Letters for Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mahalo for cleaning the Tree TunnelKIUC needs to be financially leanReligion does not belong in the classroomIsland’s health must be a priority

Mahalo for cleaning the Tree Tunnel

Mahalo to the people who are getting together to keep the island looking good. This is just one of the things we tell people when we’re asked why go to Kauai. There are friendly people at the markets and the festivals (including the Coconut Festival).

We come once a year (we’ll be here in October), and we can’t hardly wait. It’s like I am like a kid, but I’m 75 years old. Your paper is great and very positive with all the goings on. Please don’t change. Thank you Kauai for making paradise better.

P.S. — Tell auntie we will take the whole pie this time.

Ted and Mary DeMarce

Wenatchee, Wash.

KIUC needs to be financially lean

Today, KIUC will have its annual meeting at Kauai Community College at 6 p.m. At the last meeting I went to in Waimea, I gave a letter to Chairman Alan Smith and requested an answer in writing and in The Garden Island newspaper. He did not respond.

I certainly understand why KIUC wants to be 50 percent energy efficient, but they should also be financially lean and mean. I would like to know why CEO David Bissell drives a $50,000 SUV from the North Shore every day and if we are paying for it.

His combined salary and benefits package is almost $300,000 per year. You would think he could pay for his own car. He is not the only one driving a SUV compliments of the rate payers.

David Bissell also has a charitable fund of $10,000 he can distribute as he sees fit. The employees also have a $2,500 fund they can distribute to charity. Is it really the rate payers responsibility to be forced to donate $5,000 to the Filipino Chamber of Commerce and $3,000 to the Humane Society?

In this day and age of water rate increases, sewage rate increases, and not to mention our property taxes going up, wouldn’t it be better for KIUC to think of the rate payers as something other than their own private piggy banks?

JoAnne Georgi

Eleele

Religion does not belong in the classroom

A month ago I wrote the following letter to Kauai Area Department of Education Superintendent Bill Arikaki:

“This is the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision declaring religious activities in a public school to be unconstitutional.

It has come to my attention that a religious group has been providing a prayer/Bible study group during the school day at the Kapaa Middle School. Ironically, this church group has provided a free lunch consisting of fast food/pizza at the same time the principal was urging parents not to provide such food to the students.

This religious activity is clearly unconstitutional and must cease.”

I have received no response to date. I am not sure if my requiring the cessation has been agreed to or if my premise was in error or if, like many other presenting problems around Kapaa Middle School, it is simply ignored.

Perhaps as DOE Director of Communications Donalyn Dela Cruz has said it has been added to “some outstanding investigations taking place.”

We may never know.

Richard Machell

Kapaa

Island’s health must be a priority

Gary Hooser introduced Bill 2491 to The County Council on June 26. It is a very important bill and should be given careful consideration by the County Council and all the people. In fact, it is probably one of the most important bills that has ever been before us.

One of the latest letters to the Forum published on July 16 talked about the jobs the GMO companies make and the taxes they pay but made no mention of the short-term and long-term injuries the herbicides and pesticides do to both adults and children.

I really don’t think we are willing to compromise our health for a few jobs and taxes. Remember the GMOs contribute nothing to the health of our island and the profits they make for the companies are sent off island and do nothing for us. Therefore, our health is being sold out so profits can be sent off island.

Please also notice the GMO “seed companies” have enough money to buy full page, color adds to try to influence our thinking.

We all know pesticides and herbicides have harmful effects on people and the environment. The number of respiratory illness and potential cancers they may cause mean they should be very carefully studied and regulated. This bill is a first step toward being sure our air is safe and our environment is not degraded.

Please give Bill 2491 your careful consideration and speak to your friends,  family and the County Council about it, and at every opportunity testify in favor of it.

Marge Freeman

Wailua

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