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Letters for Jan. 26, 2016
Park trip shouldn’t be a health risk
On Thursday, Jan. 14, around 2 p.m., I was driving back from Polihale with friends when I realized how dangerous this regular getaway is. When I was on the straight stretch of road before the landfill, I saw a massive tractor with big wheels and a boom spraying a waist-high crop of corn about 50 feet from the highway. The wind was carrying the spray across the highway and I barely had enough time to roll up my windows.
All the people in my truck got blasted and we could taste it in our mouths as we drove by. By the time I got to Hanapepe, I had to pull over and ask a friend to drive because I started to get blurred tunnel vision, along with a massive headache and nausea.
Friday morning, my eyes are struggling to focus as I write this letter. I woke up with a heavy chest and sore throat, same as my fellow passengers. I’m eight months pregnant and the feeling that I’ve been poisoned is terrifying.
I have been going to the Polihale since I was a kid, and now I fear for my health and the health of my unborn child just driving to a place that is a sanctuary for me and a public state park. I fear for all the pregnant mothers unknowingly getting poisoned as they try to seek solace in a sacred place. I fear for all the children who are so vulnerable and innocent and should not be subjected to breathing in chemicals on their way to play in clean water. I fear for everyone else who is doing the same. Wouldn’t a prudent first step be to create buffer zones to protect people from chemical drift?
Where is the political backbone to make this happen soon? As a steward of the land, a mother, and carrier of our future generation, I’m outraged that public land is leased to agrochemical companies that have no regards for the future health of our island, and its people. Why should we be at risk just going to the beach?
Creative solutions could solve traffic troubles
In response to a letter by Larry Bergh, “Only more roads will improve the traffic flow on Kauai” (TGI, Jan. 24).
I couldn’t possibly disagree more that it’s going to take more roads to solve our traffic problems. In my opinion there are many solutions to better creative and resourceful management of our traffic without the current thinking of the council in raising the excise tax in order to think they will solve it. Building more roads will only bring more traffic because of the rush of development that will occur.
I’m convinced that better management and “tools of the trade” that’s used for traffic congestion is what’s needed. From the Westside daily traffic, change the time school starts, it will also help traffic heading west at night.
We need more round-a-bouts, less signals, less rental cars, better maintenance, a public transportation system with a network of a shuttle system second to none in operations, even the use of contraflow and it’s cost could be considered as best temporary and cost effective tool combating congestion. And speaking of contraflow and it’s workers. If one does not know the contraflow is handled by the Hawaii state DOT, not the county.
And Mr. Bergh, with the state putting up those cones everyday is not considered by drivers as being wasteful of our tax dollars. When it comes to the drivers who must get to work and the consequences they would receive with out the contraflow, we can all be thankful.
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