Letters for Thursday, May 1, 2014

• Don’t assume the worst about dairy farm • Thank you for not smoking • Be wary of changes to charter

Don’t assume the worst about dairy farm

In response to front page story Sunday, April 13, “County: Dairy farm up to par.”

Here we find the typical example of the “fear mongering,” “lynching mob” tactics employed by Bridget Hammerquist and her following of 14 others.

It seems they could have saved a lot of time with all the concerns and accusations with a letter to the county engineer Mr. Dills if they had just done the simple thing by researching the county engineer for all of the information concerning what the dairy project entailed, or spoken to the mayor and his administration to get the facts of the project and his overwhelming support.

Instead, she as well as others have decided to publish guest columns and letters to the editor concerning their opinions of the dairy project and its impact to our citizens and environment without the facts.

It seems an attorney, biologists, foundation leaders or the environmental activists know-it-alls would have obtained the necessary facts of the project before assuming what has been planned or its effects. Here is a good reminder for them — “We all know what it means to Assume.”

Steve Martin, Kapaa

Thank you for not smoking

Don’t smoke! There are many reasons why you shouldn’t smoke and sadly, also reasons why people do smoke. There are statistics, too. Using the information I got, I know smoking stinks.

There are so many statistics why you shouldn’t smoke! It’s crazy how every single day 3,900 children between the ages of 12-17 start smoking. However, fewer people start because of diseases.

You can become addicted to nicotine and it is very hard to stop. About half a million people in the United States are killed by smoking every year. There are so many more statistics.  

Have you ever wondered why people smoke? Here are some reasons.     

Some kids smoke because of curiosity. Some kids like to feel like adults. Some kids like the idea of it being dangerous. It’s sad that many people start smoking.

Now, here are the reasons why people shouldn’t smoke. Some people’s clothes smell and bother other people. Smokers have bad breath even if they brush there teeth a lot. People who smoke get colds and coughs more than average people. These are only a few effects of smoking.

I hope all the statistics helped you to know a lot about why not to smoke. Even though there are reasons why people smoke, they still don’t outweigh the good reasons why not to. Even if you are curious and you think it makes you look cool (which it doesn’t), don’t do it!

Clara Christensen, age 10, Lihue

Be wary of changes to charter

The front page story of TGI “Changing the Charter” should stimulate a lot of thought from the citizens of this magical island.

The Charter Review Commission seems determined to prevent measures which would improve our imperfect form of government from reaching the ballot.

The Hawaii State Constitution reads: ARTICLE 1, Bill of Rights, Political Power  Section 1.All political power of this State is inherent in the people and the responsibility for the exercise thereof rests with the people. All government is founded on this authority.

CRC Vice-Chair TenBruggencate wants to increase the number of signatures required to petition an amendment to the Charter to a whopping 20 percent of registered voters from the current 5 percent.

Fortunately Commissioner Ed Justus wisely remarked that he could not imagine voters “backing something that makes it harder to change their government. I don’t think it has a chance of passing. It’s counter intuitive to the American thinking.”

Another controversial issue saw two community activists fight our council for 14 months trying to keep them from going into Executive Sessions (ES) for a matter that wasn’t a claim as required by Charter Section 3.07E. When the council could find no lawful reason to avoid violating Section 3.07E they got the CRC to put a measure on the ballot expanding the justifications for meetings, deceptively misworded it and got it passed. Just look at how many ES we now have.

Other important questions that the CRC continues to disregard are election of council members by district and the adoption of a county manager system.

Remember that any proposal to amend our charter can be put on the ballot by the council, the CRC or by a petition of the voters. The first two are political and controlled by those in power.

The other is the voice of the people and that voice should not be restricted or crippled by requiring an unreasonable number of signatures to reach the ballot.

Charter Review Commission, if you want to make change to the County Charter, do what’s right.

Ken Taylor, Kapaa

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