Letters for Friday, June 1, 2012

• Ag inspections backwards • American Experiment • A fragile piece of paper • United to end bullying • Thanks for barking • We love Diana West • Not an eyesore • Don’t bring us down

Ag inspections backwards

So it’s the small hive beetle today and a mongoose a couple of days ago. And then there are the several varieties of fruit flies, numerous other pest insects and noxious invasive plants. So I have to ask, why are we paying for a State and Federal Department of Agriculture? Hawai‘i used to grow and export many food crops. Now, due to the abundance of agricultural pests, our farmers are prohibited from exporting almost any crop that they can grow. It is obvious that the main job of both Departments of Ag is to prevent any pest form leaving the State, while not doing enough to prevent the pests from coming here in the first place. Sure, they inspect incoming shipments of produce, but most of that has been so heavily sprayed with chemicals that there is little chance of any pests surviving. One only has to take a trip out of the state to realize where the breakdown in the system lies. You can’t get on an airplane that is leaving the state without all of your luggage, checked and carry-on, being X-rayed for restricted items, yet fly into the state and you get a free pass to bring in anything you can hide in your luggage or carry in your pockets. Does anyone else think this is backwards? Of course, we wouldn’t want to upset the visitor industry with such a silly restriction as a pre-arrival ag inspection to prevent the introduction of more noxious invasive pests.

Robert Wolaver, Kilauea

American Experiment

One thing about Mr. Mann’s rebuttal of the wonderful and thought-provoking letter written by John Hoff is true (American Experiment, letters May 29th). America is declining, and is not what it used to be for those moving here from other countries. That said, it’s still the best place on earth to work, be safe, raise a family, and possibly get rich, so people will continue to flock here from all over the world to create a life for their families.

The author seems intent on comparing the Netherlands and Germany in the 1990’s to America today in a somewhat disconnected attempt to tell us that America isn’t all that great. Don’t buy it. Then the author, in a further attempt to show how “stupid” some Americans are, comments about a lady tourist he talked to who didn’t realize Kaua‘i had all the same products available for purchase as she has on the Mainland. Huh? Now how do we connect that dot?

America is so great there are “free” intelligent people who have never really desired to travel outside of their local communities because they’re very happy at home. Of course they wouldn’t have a clear understanding about what’s happening in a store on a little island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean 2,000 miles away. Unlike the author, maybe she’s so happy at home she never felt she really wanted to go anywhere else.

What’s really causing America’s decline is narrow-minded pipeline thinkers who place their selfish little wants above the real needs of our collective society. What ever happened to “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country?” We will either realize this concept on our own, or our society will have to decline to the point that enough collective pain forces a paradigm shift to occur for a majority of our citizens. Let’s hope we don’t have to go through another Great Depression or World War to realize how blessed we are in this great country. Unfortunately, there just may be too many now calling America home who, for whatever reason, don’t yet have the aptitude to see it.

Either we will continue to follow our community leaders down their self-destructive path of class warfare and divisiveness, or hope a new leader emerges who can take our country to a higher level of community.

America is the greatest country on earth. “We the people” can make the change.

Gordon Oswald, Kealia

A fragile piece of paper

Just a brief response to Michael Mann’s response to my Memorial Day letter.

First of all, thank you for your response. Fact is, it took several months to get the letter printed but it certainly could not have been printed on a finer day.  

My point is that the “success of the Experiment” is the very reason that the vast majority of immigrants even have the possibility to “dream” of a better life here on Earth.

One seldom hears of massive attempts to migrate to Russia, Cuba, Iran, N. Korea and other such “non-shining lights at the top the hill.”  

As for “Prosperous European countries,” yes they may have “quite low levels of immigration to the U.S.,” but could that be as a result of America re-building Europe, and the Orient, after Europe initiated WWII?

As for “ignorance is widespread,” yes it is.

Another reason for writing the letter which was originally entitled “Apathy, indifference, unconcern” are all too much a part of our present day dilemma, thanks to an overwhelmingly useless educational system due to citizens’ “apathy, indifference, unconcern” allowing fraud and corruption within our Board of Education and Department of Education. Only voting citizens can fix the mess.  

Every responsible American citizen deserves “patting ourselves on the back” for voting and attempting to rid our “Experiment” of politics, defined as: “Poly” means “many,” and “ticks” means “blood-sucking insects.”  

America’s Experiment is not “set in stone and immutable,” thank God. It is written on paper; very fragile paper. That’s why there’s a need to recognize and appreciate its value and presence. Once it’s gone will the “Russian, Chinese or Saudi dream” rebuild devastated continents?

Are you willing to take the chance that they will?

Again, thank you for your response. Aloha.

