Letters for Monday, July 1, 2013

Scientists got it wrong‘Silent Spring’Evidence of TVR abuseSeals were ‘introduced’

Scientists got it wrong

I am having a hard time understanding why these brilliant scientists believe the seals have no impact on local fishermen.

According to the June 9 TGI article, “The rat running beside the wave,” Matthew Sproat and Fern Rosenstiel agree that fish populations are in trouble but say the seals are not to blame.

According to Sproat, “Seals are opportunistic feeders and eat a maximum of 30 pounds of fish, lobster, crab, eel and octopus per day.”

It seems he may have spent too much time in the science lab and forgot to go to math class. One seal eating about 30 pounds per day will consume about 10, 950 pounds of above-mentioned seafood per year.

Per their statistics, there are an estimated 200 seals in Hawaii, which equals 2,190,000 pounds per year. Per their statistics, how can they say that the seals are not having a substantial impact on fish stocks? And they want to increase the seals to 500?

I’m not certain because I’m not a scientist, but I’m pretty sure seals are not aware of Moi, lobster or mullet season or that they abide by a size or bag limit. Marine biologist Dan Heacock stated in the June 10 article, “Finding coexistence,” “unfortunately scientists are never going to have all the information they want when it comes to seals.”

With that said, isn’t having a plan to relocate more seals to Hawaii premature? He went on to say, “it is a clash of cultures,” adding “The battle today is one of traditional Hawaiian values, which recognize that natural resources are sacred and need to be protected for future generations, versus the Western view that natural resources are commodities.”

Is taking the chance on seals really worth the profound impact on future generations?

“At 7 percent, the seal population would double in 10 years … we should be celebrating the population increase.”

I’m sorry, but after losing over 2,000,000 pounds of fish per year and beach access when a seal is sleeping, I see nothing to celebrate.

Bradley Chiba


‘Silent Spring’

The protection of Kauai people’s health and safety and its fragile flora and fauna are the single most important issue of our government.  

Indeed, it is the very definition of government. I commend Gary Hooser, Tim Bynum and the other council members for addressing this issue in Bill 2491. It is very much needed. We have seen over the years the devastating effects of unregulated and minimally regulated corporate conduct at the environmental level.

From children evacuated from their classrooms and sent to hospital as a result of spraying toxins in nearby fields to the enormous decline of our coral reefs. And this is just from the chemical threats. The GMO threat is even greater. The simple truth is that Monsanto and others have no more assurance of GMO’s safety than we had of the lingering effects of radiation on humans after World War II or the Thalidomide horror. There is much to consider and I suggest people start by reading the clarion call book by Rachel Carlson, “Silent Spring.”

These experimenters of GMO and their corporate backers want us to believe that we are all ignorant and they have a monopoly on the truth. Nothing could be farther.

Michael Smith


Evidence of TVR abuse

Thank you Leo for your fine coverage (TGI 6/18) of the explosive TVR (Transit Vacation Rental) issue.

Councilmen Rapozo and Hooser wisely introduced Resolution 2013-55 which basically activated Charter Amendment 3.17, a section in our charter that gives “the council or any authorized committee thereof the power to conduct investigations of the operation of any agency or function of the county and any subject upon which the council may legislate.”

This section (3.17) has been part of our Charter since 1969 when the Charter became effective but has never been used. Councilmen Rapozo, Hooser along with Councilman Bynum passionately and factually made the case for using 3.17, picking up on the Joan Conrow expose of the many TVRs that have been illegally operating for many years with no control or fines being applied.

When the evidence of abuse of these TVRs for so long has been glaringly evident with no enforcement being done, it was way past time to take more action than just talk or threats which have failed.

Other than Mel, Gary and Tim, the other four council members voted to defer this issue for 90 days. Though the three of them vigorously made the case why this investigation should move forward with expediency, their effort regretfully failed.

There are those in our government who insist that we should never look in the past but just move forward. But how can we possibly move forward and do things correctly without looking back to see what it is that we did wrong and correct them when moving forward?

Glenn Mickens


Seals were ‘introduced’

I have read several letters regarding opinions as to whether the monk seal is native Hawaiian or an introduced species.  

I believe that anything other than a fruit bat has been “introduced” to Kauai. This includes all humans, dogs, pigs, and goats, among other animals.  

The list of introduced vegetation —  including taro — is similarly long.


Suzan Brooks

West Des Moines, Iowa


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