Letters for Oct. 28, 2015
Meat industry is scary
I was never scared of all the witches, zombies, and assorted goblins that will be wandering around on Halloween next Saturday night.
What really used to scare me was the meat industry. This is the industry that mutilates, cages, and butchers billions of cows, pigs, and other feeling animals, that exposes thousands of undocumented workers to crippling workplace injuries at slave wages, that exploits farmers and ranchers by dictating wholesale prices, then jails those who document its abuses through unconstitutional “ag-gag” laws.
It’s the industry that generates more water pollution than any other human activity and more greenhouse gases than transportation, then promotes world hunger by feeding nutritious corn and soybeans to animals.
It’s the industry that threatens our public health with increased risk of killer diseases, that creates antibiotic-resistant pathogens by feeding antibiotics to animals, then bullies health authorities to remove anti-meat warnings from their public messages.
Now, that’s really scary stuff. But, instead of being scared, I decided to fight back by dropping animal products from my menu. I am no longer scared of the meat industry, and I invite everyone to join me.
County proposals deserve support
Are you a satisfied customer of our local government’s services? Do you appreciate the benefits of our solid waste programs or enjoy the amenities of our parks and neighborhood centers? If you are a resident of Kauai, pay property taxes and participate in our local elections, you may be interested in two promising proposals to consider.
Recently, the County Council unanimously passed Councilman’s Chock’s suggestion to form a committee and explore the potential of reorganizing our county government’s administration. The current “strong mayor” format has been in place since the charter was drafted in the late 1960s. The “county manager” format has been considered by the county’s Charter Review Commission but it was never advanced and voters were denied an opportunity to choose. As to why the electorate was not given a say on the matter, the political reasons are too numerous to list here but suffice it to say that with the term “strong mayor” the emphasis is on strong!
Additionally, the Charter Review Commission is considering reviewing the issue of voting for our councilmembers by district. This has also been on the table for discussion and was, as recent as 2006, given great consideration by the voters in that election. The proposal was narrowly rejected by less than 1,000 voters. The opportunity to reconsider the pros and cons of such changes to our County Council’s representation and the restructuring of our administrative operations of the county warrants careful consideration.
Yet, it becomes clear in my opinion, the restructuring of our county government may help to efficiently execute the duties and obligations of our county’s administration. In addition, voting for councilmembers by district could possibly enhance the services that our county workers provide to its residents and visitors.
By considering alternatives to the status quo, voters will decide what is best for Kauai. Reducing the bureaucratic drag that exists between the council and the administration is quite possible with a few strategic changes. Kauai residents should have a say in the matter.
James G Trujillo