Letters for Monday, October 14, 2013

• Take action now • Thoughts on government, taxes • Surfrider: Zero tolerance for pesticides

Take action now

Kauai council members take the GMO guts out of the bill and are having trouble just establishing buffer zones so schoolchildren aren’t sprayed on more or less directly. And they still aren’t getting monthly reports on how much spraying is still going on.

Meanwhile, the mayor (nice guy and all) wants to take longer? I mean, come on. This is ridiculous.

Molly Jones, Kealia

Thoughts on government, taxes

Gil Scott’s Oct. 8 reply letter to U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard prompted this “thinking:”

When I started paying income taxes over 50 years ago as a lower middle-class citizen, I understood the government worked for the compatriots to accomplish what we could not as individuals. I gladly paid my taxes, though did not appreciate subsidies to tobacco farmers.

Anti-trust laws were in place to protect consumers, promote fair trading and competition in the marketplace and prohibit acquisitions and mergers which could lead to Too Big To Fail. Banks loaned to homebuyers and entrepreneurs, and unfunded synthetic securitization of assets and speculating in the credit derivatives market were unheard of.

Of course, under Glass-Steagall, the Fed forbade the use of its credit for speculation, removed bank officers for “unsafe or unsound practices,” and separated banks and their securities affiliates. Banks could not transfer hundreds of trillions of dollars from their European holdings to their U.S. banks and expect the FDIC – US TAXPAYERS? — to guaranty their risky speculations.  

Millions of us voters pleaded with our congressional leaders to not approve the bailouts and unfunded wars.

The tea partiers are righteous to protest the actions of the Fed and the corruption of the corporate state. Bribery of officials were secretive, shocking and prosecutable instead of out in the open and commonplace via lobbyists.

The Republicans have characterized the Democrats’ policies as tax-and-spend, but the GOP’s practice has been spend-and-spend without legislating for commensurate revenue. Thirty-some years ago, the U.S. went from being a creditor nation to becoming a debtor nation. Thirty-some years ago we instituted the “Laughable” trickle-down economics with extraordinary tax cuts for the very wealthy, while the working class stopped receiving 100 percent of the increases in costs of living. Real wages have not increased in 30-some years, and we lower-income citizens have already been practicing austerity for decades.  

Income disparity is at its highest since the days of the robber barons of the 19th century, who exerted control over national resources, accrued high levels of government influence, paid low wages and squashed competition by acquiring competitors in order to create monopolies and eventually raise prices (read hoarding commodities).

That person in the mirror looking back is not buying (caveat emptor) that I and the great-great-great grandchildren of the lower and middle classes should be paying for the huge transfer of wealth to the top 1 percent. That person in the mirror has another 15 or so years of actuarial life expectancy and wonders, now that corporations have achieved personhood, what is their life expectancy? It used to be 12 years, and if the corporation was no longer serving the public good, it was dissolved.

Anna Nimatee, Wailua

Surfrider: Zero tolerance for pesticides

The Kauai Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation thanks the Kauai County Council and its staff for their hard work and diligence in the crafting of Bill 2491. As an ocean environmental organization, we see the need for the strongest regulations and staunchest controls with the strictest environmental safeguards possible. We live in a tolerant yet fragile ecosystem and we want to see future generations enjoy a clean and healthy environment.

The Executive Committee of the Kauai Chapter respectfully puts forth the following recommendations:

Sec. 22-22.5 Pesticide Buffer Zones (a) 5 “No pesticide of any kind may be used within 100’ of any shoreline or perennial waterway that flows into the ocean.”

Surfrider would like to see that buffer zone increased to 500 feet along the shoreline, 250 feet along perennial waterways and 100 feet along all other state waters as a way of mitigating all or most damage to the environment.

Runoff from industrial ag is the worst source of ocean pollution known to man. We understand that the seed companies use around 15 percent of the land that they lease so a 500 feet buffer to the ocean shoreline and less along waterways is very manageable.

The buffer zone should encompass all state waterways including those that do not flow into the ocean and those that may not be currently flowing as those could flow again with just one heavy Westside rain, washing pollutants downstream.

Sec. 22.22.6 Environmental and Public Health Impacts Study (EPHIS)

We would like to see the EIS process brought into place. It is a well established and tested equitable process. There is such a high use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers that may be impacting our coastal environment.

Moratorium: We feel that the moratorium should be reinstated and should be for all parts of Kauai. Environmental justice for all communities.

Ultimately, we would like to see a policy of zero tolerance for pesticides, herbicides and all chemical fertilizers that we know have a deleterious impact on the environment.

Dr. Robert A. Zelkovsky, Surfrider Kauai Chair

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