Letters for Thursday, August 22, 2013

Makes your voices heardMusic was outstandingThe safer, the betterGMO experts

Makes your voices heard

I am one of the many surprised, shocked and disgruntled homeowners getting ready to try and pay my increased property tax on Aug. 20.  

I have owned a beautiful home on the North Shore for 25 years and feel most blessed to be able to live in such a wonderful, magical place.  

Every year, I have diligently paid the property taxes and feel it is right to do so as a homeowner and a conscientious citizen. However, I am completely alarmed to experience the rate at which these property taxes have increased. From 2011-2013 my taxes have increased by 170 percent!

This year, due to the new categories of taxation, I am now being taxed as a “Transient Vacation Rental” rather than a “Single Family Resident.”

I have had a short-term vacation rental on my property for years, have my TVR permit and pay tax on my income.   

Because of this new classification, I now feel that I am paying double in taxes for my vacation rental.  Furthermore, my vacation rental is only 10 percent of my total property. I feel that this is unjust and redundant, and I am very upset and frustrated!

I have heard that many of us Kauai property owners are shocked and unprepared to pay this exorbitant increase in real estate taxes this year.  

We need to let our County Council members know how we are personally affected and how we feel. Your voice is important. Please join me at the County Council meeting at 9 a.m. today (Aug. 21) at 4393 Rice Street.

Sue and Kim McLaughlin


Music was outstanding

Wow. For all of you on Kauai who didn’t attend the performance of Kyoto’s Tachibana Senior High School Band at the Convention Hall, you missed a top-notch display of musical talent, discipline and commitment.  

Now you’ll have to wait for their return in three years. Many thanks to the organizers, hosts, and most of all, “Domo arigato!” to the these teenagers. Come back soon.

Michael Diamant


The safer, the better

Our islandwide debate about Bill 2491 has been going on for weeks. Many arguments have been brought up, both pro and contra. The proponents of the bill argue that the current practice of pesticide use and GMO research is inevitably associated with higher health risks.

The opponents refer to existing scientific evidence and claim that their current practice of pesticide application and GMO research are safe, citing presumably reliable scientific evidence. History has shown, however, that life in time might change the conclusions of any scientific evidence and thereby might disprove it.

As to the bill, however, even the opponents could not deny that it would create safer conditions for the people living on our beloved Kauai. So, if you have safe and safer, why not take the safer one? Ah, the job loss and the doom of economic disaster as the opponents have depicted the suggested conclusion of passing the bill? This is their scare tactics, and nothing else.

Being an international man, at my own initiative I contacted five agricultural research institutes worldwide sending them the copy of Bill 2491 and asking the question, if Bill 2491 became the law, would they be interested in establishing an experimental station on our island, where mahalo ke Akua we have three harvest seasons for field crops every year. I got four enthusiastic “In principle, YES” answers.

Of course such a move would require lease related and other negotiations, that’s why the “in principle” is there, but his shows something else too.

The people who are working for the current biochemical or seed companies on the island would have jobs again and quickly, just with a different employer if their current employer decided to leave the island instead of complying with the requirements of an approved Bill 2491.

Or, if they felt so committed to them, that they would not work for anybody else, they could leave Kauai and stay with them. And we would be safer here and have jobs, too.

János Keoni Samu


GMO experts

Aloha, Robert Wagner, who claims to be an unbiased GMO expert in the July 1 guest opinion letter to TGI.

To those of us who you write about, would you care to share what percent of the funds received over the past 20 years by your associated colleges and universities are from industrialized ag and chemical companies?

A total dollar amount would be appreciated as well. Rough guess etimates are fine.

Would it be fair to say that support for your position as an academic would be much different without such funding, if available at all?

And, as an academic, would you care to comment on peer reviewed papers (Failure to Yield — Gurian) discussing how yields are not better with GMO and chemical ag techniques?

I write this letter to help us all understand just who the un-‘Invited Guest’ opinion letters are actually from.

I look forward to your responses.

Randy Wolfshagen



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