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LETTERS for February 10 issue

By Staff | Feb 10, 2011


It’s good to see our new County Councilmember, Don Couch, from South Maui is very concerned about the condition of our reefs and oceans. While denigrating the bill that regulates the theft and sale of our reef fish, Don says that we need to refocus on the “real issues,” and that the real culprit that he sees every day is tourists slathered in sunscreen, which is dangerous to the reef.

Sunscreen?! I can’t wait to see his first bill regulating sunscreen use by our visitors. Ha, ha, ha — how out of touch can you be, Don Couch?

Don said the only reason he will vote for passage of the bill is so he can redirect his attention to real causes. Don, let’s see what “real causes” you are going to champion, and show us what an effective bill addressing reef and nearshore water degradation looks like.



A recent upbeat article seems to imply that Maui’s lawmakers are going to save Maui’s declining reefs by banning the taking of some aquarium fish by Senate Bill 580. The theory seems to be that banning aquarium collectors from taking these little herbivores will allow them to thrive and to dine on the invasive algae that are choking reefs. Before lawmakers start celebrating and patting each other on the back for saving the reefs, maybe they should take a closer look at what the real problems are with the reefs.

Another article cited a mysterious study reportedly published by the Department of Environmental Management under Cheryl Okuma, which reportedly stated that it will cost $29 million to extend pipelines to divert only 2 million gallons a day from injection wells, but not during winters.

I would prefer to read the Central Maui Recycled Water Verification Study (December 2010) document before I submit testimony on this important topic of injection well effluent and reef degradation, but since the deadline to submit written testimony is nearing, I will boldly state my position: If you actually want to have a clue as to how to solve the reef problem, first identify what the problem is by finding out everything that is in the wastewater effluent. Include biosolids (sludge), compost and well injectate, because it is all headed for the reefs and nearshore waters eventually.

Isn’t it about time to find ALL constituents that are in Maui’s wastewater, if we really want to figure out a solution to the problem of degrading reefs?

THOMAS A. CRAIG, Aquality Research & Education


Her Highness, Nasty Pelosi, has finally lost her private Air Force jet and crew. She used the Air Force jet to fly back and forth to California in extravagant style. All on your dime. She spent millions of our dollars flying her friends and political donors on Air Force jets while reigning as Speaker of the House.

The new Speaker immediately canceled all flights and opted to fly commercial airlines while SERVING as Speaker of the House. Notice the difference? Where is the outrage, investigation, House Ethics Committee inquiry? These “Tax & Spend” politicians are raping the country.

Now we have King & Queen Obama in the Oval Office spending literally tens of millions of dollars on trips and personal attendants. We all know about Barry & Michelle’s lavish trips; now just look at Queen Michelle’s personal staff.

The First Lady requires more than 20 attendants with an annual payroll of $1,591,200. This is community organizing at it’s finest.

There has NEVER been anyone in the White House at any time who has created such an army of staffers whose sole duties are the facilitation of the First Lady’s social life. One wonders why she needs so much help at the taxpayers’ expense, when even Hillary only had three, Jackie Kennedy had one, and Laura Bush had one. Prior to Mamie Eisenhower, social help came from the President’s own pocket.

Note: The payroll figure above does not include makeup artist Ingrid Grimes-Miles and “First Hairstylist” Johnny Wright, both of whom traveled aboard Air Force One to Europe.



I am writing in support of Senate Bill 727, which prohibits the possession, sale or distribution of products from force-fed ducks and geese. Cruel force-feeding enlarges the bird’s liver far beyond normal size for the product, foie gras.

Foie gras production universally ranks as one of the cruelest forms of animal agriculture, and public outrage at the inhumane practices inherent in the foie gras industry has resulted in bans of the product in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Israel, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the Czech Republic. Consumers around the globe have demanded the removal of foie gras — the fatty, diseased liver of a duck or goose — from restaurant menus. In the U.S., public awareness of this cruel practice is rising rapidly, as seen in California, where a law banning the sale and

production of foie gras goes into effect in 2012.

Investigators confirmed the cruelty in foie gras production firsthand after witnessing ducks crammed in filthy, feces-ridden sheds and others suffering and dying of organ rupture after being force-fed nearly four pounds of corn mush a day through long, thick metal pipes shoved down the birds’ throats.

The three daily force-feedings sometimes choke, injure or kill the birds by gouging open their throats with the metal pipe. By the end of the force-feeding process, ducks are physically debilitated with livers five to ten times their normal size, and many are unable to stand or walk. You don’t have to be a scientist to see that these animals are suffering immensely when they can barely move and they pant for breath.

Many people who include meat in their diet recognize the cruelty of force-feeding healthy water fowl to purposely enlarge their livers and avoid foie gras. These birds are constrained and treated like commodities with no respect for their simple needs. This practice is archaic and unnecessary.

I am confident that once Hawaiians learn the truth, they will no longer want to support an industry that brutally subjects ducks and geese to such abuses and will encourage our representatives to support this bill. Senators Gabbard, Oakland and Hee have co-introduced SB727, with Senators Espero, Kahele, Kim and Ryan cosponsoring.

Please send a statement in support of SB727 to banforcefeeding@msn.com and be sure your voice is heard. Let’s protect these innocent birds who need our help. Also visit www.stopforcefeeding.com for information.



Hawaii’s conservation lands and waters need just one word to ensure conservation remains the primary activity in Hawaii’s most protected natural areas. One simple word: comprehensive.

With this word, Hawaii’s land managers could abandon the piecemeal decision-making that to this point has sacrificed so much of our public trust lands and waters and instead embrace truly comprehensive management, where resource protection is the primary purpose of all decision-making.

Last Fall, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) proposed a suite of regulatory rollbacks in Hawaii’s conservation areas. Hundreds of individuals and organizations stepped up to successfully defend Hawaii’s sacred and significant lands. As a result, the majority of these rollbacks were abandoned. But even with most of them gone, one major rollback still lingers. We need your help right now to put a stop to it.

DLNR is proposing to erase the requirement that management plans be comprehensive. If it’s not comprehensive, then it’s piecemeal. Piecemeal decision-making may be easier to do, but history has proven piecemeal does nothing to protect the natural and cultural resources that our conservation areas were established to protect. Only with truly comprehensive management can we ensure that conservation remains the primary activity in our conservation areas.

Please tell the DLNR staff to make their management comprehensive. Specifically, in section 13-5-24 (R-1) and (R-3) of the conservation district regulations, the word “comprehensive” should be inserted before the words “management plan” (this is on page 5-31). Adding this one word will ensure that open ocean aquaculture and monster telescopes will not continue to make an industrial park out of our conservation areas. The proposed rule changes are posted at www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/occl.