Letters for Feb. 14, 2015

• Don’t support pipeline project • Shortfall of Bill 2573 • 

Don’t support pipeline project

No, Gayle Hughes of Kalaheo, I will not call our honorable congressional representatives and urge them to vote for the Keystone XL Pipeline just to get an unrelated rider about the Jones Act passed. (”Jones Act keeps driving up cost of living in Hawaii,” TGI, Feb, 12).

I will not work to allow passage of a dangerous pipeline from the top to the bottom of the Mainland, won’t provide many permanent jobs and will not even provide the USA with any gasoline. Why isn’t the pipeline being built across Canada? Because Canadians and First Nation members don’t want it, either.

Try Googling Keystone Pipeline spills and Canadian oil sands excavation pictures and perhaps you’ll see the enormous problems with this filthiest of all types of oil.

So, no, definitely not — I refuse to urge our representatives to work against our nation’s best interests and so should you. If the Jones Act is indeed part of the reason for our high prices, than I’d be happy to work with our representatives to bring a bill before Congress amending the bill to solve this problem.

But I will not risk poisoning more of our nation’s land and waters with spilled crude oil. The aina is the aina, even if it’s on the Mainland and so is the wai and kai.

If you honestly believe the Keystone XL Pipeline is a good idea, then you must be really happy about the proposed diary farm, which will also not provide many jobs or any milk for Kauai but has the potential to wreak environmental havoc on the South Shore. It’s the same situation in a smaller area, except the farm’s pollution will hit the ground directly and won’t even be carried in a leak-prone pipeline.

Christine Queen

Kapaa

Shortfall of Bill 2573

Councilman Hooser’s “Smoke-hyperbole, reality and politics” article fell quite short in Bill 2573 when he focused on “backyard barbecues, smoke meat, cooking in imu, or the roasting of marshmallows on an open fire.”

There are far higher priorities to deal with when it comes to a clean air bill, such as the proper handling and disposal of asbestos, red lead, other contaminated products and the prevention of cancer. How does this affect Bill 2573?

Example: As Hooser states, “Unfortunately … in Kauai neighborhoods … homes are very close together, certain residents’ burn wood and other items in their fireplaces.”

What needs to be added is that “certain residents” (developers) dispose of such mentioned hazardous waste materials at sites in very close proximity to community neighborhoods, unbeknownst to the residents, of course, potentially “flooding neighboring homes with “such contaminants in huge quantities “to a degree where medical attention can be required.”

Hooser continues, “Myself and other councilmembers have attempted to engage various state and county agencies to help resolve one particularly egregious situation occurring.”

Suggestion: Stop focusing on burning wood, imus and marshmallows and focus on much larger threats to our residents and visitors: asbestos dust, water and land pollutants, red lead, etc.

“Even though there is an abundance of evidence pointing to tangible, negative health impacts, these impacted residents have been repeatedly told “there is nothing the agency can do.” Or will do!

To this point, Hooser is 100 percent correct. Our government agencies are not focusing on their jobs. If they can’t deal with asbestos or red lead, what makes you think they will enforce new laws on either smoke, imus or marshmallows?

Continuing, Hooser writes: “In short, Bill 2573 is intended to narrowly address situations in our community where individuals intentionally or recklessly bring harm to someone else’s health.”

Suggestion: Expand Bill 2573 to broader, more immediate and serious issues backed by consistent enforcement. As for the Sunshine Law, forget it.

Billionaire-style governance does not, will not, tolerate transparency. Why lean on working folks and not the few “over rich?”

John Hoff

Lawai

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