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LETTERS for September 25 issue

September 25, 2014
Lahaina News

Kahana resident bets against Monsanto

Gloves are off, Monsanto - let's do this!

Monsanto, I say put your big bucks where your pie hole is!

I hereby challenge Monsanto and everyone who is part of the fictitious group calling themselves "Citizens Against the Maui County Farming Ban" on the TV advertisements. I do hereby and publicly wager $1,000 that NOT ONE non-GMO (genetically modified organism) or organic farm, or non-GMO backyard farm, or non-GMO community farm, or non-GMO coffee farm will shut down due to the temporary GMO moratorium if the law passes!

By the way, Monsanto, I know you are aware of this. These farms, factually, comprise 99 percent of the farms in Maui County. Ninety-nine to one? You just can't get better odds than that, Monsanto!

Furthermore, NOT ONE mom and pop store in Maui County, or all of Hawaii FOR THAT MATTER, will EVER close because of - or in direct relation to - this temporary GMO moratorium!

How can you pass this wager up, Monsanto?

I mean, you are gambling over $80,000 in bogus TV and YouTube advertisements that the people of Maui are as ignorant as you think they are - to trust you? Right?

Call me, please!

I will say this on TV if any news station would like to broadcast it! Won't happen, though, because this would mean they would have to report the fraud perpetrated on the people of Hawaii Nei and expose their million dollar clients!

Monsanto has bought our news stations, folks!

SHAWN REID, Kahana

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Slowly phase out imported produce and plants

I would like to salute Michele Lincoln for her letter in the Sept. 11 issue of the Lahaina News. Michele's letter discussed the possibility of decreasing our use of imported products and doing more to support our local farmers and ranchers.

The only flaw in her suggestion was that we rely on the businesses and consumers to make the choices that will reduce the amount of imported products. Unfortunately, the economics of that plan just won't work, when the businesses still have the ability to import products grown elsewhere at significantly lower prices. The businesses will choose the higher profit margins, and the consumers will choose the lower prices.

I came up with a plan recently after hearing an NPR report about the number one threat to the islands: imported produce and plants! In order to protect our sensitive island ecosystems, improve the health of the agricultural economy and provide for a secure food source for island residents, our legislature needs to mandate a plan in which the volume of imported produce and plants is reduced by 10 percent each year for ten years.

At the end of the ten-year period, there will be no legal importation of produce or plants. This ten-year adjustment period will allow an opportunity for our local farmers and ranchers to gear up production and increase the number of acres being used to actively grow products that will be consumed right here in the islands. This increased production and volume of agricultural activity will then help lower the prices of the local products.

There will be growing pains - and there may be some products that won't grow here, so we won't be able to have them - but it will be worth it when we have created a self-sustaining agricultural economy that will protect the islands and their people.

PAUL D. BROWN, West Maui

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Pursue the 'Pono Policy'

Why we are... where we are... for such a time as this? Have you considered the importance of the role you play in Hawaii's future? If you eat food, then you are part of the problem or the solution. We must all advocate for locally grown fruits and vegetables - as well as the livestock for our food supply - if you want to provide for food security and a desirable place to live.

The future of Hawaii's agriculture will be diverse, just like the people that make up the islands. This plays to our strength, and we must embrace new ideas (but don't be too quick to judge the old ways). I am not saying that the sugar industry must be kept here at all cost, but we must have an agriculture alternative ready to implement before the demise of sugar cane fields.

I live behind what was once the Pioneer Mill and raised my family here. I liked to refer to the black ash of the harvested sugar cane as ""Maui snow." On "snow days," we would head out of the area on an adventure to allow what needed to be done for harvest time.

Before you put on the "good guy white hat" and run the sugar mills off of the island, consider the alternative. Do you recall the beauty of the West Side Maui slopes before the sugar mill closed?

If the sugar industry is to be shut down, then be prepared for the "Double D's." Our island will become a desolate Dustbowl, and Developments will replace what was once beautiful green cane fields.

