Letters for Saturday, August 16, 2014

• Lobbyist ignores science on global warming • Dairy farm should show it is eco-friendly • Put the shoe on the other foot

Lobbyist ignores science on global warming

Tom Harris is a paid lobbyist and spokesman for the energy industry. Far from being an objective scientist, he is a well-known climate denier. He ignores the scientific evidence that is accepted by 97 percent of the world’s investigators: climate change and global warming are really happening! This is a threat to humankind and our planet’s future. But it may be reversible with wise and timely action. You can Google IPCC, (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), a UN agency, to get an objective summary of the real science.

Jack Lundgren


Dairy farm should show it is eco-friendly 

Hawaii Dairy Farms latest statement is a little insulting. You never said you were shipping 1,800 cows so saying you’re shipping 699 is no surprise, but of course those 699 are all shipped pregnant so within months you’ve got 1,400. Of course some will be males and must be gotten rid of so maybe your down to 1,100 then, until the next impregnation. (I’m sure 699 is a strategic number for some rule or regulation, why not round it off at 700 as most people would, unless there is a benefit at 699). 

And the statement that requiring an environmental assessment is unprecedented and burdensome is another insult. Why should you be above proving that your operation will not have environmental impacts on the area?

You’re barely two miles upstream from the ocean. If your model is as eco-friendly as you say, you should be happy to prove it by doing a simple assessment (well actually you should have done it to begin with as the law states). Look at it as a way to show how great your model is and help everyone on the south shore rest easier and calm their concerns. And to say it is unprecedented, again an untruth as a simple google search will provide the environmental assessment prepared in 2011 by the new dairy going in on the Big Island, Mauna Kea Moo. They followed the proper protocol: assessed risk, received approvals and are moving forward with their plans. HDF just do it.

Kiana King


Put the shoe on the other foot

If our Kauai County Council and mayor’s office are truly “open to suggestions” (Beth Tokioka) over skyrocketing property taxes, allow this resident to offer one. 

 Raise property taxes on all fallow agricultural lands to their “highest and best use” assessment levels. A new “pricing/value” benchmark has been set. Example: Just last year Steve Case’s Grove Farm sold 2,770 +/- acres to another billionaire noted for being one of our nationa’s largest landholders. This property is located just outside of Lihue in the Puhi/Kipu Kai area, according to the County of Kauai Property Assessment Division. 

Let’s do some math: A Garden Island news article entitled “Grove Farm no longer land rich, cash poor,” dated Dec. 7, 2000, out that Steve Case “… purchased Grove Farm Co. Inc. for just over $26 million in cash.” 

The article continues: “The Case entities … paid roughly $1,203 an acre for Grove Farm’s 21,600 land … “ $1,203.00 per acre amounts to 0.0276 cents a square foot: “2.8 pennies” a sq. ft. 

Last year, 2013, Steve Case sold 2,770+/- aces for approximate $16 million. Sixteen million divided by 2,770 +/- acres = $5,776,000 per acre. Divide $5.776K by 43,560 (sq. ft. per ac) = “13.26 pennies” per square foot for the land. A “market value” profit of 474 percent.

Does not this “recent sale of property, within the GF region, at such a large profit” indicate that GF vacant agricultural lands have increased overwhelmingly? Should not all GF ag lands tax assessments and taxes increase by the same margin of 474 percent since it has been proven with the recent sale of GF lands that the lands “highest and best use” ceilings have skyrocketed?

How about having our elected officials reinstate the 2 percent resident tax cap and look at all ag lands; raise their taxes and give resident homeowners lower tax assessments and bills? Elected officials, stop giving all the breaks to your large landowner supporters and start helping “We the people,” your employers. 

 Try the shoe on the other foot. Voters, get out, vote and pray for a change. 

John Hoff



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