Letters for Monday, April 21, 2014

Steamed in KoloaRepresentative government means everyoneEighth graders get it right

Steamed in Koloa

A dairy planned, for more than five years, was just made public in the last four months by billionaire Pierre Omydiar’s Ulu’pono Initiative, Hawaii Dairy Farms. Why not sooner? Could it be that going public sooner would have revealed the truths about their dairy plan before HDF had time to woo the regulators with platitudes like, “Making milk for Kauai’s children” by a “sustainable dairy?”

When they went public, questions forced HDF to admit the milk made on Kauai won’t stay on Kauai. It will be wholesaled to Meadow Gold, pasteurized and bottled on Oahu. In fact, Ulupono and HDF can’t say how much of their milk, if any, will return to Kauai. That will be up to Meadow Gold. Is the farm sustainable? Well, not really. At least 30 percent of the feed for their 1,880-2,000 cows will be imported grain.

Has anyone besides me wondered, “Why Mahaulepu Valley?” Why so close to a beautiful beach and coastline like Mahaulepu? The reefs there are still alive. There are rare birds and endangered species that make Mahaulepu their home. A search revealed that Mahaulepu Valley is designated as “Important Agricultural Land.”

IALs reap significant benefits for farmers who develop and operate such land. Could this answer the question as to why a large industrial dairy would select Mahaulepu? Farmers who develop and operate on IAL farms receive “tax credits for roads, utilities, processing facilities, wells, reservoirs, dams, pipelines, etc.” The IAL farmer is also entitled to “subsidies for cost of repair and maintenance” of irrigation systems and for “long term costs” to maintain that system. So, the $17.4 million that Ulupono and HDF proudly claim to be investing in Kauai, is an investment with a significant return, tax credits and benefits at the taxpayer’s expense. So, taxpayers of Kauai, it might be a good idea if more people would make their voices heard about the proposed dairy plan.

Meanwhile, the cows have been purchased and are waiting to be shipped. They are grading and grubbing without having permits from the state.

Does anyone out there feel like this project is being shoved down our throats no matter what risks exist or findings reveal from their “work in process?”

Shari Trevino


Representative government means everyone

Sen. Schatz has an interesting way of communicating with the folks he represents. A friend was sending emails on issues outside the liberal agenda (faults with Obamacare, problems with Benghazi etc.) His response, blocking the emails. Don’t bother your senator unless you say what he wants to hear.

Suzanne Woodruff


Eighth graders get it right

Mahalo to the two eighth graders from Island School who wrote that lifeguards are needed on Kauai’s beaches and that ocean safety is critical on our island (TGI, April 18).

They understand our problem. They are not alone. In February this year, I had the privilege of talking with about 300 eighth graders from Chiefess Kamakahelei School at Nukolii during their science outing. We talked about the importance of the ocean in their lives and why we must respect and protect it. We talked about why folks drown, how they drown and how to keep others from drowning. We talked about rip currents and what to do if caught in one. Lastly, we demonstrated the use of rescue tubes located on beaches around our island. Hopefully, they will participate in our Junior Lifeguard Program this summer and become trained in ocean safety and force multipliers (to our lifeguards).

Please visit our ocean safety display at Kukui Grove Shopping Center on May 10, part of the Hotel Industry’s Countdown to its Charity Walk. You’ll learn about our Junior Lifeguard Program and rip currents.

Jim Jung

Vice President

Kauai Lifeguard Association


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