Letters for Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013

Those against 2491 don’t deserve votesChemical companies and justiceGMOs are proof humans hurt the planet

Those against 2491 don’t deserve votes

I’d love to see the campaign finance reports of the council people who are opposing or gutting Bill 2491. I recall on the day of the huge march, when many were speaking for the bill, that one of those speakers was Joann Yukimura  — yes, the same Joann, who along with Nadine Nakamura, are attempting to gut Bill 2491.

They don’t seem to make any distinction between the thousands of people who support the bill, and have done so on their own time and money, and those who were flown in from other islands, who were on the clock as they waited to testify and who were even fed while they waited!

None of the council members who oppose or want to gut the bill deserve our future votes. I haven’t seen anything since the Superferry that has galvanized our community like Bill 2491. Let’s all remember how this vote goes so we’ll know how to vote in the next election.

Judie Lundborg Hoeppner

Kapaa

Chemical companies and justice

I am a Kanaka Maoli, a Kauai resident and a disabled Vietnam veteran. I have four children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild

Forty-six years ago, I was a 19-year-old Army electronic tech stationed in Southeast Asia along with others, and was in an area that was exposed to Agent Orange. Agent Orange was developed by Dow Chemical Company, parent company of Dow Agro-Science here on Kauai. I feel it is my responsibility to make known what I have gone through. I owe this to everyone.

For many years after Vietnam, I, along with thousands of other fellow vets, started registering our health concerns to the Veteran’s Administration Benefits Division.

Finally, after years of medically documented complaints, some Vietnam vets exposed to areas sprayed with the defoliant Agent Orange were finally getting confirmation their symptoms were caused by the herbicide.

Three years ago, when I had no medical coverage, I was instructed by the state’s Unemployment Division to visit the Kauai Veterans Health Department for a physical to qualify for veteran’s medical benefits. This is where I was diagnosed with health symptoms related to exposure to Agent Orange. I hold Dow responsible. They developed this chemical.

Dow Agro-Science and the other companies using restricted use and undisclosed herbicides, fungicides and insecticides on our island are putting our children in harm’s way. Some workers may feel safe for now, but Vietnam Vets exposed to Dow’s chemicals know better.

As a Kanaka Maoli, I hold Monsanto. Syngenta, Dow, Dupont and BASF (as well as any politician that supports them) in violation of the United Nations Declaration Of Indigenous Rights.

In particular, I refer to Articles 22 (rights and special needs of elders, women, children and persons with disabilities), and Article 26, which states that indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.

My suggestion is that these responsible parties should put $1 billion dollars each into an “autonomous” fund to take care of the needs of all those affected by their chemicals. All politicians and other government entities that support the continuing use of these chemicals should also be held responsible.

Article 4 of the UN Declaration Of Indigenous Rights addresses “autonomy” or self-determination. Hawaii’s indigenous people could use these funds for the development of self-reliance and self-government.

For example, the proposed buffer zones can be used by workers and those in the community to grow healthy food free of chemicals.

Ben Nihi

Kauai

GMOs are proof humans hurt the planet

In these times on the Garden Isle of Kauai, our GMO battle between concerned citizens and many agriculturists leads us to wonder what it means to be an agriculturist.

Today’s Genetically Modified Organisms are certainly a far cry from the ancient Hawaiian’s idea of agriculture. There was no need for pesticides, herbicides and chemical control since these islands were free of pests in general, even flies.

Weeds were just part of the landscape, many were/are important healing herbs in disguise. All of nature was respected as divine creation and everything had purpose. Man would never think to insult God and Mother Nature in attempt to “improve” their masterful creation in a petri dish.

All the Hawaiian Islands were revered and maintained as nature’s paradise for centuries before Captain Cook arrived with a ship load of measles. The list of contamination goes on and on until paradise became a testing ground to see how far we can go with killer sprays. Unfortunately, in acts of pathetic denial, we find ourselves living on a poisoned planet with “human” nature totally responsible for creating and spreading the poison, from cigarette smoke to traffic exhaust to potential nuclear explosions, and now, we’ve resorted to chemical sprays, supposedly for the farmer’s convenience to easily grow enough food for all.

But at what price for even the few profiteers in charge of forcing a pseudo reality?  Bottom line, we live on planet Earth. From a job for some to a profit for a few, can any one of us afford to be blind to the truth? We don’t really need proof of science and doctors to tell us that as a human being, a nation, a planet, good health is our ultimate wealth and WE can only be as healthy as our Earth is healthy.

Gabrielle Olivier

Kapaa

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