LETTERS for March 10 issue
HAWAII SCHOOLS SHOULD OFFER VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Hawaii Board of Education member Leona Rocha-Wilson wants to create a “two-path system” in which students would be able to choose courses geared toward college or vocational training. This is an excellent idea, and we need out legislators to make it happen.
Let’s look at some current examples. We know there is a need for nurses, and that thousands of students are turned away from nursing schools for lack of nursing instructors.
Lahainaluna High School used to have a flourishing agriculture program with corn and taro on campus; now there is barren land.
To have vocational training means we need more teachers to teach agriculture, wood shop, metal shop, auto shop, health care, computer technology, office management and home economics.
These types of classes can prepare students for a future in construction, mechanics, office work and health care.
A bill supporting teacher training in vocational skills would give students a greater choice for their career path.
If you want to make this great idea a reality, contact Sen. Roz Baker (senbaker@Capitol.hawaii.gov) and Rep. Angus McKelvey (repmckelvey@Capitol.hawaii.gov).
EVE CLUTE, Department of Education Licensed Teacher
REMOVE THE HUGE SIGN ALONG THE NEW ROADWAY
I am quite taken by the beautiful new four lanes on Honoapiilani Highway in Lahaina. The plantings are wonderful; the walls are not as bad as I thought they would look. All in all, a fine job that I am sure cost big bucks.
My only complaint is, amongst this beauty is a horrible “Jesus” sign that looms above it all. We have sign ordinances in Maui County. I am sure this is in violation. It is an eyesore and disgrace.
SU CAMPOS, Napili
BOO BOO ZOO NEEDS HELP
There are two important factors that have helped the Boo Boo Zoo (East Maui Animal Refuge) survive for more than 20 years. They are that we have been all-volunteer and a “true” no-kill organization.
As the founder and executive director, my goal is for us to remain a no-kill organization and show compassion to every distressed animal brought into our care.
We have evolved through the knowledge and experience of each of our volunteers. Our supporters and volunteers have kept us alive and functional. We have received no government support, fiscally or otherwise. In fact, our government has turned against our mission and us.
In November of 2009, administrators of the Hawaii Department of Fish and Wildlife inspected our facility and stated we no longer can retain our Wildlife Rehabilitation License and be a no-kill facility at the same time.
To renew wildlife rehabilitation status, we would be required to immediately euthanize over a dozen owls, both Hawaiian Pueo and barn owls, who, due to various handicaps, are not able to return into the wild and hunt on their own. They are free in flight cages, which allow them to self-release whenever they can or stay and be provided food for life.
We are emotionally and morally incapable of killing animals merely because they have a handicap, especially when we can provide them with a safe and comfortable environment, along with medical care from several qualified and highly professional veterinarians. That is the essence of the “mission statement” under which we incorporated our 501©3 animal refuge over 20 years ago, having already done this work for ten years prior to incorporation.
In most United States facilities, the label “no-kill” is deceptively used. For example, it means that if it is inconvenient to keep an animal alive, the animal may be euthanized. In domestic shelters, the so-called “no-kill” shelters, unadoptable animals are euthanized. In wildlife refuges, the “no-kill rule” does apply to animals that cannot be returned into the wild within 180 days. By comparison, when we, EMAR, state “no-kill,” we mean to save every animal unless it is in irreversible pain. Our mission statement declares that we provide a home for life, whether or not the animal is adoptable or returnable into the wild. This may not conform to the national norm or conventional thinking, but we believe it is the right thing to do.
In our mission statement, we provide a home for life whether or not they are adoptable or returnable into the wild. This may not conform to the national norm or conventional thinking, but we believe it is the right thing to do.
Chapter 14, Article II, Section 1405 C of The Federal Wildlife Rehabilitation Law states: ” As soon as it can be determined that sick or injured wildlife is not likely to recover within 180 days, it must be euthanized, unless prior Division approval is given for extended care.”
Approximately a year ago, we submitted a Scientific Collecting Permit Application for Educational Purposes to DLNR to help justify the ongoing care of our non-releasable wildlife. This request was coauthored by Emily Gardner, an animal rights attorney in Honolulu. Ms. Gardner has worked previously for DLNR. Notably, EMAR has yet to receive a response from Hawaii DOFAW/DLNR.
Being left without state permits, we are vulnerable to the discretion of the Hawaii State Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Enforcement Division to show up at our door demanding surrender of our wildlife for them to euthanize. This has happened recently to a wild bird rehabber on this island, so it is not a far-fetched scenario to happen. Should that occur, we need to be armed with any legal help and guidance we can acquire.
We have authored a petition on Care2.Com (www.thepetitionsite.com/2/help-save-distressed-wildlife/) requesting DLNR review and reconsider the scope of this statute to not force wildlife rehabilitation facilities to kill animals that can be given a comfortable quality of life.
Our website is www.booboozoo.org; our operation and facility can be examined there.
SYLVAN J. SCHWAB, Executive Director, East Maui Animal Refuge
COALITION WORKING TO PROTECT HONOLUA BAY
The Save Honolua Coalition in partnership with Maui Land & Pineapple Co. has again been awarded a $7,500 grant by the Hawaii Tourism Authority to contract port-a-potty services at Honolua Bay as part of our Malama Honolua project.
Along with MLP, we invite the community to participate in ongoing malama ‘o ka ‘aina efforts. March 12, 2011 is the next volunteer planting event. Please contact Megan Webster at 665-5467 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and stay tuned for upcoming Earth Day events.
Honolua means so much to so many. The least we can do is set aside one day a month to give back for the health of the area.
A couple of future “actionable” items that the Save Honolua Coalition would like to address for this year include getting permission and seasonal permits, as well as port-a-potties, at the surfers’ access during the winter months and organizing public comment in the ongoing Environmental Assessment by Munekiyo & Hiraga regarding Honolua Bridge.
The coalition is strongly opposed to a two-lane bridge replacing the current one-lane bridge. What we would like to see is rehabilitation of the current one-lane bridge if it can be proved to be necessary, and we would also support addition of a pedestrian walkway for safety reasons. Our official comment letter can be viewed on the website: www.savehonolua.org.
TAMARA PALTIN, President, Save Honolua Coalition