Letters for Friday, August 2, 2013

• Hanalei development not a done deal • They’re ruining the Na Pali coast • Plant sciences touch all of our lives • Activists are the biggest threat

Hanalei development not a done deal

There’s a lot of confusion about the status of Pierre Omidyar’s proposed luxury boutique resort on Hanalei Bay. However, there is little confusion over the community’s strong reaction to the idea of 34 house lots lined up on Kauakanionu (Hanalei River Ridge) looking directly down on Black Pot Beach Park and Hanalei Beach.

In our opinion, this is one of those tipping points that will destroy the values that Hanalei and the North Shore hold highest: its scenic beauty, community, and rural lifestyle.   

A lot of people have said, “But this is a done deal! They already have their permits.” After a lot of research, we feel pretty confident that, no! This is not a done deal!

Before it can proceed, the developer, Ohana Hanalei LLC, has to win at least 10 different approvals from county, state and federal agencies. So far, no applications! A draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project must be submitted to the county — they suggest this summer — for public review and comment.

There are a lot of people out there that are upset. Over 6,000 have signed SHRR’s petition calling for the protection of Kauakanionu as open space in perpetuity. Over 400 people showed up in Hanalei at a community meeting last November to protest the potential loss of open space. “Nuff already!” they said loud and clear.

One problem is that people don’t know what the status of the project is, or what can be done. If you too are confused about these issues, join others at SaveHanaleiRiverRidge.com, a community-based website and hui formed to defend Hanalei.

Hayley K. Ham Young-Giorgio, Hanalei

They’re ruining the Na Pali coast

The first time I hiked the Na Pali Coast trail to Kalalau was back in 1988 when I was a sophomore in high school. The place was magical:  isolated, pristine, rugged, and relatively undisturbed.

I now live on Maui but I flew over last weekend with four friends excited about our long planned three-day kayak and camping trip from Haena Beach Park to Polihale State Park.

Twenty-five years have gone by since my first trip there and as I paddled down the coast one stroke after another, my heart began to sink as I realized just how much things have changed.

The beautiful and mesmerizing silence that I remember was pierced by the unrelenting sound of helicopter blades, which ferried a handful of wealthy tourists at the expense of everybody else.  

The human feces around the beach and the campsites at Kalalau brought us down a bit more. Then we ran into three women from Leucadia, Calif., who had their camping gear stolen while they were out swimming, probably from one of the many transients illegally camping there.

At Nualolo Kai, a tour boat operator told us to leave because they were irritated that we were eating lunch at one of the tables that they use to feed the tourists that they bring on their snorkeling tours.

It’s not too late to save this place … but I fear that the lure of the almighty dollar will ruin it forever unless the people of Kauai rise up to stop the insanity.

Brad Edwards, Haiku

Plant sciences touch all of our lives

This letter is in response to Joan Kutzer of the Hawaii Nurses Association (TGI, July 31) and her organizations disregard for plant sciences.

As a nurse, you yourself should know the importance of plant science research and the benefits that this research has provided to the health and well being of all mankind.

Where do medications and antibiotics that you use on a daily basis in your profession originate from? They originate from plants and plant sciences, chemists and scholars who indeed made this a much healthier planet in which to exist. And I might add, make your job one heck of a lot more rewarding.

For your organization to not endorse plant sciences is hypocrisy in every sense of the word. The goal of the plant scientists on Kauai is a simple one.

To feed the ever-growing population of this planet using less acreage to do so and less, not more, pesticides.

People will starve without these sciences, just as people would surely have succumbed to diseases and infections if people, such as yourself and all of the anti-GMO activists, had prevented these scientists from doing their life-saving studies.

Please give your given profession, and the science behind it, consideration before actually mocking the plant sciences that have contributed to it.

Joan McFarlane, Polk City, Iowa

Activists are the biggest threat

Everyone has their own thoughts about what they want, and the public has a right to be concerned because of the chemicals we use. Even though I work for a seed company, I would want to know everything that a company is using on a product they are growing, because I have to eat it, too.

That’s why I can say with certainty that safety is my company’s number one priority. They adhere to strict rules and regulations the public and makes sure we employees follow guidelines and safety procedures.

My co-workers and I are not threatened by the pesticides. On the occasions that it’s necessary for us to use it, we have been appropriately trained and do not feel that we are a threat to ourselves or our community — which includes our own families, friends, and loved ones. Even among our staff, my co-workers include moms, their kids, couples, extended families, all working in the same business and we all feel perfectly safe doing what we do.

Unfortunately, the biggest threat to our safety is being attacked by activists. Bill 2491 is not necessary, it’s just creating more bureaucracy and taxpayer expenses. They need to leave us alone, we are just trying to earn a living. Because of our work, we help grow the seeds that will eventually feed billions around the world.

My family is confident that my job keeps me safe and supports what I do. I’m proud knowing we’re trying to better our agriculture for future generations.

Kristen Takashima, Waimea


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