Letters for March 9, 2015

• Wood-burning bill is off target • Bill 2573 will benefit health • Letter on recent immigration case contained more errors

Wood-burning bill is off target

Bill 2573 is like a doctor using a chainsaw to remove a tumor. A great many of us prefer living a rural lifestyle in the countryside.

For many of us, a wood fire in the fireplace is our only source of heat in the winter. Many people have few or no neighbors nearby. Many neighbors like the pleasant smell of a clean-burning wood fire.

Our island has steady trade winds most of the time, keeping our air fresh.

If we must have restrictions, I suggest that wood burning only be illegal if both of these conditions are met:

1) A neighbor who lives within 100 yards has filed a recent complaint.

2) The fire is not burning cleanly. For example, in Washington state, there is a rule that the smoke cannot exceed 20 percent opacity for six consecutive minutes in any one-hour period.

I also suggest that smoking meat would be exempt from these regulations.

Washington state has more than 100 times as many people as Kauai. Also, they do not have the steady trade winds to freshen the air that we enjoy. If they can allow for clean-burning wood fires, we certainly can.

If clean-burning wood fires become illegal, those of us who enjoy country living should work hard to replace some more members of the County Council, next time around.

Mark Beeksma


Bill 2573 will benefit health

Yes, the County Council should concentrate on something other than smoke. They should concentrate on the health and well-being of the island’s residents. Bill 2573 is for the health and well-being of Kauai citizens.

The council has the opportunity to clean up and reduce a toxic pollutant and create a clean healthy environment by passing Bill 2573.

The council has the opportunity to reduce the effects of this pollutant on the health and well-being of its children, adults and senior citizens with respiratory ailments. Passing Bill 2573 will do that.

The council has the opportunity to allow children with asthma to go to school and not be sent home because of the health effects of burning wood in a chimney. The council has the opportunity to keep expectant mothers healthy and to have healthy children born on Kauai.

Bill 2573 is a healthy bill for clean air and the environment.

Neil MacDonald


Letter on recent immigration case contained more errors

Gayle Hughes’ reading (March 3, “More to the story on president’s actions”) of the recent immigration court case is simply wrong.

She states Judge Hanen ruled that the 26 states would be harmed by the “illegal changes in the law.” He did no such thing.

He issued an order preventing DHS action on its rule change granting benefits to 4 million illegal immigrants, until there is “further development of the record,” i.e., providing time to hear both sides and examine evidence before ruling for or against plaintiffs. His order also grants legal standing to the states to pursue their claims.

That’s it. There is nothing about ruling anything “illegal” or “unlawful” at this point, as Ms. Hughes erroneously claimed.

In Judge Hanen’s own words, “In this order, the court is specifically NOT addressing plaintiffs’ likelihood of success on their substantive APA claim or their constitutional claims … it is specifically withholding a ruling upon those issues until there is further development of the record. … This temporary injunction enjoins the implementation of the DAPA program that awards legal presence and additional benefits to the 4 million or more individuals …”

Ms. Hughes next claims I wrote that this court case “does not exist.” I did not, stating that Mark Beeksma was incorrect claiming that Judge Hanen’s order “stopped Obama’s illegal action.” It wasn’t Obama, but DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson’s action, which has yet to be ruled “illegal.” She states, “I was surprised that he was not aware of that ruling.”

Well, I read Judge Hanen’s entire opinion, so I was indeed aware. That’s why I know both she and Mr. Beeksma have been wrong in their assumptions and assertions.

Barry Christianson



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