Letters for Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013

Smart meters are OKThere is a vision for a better Kauai • Sign the bill mayor

Smart meters are OK

I love my smart meter. I can monitor our electrical usage in real-time and make small adjustments that save both electricity and money. By reducing my electrical demand, I am reducing pollution, and therefore helping make Kauai more sustainable. That’s good. For those who opted out of a smart meter — fine — however they should have to pay for the salaries, gas and other expenses incurred by their refusal to participate in the smart meter program. Why should my family pay extra for their choice to not participate?

Please don’t make the 30,000 people who participate pay for the 2,500 who don’t.

Furthermore, I still have not heard a reasonable argument to explain how a smart meter’s RF signal is any different than, say, those created by my home Wi-Fi (and the eight other Wi-Fi networks near my home), cell phones, laptops, etc. The power of the signal generated by a cell phone is over 100 times stronger than the one created by a smart meter. Will the next step be to ban our cell phones as well? The biggest irony is that while the people were complaining that “a smart meter is an invasion of privacy,” the NSA was capturing all their emails to KIUC. Maybe these people would feel better living in Elkins, W. Va., where there’s a “radio quiet zone” — not because radio waves are harmful, but because the scientists there need an RF-free zone to listen to outer space. I’m sure they’ll fit right in.

John Patterson

Kapaa

There is a vision for a better Kauai

To Mayor Carvalho,

 I am saddened by the division in our island, in response to Bill 2491, between protecting Westsiders’ livelihoods or protecting the health of our people and aina.

There is no reason to choose, both are important.

If seed companies choose to leave Kauai as a result of the bill’s passage, employees can receive up to two years unemployment benefits. That will sustain them while we figure out implementing sustainable farming in ways that enrich all Kauaians.

Net Whitlock in a TGI guest commentary, July 30, shared a brilliant vision for the Westside — 20-acre homestead farms, small houses with solar panel, shared farm equipment … Robinson’s sugar mill becomes the Westside Co-op, where farmers sell their mangoes, haliconias, etc., to hotels, supermarkets, visitors and us. Farmers become real farmers, not tools of global chemical/seed companies.

Whitlock writes so beautifully, you can see what the Westside could be like. I encourage you to read his commentary online.

To help lessen Westside fear about losing jobs, it would be a blessing for someone to make copies of Whitlock’s piece and hand them to seed company workers at the companies’ gates as they leave work.

You and the County Council could research and send out teams to meet with super wealthy Americans who’ve expressed interest in sustainable agriculture to enlist financial support for initially paying leases and buying equipment. People like Ellison on Lanai. We do that to promote the tourist industry. Let’s do it for sustainable agriculture.

In supporting farmers by sharing some of their land, the Robinson family could create a priceless, enduring legacy — helping the Westside become Kauai’s breadbasket.

Having lived a majority of my 32 years on Kauai on the Westside, I hate for our people to be used as human guinea pigs by multinational corporations, masked as “farmers.”

My father, a military officer, was a guinea pig, now called nuclear vets, exposed to radiation at the 1950s atomic bomb tests in Nevada. Thirty some years later, he and the other exposed officers died young of cancer. For 25 years, the government denied their deaths were related to the bomb tests. Fifteen years after dad died, the government finally admitted that their deaths were radiation exposure related.  

I don’t want my friends, our Westside family, years from now, going through losing a loved one as my family did because of unnecessary exposure to pesticides.

In closing, I think your signing Bill 2491 is in the long run interest of all Kauaians.

Deborah Duda

ShareTheCare

Coordinator, Kauai

Kalaheo

Sign the bill mayor

 Bill 2491 has now passed the council. The red shirts and the blue shirts have all had their say, and this pending legislation is now purple. As the mayor of our entire county, I respectfully ask you to sign this bill.

Being the mayor of all Kauai and Niihau is a big job, but you are a big man with a big heart, and I am confident that after the end of a long day, you know how to get up early, move forward and get her done for the betterment of all Kauai and Niihau.

You are a man of action. You are a can-do mayor. I feel certain that after you take the time to fully assess the matter, you will see the merits of Bill 2491 becoming the law of our land, and desire to take an active role in this. It is my hope, that in accord with the will of an amazingly united island community, you will seize the day and put action into aloha. Please sign this safety bill into law.  

I ask this of you because I respect you, and would love to support you in taking your rightful place as the elected leader of our island. Please do not passively allow this to become law. Please demonstrate your leadership — please sign this bill!

 What date do you plan to make historic by signing Bill 2491 into law? I look forward to your announcement. Like thousands of others, I would like to be able to clear my schedule to attend the signing ceremony.  

Jonathan Jay

Kalaheo

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