John Hoff, Lawa‘i

United to end bullying

Malama Pono and the YWCA of Kaua‘i wish to express a big Mahalo to the other organizations, agencies and individuals who are working together to end bullying in our community: PFLAG Kaua‘i Chapter, Lambda Aloha, DOE, and KKCR. The hard work and dedication of the staff and volunteers of these community partners is inspiring to all of us. The students, teachers and staff at Kapa‘a High and Kaua‘i High School who have successfully started clubs to celebrate diversity and model equality are true leaders working toward the best environment for learning for all students and deserve special recognition for their courage and determination. Their vision of classrooms, hallways and cafeterias free of verbal and physical bullying is a vision the entire community can support. We also thank the County Council for adding their voice in the rising call to make our schools and homes safer for everyone. We can protect our youth from the devastating effects of bullying and harassment by working together to change the negative attitudes, misconceptions, and beliefs that ultimately reinforce bullying behavior. If we let the spirit of Aloha be the guiding principle in all our words and deeds, there would be no place for bullying on Kaua‘i.

D.Q. Jackson, Kalaheo

Thanks for barking

To those who participated with your dogs at the 2nd Annual Bark for Life on May 20, we send our mahalo. We hope you had a wonderful time and great fellowship with other dog lovers in the community. We are so grateful for the support of the many volunteers who helped with the early-morning equipment setups and takedowns, provided route and activity assistance, and determined contest winners. We extend our thanks to Ron Wiley of KQNG Radio for waking up so early and emceeing the entire event, to Dr. Joanne Woltman and Ms. Tracy Majerik for providing medical support, and to Dr. Helen Cox and the KCC staff for the use of the facilities. Thank you to the committee chairs and their members — accounting, communications, food, sponsorship/donations, entertainment/games/agility, and volunteers — who gave their time and talents to prepare and help on the day of the event. And thank you also to the many sponsors, including Bubba’s Hanalei, Dog Fanciers of Kaua‘i, Sammi & Hoku Nonaka, and Po‘ipu Plantation and donors such as Mark’s Place, Carol Ann Davis, Whiskers Resort, Pono Market, Barkaroo Bakery, Hanalei Taro & Juice Co., Moloa‘a Bay Coffee, The Lihu‘e Pet Shop, Banana Dip, Sugar Mill Cupcakes, Rover Over the Rainbow, and Kapaia Pet Foods, who provided the refreshments, prizes, and money in support of this event. The 2nd Annual Bark for Life would not have been a reality if not for the foresight of Ricko Rask, who put together the 1st Bark for Life in 2011. We took up her cause to make people more aware of how dogs also share the same cancer issues as humans, and how closely tied they are to the same kinds of cancer treatments. We are very appreciative of all of the community participants and volunteers who came together to help make the 2nd Bark for Life event, a time of terrific fellowship and fun. Thank you for your participation, generosity, and support. Warmest Mahalo and Aloha.

Jan Woo, Kapa‘a

We love Diana West

Thank you so much for not having an “Identity Crisis,” as you so humorously refer to it. You are one of the few newspapers we read that has a balanced editorial section. Your Forum page is generally excellent with fair content and alternate opinions.

I especially want to thank you for carrying Diana West’s column. She is a warning voice we should all be listening to. She and a couple others are a nice offset to Donna Brazile, whose column is simply free campaign material for Barack Obama.

 We love our newspaper. Mahalo.

Fran and Vince Jones, Koloa

Not an eyesore

Wake up, Kekaha? The letter this Tuesday from Ms. Klein had a totally different spin than I expected, given the title. She complains about the Kekaha Community Garden and its terrible eyesore of a Matson container, and the piles of compost, etc, imposing themselves on the landowners and residences of Elepaio, Auku‘u and Kiowea Roads. My oh my. And, on top of that, they have had the nerve to request $25,000 out of the $800,000-plus in funds from the landfill compensation in order to do what? Educate the community on the value of growing food locally? On bringing awareness to the fact that the island of Kaua‘i is still importing 90 percent of its food, when we have acres and acres of beautiful land where we could be supporting not only the island but perhaps a good portion of the rest of the state with local, organically grown produce and grass-fed livestock? Yes, it’s true that historically there have been many beautiful gardens and farms surrounding the Kekaha community, but where are they now? My husband and I attended the first Sustainable Farming and Gardening class at Kaua‘i Community College several years ago, and those who took the initiative to start Kekaha Community Garden were in the same class; they have worked hard to bring this example of sustainability into Kekaha. They have hosted scores of school children and are a part of a positive epidemic that demonstrates how a community can work.

Carol Hart, Kekaha

Don’t bring us down

May 30, 2012: “What’s really bringing America down?” Who are we to judge? Equal rights for all is not a debatable issue; it should be a given. Thank you, Mr. Cosner, for being right on target and having the guts to tell it like it is.

DuAnne W. Torres, Kapa‘a


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