Letters for March 31, 2016

• Glyphosate regulation: Time to catch up with science • Taxes keep rising, roads remain awful

Glyphosate regulation: Time to catch up with science

To anyone who does not want to know more about glyphosate herbicides, does not care about the health consequences of their use, and just wants to spray weed killer no matter what, I urge them to read the most up-to-date comprehensive synopsis I’ve come across by John Peterson Myers et al 2016 “Concerns over use of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) and Risks Associated with Exposures: A consensus Statement.”

Consider:

• Glyphosate-based herbicides use has increased around 100-fold since the first decade of their use in the 1970s.

• Initial risk assessments undertaken by Monsanto assumed limited vertebrate risk because the stated herbicidal mechanism targeted a plant enzyme. Evidence has been accumulating the last 20 years that GBH can cause liver and kidney damage, effect nutrient balance through chelating action, and disrupt the endocrine system in vertebrates at low levels of exposure.

• Tolerable daily intakes of glyphosate are based on outdated science. The maximum contaminant level for drinking mater set by the EPA (700ppb) is 7000 times greater than is allowed in Europe.

• The presence of glyphosate residues in mother’s milk suggests bioaccumulation. Ignoring the research revealing the hazards of glyphosate use will not make it any safer.

Protect health. Poison less. Consensus anyone?

Ned Whitlock, Kilauea

Taxes keep rising, roads remain awful

A recent article in TGI (March 22) “Transportation resolution gains momentum” suggests that our Legislature is proposing to raise our fuel tax, our vehicle weight tax, our vehicle registration fee and our excise tax to pay for our traffic mess and our deteriorating roads. They want all this new money and nothing earmarked for solving our congestion.

First, we just had our vehicle weight tax greatly increased and for a three-year period our county failed to pave one road on Kauai even though roads repaving was budgeted for and approved by the council. Plus each year, our council has pushed hard for the Legislature to give us its the fair share of the TAT tax that we are entitled to with no results.

Second, we hired an auditor six years ago to find the waste in our system and he did an outstanding job of providing eight audits that showed where unlimited funds were wrongly being used and provided recommendations for their correction.

What have we done to use this valuable information that we paid a lot of money to compile – nothing, absolutely nothing.

So before even suggesting that we raise our taxes one penny why aren’t we finding the inexcusable waste in our system — delve deeply into the findings of these audits and taxes wouldn’t have to be raised. And getting the state to give us back our fair share of the TAT tax that we deserve.

A few years ago, we had a $40 million unappropriated surplus in our General Fund and today, as Councilman Kagawa keeps saying, we are broke! We don’t even have a 15 percent emergency set aside fund in case of a hurricane or tsunami.

Isn’t it way past time that we tried a county manager style of government and get efficiency and transparency back in our broken system?

Please, remember all this when voting next November.

Ken Taylor, Kapaa

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