Letters for Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What are the seed companies doing?Two lives saved by rescue tubesCouncil, do your homework on Bill 2491

What are the seed companies doing?

It’s important for organic farmers to understand that seed companies are not their competitors.

Farmers are actually their customers. The seed companies are doing research to help their customers (farmers) to increase their profits through improved seed yields.

Part of that research is making sure that the seeds they are producing are effective in warding off pests, resisting drought conditions, and surviving herbicide sprays.

Seeds sold for these purposes are mixed with 20 percent non-traited seeds to prevent developed resistance, which would render the product useless.

Seed companies produce the bulk of their seed for farming industrial crops that will be used for animal feed, fuel, oil, clothing, etc.

It is important to use renewable resources for industrial products whenever possible, and this is the aim of government subsidies for large-scale farmers on the Mainland.

For crops used in organic food production, many these same seed companies offer seed lines for those, under different brand names, as well, although it only amounts to a fraction of their sales.

Seed research employees on this island have affordable family medical benefits, college tuition reimbursement, employer matched 401k retirement benefits, paid vacation and holidays, profit share bonuses, and overtime opportunities for extra income.

There are not very many employers on the island that can compete with these perks, so it is reasonable that they would fight for their jobs.

It’s not out of ignorance. They are not brainwashed. They and the companies they work for are just misunderstood.

Sundee Cline

Kekaha

Two lives saved by rescue tubes

One thing I’ve learned from my work with water safety is how much all of Kauai grieves when we lose someone in our waters.

We grieve for the victim, we suffer for and we suffer with the family.

We all struggle as we think of things we could have done better.

What I’m about to write can’t make up for the losses that families have suffered, but it does give me the strength and the will to continue ahead with our safety efforts.

I know of two dramatic saves this last week. One was a man who was swept a couple of hundred yards out to sea by the Aliomanu rivermouth rip, which is a full 3⁄8 mile from the Anahola Beach Park tower.

The lifeguards spotted the problem, they raced down the beach, activated 911, one lifeguard swam out with his rescue tube while the other spotted, they stabilized the near-victim — and soon the Kealia Jet Ski came screaming up the shoreline and gathered the two and brought them into dry land. I don’t have names as of this moment — which is OK. Thank you, men of Anahola and Kealia. Thank you for doing this for all of us.

Then on Friday I got to meet a young visitor from Ireland, and with a smile from ear to ear on his face, rejoicing in his being alive on planet Earth, he told me this story (It took me a few minutes to get the hang of his thick Irish brogue): At about 3 p.m. on Friday he got swept off his feet in the Moloaa rip, and suddenly he was on his way out to sea. Waves started breaking over his head, he couldn’t make any progress to shore, he struggled and gasped and he realized he was going to die. Then from out of nowhere appeared an angel (a woman) who handed him a big yellow floating rescue tube.

The two got themselves stabilized, they found the release from the rip, and they made their way back to shore. This angel woman slipped away, she re-strapped the rescue tube to its station, and she remains unidentified. She spared us all another round of suffering, she gave us all a moment of rejoicing, and she gave the man his life.

I don’t know if we’ll overcome our statistical challenge with drownings on Kauai, but I do know we shall overcome for some families. And we will try to let grieving families understand that we are honoring their suffering by working for the safety of others.

Monty Downs

President, Kauai Lifeguard Association

Lihue

Council, do your homework on Bill 2491

What is wrong with our elected council members?

They should have done their homework before having testimony for Bill 2491, whether for or against.

In 2009, my granddaughter was one of the students from Waimea Canyon School that fainted and had to go to the Waimea hospital to be checked out.

Today the company that did the spraying doesn’t grow anything in the field next to Waimea Canyon School.

Before anyone else gets sick take action whether you vote for or against Bill 2491.

You can’t please everyone on the island.

Also, who knows later whether we all will be getting sick from all the spraying?

Council members: Do your job, don’t defer this measure. Be accountable — that’s why you are in office. Remember all the military that went to Vietnam that was effected from Agent Orange?

Talk to the veterans that are now getting sick years and years later.

These military members are filing for disability for the sickness they have now from Agent Orange.

Do what you think is right.

Gilbert Nobrega

Hanapepe

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