Letters for Nov. 29, 2016

• Local leaders should fight to protect people

Local leaders should fight to protect people

Yes. Get used to it, because we are living it. The U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that a county cannot regulate pesticides (TGI, Nov. 19). Why not? If the community feels that certain pesticides are harmful to its population, it should be able to ban or regulate their use.

Washington, D.C., may claim expertise in the field, but they don’t live in our climate, they don’t smell and inhale the pesticides, and they don’t have to seek medical treatment for those medically affected by their use. The laws in a democracy are supposed to protect the population first and only then the businesses.

If they don’t, they are colonialist laws that are designed to protect their makers and their business interests. An island’s interest in the area of health and the well-being of its population should also precede the state’s interest unless it has any overall negative effect on the state.

In the current case, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. expressed relief about the court’s decision, even if the county had to spend about $220,000 on the defense. It does not matter that this money was collected for unpaid taxes from the agricultural companies; it could have been put to much better use on the island. I doubt that the people of Kauai will patronize their mayor on this issue with their empathy.

If the federal authorities ban the transport and the shipment of fruits and vegetables from Hawaii, allegedly to the protect the Mainland and its population, the islands should be able to ban and restrict the local use of certain pesticides and be able to require the disclosure of the use of the permitted ones for the same reason — for their own protection. They should also be able to restrict the influx of new settlers to their islands to prevent unmanageable conditions there.

Why are the state representatives and senators not introducing bills that protect the local people’s interests? Even if we live in the illegally occupied Hawaiian islands, it is time to change the colonialist laws to democratic ones.

János Keoni Samu, Kalaheo

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