Letters for Monday, August 12, 2013

• Visitors must malama the aina • Pesticide fears need to be addressed • Helicopter-free days

Visitors must malama the aina

I read a statement somewhere that the No. 1 choice as a visitor’s destination is to come to the islands of Hawaii.

Imagine that?

Now, imagine if this were to actually happen, billions of people could wind up here, sooner or later.

How might that impact the quality and availability of our finite resources — our air, water and land? How could we effectively provide for and accommodate the needs, demands, services and amenities of everyone who wants to experience being in a place that is truly paradise on earth?

There will be those who will fly now and pay later. There’ll be a lot more toilets being flushed!

More opala! Traffic congestion will occur with greater frequency. The demand for accommodations and amenities will increase relentlessly.

“Living aloha” will become a commodity instead of a way of life. If we are to retain tourism as the headliner of our economic base, we may need to consider the need for major paradigm shifts in the way we become hosts to our visitors.   

The emphasis should be in our shared kuleana to malama aina in a manner and style that requires all of us to be pono in taking care of our environment, ourselves and each other. This is a consciousness that requires focus, commitment, understanding and dedication from residents and visitors alike.

If they have no clue, they will need to be told and taught! Otherwise, they should stay home!

Jose Bulatao, Jr., Kekaha

Pesticide fears need to be addressed

I’ve read the arguments made by those against the passage of Bill 2491. They talk about growing food to meet the world’s demand, how jobs will be lost, and how companies will go out of business.

However none of them explain exactly how this bill will affect them with absolute certainty. None of them reflect the real fear of the downside of this process and that is the public’s exposure to pesticides. None of them can explain to me how they intend to magically stop drift from these chemicals in an uncontrolled, open environment.

What they do say is that they follow the manufacturers instructions in accordance with federal laws but do not provide assurances to prevent natures elements from dispersing these chemicals without prejudice. Nature does not follow man’s laws.

Whether this bill passes or dies does not take away the fact that a real fear exists and must be addressed. As good neighbors, they would be concerned about my choices to be exposed to chemicals or not.

As good neighbors, these seed companies would sit down with our representatives, the county council, in working out a plausible solution.

Without that happening, the battle between those who worry about financial downfall and those who worry about environmental and health impacts will never end.

Tiare Acain, Kekaha

Helicopter-free days

Friends,

Remember the Tuesday when Flossie was expected? What a beautiful and peaceful day it turned out to be. Then everyone realized what was missing: helicopters.

We have become so numbed to the din that we have forgotten what our beautiful island is supposed to be like.

Well, it shouldn’t take a storm warning to give us back the serenity that was taken from us by an industry out of control.

It is time to begin the dialog of a helicopter-free day. Sunday, Thursday, who cares? Just give us one day a week when we can hear ourselves think.

I realize, of course, that the companies will vigorously resist the concept. Their arrogance and greed will put profit before the well-being of island residents.

So, it is time for county government to quit passing the buck to the FAA and put some pressure on these companies to be good local citizens. After all, they do a lot of business here.

Pieter Myers, Haena

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