Letters for Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017

• Park custodians deserve respect • Bees are your best friend

Park custodians deserve respect

I find myself compelled to respond to Jeremy Apo’s “Other Voices” column. If the intention of Jeremy’s letter was to call attention to the neglect of the Westside and its residents by the county government, I can find no fault.

Where I vehemently do fault Jeremy is on his personal attack on one of the finest and most hardworking county employees on our island — the woman who for more than a decade has done the, too often, thankless job of cleaning up behind thoughtless visitors and residents at the Salt Pond.

I know of that which I speak. My husband and I lived full time for 10 years in tents on that park — and after those 10 years, we have continued to visit it with a great deal of regularity. We’ve known two custodians of that park in those years: Tony Nihau and Simplicia. Tony played music each night and in the morning, he had his fellow musicians cleaning the park with him. Simplicia has had no one to lend a hand in cleaning the very ‘aina that we proclaim to love.

And yes, Jeremy, this woman scours those disgusting bathrooms by 10 a.m. — because she is responsible also for cleaning another park, the Hanapepe Athletic Complex, before she can even begin her amazing and overwhelming task at the Salt Pond Park.

This woman — now in her 60s — would put a 30-year-old to shame. She is a dynamo, and the shortcomings of funding by the county can most certainly not be laid at her sturdy feet or gloved hands. And so Jeremy, a little respect for your kupuna may be in order here.

Inette Miller, Kalaheo

Bees are your best friend

Aug. 19 is National Honey Bee Day, a day to celebrate one of the most important and widespread pollinators of our food andflowers. And we need to do more to protect honey bees and all of our pollinators.

Honey bees pollinate many of the foods we eat, from blueberries to almonds. In Hawaii, beloved foods such as coffee andpineapples are pollinated by honey bees. Unfortunately, millions of honey bees are dying off due to neonicotinoids, apesticide extremely lethal to bees. Without honey bees, there will be big consequences for our environment and our foodsupply: No honey bees means no food.

This summer, you can celebrate National Honey Bee Day and help protect bees by hosting a bee friendly Bee-Bee-Q or Picnic.It’s the perfect way to end summer — join with friends and family to enjoy delicious foods, cook with recipes shared by chefsfrom our Bee Friendly Food Alliance and made possible by bee pollination, all while helping to save the honey bees.

Saumya Shruti, Environment America Campaign Coordinator

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