The unions, I have found, like to attend council and commission meetings, and endorse politicians to advocate for developments. I am fine with that, as long as they recognize that by their actions, they are working themselves out of jobs. We are a chain of islands after all.

Would the unions consider the alternative and advocate for farming and ranching? It would provide more job opportunities, so those that remain in the construction-related unions would have more employment.

As the farming and ranching realize their potential and provide sustainable jobs, it would provide need for more housing. The farming and ranching would eventually grow to the point of need for canneries and meat processing plants. That would create more jobs and need for more housing. We call this job security and sustainability.

I would like to see the Pono Policy practiced by everyone without the aid of our government regulating every aspect of our life. The Pono Policy is just that... do what is right. If we all participate, we will have a desirable place to live and a world-recognized model of righteous governance and sustainability.

MICHELE LINCOLN, Lahaina

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Vote Paltin for mayor

It takes more than just experience to lead Maui County well. Alan Arakawa has a lot of experience but can't seem to make good decisions for the people of Maui. Solution? Vote for Tamara Paltin for mayor of Maui County.

The recent trash showdown is the latest in a string of bad decisions wasting taxpayer monies. How much did it cost for the mass mailings of new pickup schedules that were rescinded within a week? All the excuses claiming it couldn't be done without more funds, and now apparently they can do it? Who is politicking now? That backfired big time; cutting services should be the last resort, not the first step, especially when services were compromised because of Iselle a week before the holiday.

Arakawa cut trash services during his last first term, turning the county into one massive dump, and he still hasn't learned. Now he's cutting out recycling, too.

Also, what's up with Parks & Recreation? Doesn't the County Charter require there be a director? What's going on with Canoe Beach bathrooms? Bottom line? Arakawa is not doing a good job for the people of Maui County. Do not vote for him in November.

MARGARET AKANA, Lahaina

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Plant considered a threat to GMO crops

Palmer amaranth was cultivated by Native Americans for its greens and very nutritious seeds, like other amaranths around much of the world, for thousands of years. It resists drought and does not require rich soil; indeed, it will concentrate nitrates to toxic levels if heavily fertilized. Outlawed by Spanish conquerers, today we consider it a weed, unimproved by the breeding other cultures practiced with their amaranths.

This traditional food plant is considered a threat to American genetically modified organism (GMO) crops by modern industrial agriculture because it has developed resistance to glyphosate/Roundup.

Palmer amaranth outgrows cotton and other GMO crops easily in dry conditions. Increasing use of glyphosate worsens the problem by creating more space for the resistant plants. In 2014, the Texas Agriculture Department asked EPA to use propazine on three million acres of cotton; they were turned down for undeniable drinking water risks.

Palmer amaranth has spread north, probably through cattle feed, into cooler states like Indiana, where it is able to out-compete GMO corn and soybeans. It also shows strong ability to adapt and quickly spread herbicide-resistant seedlings under glyphosate pressure.

A list of herbicides, starting with 2, 4, D and atrazine, is suggested by industrial ag experts to attack amaranth. These two herbicides have been associated with birth defects, despite Syngenta's reported attacks on scientists independently researching atrazine.

What's wrong with a protein-rich, gluten-free crop that thrives in drought, poor soils, unfertilized? Is it undesirable because no chemicals are needed?

DANIEL GRANTHAM, Haiku

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Support the Boo Boo Zoo!

We wanted to let you know that the time has come for Foodland's Give Aloha Program. This is a fabulous fundraiser for us that allows your donation to grow, and we are so thankful for Foodland & Western Union for continuing to support this program.

For the entire month of September, you can make a tax-deductible donation to the East Maui Animal Refuge at any Foodland or Sack N Save checkout, and they will make a donation to our organization, too! No purchase is necessary.

Our organization's code is 77169 (they will look it up for you if you forget it).

This is such a great way to grow your donation and support!

EAST MAUI ANIMAL REFUGE, Haiku

 
 

 

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