Letters for Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013

Still suffering effects of chemicalsWrong people running governmentListen to farmersWave to a truck driver

Still suffering effects of chemicals

I lived in Vietnam from May 1969 to May 1970. Our U.S. Air Force base was one of three bases — Da Nang, Phu Cat and Bein Wah — that had the C-123 aircraft known as “Operation Ranch Hand.” Their motto: “We prevent Forests.”

Their mission: To disperse Agent Orange and many other toxins on plant life to, “supposedly,” destroy tress, plant life and expose the “enemy.” In addition, other parts of U.S. military used helicopters to disperse chemicals.

We were advised by the large chemical companies there were no studies available to prove Agent Orange was a potential for cancer, heart failure, Parkinson’s, prevention of men to father children, etc. The Veterans Administration now has a long list of presumed diseases that were caused by exposure to Agent Orange and other toxins.

I have lost three men, one who lived at the same air base as I did in Vietnam (cancer); another who has heart disease and heart attack (VA has diagnosed him, due to exposure to Agent Orange); another that is 100 percent disabled due to Agent Orange; and another, that called me on the phone about five weeks ago, who has Parkinson’s due to exposure to Agent Orange and other toxins.

I am having some difficulty breathing, have chest pains and, since the loss of my brothers/friends that served in Vietnam, am having some other challenges. VA has stated I am suffering from PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, due to my experiences in Vietnam and loss of friends.

Now I see the large companies want to spray within 500 feet of schools on Kauai? I am at the library in Koloa Town and it happens to be associated with the school. Are you willing to expose the children to toxins, not proven to be safe?

Please, do not let emotion change your minds.

Joseph M. Tosto Jr.

Vietnam Veteran,

U.S. Air Force, 1966-70

Carlsbad, Calif.

Wrong people running government

I recently came across facts that surprised me about Walmart.

1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Walmart every hour of every day. This works out to create $20,998 profit every minute.

2.Walmart is bigger than Home Depot, Kroger, Target, Sears, Costco, and Kmart combined.

3. Walmart employs 1.6 million people and is the world’s largest private employer.

4.Walmart has about 3,900 stores in the USA, of which 1,906 are super centers and outsell Kroger and Safeway combined. Walmart now sells more food than any other store in the world, and 90 percent of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Walmart.

Walmart’s success is the end result that it takes many brilliant minds to guide and oversee the operations of this “mega giant.” I’m supporting that just maybe with this company’s success we should either elect or hire these same brilliant minds to fix our economy.

Steve Martin

Kapaa

Listen to farmers

Councilmember Gary Hooser and those who oppose GMOs do not speak for everyone on Kauai.

I am a farmer and I am proud of the work I do growing safe and healthy seed crops that help farmers all over the world by giving them choices in how they want to farm.

As someone who was born and raised on Kauai, I am offended by claims that my co-workers and I are secretly spraying experimental pesticides that will harm our families, friends, and neighbors. There’s nothing secretive or wrong about how we farm.

To put things in perspective, the amount of pesticide active ingredient that we use per acre doesn’t even fill a soda can.

On top of that, restricted use pesticide isn’t some scary GMO-specific pesticide. All it means is that a professional who is trained in applying these pesticides is required to handle them.

We have very specific regulations and procedures that we follow in order to ensure the health and safety of our communities. As stewards of the land, it’s in our best interests to protect it for future generations.

Councilman Hooser is on a political mission and he’s using fear to further his political career, not to mention put more than 500 jobs in jeopardy. This is not good for farmers like me or the people of Kauai.

Don’t believe the lies — oppose Bill 2491.

June Borja

Kekaha

Wave to a truck driver

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, Sept. 15-21. Give a special “mahalo” to our truck drivers this week and let them know how important they are to us.

All their hard work and hours on the road is one of our economy’s most demanding jobs.

Remember to wave that waiting truck driver into the flow of traffic. Wait for a truck to pass before you enter into the flow of traffic. Trucks take twice as long to slow down or stop than a car.

Stay back at least two car lengths. If you cannot see the driver’s face in the mirror, than the driver cannot see you.

Keep everyone safe!

Roger Ridgley, Jr.

Kapaa

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