Letters for May 19, 2015

Letters for May 19, 2015

Too much faith in manager system

In regards to Mr. Mickens letter about the benefits of the manager system, I tend to agree with Mr. Machell’s opinion. Mr. Mickens seems to have too much confidence in our elected officials to make up our minds for us on managerial options. I wonder if he would trust the Congress of the United States to appoint a manager to run the Executive branch of the federal government, rather than have an election for the president of the United States?

Chester Mazurowski

Kapaa

Please explain Kauai economics

In reading about the county’s revenue shortfall requiring budget cuts, most of which means cutting services to Kauai’s residents, I can’t help but wonder how this revenue shortfall came about. I also happen to agree with Larry Arruda’s logic in his article in Monday’s TGI forum. What doesn’t make sense is that several very large land purchases — totaling several hundred million dollars — mostly by dot.com billionaires, were made quite recently, effectively denying the rest of us access to much of Kauai’s most treasured shoreline along both the north and south shores.

Perhaps I need a lesson in local economics, but are these huge property sales not providing increased revenues to the county? The only answer I can come up with is rather unsettling; that somehow these billionaires struck a deal to be exempt from commensurate property taxes, thus causing the revenue drain, resulting in not only increased property taxes but also reduced services or pay-extra-for-services for the rest of us.

I would welcome a lesson in basic Kauai economics to help me out with my cognitive dissonance.

Dr. Lucy Miller

Lihue

Sweet potato is natural GMO crop

Many anti-GMO activists are worried because they believe that transfer of genes between species is “unnatural.” Well, they should no longer worry, because it has been discovered recently that the sweet potato is a natural GMO crop.

Researchers have recently found in the sweet potato, that was domesticated in South America over 8,000 years ago, a collection of bacterial genes from Agrobacterium T-DNA in sweet potato cells. These are the same bacterial genes that are used by scientists in today’s transgenic (GMO) process.

Further examination revealed a second cluster of genes, indicating that this natural transgenic (GMO) process has happened at least twice over the past thousands of years in the sweet potato.

So, we have evidently been consuming GMO sweet potatoes for thousands of years and did not know it. Wonder if the local anti-GMO activists will be protesting and sign waving at local luaus?

Don R. Gerbig

Lahaina

Time to simplify homestay process

With all of the actions of the county lately regarding TVRs, I think it’s time for the county to cut some red tape and simplify the homestay use. Now that I’m clear on the different uses and what they entail, I think we should get rid of all TVRs outside of the VDA. Simplify by using a homestay permit and combine it with a B&B use. Because of the rules and conditions that are set forth concerning homestays, I think they should be allowed anywhere on the island by use permit.

By doing this, we are allowing all homeowners the chance to earn extra income to help offset the cost of living here, not just a select few. A special bonus will be to the increase in tax revenue for the county budget and state.

And for the owners of the shut-down TVRs, it’s your lucky day. Apply and get a homestay permit, but now you will need to live there 24/7, 365 to babysit the Mainland party animals.

Steve Martin

Wailua

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