Letters for Feb. 25, 2015

• Enough already with truth-twisting rants • Dairy could be threat to water

Enough already with truth-twisting rants

Mark Beeksma’s letter (“No longer this country’s leader,” TGI, Feb. 20) needs calling out. He wrongfully presumes Obama did something illegal – unconstitutional even – in a decision to delay immigration deportations in certain cases. He further claims a judge so ruled in a recent decision. He is blatantly wrong on all counts.

First, the Executive Branch has broad discretion to exercise power in immigration matters, regardless what Alabama’s Jeff Sessions, other Congressional dimwits, or Fox “News” say about the issue.

Second, the Supreme Court stated such with its 5-3 opinion in Arizona v. United States, (2012) with Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy – hardly “left wing” — voting affirmatively. Here’s relevant text from that decision:

“Congress has specified which aliens may be removed from the United States and the procedures for doing so … Removal is a civil, not criminal, matter. A principal feature of the removal system is the broad discretion exercised by immigration officials. Federal officials, as an initial matter, must decide whether it makes sense to pursue removal at all.

So, Obama’s action was neither “illegal” nor “unconstitutional” per se, but actually constitutional in its application — oops!

Third, the “preliminary injunction” to which Mr. Beeksma referred was instead U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ruling that the Administrative Procedure Act requires a longer notification and comment period than was the case here.

That is entirely different than immigration policy itself. There was nothing in that ruling about constitutionality.

Mr. Beeksma’s letter falsely and ignorantly accuses the president of wrong-doing. Obama did not “violate constitutional limits on his power.” Stating otherwise bears false witness, which no overblown melodrama about swearing on Bibles or his peculiar view of the Constitution can excuse.

Mr. Beeksma would benefit from understanding how all this Constitution and governance stuff actually works, before deigning to ding others about the same. Keeping personal prejudice at bay might help him, too.

Barry Christianson

Wailua

Dairy could be threat to water

I am a visitor — a retired Colorado water lawyer — with some experience in ground water pollution — both as proponent and opponent of projects in Colorado.

Reading about the “Hawaii Dairy Farms” disputes raised my concern for Poipu area residents because of the close proximity of drinking water sources and the proposed confined animal feeding paddocks and waste management facilities.

I have not yet found any articles about the dangers of nitrate contamination of groundwater. Nitrates are a natural part of urine and fecal material — both animal and human.

Ingestion of nitrates in drinking water by infant mammals (humans and animals) can cause low oxygen levels in blood, and potentially death (aka blue baby syndrome).

Once nitrate concentration gets into an aquifer, it is extremely difficult to mitigate. Treatment of nitrate in wastewater is possible, but expensive, and not always effective.

The best practice is to avoid contamination of drinking water. I recommend that state and county officials and residents exercise special caution when considering any proposal which could increase nitrate in drinking water — such as Hawaii Dairy Farms’ Mahaulepu proposal.

M.E. “Sandy” MacDougall

Temporary/yearly Poipu visitor

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