Letters for Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013

GMO battle will wage onVote to pass 2491Some of this makes no senseSome scientific evidence needed

GMO battle will wage on

While spending a starlit night at the county building, waiting patiently with a dedicated troop of Kauai residents to attend the following morning’s County Council meeting in support of one of the most important issues in Kauai History, Bill 2491, I had a vivid dream.  

I was sitting at a local restaurant next to the Kauai County Council and Mayor Carvalho. The mayor turned to me and said: “Continue to work with Gary Hooser when he becomes mayor.”

Now, I don’t know the intent of Councilman Hooser’s future political plans, but I do know this; the face of Kauai’s political future is going to change, and that change is hugely dependent on the final approved amendments and vote on Bill 2491.   

In my 16 years on Kauai, I have never witnessed hundreds of Kauai residents, supporters on both sides, occupy the county building lawn from midnight onward, with the hopes of sitting in the following morning’s County Council meeting. We are making history, not just on the lawn or throughout the night, but on an international level. And the message is, the people of Kauai are not going to tolerate the actions of large biotech companies.

During a drive to Lihue recently, I made a right turn at Kuhio Highway and Aukini Road. My son, who just turned 6, boldly pointed out to me the GMO corn fields growing right along the highway, right across the street from the Lihue Airport — the gateway to our thriving visitor industry. Later that afternoon, when I picked him up from his auntie’s house, he admitted to me that he ate “blue food.”

Many might not understand what he was saying, but what is most important is his awareness. So, Mayor Carvalho and members of Kauai County Council, you may want to dilute Bill 2491 and cloud it with smoke and mirrors and say the timeline is too tight, and there is not adequate funding for regulation. But if you think the supporters of the bill are being tough, you just sit and wait for our youth. This issue will not disappear.

Working within the visitor industry, I am open to discuss with visitors the current issues regarding Bill 2491. I share with them that when they arrive at the Lihue Airport, to enjoy the beauty and bounty of Kauai, they are greeted with a GMO field growing corn they will never consume. When asked what they can do to help, I highlight Kauai’s farmers markets to support our local farmers. I also share with them the contact information of our local government, if they chose to voice their concern about the affects the biotech companies have on Kauai.

This issue is not just affecting a small group of people. It affects every visitor that sets foot on Kauai.  It affects they way our youth view their own food. It affects our land, our unique flora and fauna, our watershed and marine environment. And it will affect Kauai’s political future. I cannot express enough, the urgency on passing a strong Bill 2491. History is in the making, now is the time to move forward into the future.  

Stephanie Krieger

Kapaa

Vote to pass 2491

The Kauai County Council needs to vote today in favor of enacting Bill 2491, even in its watered down form.

When Nadine Nakamura leaves the council in two weeks on Nov. 1 to become the county’s managing director, there may no longer be four votes to pass the measure.

We cannot be sure who would replace her on the council. Therefore, the bill that Nadine (with JoAnn Yukimura) helped to amend must be put to vote while she is still a council member.

Council further needs to ignore the call from Mayor Carvalho to delay consideration of Bill 2491. He and his staff have had more than sufficient time to study the bill.

After all these months of public hearings and mass demonstrations in support of the bill, can we trust the mayor’s claim that he has not prepared to implement the measure?

The mayor’s delaying tactic suggests either incompetence or corruption. Neither possibility is helpful for a man who recently announced his bid for another term.

Kauai Council, do the right thing for our ohana and our aina. Vote today to pass 2491.

Judah Freed

Kapaa

Some of this makes no sense

As the bill sits with the amendments, the red shirts will not be happy. But they won’t be happy until the blue shirts (biotech industry) are gone from the island. Let’s not fool ourselves; this is the ultimate goal of the red shirts. When the original bill or the amended one passes, the blue shirts, because they wish to stay in business, serve an injunction the next day, tying the issue up in the court system for years costing the county (taxpayers) millions.

A councilman said he doesn’t care about a lawsuit. Of course not. It is not his money. It is the citizens’ money. So if Bill 2491 is passed, the blue shirts will still be doing business as usual via the injunction. The red shirts will feel they have won without accomplishing any true objective. The county will spend millions defending the bill that negatively profiles an industry.

The bill never gets implemented.

The residents of Kauai pay more taxes because of a huge legal battle. The politicians show their true colors by voting it up or down. The council will be re-elected according to their vote, or not! Logical!

Jenifer Vergara

Hanapepe

Some scientific evidence needed

Let’s talk GMOs and pesticides. First, the antis cannot prove or find any proven scientific harm from GMO plants. A fact. So, they jump on the seed companies pesticide use, conveniently forgetting that all farmers and homeowners use pesticides.  

The antis intentionally inflate the usage numbers over many years to make it appear large. To illustrate, did you know that since 1956, there have been 300,176 pounds of flying insect pesticide spray used in homes? Many of the occupants of these homes have been found to have cancer. We must ban all flying insect pesticide sprays now.

The antis then introduce legislation to ban all flying insect pesticides. They convince legislators, using lies, partial facts, fear tactics, and street demonstrations to over shadow the scientific evidence and sell the idea of banning flying insect pesticides. The legislators, having little to no scientific understanding of the facts and fear of not being re-elected, vote to ban flying insect pesticides.

Businesses involved in the sale of flying insect pesticides go out of business and their employees go on unemployment.

Welcome to the islands of Kauai and Hawaii.

Don Gerbig

Lahaina

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