hydro impacts

TGI’s Aug. 12 article focusing on the impact of hydropower delivery systems using “wai,” a finite, precious resource we must all protect and preserve, merits our attention.

There are serious concerns which are, indeed, our shared kuleana. The pros and cons of what we have done historically in the ways we have diverted and distributed water from our rivers must be carefully reviewed to verify the ways in which our rivers have been compromised.

We cannot proceed on a “business- as-usual” approach without determining what our priorities should be with regard to river remediation and restoration.

Are there laws in place which clearly determine who has the responsibility of protecting our rivers? If so, are there adequate enforcement mechanisms in place? If not, why?

Is it time to bring together a cross-section of people to include proponents of hydro-power delivery systems, cultural exponents, watershed council leaders, along with conservationists, environmentalists, and all other interested parties to bring their mana‘o to the table in an open forum to update what we have or don’t have as a matter of public policy?

Do we need to establish a process and/or a governmental department to coordinate matters of public concern and “shared kuleana” with the expressed purpose of making clear outcomes attainable? We seem to be in compartmentalized arenas. It’s time to get together.

Jose Bulatao Jr., Kekaha


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